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Thursday, 25 April 2019 11:50 pm

Short story award winner publishes first novel

Sep 16th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, News, Top Picture

Sue_inposttopSUE Orr has brought the characters in her head to life with her first novel, The Party Line.

The award winning short story writer from the Hauraki Plains released her book this month after she spent three years watching over her character’s shoulders.

The Party Line is about the idea of eavesdropping in a 1970’s farming community in New Zealand’s Hauraki Plains.

She said starting with strong characters that you can work with for a long time helps the narrative move forward.

“You know you are going to be with them for a long time and they talk to you even if you would like for them not be, and they wake you up in the middle of the night.”

The Party Line was celebrated by fans and fellow writers at Unity Books for the Wellington launch.

Orr has been nominated and won a number of awards for her short story collections.

She won the Lilian Ida Smith Award in 2007 for Etiquette for a Dinner Party and was shortlisted for the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards for From Under the Overcoat.

However, it doesn’t get any less intimidating sharing her work she said.

“I think that constant kind of worry and fear about it makes you a better writer because you keep going back and editing and re-editing.”

Orr turned to creative writing after working as a journalist, and as a speech writer for the Governor General, Dame Silvia Cartwright.

The Party Line was written as part of her Creative Writing PHD that she is currently working towards at Victoria University.

One of her critical supervisors for the course, Professor Peter Whiteford, introduced Sue at the launch;

“Sue’s a natural storyteller, honed her skills with the difficult art of short story telling but now expands them, and there is a kind of expansiveness in the novel.”


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