Ethan Mackie and his friends check out the first printing of his first published book

Roaring success

by Andy Bryenton

Matakohe author Ethan Mackie was proud to unwrap a carton of his freshly published masterpiece last week, showing it to students at the local primary school.

The difference from a regular book launch is that this writer is the same age as his audience.

When he was eight years old, Ethan came up with a short story about a dinosaur who shares his name and possesses a powerful, frightening roar.

He wrote it down and sent it to his grandmother, who happens to be award-winning author Joy Cowley. She was impressed and suggested that he should get in touch with her illustrator friend Philip Webb to add colour and visuals to the tale.

“I’ve never met him, but the pictures fit the story,” agrees Ethan, who has had his book published by the Copy Press in Nelson. The colourful dinosaurs run into trouble with a T-Rex just as dinosaur Ethan loses his voice. However, there’s a happy ending to this story, aimed at young readers and parents who enjoy an interactive picture book to read to their kids.

Ethan is not resting after his first success, he says that there’s a second book in the works. When the Lifestyler caught up with him at school he was busy creating original, illustrated monster pictures, which might be a part of it.

Expect to see copies of Ethan’s Roar in your local library and school soon, or to get your copy contact the Matakohe school, where Ethan’s teachers have been very supportive of his publishing endeavour.