After writing three successful non-fiction books about heritage roses and the women who they were named after, Ann Chapman's latest work is very different.
She's written a murder mystery called A Kind of Catharsis which is the first of a series of crime mysteries situated in Invercargill where she grew up.
Her foray into the genre was driven by four key factors: the inability to get a sequel to one of her books published, the sudden death of her sister, her grandson's battle with leukaemia, and attending a crime novel writing workshop led by author Renee.
The sense of profound loss and inability to help her sister felt like a heavy burden, and her grandson's battle, which he overcame, was stressful, so the fictional book is a kind of catharsis.
Chapman, from Ōtaki, who was a former elected member representative on the Kāpiti Coast District Council 18 years including nine years as deputy mayor, took her time to pen the book.
She would write about 10 pages in the morning, have a break, and then review it in the afternoon.
"There's also a lot of thinking when you're out for a walk or something.
"You mull over things and it's amazing how an idea you might have had changes and a character you might have started liking needs to become a villain."
Like most authors, the magic came in the rewrite.
"I found that I wrote too much, and one of the reviewers, who I sent it out to before it was published, described it as flabby, so I put it on a diet, and I cut and cut.
"So it took about four years because writing something out of my head was very different to writing something that you've researched or, like roses, you know intimately.
"In a way it was a cathartic exercise."
The book, which features an eerie cover design by Nikki Lundie, is story of justice, morality and murder when a family is determined to avenge the unexplained and unexpected death of a loved one.
Which will win out - justice, morality, or murder?
She has drawn on some family history and life experiences but emphasises the book is all fiction.
"I would not like anyone to think this was real."
She's happy with the finished product and feels it will appeal to a wide audience.
"The people who have read it including people who I regard highly like Sharon Crosbie said she couldn't put it down and finished it in two days.
"I don't whether people are being nice to me or not but most people who have read say it's a great read."
Chapman is already working on the follow-up novel which she said won't take as long to write because of what she's learnt.
A Kind of Catharsis is available in Paper Plus in Paraparaumu and Levin as well as Amazon.
Chapman's other three published books are Women in my Rose Garden, Missionaries, Wives and Roses, and The Roses of Myths, Legends and Literature.