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Telesa: The Covenant Keeper launches in Auckland.

A huge crowd turned out to see Lani Wendt Young's novel, Telesa: The Covenant Keeper launched in Auckland on Tuesday night, December 13. The launch was jointly hosted by AUT and Auckland University and held at the beautiful AUT Manukau Campus. Guests enjoyed an evening of poetry, dance and music which had a fiery beginning with a showing of the ‘Telesa book trailer that vividly brought the story to life on the big screen.

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh gave a unique keynote address – presenting an original ‘Telesa’ poetry performance piece written especially for the event. AU Performing Arts graduate, Filoi Vaila’au performed a ‘siva’ dance number and music for the evening was provided by Natasha Urale-Baker, Poloma Komiti and Joe Moeono.

Author Lani Wendt Young concluded the event with her remarks, paying tribute to the creative influences in her life and with a reminder that creativity requires courage and strength.

She quoted from Zita Martel’s Samoa launch speech, “Telesa the spirit woman became for me a symbol of grace, of power, and of freedom. To do whatever you want to do as a girl and as a woman. When you are brave enough NOT to listen to what people say and gossip about you, when you have the courage to follow your instincts, be in tune to the power within you and believe in it. For when you do, when you own the fierceness within you – you fly!”

The team from SUGA Magazine were there, “the launch was a huge success! Lani showed us just how inspiring an author she really is. Her words of wisdom and encouragement touched everyone and inspired many Pacific women ( including us) who were there to meet a true role model in person.”

Many guests enjoyed the opportunity to meet the author who they had been avidly following via her blog and other online media. Many had already read the electronic copy of the book and were excited to buy a signed print copy.

Carmel-Maria Savaiinaea has been following the Telesa book journey on Facebook and said of the event, “the night was awesome! From the poet Dr Selina to the beautiful dancer that was just like in the book and to Lani’s speech. She’s the BOMB. Only thing missing was Daniel!”

Telesa:The Covenant Keeper is Lani’s first novel in the Telesa Trilogy series. It was first launched in Samoa last month. The second book in the series will be released in 2012.