Tell me a bit about yourself….
I am Maori, was born on the East Coast, grew up in the Bay of Plenty,
lived overseas for almost 30 years and now live in Turanganui-a-
What genre/s do you write in?
Fiction. Modern & contemporary, commercial, particularly Women’s
fiction in the Spirit Voyager series.
How long have you been writing?
Pretty much my whole life.
Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about
these and what publishing route you took.
I only just started to take my writing seriously a couple of years ago.
Last year I had two publications, my debut novel Guardians of the
Ancestors (GOTA) and short story Crushed Violet in anthology Kaituhi
Rawhiti – A Celebration of East Coast Writers. There was a poster up
in Treble Court on my way to the hairdresser's so I took a photo of it.
One day I decided to submit a story and wrote Crushed Violet. I
hadn’t written a short story for years, but Gillian Moon one of the
editors really helped me with it. GOTA had been in my head for
The story starts on an idyllic Pacific Island and ends in
Aotearoa. I wrote the lagoon scene in the first chapter years ago in
Australia, but I was busy with work so it gathered dust. The novel
explores why people migrated, but also the spiritual connection we
feel to our ancestors, the ocean, and land. There are six books in the
Spirit Voyager series, Marama is the central character in the first two
books and the last book is set in the present day. The characters
experience the emotional roller-coaster of life - love, loss, insecurity,
faith, grief, adversity etc. These are things people can relate to. I also
wanted to highlight the ongoing battle for gender equality, personal
safety, the harm of domestic violence, the complexities of child-birth,
and the myriad of nurturing talents women possess. The male
characters are wonderful, sensitive, spiritual warriors or dark, self-
obsessed, rotten apples! I had to have some bad people as
Did you use an editor? If so who?
Yes, I did. You cannot proof your own work, you just don’t see
everything. I am fortunate enough to know a number of people who
read a lot, so my advance readers play a huge part in the writing
process. For GOTA, Pegasus Publishers did the final editing. When
you work with a Publisher, they will generally have the final say on
what is included.
Kaituhi Rawhiti, had four editors Gillian Moon,
Claire Price, Aaron Compton, and Chris McMasters, I mostly worked
with Gillian and Claire.
Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?
Pegasus Publishers designed the book cover for GOTA with my input,
and I am absolutely thrilled with the result. They gave me two
amazing designs, I market surveyed over 70 people and went with
the one people chose.
The Kaituhi Rawhiti cover was designed by
Evelyn Doyle and it is just gorgeous, so representative of the
Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go
Like most new authors I explored the traditional method, steeling
myself for the rejections you inevitably get, fortified by JK Rowling’s
12 refusals. Because I come from a business background, I looked at
publishing as a business first. For the Publisher, every book is an
investment where they take all the risk. I completely understand why
they prefer published authors, or want new authors who have
studied. To be honest my rejection letters were quite encouraging.
One suggested a particular writing course, another said I should
circulate the work to other publishers. I did a lot of research. Many
authors advised to just down and write your work and shop it
around. Some advocate not to pay anything to publish, others say it
doesn’t really matter how you get your work out there, as long as it’s
good and people want to read it. I was open to sharing the cost of
publishing because I had no idea what I was doing. You will always
need to work on promotion yourself and become an advocate for
your work. If your book doesn’t have an audience or isn’t interesting,
the best marketing in the world won’t do much for you.
In both my published works, I have realized I need to own the final copy, be
meticulous about my proofing input because nobody cares as much
as you do and mistakes happen. As a new writer, I was grateful to be
working with Pegasus. It is a steep learning curve about presenting
your work. They did the layout (this is something I never thought
about but it’s fiddly), proof, edit, cover, listing worldwide, gave me
an Author page on their platform, and support me with promotion,
for example making posters for the launch. We did the blurb
together, I wrote the bio, and set up my personal social media. The
key issue for me, was that I planned to launch in the UK, but due to
Covid launched here instead. As Pegasus doesn’t have a distributor
here, I needed to import some books myself which is costly. Having
said that the book is listed on Nielsen and Ingram Spark if bookshops
want to buy. All in all, I am happy with the result.
How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include
I have my own Wix website https://rdewolf.com
Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Regdewolf/
Youtube Channel here is a link to my last video about where to start
I also have R de Wolf Instagram and Twitter but I’m not as active on
those as yet and I definitely want to learn to drive Tik Tok.
What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?
Go to the platforms where your readers are, and choose the ones
that give you the most traction. I am not a Facebook fan but that is
where a lot of my readers are.
Do you use an agent?
I would love to have an agent! There are three in NZ and none of
them take unpublished authors. Some agents only take authors from
publishers. Recently I found more in Australia, but there are only a
few who take NZers, and the process is similar to submitting to a
Publisher. I emailed an agent in New York but no response. You just
have to keep knocking on doors. I will try anything and will get
Do you use paid advertising? If so what?
Not yet. I do intend to invest in social media boosts with advice from
a friend who works in this field.
Do you have a blog or website?
I just started a blog on my website last week. Due to the change in
Youtube ads, they can put them wherever they like now, I am going
to migrate more of my videos to my blog/vlog.
What inspires you most to write?
Life, people, and the amazing universe we inhabit.
What do you do to help with writers block?
I have never really struggled with this, but I do write something
pretty much every day. Prompts are excellent to get you started –
just google one, or pick up an object or word to get the ball rolling.
Don’t put pressure on either. Just go for a walk, look, smell, feel and
something will come.
How do you plan your writing and start?
Concept, outline, write.
Is writing your full-time job? If not what else do you do?
I retired a few years ago and write part-time around whanau and
What are you working on at the moment?
Proofing my first draft of my third novel The Goodness Algorithm and
getting book two as well edited as I can.
What is your target audience?
Women of all ages.
How long does it take you to write a book?
About six months writing part-time, a few hours 4-5 days a week.
When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?
Pretty much as soon as I could string sentences together.
What is your writing schedule look like?
It’s fluid. I do find the promotional and editing work takes up a lot of
time, so writing is actually my happy place. One of the most difficult
parts of working from home, doing something you enjoy, is to switch
off and be present.
What does your family think about you writing?
They are really supportive, especially my husband Ieme.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I enjoy yoga, cooking, riding my bike, being around positive people,
spending time with whanau and friends. While we have no children,
or maybe because of it, I just adore them. Their potential, how they
learn and the way they think is priceless!
Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?
From experience, reading, conversation, media. For example, my last
book concept stemmed from watching a program on the Dunedin
What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters, a good plot so you can’t wait to find out what