IMG_2412Author Roy Vaughan had a book launch in Mangawhai, New Zealand for his new novel The Mereleigh Record Club Tour of Japan. A permanent resident of Mangawhai, Roy is following tradition by launching this second installment in his trilogy at Mangawhai Books and Gifts.

The novel contains ”’Enlightening excerpts of steam trains, 60s music, Japanese culture and customs, history and geography and its sometimes merciless underworld, its ardent love of rugby, and of course karaoke”, according to a preview of the book by Rob Pooley, editor of the Mangawhai Focus.

“Putting his personal knowledge of Japan to good use, he has driven its characters towards the next book in the series” (The Mereleigh Record Club Cruise of the South Pacific), he added.

The story behind the story according to Roy Vaughan all began when his former boss Peter Scherer gave him one year’s leave of absence to help create a sister city relationship with Fukuoka back in 1987. One thing led to another and one year stretched out into a four year commitment to Fukuoka affairs, as he was involved also in setting up two Japan Weeks in Auckland and founding the association that put a New Zealand Pavilion at the Asia Pacific Expo at Fukuoka in 1989.

“Japan has dominated my life one way or another ever since’, he explained. “When the Expo came to an end, I later set up a travel company whose initial main business was school and cultural exchanges with Japan.

“I am forever grateful to Peter for that break.”

The Japan-based Fukuoka Auckland Friendship Society is the thinly disguised real life model for the fictional re-engineered Fukuoka Record Club that hosts the Mereleigh Record Club in Japan.

The book launch  featured short readings of the work given by Alex Davidson and former editor of the Herald Peter Scherer.