News for March 26


Well, we’re now in four weeks’ lockdown. Not a great problem for me as I can’t get far on crutches. It’s an ideal time to do some planning because we’ve got too much ‘stuff’.  The years go by and new things appear – but the old ones still lurk around. Are you the same?

Philip came home from his last day of work clutching two big bunches of gorgeous pink lilies. “Did you buy me flowers?” I asked (because he never does. He buys me trees and plants and I grow my own.) He turned about as pink as the lilies and said, “No – they’re a present from Amanda.” Amanda is the boss of the Small Acorns design store here in Wellington. Because she had to close the store, she was giving away all her newly arrived fresh flowers. We’ve installed curtains and blinds for her for several years now – gorgeous fabrics, and cost no object. Have a look at her website at and indulge yourself.

News for March 19th

This time, with the world in chaos, let’s have something pretty and magical.

Seed pods of Swanplant

This morning there were four beautiful big orange and black Monarch butterflies zooming around our garden. We have several of the plants they like to lay their eggs on. This means we get not only butterflies but the yellow and black and white striped caterpillars munching through the leaves. When they’re fat enough they hang themselves upside down and overnight transform into jewel-like pale blue and gold chrysalises. Days later – a new butterfly emerges.

The seed-pods are so pretty! In much of the world the plant is called Milkweed. Here in New Zealand – and maybe many other places too – it’s known as Swanplant. And here is exactly why.

Fantastic people!

I’m lucky to lead a healthy life. Tonsils out at five, gallstones gone at around forty, and that’s pretty much it.

Therefore going into hospital to have a total knee replacement was a big deal, but the hospital care couldn’t have been better.  I was phoned at home by the anaesthetist – a female doctor with a pleasant Kiwi accent and a very long name. She said she’d be doing a spinal block with some sedation, and that if I didn’t want to hear the operation proceeding then I should bring some noise-cancelling headphones! Whoa – that scared me silly for a while until I found out from friends that it’s reasonably common these days.

She proved to be a tiny lady and her long name came from somewhere in Asia. She was the second of the fantastic people I met. The consultant surgeon had been impressive in his dark suit and white shirt a couple of weeks earlier, but in his scrubs he looked like every other TV doctor. And when he appeared in my room in running shorts and singlet for an early Sunday morning check-up, he was an absolute hoot.

“Do you work seven days a week?” I asked.

“Pretty much,” he agreed, bounding off down the corridor for his weekend exercise after making certain I was doing okay.

News on February 25

I wasn’t a natural blogger! I long ago decided I was better spending my time writing books. I miss being able to send you news though.  Not always book news, but garden news, friends’ book news, bits and bobs that have amused me. I don’t like bombarding you with newsletters too often.

I’m having a knee joint replaced on March 5th. That’s not amusing me at all, but hopefully I’ll soon be able to do the weeding standing up, instead of crawling around on my bottom like a baby.

Kris Pearson's book covers to change

A few weeks ago I retitled the Wellington books as the South and Sexy novels. (Wellington was a very boring name!) It’s made an instant difference to sales and page downloads, so I’m going to republish seven of them with new covers any day now. Might go better… might go worse! Lots of cover reveals coming up shortly.

A treat on a nasty day

Because it’s mid-winter here in Wellington, New Zealand, today is cold. And wet. Unlike lots of my readers who are telling me how hot they are, we’re loading on the winter woollies to stay warm.

Two thirds of our day was taken up with a big curtain installation job with ‘interesting’ access.

When we got there we found a gang of men with a pneumatic drill right outside the big windows. They were breaking up a concrete patio and the noise was horrendous. I felt sorry for them because they had to carry all the rubble out to their truck in buckets. And I felt pretty sorry for us as well because it was NOISY. Lovely view out over the harbour though. Big ferries, small ferries, two log ships waiting for berths, and barely a ripple anywhere.

It was wonderful to come home for lunch – at almost 3 o’clock! And even better when I had an email from the Apple Store’s merchandising manager which included this for me. Perked me right up, and now I have the fun of watching Summer Sparks climb their free book charts.


Famous for five minutes

Hello – I haven’t blogged for ages – sorry about that, but life’s busy. I’m writing (of course!) I’m changing direction to cozy mysteries for some fun. One book finished, one halfway there. I’ll put the first up for pre-order on Amazon soon but there’s no point publishing it until I have the second one completed. Lots of cats and dogs and food and murder, and a couple of hunky men for my heroine to hanker after.

                             Kris Pearson, cozy mystery author pic

The biggest thing that’s happened lately is an interview in a primetime slot on national TV here in New Zealand. Right after the main News bulletin. One of our writers is a PR specialist. She plainly made us sound very interesting because next thing we know we’re booked to have visitors at our local meeting.  This five minute item took about three hours to shoot (!!!!!) but we all had great fun and then shook in our shoes for a couple of weeks until it was shown.

The rarest treasure in the garden

A golden camellia – and it’s been a long wait.

Our garden is less than a quarter of an acre, but many years ago we became so invested in camellias we ended up with more than 250 of them. Heavily pruned – obviously. We exhibited at shows, became camellia judges, wrote for horticultural publications, generally gained a great deal of pleasure from these beautiful flowers and the like-minded people we met from all over the world because of them.

One of the varieties we bought was Camellia Chrysantha – a golden variety from a botanical institute in China. Year after year we looked forward to flowers – as did many of our Camellia Society friends. No flowers. We all decided we’d been duped as the years rolled on and on and on.

But this morning we found them – clear yellow flowers as promised. A bit battered because they’d fallen to the ground, but there are more buds to follow so hopefully we’ll get some better photos.

Kris Pearson - Camellia Chrysantha

What Kristen Lamb said, and what I did about it

If you’re interested in writing and social media, you’ll know about Kristen Lamb – Author, Blogger and Social Media Jedi, in her own words. Indeed, according to her Amazon page she’s ‘the author of the top resource for author branding in the digital age’.


Fourteen months ago, Kristen was a special guest speaker at the Romance Writers of New Zealand annual conference in Rotorua. This is the tourist city in the centre of our North Island – an explosive place where the earth’s crust is very thin, and mud-pools plop and bubble, steam roars out of vents, and boiling water shoots into the air to alarming heights. If you visit, stick to the signposted paths!

Kristen spent all of Friday encouraging us to blog very frequently – three times a week was the magic number she’d settled on – and to make ourselves sound like real people. We could report a baking disaster (and follow it up with a little mention of our latest book.) We could talk about a family situation (and follow it up with a little mention of our latest book.) You see where I’m going with this?

She was a noisy, confident, engaging speaker, and plainly if she was a Social Media Jedi she knew more than me and I’d better give it a go. Oh sigh…

Time Flying

Do you ever get everything done? My husband and I were talking this morning about prioritising stuff…. As in not trying to do too much at the same time and getting distracted. He’s a four-jobs-at-once person, and twice in a row now he’s forgotten to put sugar in our coffee because he was also trying to do other things. Today it was wash out some paintbrushes, phone the hospital the check on his mother (she broke her hip last week) and check on sandpaper supplies while he set the coffee going.

I’m a ‘make a list, do it in order’ person. And cross it off once it’s done. I love to see all those things being obliterated. Things like ‘pick beans, plant pansies, reply to Shirley, find good disease for Meifeng’s mother, check on Chinese translations, get Portuguese cover designed, send message re local writers’ workshop at library, paint dining room top windows, do Friday’s accounts, varnish nails.’

It’s autumn/fall here in Wellington. It’s been an amazingly hot, record-breaking summer so the flowers are all giving up a little early. Even a few leaves are drifting down. (‘Rake leaves, buy polyanthus, spread compost, plan love scene’). So on top of extra gardening tasks we’ve had the chance to get a lot of paint onto our 104 year-old-timber house. ‘Buy hinges, buy filler, choose back door colour, mow lawns.’

Kris Pearson - garden plants

Friends with benefits

No – not that kind!

The old idea of a writer labouring on alone in a quiet room has well and truly had its day. For a start, many of us like to write to music. The kind of music we choose might influence what we are writing, or it could simply be something we enjoy.

If it has vocals then I lose all concentration and sing along with the lyrics in my brain, totally distracted from the words I’ve been trying to write my story with. Instrumental stuff is fine - unless it’s an instrumental version of something I know well. Then I start singing along in my brain again…

I have friends who prefer to block out the rest of the world by wearing ear buds or headphones and lose themselves in the music. I have one friend who resorted to industrial ear protectors because other noises were so distracting to her. She wanted to lose herself in total silence.

I live on a really busy road with a school nearby. There tend to be traffic noises, enthusiastic yells from children, sometimes a hideous screech of brakes followed by loud hooting from the roundabout on the closest corner. And occasionally that’s followed by a police siren or an ambulance. I don’t leave my chair for the brakes, but a siren will have me whipping out of the front door to see what’s going on.