Author to share his secrets
Author Albert Wendt is coming to Porirua for Festival of the Elements and is happy to pass on his secret to aspiring writers, especially young ones.
‘‘You’ve got to read, read, read,’’ he said. ‘‘Reading opens the door to the world of writing. It got me started.’’
Wendt is a noted New Zealand author who travelled to New Zealand from Samoa on a scholarship when he was 13.
He enrolled at New Plymouth Boys’ High School.
Later, he studied at Victoria University, where he earned an MA in history.
Since then, his writing career has taken off.
His novels, short stories and poems have mainly New Zealand, Samoan and Pacific settings and his frank portrayals and cultural observations have helped to change the way that people view themselves, their country and their region.
Wendt is regarded as one of the Pacific’s most important literary figures.
Last year he was awarded New Zealand’s highest honour – the Order of New Zealand, which is limited to 20 living New Zealanders.
He said he enjoyed visiting Porirua.
‘‘ I have many relatives and friends in Porirua and hope to catch up with as many as I can while I’m in the city.’’
Wendt will be one of the featured guests at the Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park on Waitangi Day, February 6.
He said that generally young people today read more than ever, although they often got criticised for not reading enough.
Computers, the internet, social media, texting and other evolving technologies offered a wide range of reading and writing opportunities that never existed a few decades ago.
‘‘People need to read with a purpose if they want to be writers and they need to have the drive to suc- ceed.
‘‘Without the drive they won’t reach their goals.’’
Wendt said people should be prepared to embrace the opportunities offered through new technologies.
‘‘ For instance, when I’m researching, I don’t hesitate to use Google, and I also think the development of e-books has been marvellous.’’
Writing tips: Albert Wendt will be of the featured guests at Festival of the Elements.