Shrew Publications is an indie publisher set up by me and my sister Roz Paterson to promote our writing. I focus mainly on essay collections and occasionally veer into another love, history. Roz is an artist and illustrator as well as a captivating storyteller, making children’s fiction her happy place as a writer.

All our books are original creations — no AI.

Never Succumb to Beige & Other Tips for a Colourful Life

Not succumbing to beige is about wearing your metaphorical high-viz vest with flair and panache—about being true to who you are and what you bring to the world.

In extended essays drawn from her own colourful life, and traversing the joys of schadenfreude, strategic gift-buying, the value of teeth, and lessons to be learnt from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Frances Manwaring explores ground rules and tactics for avoiding the beige. Along the way, she shares her wisdom and philosophies, with references and deference to legends like George Eliot, Cleopatra, and Coco Chanel.

This book is available from major book retailers in NZ and can also be ordered directly as below.

The Anger of Princes is Death

This poignant novelette examines the last days and hours in the tragic life of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second queen and the mother of Elizabeth I. Anne was beheaded in the Tower of London on the morning of 19 May, 1536 for treason and other charges that many of her contemporaries and subsequent historians believed were a travesty.

What on earth would have been going through her mind as she endured this last vigil waiting for her date with death? Was she hoping for a last minute reprieve from the man who once loved her with a passion that rocked Europe? But he’s a man waiting eagerly for the cannon fire that will tell him he’s free to marry his new love.

The author recreates the complex weave of circumstances that led to Anne Boleyn’s fall and drawn on contemporary accounts in the creation of this vignette. 

Sadie and the Snow Globe

Sadie, a young jade-green mermaid, is on a six-month trial to prove she is mature enough to manage her own Rock Pool. All she wants is to be a healer and learn Song Power, the mermaid magic.

But Sadie has a big problem. Her perfect, regal mother is due to inspect in five days, and the place is a tip! During the tidy up, Sadie finds a rare Air World snow globe. Little does Sadie realise the Globe is enchanted and she and becomes trapped inside it in the clutches of the sinister Globe Master with her friend Penstemon, a large boisterous prawn. Can they escape? Is Sadie’s Song Power developed enough to save them?

Exciting and funny, the author combines powerful magic and heroic deeds in this chapter book to keep readers spellbound and on the edge of their seats.

Origami the Outrageous Octopus

Origami is a young octopus who is outrageously different. Unlike the other octopuses, she is fed up hiding and wearing drab octopus camouflage.

After a lot of determined trial and error, she finds a way of changing her dull greens to exotic purples, blues, yellows and pinks. To her mother’s horror, she comes out of hiding every day to dance with the pretty reef fish to revel in her new colours—no matter the risk, Origami is determined to be herself. But her mother is right and Origami and her brother Siddles soon find themselves in deep trouble.

Origami the Outrageous Octopus is a beautifully illustrated story about the benefits of being true to yourself. Suitable for children aged five and up, it’s an ideal book for adults and children to read together.

Brands with Moxie – Eight Steps to a Winning Brand

A compelling and believable brand puts you and your organisation on a faster track to success—strong brands simply outperform the others.

Whether you’re launching a new brand or your current one isn’t fully firing, brand development specialist Frances Manwaring will walk you through her eight-step process to capture the magic that makes your brand unique, competitive, valuable and enduring.

Content includes examples, case studies, anecdotes, fresh thinking and ideas, and carefully tailored exercises (in a downloadable workbook) to ensure you craft a captivating brand position, story, messaging, and visual identity that will allow you to unleash the full power of your brand.