Kicked out of School.
‘Which is your favourite book that you have written?’ children often ask
‘Each one of my books is my favourite,’ I reply. ‘Everyone of them remind me that I have achieved.’
At primary school I was behind all the other children. I had to attend special classes for reading and maths. I even had to go to the staffroom and see a speech therapist, because I couldn’t talk properly.
I was kicked out of Highschool. Told I was a failure, a loser, a no hoper. At 16, I couldn’t recite the alphabet from A to Z, didn’t know my timetables and I couldn’t tell the time on analog clocks, the clocks with hands.
What I liked to do at school was write. I had terrible spelling and my sentences were often around the wrong way. My teacher would say that she could drive a truck in between the spaces of my words.
I had no idea that I would one day be an award winning author.
Now I can walk into a book store and see one of my books. The sight of the cover showing my name, reminds me of how far I’ve come. And if my book is behind all the other books on the shelf, well I just pull it out and put it in the front.
I share more about my life in Mrs Battleship. A collection of vignettes for junior readers. Stories you won’t find in my book, White Moko.
As Kathleen from the Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop put it…,
‘What an inspiring story Tim tells of his primary school years and how he later overcame the 'legacy' his parents gave him. This is written for children in a clear way that tells the truth while omitting the horrifying details that an older reader can see when reading between the lines.’
A big thank you to everyone who has been buying my books. I really appreciate the support.
I visited Whitcoulls at St Luke’s Mall this morning. They have sold out of White Moko. People can ask for them to order it in.
What the store does have is copies of Mrs Battleship, and my picture book Rona Moon.
This article was first published on Facebook and Linkedin August 14, 2021.
Copyright© Tim Tipene, 2021.