My second book, “How We Met – the ways great love begins” is in bookstores from Monday 26 March. It started as an idea in July 2015 when I was out for dinner with friends and asked them the question everyone gets around to asking eventually: “So how did you two meet?” Ian and Clare told a great story about falling down a hole in a kebab shop, and I said something like, “Someone should write a book full of those stories.” And they all looked at me, and I thought about it for a minute, and said, “Ok, I will.” And here we are.
Almost three years later (after interviewing 42 couples, a neuroscientist and a relationship expert) it is ready for you to stick in your eyes. Funny, sexy, rude, ellaborate, surprising, outrageous and simple tales – woven together around my theory that we need great yarns to weave our lives together, and also that when we go back and remember how we fell in love, we fall in love again.
I will be taking the book to writers’ festivals all over New Zealand this year: Auckland, Tauranga, Masterton, Christchurch and Nelson – keep an eye on my “Dates” page for details.
One of the most exciting and satisfying things I get to work on is a podcast for the Spinoff (a terrific news and social commentary website) called “On The Rag”. Hosted by Alex Casey, and with Leonie Hayden (Mana magazine) we chew over what the month has been like for women in NZ and the world. Expect hilarity, anger and Prosecco. Here’s a link to them all: https://thespinoff.co.nz/tag/on-the-rag/
One night back in March 2014, I sat up late with a bottle of wine and wrote a piece about being asked (over and over again) if women were funny. I put it up on my website. It was picked up by http://ruminator.co.nz/ the next day, and when the people at the Guardian in the UK read it, they asked if they could print it, too. Which was pretty cool. Then earlier this month (almost two years later) The Washington Post ran a story about women in comedy, and quoted my old Guardian piece. So that was fairly awesome.
Here’s the original piece as it was published in the the Guardian:
And here’s the piece from the Washington Post:
In December, Michele was presented with the “Funniest Column Award” by her peers in the NZ Comedy Guild. She made a terrible speech (she was mostly focused on presenting a couple of awards later in the evening, and was generally a bit overwhelmed) so here is what she wishes she had said on the night:
“I’ve been writing a weekly newspaper column since 2008 – first for Your Weekend magazine then, from 2010, for the Press. It has been a real gift – my first editor, Mark Wilson, gave me a very open brief. He said it didn’t have to be funny (which is a liberating thing for a comedian) but it did have to be about something people will talk about over morning tea at work. And it wasn’t allowed to be about my cat. I broke that rule once when I wrote about assisted dying, and related it to the kind and compassionate way we had been able to deal with the end of our cat’s life, but I think that was the only time. Sometimes it has been about some social nonsense that makes me angry, or sad, or bewilders me. Sometimes it has been my observations about the places I’ve travelled to in NZ or somewhere else in the world. Sometimes is has been some kind of nostalgia or whimsy. Always, it is fun, like taking your opinions for a short run. I am always hugely happy when I hear from people that it connected with them, or resonated, or gave them a voice. So thank you so much for recognising that tonight. I am very grateful, and a tiny bit proud.”
On 11 October, Michele was presented with the Reilly Comedy Award at the Variety Artists Club of NZ annual dinner. These are this country’s definitive variety entertainment awards. The comedy award is named after legendary New Zealand performers Sylvia and Jack Rielly, and it is presented to a performer who has achieved excellence in the field of comedy. It was a bloody lovely night.