Phil Walsh - Typical Coaster

Published: 25-Oct-2018

Come and meet NZ author Phil Walsh, at this fascinating Friends of the Library event.

Rangiora Library, Thursday 25 October, 7pm.

Books will be available for sale.

Register at any Waimakariri Library, or phone 311 8901.

Following on the national success of his first book, Fur, Fish and Phantom Reds (2014), Woodend author, Phil Walsh, has published his latest literary work.

As the title suggests, Typical Coaster, is an autobiographical account of experiences growing up on a farm just north of Westport. Phil’s mother passed away when he was only very young. ‘My mother’s sister Peggy, and her husband, John Walsh took-in my sister and I and raised us along with four boys of their own.’ Phil remained a permanent Coaster until the age of 21. That was back in 1983. He later returned for another couple of years before settling permanently in Canterbury.

Written with the aim of being intentionally light-hearted and entertaining, Typical Coaster is a story about one boy’s aspirations, accomplishments, disasters, and emerging maturity. Uniquely West Coast in character, the narrative centres on sibling dynamics, dramas, the often comical side of family life and the author’s developing awareness of changes within his world. Woven into the latter part of the saga, is a peek into Buller’s past where interrelationships with the Westport Abattoir are explored. This is where Phil enters the world of the working man. Readers will learn what motivated the man within the boy and the free spirit which ultimately drew him away from his beloved West Coast.

Chapters in the book are beautifully illustrated. Each depicts an aspect of iconic West Coast culture and were drawn by the author’s talented daughter Shevaun. The book is dedicated to Phil’s grandfather, Pat Keoghan, who endured Alzheimers later in life. The effects of the disease were profound for the whole family says the author. He maintains that dementia creates considerable emotional, physical and financial strain for carers of those afflicted. With this in mind, the author collaborated with Dementia Canterbury on the project. It is Phil’s opinion that dementia care volunteers are New Zealand’s true unsung heroes affording, medical assistance, resources, and essential respite to carers. Sadly, like so many worthy charities, it too struggles for funding. The author is donating ‘all proceeds’ from sales of the book to Dementia Canterbury (which encompasses the West Coast, Ashburton and Kaikoura regions).

To help meet the book’s production costs, Phil approached his employer, Delta Utility Services Ltd whom very generously came on board to help finance the project.

Phil’s wish is to fill the Library with guests and he extends a warm invitation to those with a perchance for West Coast yarns. Phil will aim to organise a representative from Dementia Canterbury to attend on the night. He/she will briefly outline some of the organisation’s community involvement and objectives.

Copies of the new book can be purchased on the night and priced at an affordable $30 (cash only please). Phil believes Typical Coaster is the ideal gift for teenagers, or adults alike, and should resonate with those habitually landing themselves in sticky situations.

These days, Phil enjoys a career in amenity horticulture. He lives with his gorgeous wife Michaela in Woodend. They have three children, Shevaun, Jessica and Cameron.