Introducing Author June Allen

I have been scriptwriting and playwriting for some years now. I enjoy the annual competitions held by the Playwrights Association of NZ and am proud to be a Life Member.

My first publication was on the audio, being the transcript for the Sound and Light Show off Norfolk Island, which opened in December 1984. It still runs twice a week, two shows each night. In its heyday, it ran twice a night for 6 nights a week to appreciative tourists.

It happened that one day eight years ago my mind was a vacant patch on a quiet Sunday when I noticed an advert in NZ Listener magazine for a children’s story set in New Zealand. I used the skills I had learned as a playwright to create my story about a glow-worm. Yes, the protagonist must be challenged – a story or play should open with a problem – and this little glow-worm of my imagination couldn’t turn on his light. Certainly, that is quite a problem. That book has sold well over the six years it has been in print. It surely is a New Zealand story because our little glow worm hanging on a thread high in a cave or over a stream is entirely different from the grub that other countries give that name.

You’ve asked about editing. My shorter pieces, which are children’s stories, are trusted to good friends who are highly educated in the literary field. Reading a new book aloud to neighbors’ young children helps tremendously to gauge how the story works.

The illustrator, Polly Rabbits, for many of my books, is the cover designer. This cover is for a story that tells the escapades of a little crab wanting to join in the race. I saw this traditional game when I was holidaying in Rarotonga.

If I have prepared the interior myself for printing, Bev Robitai does a great job using the photographs I supply. Indie Publishing works well for me. I am in control of each publication and the market, which suits each of the titles I have.

I am a retired school teacher and school librarian. I wouldn’t have had the energy when I was teaching and bringing up a family on my own to even consider creative writing.

After my family had grown up, I took a break from teaching. New challenges and new experiences have widened my perspective on many things. I have been a tour operator taking people around the North Island; I have been a cook in the hospitality industry while living on Norfolk Island, I’ve been an airport shuttle driver while building up my tour business, and now I am an occasional assessor for an annual international playwriting competition.

My newest book features a really easy plan for losing weight, and one that is highly cost-effective. The idea that I came up with just three years ago works wonders. My doctor was impressed. He said, ‘I wish all my patients would lose 4 kilos that quickly.’ Actually not all his patients are overweight, I know that.

Any reader who enjoys cooking is going to appreciate this book because it’s not just about losing weight, it’s about the many ways you can serve crepes. All the recipes have been tested twice over by experienced home cooks.

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