Gina Cole (Fijian, Scottish, Welsh) is a barrister specialising in family law and a writer. She has a Masters of Creative Writing from the University of Auckland and has had her writing published in takahē, JAAM, Express Magazine, Span and Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust Newsletter. She won the Alternative Bindings, Auckland Pride Festival creative writing competition in 2014 with her poem ‘Airport Aubade’, and she had a short story highly commended in the 2013 BNZ Literary Awards – Katherine Mansfield Award.
Black Ice Matter is Gina's first published book.
Here is 5 minutes with Gina Cole.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading The Cinder Spires: the Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. One of the first steampunk novels to make it to the New York Times best seller list. It’s a swashbuckling adventure and the first steampunk novel I have ever read. I love it because along with the human protagonists, there is a warrior cat as one of the main characters and battles featuring tribes of warrior cats.
Who is your favourite fictional character?
I have a few! Liutenant Uhura, Batgirl, Mr Spock, Sherlock Holmes, Superman
We all have one book we’re a bit ashamed of loving – do you have one?
The Godfather by Mario Puzo. I read it when I was about 14. I’d get to the end and then read it again. I read it over and over probably 4 or 5 times. I was enthralled by it. I’d like to read it again now and examine exactly why I loved it so much. I remember being fascinated by the word ‘consigliore’ and the concept of an advisor with such power. I remember Michael Corleone being hit by ‘the thunderbolt’ when he fell in love with Apollonia in Italy. I remember that going to war with another family was called ‘going to the matresses’. I remember the word ‘omerta’.
What’s the most unusual item in/on your desk?
My two kittens Zac and Poppy. They love walking on my keyboard – while I’m typing.
Why did you write Black Ice Matter?
Black Ice Matter was my writing project for the Masters of Creative Writing which I completed in 2013 at the University of Auckland.
Which writers inspire you?
Poets inspire me – I went to see Andrew Motion speak once and he said that poetry is the senior service. I agree with that – poetry really is the height of writing. All the Pasifika women poets inspire me – especially Selina Tusitala Marsh and Tusiata Avia.
What was your favourite thing about writing Black Ice Matter? What was the hardest?
Taking a research field trip to Fox Glacier was my favourite part of writing Black Ice Matter. While writing the book I was obsessed with ice and glaciers, but I had never seen a glacier, so to actually walk on one was incredible.
The hardest thing about writing it was to stop writing it, to let it go. Even now I want to keep amending and editing it.
What would be your superpower?
I would be able to read a whole book with one touch of my finger. Then I could go around and read whole libraries. My second superpower would be that I could speak every language – to better enable me to read books with my first superpower.
If you could ask one author one question, what would you ask and to who?
I’d like to ask the author of the Book of Ezekiel in The Bible to tell me more about those spaceships they wrote about.