Ōtaki has more than its share of published authors. Penelope Haines joins this group with her first novel The Lost One, out in good bookshops, and available as an ebook.
Born in London, Penelope had the good fortune to have a father who travelled, and travelled first class into the bargain. Her primary schooling was in India and Pakistan, where she became a prodigious reader. Coming to Wellington at age eleven, she eventually took up nursing and, at the same time managed to complete a B.A (Hons) in English Literature. In her working life, Penelope has had more varied careers than most of us, from management consultancy, to working as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, having a family, operating a company providing support to accident victims, to published author.
The Haines have lived on the plateau on 8 hectares adjacent to the Waitohu Stream for 30 years. Penelope claims that she became a writer when she realized it enabled her to gaze out of the window with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in her hands and claim to be working. She started writing three years ago, stimulated by the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project which attracts world-wide hundreds of thousands of would-be authors, demanding 50,000 words in a month. The Lost One is the result, with a second, Helen had a Sister, a historical novel due out in December. There’s a third in the pipeline, a whodunnit based on her experiences as a pilot flying small aircraft around the Marlborough Sounds. Phew!
You can find her on Facebook or read her blog at www.penelopehaines.com.