Author(s): William Taylor
Memoirs of a leading children's author. In this warm and witty memoir, renowned author William Taylor writes engagingly about life as a writer, teacher and solo father. An imaginative, original and spirited individual, he taught for many years in the Central and the Lower North Island, often in single - or two-teacher schools. After the first of his six adult novels was published in 1970, he continued to play a prominent role in his local community. Principal of Ohakune School and Mayor of Ohakune from 1981 to 1988, his hilarious account of the unveiling of the Ohakune carrot is counterbalanced by experiences of public life during the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, which saw him chair rowdy public meetings while others ran for cover. His first novel for younger readers was published in 1981, and in 1986 he began writing full-time - his work adapted for theatre and television, frequently translated, and continuously in print for over 40 years. He has held the Choysa Bursary for Children's Writers and writing fellowships to Palmerston North and Dunedin colleges of education and the University of Iowa. Known equally for humorous novels (Agnes the Sheep) as well as more serious works (The Blue Lawn, one of the first novels for young adults to address sexual orientation), Taylor has won numerous writing awards. In 2004 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to children's literature and the community.
Current President-of-Honour of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN Inc), William Taylor lives quietly at Raurimu. Despite major heart surgery he continues to write, and his delightfully self-deprecating memoir will become a classic for all lovers of children's literature and good writing.