Angela Meyer has written a sea-faring memoir, set up the lycra-clad, 1980s-inspired dance troupe The Real Hot Bitches, and co-founded the alternative dating agency, The Man Bank. These days she works for the Wellington Council and in her spare time writes fiction as well as makes various appearances in a range of arena, such as a TedX Talk called ‘Rethinking Getting Lucky’ about taking a strategic approach to dating, available on http://youtu.be/hO1xKyQ0TVA. See also www.angela-meyer.com.
Her writing career began in earnest when she and her husband, antiquarian bookseller Ross Blacksmith, decided to sail from the Caribbean to the Pacific in a 12-metre yacht, Te Ikaroa, with their one-year-old son Dashkin. In preparation, Meyer set up the popular blog Mrs Blacksmith, which Toby Manhire in The New Zealand Listener described as ‘smart, moving, honest and hair-raising’.
Sea Fever recounts how glamour, adventure, travel, romance and parenting give way to danger and disaster, resulting in the family being rescued in the Galapagos by the US Coast Guard, and ending up penniless in Panama. This highly readable maritime tale has been praised by international travel writers association Matador Network, with Morgan De Boer saying, ‘I want to be a little more like Angela because she is somehow sarcastic, positive, and realistic all at the same time.’The Capital Times said, ‘This book is for anyone who suffers delusions of seabound grandeur. What seems like the easy life never is, but giving it a try always makes for great stories — especially if you’re lucky enough to be saved by the Coast Guard.’
For writer Mel Johnston, she ‘felt like I was there. I laughed out loud, had a little weep’,whereas, whileveteran broadcaster Kim Himinitially dismissed it as chicklit, despite herself she found it a ‘thoroughly enjoyable and remarkable tale’. Radio Active were also impressed, saying, ‘Meyer’s writing is reminiscent of Caitlin Moran, honest, inspiring and bloody funny.’
Word on the Street raised its ‘swaggering tone’ and ‘brutal honesty’, concluding that Meyer’s ‘tone is that of a girlfriend sharing a juicy story over a glass of wine, and you’re quite happy to get the next round to keep her talking’.
Meyer deliberately wrote Sea Fever in ‘loo-length’ blog-sized chapters. This format — and the reasoning behind it — has been applauded: ‘Any mother knows what this means; that trip to the loo is sometimes the only three-minute period of peace in the busy day.’ (Manawatu Standard)
An edited version of Sea Fever was serialized for Radio New Zealand National, and was broadcast in early February 2013, to be replayed in January 2014 as part of the summer highlights.