One of our FAVORITE authors (Karina Halle) has a new book going live tomorrow (Where Sea Meets Sky: A Novel). From the blurb, it’s about two people that meet, have a one night stand, and then she leaves… all the way back to her country. And he’s just so into her that he treks to her part of the world to find her again.
Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go—even when you know you have to say goodbye.
*sigh* And you know Karina can write some delicious angsty love. I can’t wait to feel it!
And to give us a bit of that “feel” right now… Karina “initiates” us. Immerses us in that world right now. ‘Cause she’s sent over a fun “behind the book” feature about it! She wrote about the inspiration behind Where Sea Meets Sky and some of her favorite places in New Zealand. AND!!! She included photos.
Let’s dive in!
BEHIND THE BOOK: My Favorite New Zealand Photos by Karina Halle
This is a hard post for me to write because I’m an avid photographer (give me a camera and a foreign land and I’m happy for months), and New Zealand is just so damn beautiful, thus I have hundreds of photographs I could easily call my favorite. But for brevity’s sake, I’ve narrowed it down to five (sorta) photos that remind me of the great times in NZ. Some of these places are also featured in my new novel, Where Sea Meets Sky.
This photo was taken in 1999, so I had to scan it. But still, it’s my favorite photo of the country, even to this day. I had just gotten on the bus for a tour of the Otago Peninsula, outside of Dunedin on the South Island and we pulled over on the side of the road for some reason. I ran out of the bus and snapped this picture. Back then in the old days, we had to wait for our developed film before we saw the result and boy was I happy with it. It perfectly captured the colors, the light (NZ has the most beautiful light) and the moment. With the blues of the sky and water, the green hills, the sheep, it totally encapsulates pure NZ to me.
The sleepy seaside town of Kaikoura on the South Island is a photographer’s dream. Dramatic snow-capped peaks, wild swells, whales and aquatic life galore – everywhere you look there is a new picture to take, a moment to capture. I write about Kaikoura in Where Sea Meets Sky, and this is some of the scenery that my characters, Josh and Gemma, would have come across.
Dolphins! I’ve been dolphin swimming on both the South and North Islands of New Zealand; both experiences were amazing. Basically you get up at a god awful early hour, don an unflattering wetsuit, then hop in a boat where your captain will drive around looking for pods of wild dolphins. When he locates one, he pulls ahead of their direction, you quickly get on your mask and fins and in the freezing cold water you go! The pod of wild dolphins swim right past you. Sometimes they stop to check you out (they particularly like it if you sing the Muppet Show theme), sometimes they keep going. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as seeing their shadows move through the fathomless depths…is it a shark? Is it a shark? NOPE friendly dolphin! Anyway, I took this photo on a tour outside of Whakatane on the North Island. Pretty cool, huh?
One of the quintessential Kiwi experiences is glacier hiking. Josh and Gemma do this during the book, spurring a bit of a heart to heart, and I did it back in 1999 when I first traveled to New Zealand. I went up the Franz Joseph Glacier, and it was amazing having to hike up this sheet of ice that’s so unbelievably big, you can’t comprehend it until you’re on it. When you combine that with the temperate rainforest around you, it’s really quite surreal. (This picture is a photo of a photo so please excuse the quality!)
This is another photo of a photo, but one that I think is really unique. I went to university in Auckland in 2003/2004 and on a Winter break, I visited my sister who was then living in the town of Paekakariki on the South Island. I brought a camera I purchased at a used store (not digital), and unfortunately, during many of my shots, the shutter only opened half way, and of course I didn’t realize this until they developed. The shots would have been GORGEOUS, but now they were reduced to half. I wanted to salvage them somehow, so I decided to take the pictures that best represented that area of the South Island and combine them together, as in, I literally taped each photo on top of another. The finished result is forever framed on my wall. People often wonder the story behind it and the truth was, I was able to salvage something beautiful from something gone wrong (and I like to think that theme runs through Where Sea Meets Sky as well!)
I hope you enjoy getting to know New Zealand in WHERE SEA MEETS SKY as much as I enjoyed writing about it. Josh and Gemma’s journey wouldn’t have been the same with a less spectacular setting, and I’m so excited for more readers to get to know a place that I love so much!