Rose Carlyle still can't believe that people will get into a car and drive to a bookshop just to meet her and get her signature.
Carlyle is the author of The Girl in the Mirror, a thriller that topped the New Zealand best-seller list after Allen & Unwin published it in August. Three times as many copies have been sold as expected, the book has been reprinted, translated into other languages and a Hollywood company is interested in the film rights.
This week about 50 people turned out for a Whanganui Library event where the writer was interviewed.
It's completely surreal to Carlyle, a lawyer, mother and adventurer with a love of the sea. The Girl in the Mirror is her first book and she planned it with her sister Maddie.
It's a story about rich and beautiful identical twin sisters, and what happens when one sister wants to capture the other's good fortune. It's been called a tale of lust, jealousy, deception and lies.
Some of it is set in a small town in Queensland, and some on board a boat.
Carlyle lives in Auckland with four teenagers, and has crewed scientific yachting expeditions.
In 2014 she sailed across the Indian Ocean with her husband and children. They stopped in Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives. She has used settings in Thailand and the Seychelles for her novel.
As far as further adventures go, Carlyle would like to finish sailing around the world if it were not for Covid-19, and she has always wanted to be a mathematician.
But she is most likely to keep on writing and has a second thriller with a publisher.
"I have certainly got more novels to write. I am going to do this for a while."
Her stop in Whanganui was part of an eight-day author tour, and getting her to speak here was a coup for Whanganui librarian Iva Leonard.
She initially asked Carlyle to read an extract from The Girl in the Mirror for the Gonville Library Facebook page. They ended up exchanging messages and Carlyle added Whanganui to her book tour.
The Whanganui library has eight copies of The Girl in the Mirror and it has been wildly popular, Leonard said.
"It's booked out. I think it's going to be like that for some time."
Leonard is not usually a reader of thrillers, but she enjoyed the book a lot.
Emma Bugden, who interviewed Carlyle for the Whanganui event, read the whole 368 pages in one night.