Here’s an interesting question linked to Crew in Crisis which someone asked me this week: Why is it set in New Zealand?
In case you’re wondering, I’m based in the U.K. so it might have made more sense to set it here. However, doesn’t the mountain scene on the cover, as well as some of the descriptions, look and sound better within the beauty of New Zealand?
To be honest, I hadn’t meant to set it there but half way through I just knew it had to be! Why? Firstly because I needed a country where earthquakes are regular occurrences (if you’ve read it you’ll know why). While the U.K. might have some minor tremors, and even I experienced one last year while sat at my computer which really took me by surprise, they aren’t anything like as often as in New Zealand, or as powerful.
Another crazy thought I had was that it would be a good location for the film version of the book… Having enjoyed watching the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings and been transfixed by the settings they used while filming in New Zealand, I couldn’t help imagining a film of a book I’ve written being filmed there. Even better if I get an invite onto the set, don’t you think?
Please don’t get too excited by this statement, though. As I write, I have neither signed a contract for the film rights nor am I in negotiations for them…in fact it’s unlikely to ever happen. But let me know if you’re interested in discussing the possibility, won’t you!
Actually the main reason I chose New Zealand was because I’ve been there! Yes, I’m pleased to say I travelled there back in 2005 to visit friends who live there and enjoyed a three week stay on both the North and South Islands. A highlight was going on a guided tour of some of the locations where The Lord of the Rings had been filmed; I even got to dress up briefly in some of the costumes and hold items like those which Frodo, Gandalf and others would have used. No wonder it made an impact on me.
Something else I’d like to mention about the writing of Crew in Crisis. The whole theme of friendship which features from the start came about because I wrote a song, about ten years ago, called ‘Song of Friendship’ which has been sung in a number of schools. As part of presenting this song within schools I came up with the idea of the ‘friendship cake’ made from ingredients which some of the children suggested would make a good friend. You might notice in the book I included a short poem about this; within the song this same poem is performed as a rap. So when Kathy meets Marcus and becomes friends with him, she offers to instruct him in making a friendship cake in the school kitchen.
Now this scene isn’t in the book as I chose to change that bit. If you’d like a glimpse of what that scene might have looked like -and whether Marcus who couldn’t make friends was any better at baking a cake- look out for my next blog.


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