Stuff about me, poems etc


Dear bloggers, writers and readers,

As today is ANZAC day, I’ve thought how fortunate I am to be living in a country like New Zealand. Our freedom has only come about because young people have gone off to war on countless occasions and fought and died for this very thing.

Here is a poem I wrote in 2011.
The Tennis Game
I wanted to win
So did you
We played

I gave it my all
So did you
We struggled

I was two games ahead
You fought hard
We were even

I won a game
You lost the set
We kept playing

I hoped to win
So did you
We hung on

You moved ahead
I lagged behind
You won

Lately I’ve read: UNSEEN by Mari Jungstedt. (Her debut novel)
A murder mystery, set on the island of Gotland off the coast of Sweden.
The author subtly introduces clues so that the reader has to try and figure out just who is responsible for the deaths which occur. The characters are such that the reader can feel empathy for goodies and baddies alike, to put it simply. But then no one in this book is squeaky clean. Human nature means that sometimes they go by their own instincts, not society’s mores.

INDIGNATION, by Philip Roth.
Set in a time in history when the Korean War is taking place. A young Jewish man is leaving school and going off to college. Sounds straightforward? No, his life is anything but. An overprotective father just about drives him crazy, so in his second year he decides to leave home and go to a college far away. His desire to study and do well is thwarted at every turn and the story that unfolds had me engrossed right to the last sentence of this very well written book.

Happy reading, writing and blogging

Genesis Cotterell

Newsletter No: 13 

March 2016 Genesis Cotterell

Hi, bloggers, readers, writers, authors, and anyone else who cares to read this.

MY WRITINGI will soon be publishing an e-book on Amazon. It is a revised version of ALIENS IN GODZONE first published in 2013. This revised edition is called: MURDER ON MURITAI, The Ryxin Trilogy Book One. It will also have a new cover.

Over the past couple of months I’ve done some interesting reading.
THE HUMANS: by Matt Haig, gives a new perspective on what it is to be human, from the point of view of an alien. Do you ever wonder about the mysteries and vagaries of human nature? A well written book which tells of the way the alien protagonist, sent to get rid of some problem people, ends up wanting to stay on earth and be human. The world he has come from, where nobody ever dies is in fact a boring, unemotional place after all. The trade-off for him is that he has to give up his special powers which he does willingly.

EXIT GHOST: by Philip Roth. I could understand why the main character wanted to get back to a life of solitude after his visit to New York after being away for years. For understanding human nature, the author has depicted a man who grapples with the fact he is aging and the horror of the modern world he visits. Everyone is on cell-phones for one thing. His memory is going he finally escapes back to his life of solitude and writing.

THE HUMBLING: also by Philip Roth. About an aging actor who suddenly finds he cannot act anymore. And what happens after that. I’m enjoying this book because of the way the characters are portrayed. The characters show human nature in its rawest form, with plenty of emotion and lives of struggle, joy and torment.


Genesis Cotterell


23rd JANUARY 2016 by GENESIS COTTERELL – Fantasy/Crime/Sci-Fi Author

Dear readers, writers and bloggers,
Wishing everyone who reads this a Happy 2016.
The days in Hawkes Bay are very hot, so it’s good to find a nice spot in the shade and do some reading.

 An author I’d never read before is Elena Ferrante. Her book, The Days of Abandonment was the first of hers I’ve read. It was an in-depth story about the harrowing times a woman went through when her husband left her and her two children, for a much younger woman. There was no glossing over the mental hell this woman endured. I liked the book for its total honesty.  It reminded me a little of the recent programme, Doctor Foster on TV1. While not exactly the same, the mental and emotional pain of the bereft women were well portrayed. Both women ended up stronger and I would say in a better position than their straying men at the end of each story.

In a totally different vein, though not without certain similarities, I read THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. This was a cleverly told story, where psychological tricks were played on the unsuspecting women for a long time, before the truth came out. I believe it’s the kind of book you can read again and find out what you missed the first time. The hints are very subtle and you’re led in several different directions, making just about everyone involved a potential suspect.

I’m currently working on a third novel in a trilogy concerning the descendants of Ryxins who came to earth in 1905. This book is set in 2023 and is a murder mystery.

Happy reading, writing and blogging
Genesis Cotterell See My Blog



Fantasy/Crime/Sci-Fi Author

Dear readers, writers and bloggers,

Since moving to Napier I’ve been attending the ELDERBERRY Book Chat group which meets on the first Wednesday of every month at Napier Library. I’ve found this to be a very interesting group where everyone says something about a book they’ve recently read. It has given me plenty of ideas for future reading and opened my eyes to authors I’d never heard of.
I’ve recently read a murder mystery called THE HIGHWAY by C J Box. This is a gripping story from start to finish. The author gives us a terrifying insight into the mind of a serial killer. C J Box also gives hints into the background of the killer. What makes this man tick and how much anger is stored up in him from way back and why is it there? But the harrowing ordeals of the women involved are somewhat counterbalanced by the heroine who finally brings a crooked cop to justice. But what happens to the serial killer? You can find out by reading THE HIGHWAY by C J Box.

The book I’m currently reading is called PRISONERS IN THE PAST (When Fiction was Fact) by Doug Riker.
In the future - four people with little in common inadvertently discover time travel. The Solar System government sends them back to 1,435,000 BC as a trial run. However their plans go awry when they find they have been followed by terrorists from their own time who want to steal their knowledge.

Recently I’ve been tweaking my novel, Aliens in Godzone, and making a few changes to it. When it is republished early next year, it will have a new name – Aliens in the God Zone and a new cover.

Happy reading, writing and blogging and a Christmas filled with peace and joy.
Genesis Cotterell See My Blog


Dear bloggers, writers and readers,

An interesting book I read recently was called THE VANISHING ACT by Mette Jakobsen.
This is a brief description of the book from Google Books: On a small snow-covered island live twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa, a priest, Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou’s mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. ...Google Books 

 I enjoyed reading this story very much. In a way that wasn’t stressful, it made me think about life and also think about how mostly we don’t have time to reflect and think adequately about things. The setting of the book – an island – and the few characters, made it easier to think about some of the philosophical ideas portrayed.

Another good book I read avidly was: TRUE THINGS ABOUT ME by Deborah Kay Davies
I liked the main character, but she wouldn’t accept any help from others. In this way she allowed a bully of a man to take over her life. She was totally controlled by him and at the same time hated him. But even though she tried to stop him – he ran roughshod over her and eventually she lost everything – her job, her life-savings and most of her belongings.
     He was totally self-centred and cruel as well as an abuser, a liar and a manipulator. Finally she..... while he slept off a drunken stupor. Hooray!!! (I won’t spoil the ending by telling you what she did)

Lastly, an excerpt from my latest book MAGGIE’S LAST FERRY RIDE which is coming out sometime early next year.

Maggie once told me how she’d first become a drug-dealer. It was two weeks after her dad died. That’s when Brianna Carson turned up at their house in Sandyridge and asked for her father. Maggie’s mum had burst into tears, so Maggie went to the door and asked Brianna what she wanted her dad for.
     Brianna said ‘he owes me half a kilo of goods. I’ve already paid’. Maggie was staying with her mum for a while to help her out as she was a total mess after her husband passed away so suddenly. Normally Maggie would be out at the family bach on Muritai where she looked after the place and did gardening jobs for folk around the island.
     Apparently Brianna just stood there demanding her so-called goods. Maggie knew her father had been up to something to bring in an income. He’d had to resort to some underhand methods to do this; owing to the fact Ryxins were always last on the list when any jobs were up for grabs, no matter how menial.

Happy reading, writing and blogging
Genesis Cotterell

Newsletter No: 9 of Genesis Cotterell. 13th September 2015
Hi Readers and Writers,
Right now I’m reading THE ICE PRINCESS by Camilla Lackberg, a Swedish author. It’s certainly got me hooked, being a crime/suspense novel set in Sweden. Camilla Lackberg worked as an economist in Stockholm until a course in creative writing triggered a drastic career change. Her first six novels have all become #1 bestsellers in Sweden and she is the most profitable native author in Swedish history.

My Own Writing: I continue working on my third Alien Murder Mystery book. This one has the working title, MAGGIE’S LAST FERRY RIDE, but that is open to change as I near the final stages of the first draft.
Since leaving my job in the big city and moving down country in May this year, I’ve gradually settled into a schedule of writing. This was something I wasn’t able to do when working, so has been one of the changes I’ve most enjoyed. Now I can be more consistent in my output without the added stress of an eight hour day working in an office.

The weather here in Napier is gradually getting warmer after a very cold winter, one of the coldest for years so I’m told. Today we planted a fig tree and have carefully protected it against the possibility of another frost. The magnolia tree is in full flower and looks beautiful.

Yesterday we attended an Edible Garden Show and it certainly was interesting. There are so many ways to have your own vegetables now, even if you have very little space in your yard.

Short Story Competition: To enter Beezeebooks Short Story Competition. Entries close November 30th 2015 – go to the following site:

See you next time,

Genesis Cotterell

Newsletter No.8 of Genesis Cotterell – July 2015
Hi everyone who happens to read my blog.
We have recently moved to Napier, a city on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Moving house, especially from one city to another is a huge undertaking. Anyone who has done it will know what I mean.

We began in April by putting our apartment on the market and can now say that we have transitioned to the point of having bought a nice house in Napier and pretty much settled in.

In the interim life seemed to be put on hold. Nothing was permanent. Things were all over the place. The feeling was one of chaos and of being like a transient gypsy with no fixed abode.

But thanks to the help of others and our ability to remain sane through it all, everything has worked out and we can now say please I don’t ever want to shift again.

Right now I have three books out from the wonderful Napier library.

THE HEN WHO DREAMED SHE COULD FLY by Sun-Mi Hwang (translated from Korean)
TRUE THINGS ABOUT ME by Deborah Kay Davies and
THE WHITE SWAN by Barrie Sargeant
All of which I’m looking forward to reading.

My own writing (Book 3 of the NZ Alien Murder Mystery series) is gradually taking shape and I’m also working on a short travel book about a holiday we went on in 2012.

What is a transitive verb?
A verb that requires a direct object to complete its meaning: They washed their new car. An intransitive verb does not require an object to complete its meaning. The audience laughed. Many verbs can be both: The wind blew furiously. My car blew a gasket.

Happy writing and reading,
Genesis Cotterell

NEWSLETTER NO:7 Genesis Cotterell May 2015

Hi fellow writers, bloggers and readers,
Lately I’ve been reading some exciting books. The Glass Cell by Patricia Highsmith is a good read if you like something scary with excellent characterisation and suspense. The author’s ability to go into the mind of the protagonist made me feel as if I was reading a true story.

The book I’m currently reading is Sacrifice by Karin Alvtegen (translated from Swedish).  This talented author knows how to have you on the edge of your seat. She goes right into the psyche of her characters and that can be a scary place to be. Their lives revolve around the way they see the world, based on traumas from their past. And the constant suspense which evolves from this keeps me wanting to find out more. Are they living in reality?

I’m currently working on a book which follows on from Aliens in Godzone and Nayxana Alien Women. We’ve been busy preparing for moving house and will soon be living in Napier, but I’m also looking forward to having more time for writing.


In March my partner and I went on a cruise around Australia. Firstly we flew from Auckland to Sydney. Then travelled by train across Australia, and finally boarded RADIANCE OF THE SEAS in Fremantle. It was a great trip, but one of the weird things was that the day we spent in Bali (March 8) seeing craft centres and generally enjoying ourselves, was the same day the Malaysian Aircraft went missing.

I loaded my Kindle with books to read on the journey, but wouldn’t you know it, I left it beside my bed. So as soon as we reached Perth, I braved the 37 degree heat and strode out to find something to read. After receiving instructions from a friendly pedestrian, I found Dymocks bookshop and bought two books. Both by Jo Nesbo. They were un-put-down-able. I had already read The Headhunters so went on to read The Redeemer and the Devil’s Star.

One of the things I enjoyed about Jo Nesbo’s writing style, was the way he has of going seamlessly from one character's part to another. He does this in such a subtle way that the reader can easily discern which character is speaking without a sense of over-statement. There was a small library on the ship and that’s where I left one of my books once I had finished reading it. Others had done the same.

For Writers
When you create an evil character, know why he or she is evil. Reveal his confusion and unhappiness as well as his malice. To carry conviction, your characters will be a mixture of good and bad, as we all are. You will probably dislike your most beloved character from time to time, just as we dislike our friends when they display their worst selves to us. (Dianne Doubtfire, Novel Writing 1981)

My Own Writing   

Making some progress as I now have more free-time to devote to it. The aim is to be finished the first draft by winter's end. Foreseeing plenty of cold, wet weather means only benefit to a writer, keeping us indoors most of the time.

Newsletter No: 5 February 2014 by Genesis Cotterell
Your mind has its own paths to travel.
Just step out of its way.
(Long Quiet Highway-Natalie Goldberg-Bantam Books) 

What I’ve been reading:

I recently enjoyed reading THE FALLEN by Ben Sanders. This is a book with plenty of pace and excitement and was a real page turner. I also enjoyed knowing some of the areas on the North Shore where the action took place. You can visualise a street that you know and somehow this adds to the appeal. The plot and sub-plots were also realistic and the outcomes unexpected. But after all this is what human nature is like, unpredictable. This book is a gripping and often grisly tale.
 Twenty-one-year-old Ben Sanders’ fascination with crime fiction has paid off. Born and bred on Auckland’s North Shore, Sanders has been hooked on Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Cormac McCarthy and Pete Dexter since the age of thirteen, and now he’s put his interest in these big-selling authors to work. A keen writer since his teens, Sanders is also passionate about music; he wrote his first novel while listening to the tunes of R.E.M, Nick Cave, Grant-Lee Phillips, and The Mutton Birds and even found time to study engineering at the University of Auckland. (Bio taken from Goodreads)

My own Writing:
I wonder if it’s a good thing to be writing two books at once, both in different genres. This happened because I dug out an old unfinished manuscript I’d been working on about two years ago and decided I liked it enough to carry on writing the story. It is crime fiction whereas the other one I’m working on is crime-fantasy fiction. I think because I became a bit blocked with the latter, I was looking for ideas. However I then decided that both will eventually come out under different pen-names.  Progress on both stories is rather slow owing to many things going on in my life right now.

What I’m currently reading:

THE CUCKOO’S CALLING by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling). Although I’m only in the early stages of this book, I can see that I won’t be watching too much TV until it’s done. Already my interest is captured by the lead into this classic crime novel.

Common Writing Term for the Month:

Allegory:  use of a character or situation to express a wider truth.
(Taken from ‘Writing Your First Novel’ by John Reynolds, Polygraphia 2006) 

Genesis Cotterell

Newsletter No 4 Genesis Cotterell January 2014
Happy New Year, Writers and Readers,
My own writing:  For me, Christmas and New Year brought with them some free hours during which time I cleared off my cluttered desk, found scraps of paper which I’d forgotten were there, with notes on them, and began to get creative again. I’m working on a sequel to Aliens in Godzone and enjoying the challenge of writing an exciting page-turner.  

What I’m Reading:  Right now I’m reading THE WEDDING BEES
 by Sarah-Kate Lynch and finding her style of writing a refreshing
change. The chapters are not too long and I like the way she has
different characters speaking, including a Queen Bee called
Elizabeth the Sixth. This book is definitely worth a read.

The other book I’m reading was published in 1949: ELECTED SILENCE by Thomas Merton.It was first published in America under the title The Seven Storey Mountain (1948).
This is a book I’ve had on my shelf for years. But after watching a DVD about his life I knew it was time to read the whole book. Thomas Merton was an Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the
priesthood and given the name Father Louis. (Wikipedia)
     I was especially fascinated by his early life and upbringing, some of which was in France, and some in America. His father was a New Zealander. If you’re interested in what life was like way back then and
how he eventually discovered his true vocation, this is an impelling story.
What I have read:   Lastly I wanted to mention Marlen Haushofer’s great book THE WALL (1968) –translated from German. “This thoughtful eco-feminist novel (Austrian Haushofer’s English Debut) comments on modern life by describing its end.”
(Publishers Weekly)
     I thought this sentence probably best describes the book, as the author loses everything of her past life and then reflects on aspects of it that brought her feelings of disillusionment and helplessness. In some ways her true self developed only after her old life was gone forever.
            Writing Tip 
Writing brings you back
to the natural state of mind,
the wilderness of your mind
where there are no refined
rows of gladiolas.
From Wild Mind (Bantam Books)
Genesis Cotterell
Newsletter No 3 December 2013 By Genesis Cotterell 

This month I’ve been reading BREATHING LESSONS by Anne Tyler. I like her writing style and the way she can create such believable characters. She has tremendous skill at scene building and how to bring action into it.

I guess all writers have trouble getting inspiration at times. Anne Tyler said in an interview that over the years she learnt "just to go to my room and plug away. It doesn't take very long for most writers to realise that if you wait until the day you are inspired and feel like writing you'll never do it at all."

 Why is she so strict about avoiding publicity?

"The simple answer is that any time I've spoken at length in an interview, I really can't write afterwards for a long time. My mental image, which again is so fey, is that the Writing Elf has gone off in a sulk." The secret of writing "is to pretend to yourself that no one will see it, ever", an illusion which is shattered by talking about it. "We'll see. When I get home again, how long will it take me to write? I'm curious to know. Will the Writing Elf understand?"

(Taken from The Guardian, London.) 


Don’t wait for 100%

acceptance of yourself before

you write, or even 80%.

Just write. The process of

writing will teach you about acceptance. 

(From WILD MIND Bantam Books)


 A book I’d like to recommend this month is HENRI’S CELLAR by Amelie Rose

Silvie Roth is a happily married businesswoman with one passionate goal – to sell the business and return to her birth country, France, to live. A series of events sees Silvie and her husband Tom lose all their business capital, forcing them to sell all they own, including a large personal investment stock of fine wines.
Realising they can no longer carry on in their business, Tom agrees to make an offer on an old deserted cottage with its own small vineyard.

While Silvie paints and prepares the run down but beautiful cottage, Tom remains in England tying up loose ends and preparing to transport their furniture and effects to France. However, before he can join Silvie, tragedy happens and she is left to move into the cottage alone, widowed and unexpectedly pregnant.
As the seasons change and she begins to recover from her loss, two things happen to Silvie – she discovers that a) her little cottage vineyard contains a shocking secret dating back to WWII and b) that she has fallen in love with Amis Lamar, wine grower, owner of the grand Chateau de Magi, and Tom’s closest friend.
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  Newsletter 2: This month my new book Aliens in Godzone has finally arrived as a print copy. I’m now in the process of entering some information about it on my Website: so that anyone can buy one if they wish to, or if they prefer buy an e-book here:

Writing tip: I found an interesting piece about keeping related words together when writing. (See The Elements of Style (illustrated) Strunk/White/Kalman p.44)
The position of the words in a sentence is the principal means of showing their relationship.  Confusion and ambiguity result when words are badly placed. The writer must, therefore, bring together the words and groups of words that are related in thought and keep apart those that are not related.

One of my favourite authors is Iris Murdoch. I’ve collected second-hand copies all of her fiction books and there are only a couple I haven’t yet read. She was born on July 15, 1919 in Dublin, Ireland and published her first novel in 1954. Since then more than 26 have been published. In 1978 she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea.





                Suspense: Patricia Highsmith is an author I admire very much. She was an American novelist and short story writer, most widely known for her psychological thrillers, which led to more than two dozen film adaptations. (Wikipedia)

 In her book THE SWEET SICKNESS her opening paragraph shows how the build up of tension is already there.
“It was jealousy that kept David from sleeping, drove him from a tousled bed out of the dark and silent boarding house to walk the streets.”
(The way to write Crime Fiction by Lisanne Radice, 1989)
Story Beginnings:  Authors all know how important a story beginning can be. It’s what grabs the reader and gets them hooked. A good book to help you with beginnings is called HOOKED by Les Edgerton (write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go)

Genesis Cotterell



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