Rest easy, you’re not in it
But then again . . . maybe
Central Otago is set to become the setting of a new contemporary novel but residents can rest easy that the leading characters will not be based on them. Henderson House artist-inresidence Owen Jones, known by his nom de plume Owen Marshall, has been working on his new novel for the past two months after taking up this year’s residency at the house. The novel, which is yet to be titled, will be the second book by Mr Jones set in Central Otago and is expected to take about a year to complete. The first was called Drybread and is a story about a custody battle set in an old mining town. While no stranger to artist-inresidence positions, settling into a new working environment could take a while. ‘‘There are good days and bad days,’’ Mr Jones said. ‘‘It’s nice to be here and get a sense of the environment . . . It will help me, I hope, to have a plausible setting,’’ he said. Mr Jones has written or edited 25 books, won several prestigious awards and has held artist-inresidence positions in Dunedin, Nelson, Canterbury and France. Details of what the novel was about were being kept under wraps. ‘‘I think with a work in progress if you talk too much about it you can lose the inspiration to write about it,’’ he said. However, ‘‘people can rest easy that they won’t be in it’’. ‘‘But mind you, who knows,’’ he said. As well as working on some poetry while he is here, this week Mr Jones will be visiting Central Otago high schools to talk to students about writing stories.
Keeping mum: Henderson House artist-in-residence Owen Jones.