Carolyn Hawes was born in Westport. She developed a love of writing as soon as she could read and spell enough words to string together into sentences.
At 14 she worked on a book of poetry, and tried to write a novel set in Russia and Central Europe. Eventually she gave up writing, decided to ‘get a real job’ and trained to be a nurse.
She had three children, remained in Westport and worked on a history book, Great Expectations: the Colonisation of Buller, published in 2004. Following this she began freelance writing, and has had many West Coast articles in The Press and other newspapers and journals. She has written history and human-interest columns for the Westport News, including the Mayors of Westport from 1873 to 1986.
Carolyn recently completed her first novel, The Floating Basin, a small-town Gothic story. It is set against a murder inquiry and delves into the misfortunes of its protagonists. Each character confronts his or her own Judgment Day. The book received a 2014 NZSA mentorship with Elizabeth Smither. Their time together was invaluable and Smither advised Carolyn to write a sequel, which she is presently working on.
The Floating Basin has been shortlisted in the Best First Novel category of the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards.
Carolyn lives in Westport and can
be contacted here