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Meet the team

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Karen McMillan is the Director of NZ Booklovers, and is a published author of 22 books, a mixture of bestselling fiction, non-fiction to inspire and help others, and a children's book series that has been optioned for TV and film. More info at www.karenm.co.nz. Karen is passionate about book publishing and enjoys working with authors to help them realise their dreams. She was the resident book reviewer on The Cafe, TV3 and she also does book reviews on a variety of radio shows.

As a lifelong writer, Andrea Molloy began her career as a journalist.  She is the author of numerous non-fiction books and spends her days as a Communications Manager.  After living in Amsterdam, London and Sydney, she currently resides in Auckland with her husband and daughter.  When she's not reading or writing, Andrea enjoys making candles!  She also manages social media for NZ Booklovers. 

Follow Andrea on Instagram @andreamullermolloy 

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Chris Reed is a high school English teacher, author, musician and copywriter. One of his passions is to promote reading to his class and young people in general through the English curriculum and teaching a broad range of reading styles. Chris was the runner up in the NZWC Short Story competition in 2020 with his story about connecting with his marae in Gisborne. As well as writing Chris is a keen musician, playing in an award winning covers band for weddings and corporate events - he even briefly held the Guinness World Record for the longest solo performance at 33 hours non stop. He is married with two beautiful girls who are the inspiration for a whole back catalogue of short children's stories.  Highly Commended in the Pikihuia Awards 2021.

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Stephanie Jones is a book-obsessed business writer. She edited Aotea Great Barrier, published by Out There Media in 2018, and is the co-author of The Four-Day Week, a business book to be released by Piatkus in early 2020. Because actually producing books is bloody hard work, she takes solace and pleasure in reading and discussing them – through reviewing, previously for Newstalk ZB, Coast FM and Crime Watch, and as a judge of the Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand crime fiction.

Rebekah Lyell is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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Patricia Bell is an author, editor, and proofreader. Her short stories, poems, and non-fiction articles and features have been published and broadcast in magazines, anthologies, literary journals, on radio and online, and her short stories have won and been highly commended in national writing competitions. 

Her debut novel, The Library of Unfinished Business, was released in March 2022, published by Cloud Ink Press. She has an MA in English literature, a postgraduate diploma in journalism, and a diploma in proofreading and editing.  She is currently working on her second novel. Her author website: www.patriciabellauthor.com.

Marcus Hobson was until recently a businessman but has given all that up to follow his lifelong passion to be a writer. With a varied career behind him, including a degree in Ancient and Mediaeval History (and archaeology) he has wide ranging literary tastes from popular fiction to Viking sea burials. He is currently working on his second novel, a mix of fact and fiction set in the First World War. Marcus lives near Tauranga with his wife and their daughters, and is the Literary Editor of ARTbop, a local online magazine

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Lyn Potter is a retired art teacher with eclectic reading tastes, mostly non-fiction. Over the years she has amassed an outrageously large collection of cookbooks. Reading to her granddaughters rekindled her passion for children’s literature. She loves the way books transport you into different worlds and broaden your horizons. Her recipe for happiness is a good book + a good coffee.

Paddy Richardson is the author of two collections of short stories, Choices and If We Were Lebanese and seven novels, The Company of a Daughter, A Year to Learn a Woman, Hunting Blind, Traces of Red, Cross Fingers, Swimming in the Dark and Through the Lonesome Dark. Paddy has been awarded four Creative New Zealand Awards, the University of Otago Burns Fellowship, the Beatson Fellowship and the James Wallace Arts Trust Residency Award. She is an experienced teacher of creative writing, and is a mentor for both NZSA and the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme. Paddy lives in Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula and is an obsessive reader, swimmer and dog lover.

Rachel White’s mother was a writer and she also worked in publishing, so there were always books around Rachel growing up. Rachel eventually ended up working in publishing too, amongst other careers, so her mother’s influence has carried on. Rachel’s love of food, gardening, travel and cats mean her interests are fairly wide. She also enjoys contemporary and historical fiction and anything that expands the mind. She thinks many of the world’s problems could be solved if people read more.

Azariah Alfante is an Auckland-based writer, book reviewer and doctoral candidate who is deeply interested in all things culture, politics and history. She enjoys studying and reading in various Indo-European languages and delving into medieval epics, Baroque and Romantic poetry, 19th century novels, historical and contemporary fiction, fantasy and short stories.

Peta Stavelli is a former magazine editor and frustrated author whose ambitions to write that one great novel are thwarted by her thirst for reading beautifully-crafted books, and her day job as a travel and motoring writer. 

Heidi North’s poetry and short stories have been published in New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK. She won an international Irish award for her poetry in 2007, and has won New Zealand awards for her short fiction. Heidi’s first poetry book ‘Possibility of Flight’ was published by Makaro Press in 2015. She joined the Shanghai International Writers Programme alongside ten other writers worldwide as the NZ fellow in 2016. The following year she was awarded the Hachette/NZSA mentorship for 2017 to work on her first novel. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Auckland. Heidi lives in Auckland with her partner and their two children. Her second poetry collection is due out at end of 2019.  

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Susannah Lyon-Whaley has finished her Masters in English at the University of Auckland and is exploring the major question of what to do with the rest of her life. She is the girl with all the canvas bags and instagrams about eco-friendly living. Her favourite books are adventures (real or magical) starring unusual characters, and she likes more than a bit of poetry. She hopes she can go on being a student and reading forever.

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Stacey Anyan is currently a primary school teacher, so she always has a cluster of kids to road-test picture books on. In fact, she's a wannabe picture book author herself; she started dreaming up ideas and testing them out on her firstborn back in 2011, but now accepts she may have to wait until she has grandchildren before she finds the time to commit these ideas to paper. Before teaching, Stacey spent more than a decade as a staff writer at current affairs magazine North & South. While there she cultivated a deep appreciation for reading and writing non-fiction so she could feed her nerdy, insatiable desire for knowledge. She also loved being the international books editor, receiving piles of book parcels each day and matching them to happy recipients - if she wasn't swiping them for herself. As such she's grateful to keep a hand in by being a reviewer with NZ Booklovers. Unsurprisingly, she's the bossy one in her bookclub who insists they actually start talking about the book before the night is over.

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Retired sub-editor Rowena Mara found her niche in the world of magazine publishing, feeling very fortunate that she could earn an income from her love of reading. It’s a love she has endeavoured to pass on to her children and grandchildren, delighting in the many fabulous books available to entice youngsters into this rewarding pastime. Her own reading preferences range from romantic escapism to psychological thrillers, from quirky contemporary stories to historic sagas and memoirs. Rowena highly recommends belonging to a book club as a way to extend your book choices into different genres. She’d much prefer to read an actual book than an electronic version and frequently – in the first instance - judges a book by its cover!  

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Clare Lyon: 'As a grey-haired librarian, being a bridge between the book and the reader is a big part of what I do. And by sharing my response to a book, in writing a review, I can create, hopefully, a connection to the book for the reader. It certainly makes me think about what I've read! I will give any kind of book a go with a "lucky dip" approach: I sometimes choose with my eyes closed but a look at the shape and appearance of the book cover will usually guide my hand.' 

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Anne Kerslake Hendricks is a graduate of the Whitireia New Zealand publishing programme and a stalwart Verb Wellington volunteer. She has a particular interest in reviewing non-fiction, especially biographies, books that focus on medical, psychological, and sociological issues, architecture and food. As well as appreciating works by many New Zealand writers, her favourite authors include Helen Garner, Roz Chast, Niall Williams, Sinéad Gleeson, Oliver Sacks, Patricia Lockwood, Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Strout. Anne owns a pair of vintage revolving bookcases and dreams of one day installing a rolling library ladder.

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Faustina Paustin was reading when she popped out of the womb. Probably. Reading is her life, and she’ll read pretty much anything. After reading her way through primary, high school, and university, and finding she hasn’t gotten sick of it, she’s still reading now. Her favourite genres are YA, realist fiction, and magical realist fiction, with a strong focus on diversity. She believes that houses should have in-built bookshelves in all the rooms, and that ebooks and printed books can get along.

Iain McKenzie is the Publisher for McKenzie Publishing. An avid book lover, Iain reads hundreds of books every year, and especially enjoys well-written and engaging fiction, as well as lifestyle and cook books.

India Lopez is a freelance book editor and journalist (www.colesandlopez.com). After a long day of reading clients' books and giving them feedback, she likes to unwind by ... reading a book and giving her feedback on it to anyone who will listen. She lives in Wellington.

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