While Claire Chitham was winning hearts as the delightfully dippy Waverley on Shortland St in the 1990s, viewers could not have known she had a debilitating health condition.
Chitham was one of an estimated 15,000 New Zealanders suffering from Crohn's disease, which causes painful inflammation of the digestive tract.
Twenty years later, Chitham has partnered with journalist Kylie Bailey to write a book about how she has learned to stay on top of her health, and she will be stopping at Paige's Book Gallery for a release event next week.
Paige's owner Lesley Stead said the book is easy to read and very "chatty".
"It is very personable and likely to appeal to a younger audience because it is funny as well as offering a whole lot of practical advice - and there are some great recipes," Stead said.
"Good for You - a guide for good guts and feeling good" is a wellness book with a difference, its authors say.
In her foreword in Good For You, Chitham describes how her practices and attitudes to health are not aligned with current wellness trends, she said.
"Wellness has become a popular term for an ever-growing industry of products and services, but to me, it just means the opposite of illness.
"I don't believe wellness is some idealistic Nirvana where we all wear white, never catch colds, do yoga from dawn to dusk in shiny leotards and drink from turmeric fountains of youth."
The idea for a book began when Chitham bumped into Bailey at an Auckland cafe a few years ago and Chitham talked about her health challenges, which prompted Bailey to share her challenges living with severe anxiety.
The two have become firm friends, and teamed up with photographer Helen Bankers to produce a 242-page hardcover book packed with ideas and information on health and wellbeing - and plenty of amusing anecdotes.
Chitham has played numerous stage and screen roles since her Shortland St days but Waverley is still a favourite character.
"I asked Claire if she has ever been to Waverley and she has not," said Stead.
"She will be heading to New Plymouth after she visits us so she said she will make a point of stopping in Waverley."
Good For You book release with Claire Chitham, Paiges Book Gallery, 60 Guyton St, Tuesday, April 27 at 5.15pm.