Audiobooks New Zealand
Pip McKay was so drawn to Croatia throughout her overseas experience in the 80s, it makes sense that it provides the setting for her first novel, The Telling Time.
She began writing at the Creative Hub 7 years ago, and 3 years ago completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Auckland. She finished the book in this time and explored her own craft, and has since gone on to win numerous accolades for her efforts. She won the New Zealand Society of Authors Complete Manuscript Assessment Award, the 2020 First Pages Prize and had Paula Morris provide some wonderful book notes.
Pip wanted to explore female relationships in depth, the rites of passage that pave our way to self realisation and growth - particularly when we’re outside of our comfort zones. Having the Covid Lockdown provide her with the time to devote to getting the book out there, she self published through Your Books in Wellington and has been an active participant in the latest Writers Festival circuit in New Zealand.
As Pip’s life unfolded, she was exposed to more and more immigrant children and families, Yugoslavia being a particularly poignant place of intrigue. She discovered throughout her research and travels that a lot of women moved here in secret to lead different lives, that in fact there were many secrets and hidden depths to the civil unrest in Yugoslavia at the time the book is set. These untold traumas and events provide the backdrop for our protagonists to redefine what is really important, and highlight the lengths we got to to protect our daughters (and mothers) from learning the often harrowing truth about our life choices.
Sebastian Faulks OBE was one of the judges of the First Pages Prize. He specifically likes to be transported to other places and worlds when he reads. If he felt the characters and story had somewhere to live on from - beyond those first few pages - I’m inclined to agree with him. There are numerous seeds of secrecy planted early on that drive you to unearth the plot towards their inevitable theme of finding home and belonging. And finding that you can in fact create closer bonds through being honest and allowing different generations to know your trauma, to learn from it through you, and from you.
The Telling Time traces a very distinct time in New Zealand’s history where club culture and shared language defined who you socialised with, who you could and couldn’t talk to, who you married. Pip has two sons of her own, one of whom pushed her towards finalising publication of the novel, and she’s certain that sharing knowledge and experiences cross-generationally is what enriches their relationships.
Pip is an advocate of self publication, and has a wealth of knowledge around the subject - mainly through learning things on the fly herself - and her work is a lovely inclusion in New Zealand’s literary archive now. With a potential sequel in the pipelines we’re all hanging out to see where her characters head to next, and the simple profundities of life that they learn along their travels in New Zealand, Yugoslavia and beyond.
Anyone keen to find out more about Pip and her work can visit her website
www.pjmckayauthor.com, follow her on Facebook at pjmckaynzauthor and Instagram @pj_mckay_author.
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