How I write: Libby Kirkby-McLeod

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Elizabeth (Libby) Kirkby-McLeod is a New Zealand author whose poetry and writing have appeared in a number of magazine and online publications

Elizabeth (Libby) Kirkby-McLeod is a New Zealand author whose poetry and writing has appeared in a range of magazines, online publications and in the public art installation In Our Words in central Auckland. Her early chapter book series for young readers, Eugene’s Island, is illustrated by Anna McKessar. In the fictional series, readers can experience the problems, pitfalls, and potential that lie in island life with Eugene.

What book impressed you so much that you bought it for your friends?

Ha – that’s a different book every six months; I think my father taught me that giving books is a love language. I always hand books to my friends, especially when they’re by an author from Aotearoa New Zealand that they just have to read! Some recent examples include Kakapo Guardian (Junior Fiction) by Gay Buckingham and The Alarmist (Memoirs) by Dave Lowe.

Where are you happiest with a book in your hand?

Lying in the sun, although almost everywhere I’m content with a book (I’m that weird mom sitting on the edge of the netball with her thermos and book instead of in her gym clothes!).

CONTINUE READING:
* As I write: Karen Nimmo finds homegrown noir thrillers a guilty pleasure – life’s ordinary madness
* How I write: Kevin Owens
* How I write: Danielle Hawkins says the more you practice, the better you get
* Ingrid Horrocks: “Self-doubt is part of the territory. Writers are people who write anyway

The latest books in the Eugene's Island series

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The latest books in the Eugene’s Island series

What’s your writing routine? Do you have a specific time of day that you like to write?

I turn off my phone and set a one-hour timer first thing every weekday morning and write (well… most weekday mornings I’m as prone to distraction as the next writer!). When the timer runs out, I’ll move on. I didn’t used to be like that, but I’ve just realized that I don’t write, so now I’m trying to be really conscious.

And where do you write?

My desk (which isn’t worthy of any of those Instagram shots of creative spaces and instead is messy with Life Admin!) and I enjoy editing on paper in my sunny aqua armchair.

Can you share any good advice you received about writing?

Ninety percent of the work is done in the editorial office.

Which “must read” book have you not read yet? Come on, confess

Nikki Crutchley is a good friend and a great writer…but I get scared easily and need to sleep at night so I haven’t read her latest thriller, To The Sea. but you should!

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