Covid and the cancel culture

By Lynda Gray

In Business4 Minutes
Lynda Gray with a copy of her book: ‘In Hindsight, 50 years of deer farming in New Zealand’.

CANCELLATION OF MY BOOK LAUNCH is the unwritten postscript to ‘In Hindsight, 50 years of deer farming in New Zealand’.

I was primed and nervous about the big reveal of the book at the NZ Deer Farmers Association meeting in Wellington on October 11. It was touch-and-go whether it would be printed on time, thanks to the August lockdown.

However the Christchurch designer/publisher, and printer went the extra mile to make sure the first 100 books were printed, bound and delivered to the Wellington hotel where Cam (husband) and I checked in on Saturday night. We decided to make the trip north a couple of days earlier to get a city fix and catch up with friends.


It was with huge trepidation and clumsy hands that I retrieved the first book from one of the seven cardboard boxes. It was hard to believe that after almost four years of research, interviewing, writing and procrastination (all in equal measure) my name was finally on the front cover of a 288-page book.

I did a quick flick through with one eye shut to check there were no blank pages and glaring mistakes, then celebrated with a glass of bubbles in the hotel bar. Onwards and upwards to the official launch, or so I thought.

The next day on the motorway heading out of Wellington for a day trip to the Wairarapa, I got the phone call to say that the NZDFA meeting was cancelled. The decision was due to Covid uncertainty and the risk that those farmers attending, some of whom were heading into the thick of velveting, could be stranded in Wellington.

Deer oh Deer. What to do, and what to say? Nothing. We kept calm and carried on, stopping off at Greytown then Masterton for a stunning lunch at The Screening Room, and back to Wellington via Martinborough.

By this time I came to realise there is a lot of upside to a non-launch event: I wouldn’t have to deal with queues of admiring deer farming fans lining up with a pile of books for signing. Nor would I have to endure the tedium of endless and lengthy media interviews leaving me more time for power-walking along Lambton Quay and Hot Yoga outside the Beehive.

The downside is I didn’t have a soapbox for the brief and hard sell on why ‘In Hindsight’ is a must-have book, i.e: it’s the definitive story on the first 50 years of deer farming in NZ which weaves in the stories of farmers, vets, scientists, marketers and entrepreneurs who made it all happen.

Avoid disappointment and order your copy now:

Book signings, interviews and selfies available on request.