Topic: Writer looks beyond cover of next book

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SITTING at the kitchen table with his latest piece of fiction within reach, author Peter Blakeborough says it is important to never judge a book by its cover. His story appeared in the Hauraki Herald on 12 July 2011.

This Ngatea resident has published seven of his own books – one of which has been described as New Zealand’s funniest book in a generation – and says writing is in his blood. Blakeborough writes, publishes and sells his books, which means he does not get much time to write but says it is a way of getting published.

To be a writer, he says, you first have to be a reader and his partner Win adds that during every break for a cup of tea Blakeborough can be found with a book in his hand. Every Sunday, weather permitting, Blakeborough attends the Pokeno markets in his motor home to sell his books, which was where his most recent book, The Life and Times of Freddie Fuddpucker, was launched.

Blakeborough also attends the Thames writers’ group meetings on the second and fourth Thursday of the month and is always quick to encourage other people interested in writing to attend. ‘‘No matter how good a writer you are, you are always going to need feedback.’’

Upon hearing he was to be interviewed for the Hauraki Herald’s Local Character feature, Blakeborough agreed the title was fitting – ‘‘some people think I am a character and others think I am a different kind of character’’ he said with a laugh.

It appears this keen writer, who has lived in Ngatea for the past two years, has a passion for driving. He launched the first taxi-van service in New Zealand in 1982, has driven long distance trucks through 40 states in the United States and even now is still driving buses for Hauraki Plains College. But Blakeborough’s travels are not restricted to the ground. He learned to fly in 1954 and has flown more than 50 types of aircraft. It was the challenge of mastering the skill which originally attracted him. He is now a flight simulator enthusiast, which Win appreciates, adding that ‘‘although he is still flying, at least now when he crashes he does not get hurt’’.

Blakeborough has worked at numerous jobs, including as an encyclopedia salesman in Sydney at only 25 years old. He remembers that even then he had a love for books and his first sale came just in time to buy his next meal. He also spent time working in factories making plastic bottle tops and spot welding wheels, all of course ‘‘so I could have money to fly’’. And how does this author pick a book? ‘‘Read the blurb on the back, look to see when it was published, then open the book and read a paragraph’’ he advises. ‘‘Just don’t judge the book by its cover.’’

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Writer looks beyond cover of next book

First Names:Peter
Last Name:Blakeborough