Author releases first book for adults

Marion (left) and Kyle Mewburn celebrate at the launch of Kyle’s first novel for adults Sewing...
Marion (left) and Kyle Mewburn celebrate at the launch of Kyle’s first novel for adults Sewing Moonlight at a Ladies a plate- themed evening in the Millers Flat hall. PHOTOS: JULIE ASHER
Millers Flat is a tiny village, perhaps best known for three things: the blue bridge across the Clutha Mata-Au river to reach it, the restored bakehouse and the public toilets, which attract a lot of visitors.

However, it may be on the cusp of new-found fame as a literary subject.

Author Kyle Mewburn, who is well-known for her children’s books, launched her first published novel for adults Sewing Moonlight at an early 20th century-themed event, which included a "ladies a plate" supper, in the Millers Flat hall on Friday night.

The novel, set from 1928 until just after World War 2, follows the journey of a German man named Wilhelm.

Arriving in the village of Falters Mill, Wilhelm wants to try out the new ideas from Rudolf Steiner on how to cultivate land without doing harm.

While the place is easily recognisable to anyone who knows the area, there are also characters who are recognisable as local residents. One of these characters was called upon to do the official launch.

Jude Omand, or Mrs Almond in the book, ran Faigan’s shop and post office in Millers Flat when Mewburn and wife, Marion, a potter, moved to the village.

She recalled there were plenty of successful children’s books, sent from the post office, but some other works were not so successful.

Kyle Mewburn reads to the crowd from her new book, which is set in a thinly-veiled version of...
Kyle Mewburn reads to the crowd from her new book, which is set in a thinly-veiled version of Millers Flat, where Mewburn lives.
Mrs Omand recalled Mewburn bustling into the shop convinced "this is it Judy, I’ve done it, this is going to be my best so far".

They would post off the manuscript to the publisher and Mewburn would bike off home again.

Weeks later Mewburn would bounce into the shop asking if there was any mail.

After a few visits one would eventually turn up.

"Kyle ripped into it like a child with a Christmas present and as I watched, waiting for the news, the colour drained from her face. She looked up and shook her head and said "it’s been declined".

Head down, Mewburn would head off home again saying "I won’t give up, I’ll try again".

Persistence paid off and Sewing Moonlight was in the top 10 bestselling books in New Zealand last week.

The trips to the shop were recalled in the book, including the story of Kyle leaving her rather dilapidated push bike behind the shop on one trip.

Mrs Omand decided after a while it needed to be gone and, not knowing whose it was, took it to the tip. When it was revealed it was Kyle’s pride and joy she managed to find another to replace it.

Mewburn read from the novel at the launch and signed copies of the book.

 

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