How Kory the Kiwi ‘Flight of the Kiwi’ was Born

Author’s Story
Over 10 years ago I was living in France, surrounded by interesting buildings and lots of history. I was the Kiwi who went on an adventure overseas. I went to play rugby and while there I had quite a lot of time to think.

My two passions in life have always been rugby and art. Make that three, I love books too! I decided to make the most of the time I had overseas and began sketching, visiting libraries, gathering research and noting down ideas.

My idea grew into the realisation “I am going to write a book”.
I knew I wanted to create a New Zealand main character, a hero that New Zealand children could relate to and of course every good hero needs a sidekick.

I selected a name that would go with Kiwi. Kory is not a commonly spelt name and has European origins, reflecting our New Zealand heritage. I had already created Gibert my first comic strip, Inspector Gilbert The Green Gecko (Bert for short), in the early 1990’s while I was studying design and illustration, at Waikato Institute of Technology. Both Kiwi and the Gecko are very special animals in New Zealand, so too are Kory and Bert. I brought these two characters to life and gave them anthropomorphic qualities in my book.

Inspiration was bountiful. I was in France with my lovely wife and newborn son. I needed to make the most of my time. So I prepared a synopsis, rough layout and 3 page colour samples and sent them to publishers. In the early 2000’s the Graphic Novel industry was seen as new and publishers were not ready to take this risk unfortunately, just when I was.

I decided to continue with this project regardless. Once back in New Zealand the drawings and development of the book continued. It became more of a side-line project, as this was when I was focusing my attention on creating a Design Company- Riverstone Design Studio.
Whale Bay in Raglan
Whale Bay, Raglan, New Zealand. Where the waves roll in and the home of Kory the Kiwi.

Many years later, I decided to make my dream a reality and invested time to complete the book and money to publish it myself. My experience in the design industry allowed me the confidence to know I can do this, print it, promote it and sell it.

My book has taken off – proving two things- Kiwi really can fly and if you put your mind to it-anything can happen.
Kory - Flight of the Kiwi - History - St Claude France
Just under the painted mural is the house where I wrote the ‘Flight of the Kiwi.’
Kory - Flight of the Kiwi - History - St Claude France
St Claude, a small French town on the border of Switzerland, was the inspiration for the finale of the book.
Kory - Flight of the Kiwi - History - Whale Bay Raglan
Whale Bay, Raglan, New Zealand. Where the waves roll in and the home of Kory the Kiwi.
Copyright © 1996 Kory ‘Flight of the Kiwi’ written and illustrated by Paul Martin. All rights reserved.
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