Proud dad Bill Pomare laughs when talking about his son Joshua's school days in Rotorua. Although he admits they weren't always that funny at the time.

Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post about the upcoming launch of Joshua's debut novel Call Me Evie, Pomare said his son often got himself into trouble as a youngster.

"His brain needed to be stimulated at all times otherwise he'd get bored and get up to mischief.

"During his first year at Rotorua Boys' High School, I got a phone call saying Joshua was going to be taken out of the accelerant class because he kept distracting others. He'd finish his work before anyone else and then start talking."


He did get booted out of the class but ended up in a Cambridge class at Western Heights High the next year.

At school, like his two brothers before him, Joshua excelled at maths with the trio all winning the same maths prize.

"But he was always writing.

"I can't remember what newspaper it was but while at school he was having short stories published because people would stop me in the street and ask me if he could write more."

As well as getting kicked out of the accelerant class, Joshua also got booted out of the halls of residence while studying at Victoria University and ended up sleeping on his brother's couch while continuing his studies.

"But he decided to leave university and spent a bit of time drifting around. He'd hitchhike to Otago to catch up with mates, or turn up at one of his siblings' homes and crash for a while."

He did a stint working at his dad's Rotorua electrical business before following his two older brothers to Australia.

"He looked after the front of a business his brothers had set up. When his brothers heard about his book one said it explained why he spent so much time hunched over the computer at work," Pomare laughed.

Bill Pomare (left) with his son Joshua Pomare. Photo / Supplied
Bill Pomare (left) with his son Joshua Pomare. Photo / Supplied

Call Me Evie

is Joshua's first successful attempt at a novel, according to his dad.

"Since he's been in Melbourne he's written short stories, run a podcast of author interviews and tried to write a novel or two.

"I think it was the encouragement of his wife that pushed Joshua into sending the Call Me Evie manuscript to a raft of publishers.

"In the end, six Australian-New Zealand publishers were bidding on it. It has also been picked up by publishers in America and the United Kingdom. I'm a very proud dad."

On January 25 Joshua will launch his book at McLeods, and on January 26 and 27 will be a guest at the Rotorua Noir crime-writing festival.

Call Me Evie is about a 17-year-old girl who ends up in the coastal settlement of Maketū under the watchful eye of a man who says he is trying to keep her safe.