Au­thor to share his se­crets

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BERNIE GRIF­FIN

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.

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