Gina 2023 Photo Credit Vicky Leopold

Getting to know you: Gina Cole

Get to know the Headland team! As we count down to publication day for our speculative fiction issue (December 5) our first Q & A is with speculative fiction author and Headland team member Gina Cole.


Where is home for you?

My physical home is in Auckland. I was born in Auckland and have lived here for most of my life. But my spiritual home is in Fiji. 

What was the catalyst which began your writing journey?

My writing journey began around 2009 when I started sending off my work for publication and entering writing competitions. I won the Pride poetry competition one year and one of my stories was published in Takahe. In 2013, I completed a Masters of Creative Writing at Auckland University. During that course I wrote my first book Black Ice Matter, a collection of 13 short stories with a focus on Pasifika themes. Huia published the book in 2016 and it won the award for Best First Book at the 2017 Ockham Book Awards.

What is at the heart of who you are as a writer?

At the heart of who I am as a writer is a need to express my emotions.

How long have you been involved with Headland and what is your role?

I joined the Headland team in 2020 as an editor.

What is your best tip/trick for writers (including yourself)?

Keep writing and don’t be despondent if your first draft is rubbish. The real writing is done in the rewriting.

What is something you wish you could read again for the first time?

There are so many good books to read. I don’t think I can name anything I’d like to read again for the first time.

What’s a piece of literature that is widely loved or critically acclaimed but you didn’t enjoy?

Ulysses by James Joyce. I only read one chapter. That was all I could manage.



Photo credit: Vicky Leopold

Previous PostEarworms and Mundane Horror: Interview with Saba D. Ha
Next PostGetting to know you: Vaughan Rapatahana