10 questions about yourself

We ask the tough questions from our great team here at Lasavia Publishing!

1. What first got you interested in your job?

Necessity! I was managing the Fiordland National Park information centre in Te Anau and we had a crazy 10+ brochures covering all the different parts of the park, with short walks mixed in with day walks mixed in with multi-day hikes. I wanted to make one comprehensive Day Walks brochure for the whole park so that tourists could easily select the walks they wanted to do by the length of time they wanted to walk. I also wanted tourists to know about the less visited/less crowded but still fabulous tracks. This turned out to be a bestseller and it was useful and rewarding work.
2. When you wake up in the morning, what’s the thing you most look forward to in your day?

All the smiles, laughter and fun that awaits… I’ve got two daughters and their game plan seems to be to get up and be silly, giggle lots and just be themselves. Quite inspiring really.
3. What is your favourite part about your job?

Sitting in the sun, reading books and getting paid for it. Did I mention the no-commuting!
4. How did you become part of Lasavia Publishing?

Mike needed some of his old backlist typed up. And other books proofread. I was Johnny on the spot.
5. What is your favourite author/book and why?

Medical Medium by Anthony William. Very informative with regards to chronic illnesses and diseases that can’t be solved by mainstream (and most alternative) medical practitioners.
6. What do you do on your day off?

Get off the computer/phone and go outside either into my gardens or into the mountains nearby - with my backpack on and camera in hand.
7. What is your favourite food?

Fresh fruit picked straight off the tree.
8. If you were an animal, what would you be?

An eagle. Oh to soar! To glide! To do fun dive-bombs!
9. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

The ability to remain positive when things are turning to custard.
10. What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to your younger self?

Lighten up and don’t take yourself so seriously, you are awesome just as you are.


Lasavia Publishing Newsletter, Summer 2016


For me, 2016 was the year Lasavia Publishing came to maturity. What began in 2013 as a project to get my own backlist into print, is now set to publish fresh and innovative work by new writers.


Much of this year was spent upgrading our existing list to trade standards. Not a big difference for many readers perhaps, but important in terms of how we present our work to the market. Of particular note is the arrival of the bilingual edition of Taniwha, in English and Te Reo, a wonderful translation, we have heard, by Maraea Rakuraku. Now both bilingual and English-only editions are available. If Taniwha is our best seller, my Back in the Day is not far behind as the preferred read for Waihekians and island holiday makers. I’d like to congratulate our distributors, South Pacific Books http://www.spbooks.co.nz/ and Academy Books http://www.academybooks.co.nz/ for selling Taniwha through to schools.


We have produced two new books this year, a re-issue of my first novel, Lear, The Shakespeare Company Plays Lear at Baylon, and our first new novelist Rowan Sylva, with his eco-thriller debut Swamp Gum. Tales of readers staying up all night to finish the book are coming in! Even as I write this, my next reissue Dumb Show, my fourth and apparently most critically regarded novel, has just become available.


Early in the New Year we have three new titles lining up to go. Our first poetry title Jupiter is Close, by Sophia Johnson; Ocean of Milk, a novel by Belina Aycrigg; and A Dash of Belladona, a novel by Jennifer Rackham. A Dash of Belladona will be published under a new imprint, Lemon Ink Press. I also have a new title, two novellas, Confessions of a Cockroach/Headstone which will be printed as a flip-over book. This way one story does not have to take precedent over the other! And, while nothing is settled yet, and it’s early days, there are rumours that Jennifer Rackham and science fiction writer Phillip Mann have teamed up for a children’s title, Borderlands. Further rumours have it that the first chapter of Borderlands is having an adventure before big foreign publishers… ooooh-aaahhh…


Our staff has expanded too with the addition of Rowan Sylva and Daniela Gast to the team. Daniela will be doing much of the internal design of the books, while Rowan’s focus will be on eBooks and marketing strategies for them. We are at the beginning of an exciting project turning all our books into eBooks in a strategic way. In this we are indebted to friend and fellow writer William Cook for his advice on how to best take advantage of the digital market. Also joining us is Irena Tovic as story editor and manuscript assessor.

Jennifer Rackham has expanded her role from artist and writer to manager of our revitalized Facebook page, our website, and my writer facebook page. Our aim is for all new writers to have their writer facebook pages, and their Amazon author’s page. Rowan Sylva and I have set up our Amazon author’s pages. You can view mine here: amazon.com/author/mikejohnsonnz. Click on a book and it will take you through to the book page. Rowan’s is: amazon.com/author/rowansylva. In the background, the engine room as it were, Odette Singleton-Wards and Leila Lees work their magic with the invoices and accounts.


Indie publishing has become a much more complex business, even in the last three years, with new solutions appearing for the old problems of distribution and marketing.


By the way, my Writing Tips blog is now back up and running on http://www.lasaviapublishing.com/writing-tips at the rate of one a week. We’re running my previous posts through first, and I’ll pick up the thread in a couple of months or so. Watch out too, for a reactivation of the Residence on Earth and Confessions of a Bobcat blogs.


I’ll be back with another newsletter in the Autumn, but watch this space for announcements and launches!


Mike Johnson

Dec 2016

Download December Newsletter here in PDF