Olivia Giles is a finalist in the Best Novel Extract section of the biennial Pikihuia Awards 2017. She says Till we kissed, set in 1960s Porirua, is inspired by three things—the Ngāti Poneke Māori Club which her grandparents were founding members of, Ten Pound Poms coming to New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s, and Māori immigration from the country to the city.
The novel began when Olivia was completing the second year of her Advanced Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing with Mandy Hager. "I never expect anything when I submit my work anywhere and if anyone else likes something I've done, my default setting is 'totally shocked.' It was a very happy shock to be shortlisted."
Update: Olivia’s extract was later published in Pikihuia 12 along with other finalists including fellow writer Maia Kirikiri, from Queen Margaret's College, seen here with Olivia.