It’s Tattoo Time again. And today, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been so supportive and encouraging of the e-launching of my new book TELESA:The Covenant Keeper. Whether you’re buying the book, spreading the telesa word to friends and family, following the blog book tour, posting online reviews, or having me and Telesa over to visit your blog – thank you so much. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and thoughtful assistance from so many of you. This journey is much less scary when you have a great support network. Fa’afetai tele lava!
Today’s tattoos are brought to you by the person most responsible for successfully conveying “Daniel”s image to the world – star Samoan rugby player, Ezra Taylor. (All photos taken by Tim Rasmussen Photography, Samoa)
Ezra was born in Australia but grew up in West Auckland. (Umm, I live in West Auck but I have to tell you that I have never seen any rugby players who look like Daniel hanging out at my local grocery store.) He describes himself as a “proud Australian born New Zealand raised Samoan with Kiwi, Scottish and English blood.” He was raised by his mother and describes his upbringing with his extended family as being filled with “love, generousity and fun.” He writes, “the love we share is unbreakable and built on a foundation from our grandparents who engrained in us all, a sense of generosity and service.”
Ezra represented NZ at the U-19 and schoolboy rugby levels, and made his pro debut playing for Otago in 2006. He signed with the Highlanders for the 2007 Super 14 Season, missed the 2008 season due to an injury and then played for the Queensland Reds, Super 14 before moving to Connacht of the Magners League for the 2010-2011 season. He played for Manu Samoa in the game against Japan in July 2011. Ezra is a Loose Forward/Lock. Ok, can you tell that I have no clue what all that rugby talk means? But for the benefit of those blog readers who actually DO know something about rugby, I’m copying this faithfully for you from Google.)
Playing rugby in Samoa is very hot work.
Like Daniel in the TELESA book, Ezra was a school prefect and House leader in his secondary school days. He played for the 1st XV for three years and in his final year they won the National Secondary Schools title.
When people ask me “Why did you pick Ezra to be the ‘Face of Daniel’ for the TELESA series?” (Well, apart from the obvious visual reasons.) I want to say – because he’s not a Man-Whore. (Apologies to all the famous, successful and gorgeous Sports Man-Whores out there... ) But I don’t say that out loud because ‘man-whore’ is a bad word and I’m supposed to be cleaning up my vocab.
So I offer the other reason – There’s not a lot of Pacific Y.A fiction out there and it was important to me that the key characters in TELESA, be representative of some of the things I love the most about our culture. ‘Daniel’ is Samoan, Tongan and palagi and he honors his rich heritage on all sides. He values family, honors and respects the grandmother who raised him and more. And he rocks at rugby. Cant mention ‘best things’ about Samoa without rugby. I wanted a rugby player for TELESA who represented a lot of similar things to Daniel and I appreciate that Ezra Taylor fits the description in many ways.Before he did the TELESA photoshoot, Ezra asked me if there was anything about Daniel in the book that “would shame my family or upset the country.” I was happy to reassure him that Daniel was pretty much a dream fantasy male lead. And there couldn’t be anything too nasty/skanky in my book because my parents would kill me. (Not to mention my children might read TELESA one day.) Only then , did he agree to sign up.
Which seems to be true of Ezra Taylor as well.