Lily Max on a beach adventure
She’s funny, outspoken, a bit humble, totally into fashion and a feisty heroine for thousands of New Zealand children.
Lily Max, aged around 12, is the creation of Queenstown author Jane Bloomfield and now the subject of a third book, Lily Max - Sun, Surf and Action.
‘‘I like to make all my female characters really feisty heroines,’’ says Bloomfield.
She has made sure Lily Max is not a demanding brat, instead she is resourceful.
‘‘She’s in that age when group pressure is very strong but she’s not afraid not to fit in with the crowd. She’s not afraid to stand out with her creations and clothes.’’
She has rocked a great variety since Lily Max - Satin, Scissors, Frock was published in 2015 and she aspired to be the queen of the school ball, before hitting the ski slopes in Lily Max - Slope, Style, Fashion, in 2016.
Now Lily Max has headed to the beach - largely because Bloomfield really wanted to get to the beach.
She rented a holiday home in Wainui, near Gisborne, and spent two weeks there with husband Evan, to get the setting right.
‘‘It was gloriously hot days and good surf. It reminded me of my childhood summers - mosquitos at night and sand in the bed.
‘‘I love the sea. I really miss it...I called it a research trip because I knew in my head I had to get the setting and layout of the town right.’’
This has become increasingly important since Lily Max moved away from the Queenstown setting she started in. Now Bloomfield is considering a research trip to Milan Fashion Week for her next setting.
It sounds like exotic work but Bloomfield says that while her books are not making her wealthy, she covers her costs.
The satisfaction comes from recognition (after the first Lily Max book Jane was named as a finalist in the New Zealand Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards), and the readers - feedback from the children.
On Friday night she got a good dose of it at a pool party and young women’s fashion show to launch the book.
The event doubled as a celebration for children’s clothing store Rockies, which is celebrating 25 years in business and owner Shirley Popenhagen announced she was planning to open a second store in the Frankton area.