Stu Duval was born in Christchurch and won his first art contest at the age of five – the prize was a tawdry gold pen with his name engraved on it. The pen is long gone but the urge to paint has never left him.
He has been a factory worker, minister, ranger, broadcaster, children’s worker, graphic artist, director, and a motivational speaker. Yet his art was always the thread – the lifeline. His choice of subject is eclectic, often composed with the eye of a graphic designer, a link back to his years spent in advertising. From this grew his first major exhibition and first published novel.
In 2000 he embarked on a journey as a full-time storyteller, combining his art with his own words. He is now considered one of New Zealand’s master storytellers.
He is the author of seven books for young people and is heavily influenced by the rip-roaring reads of his own childhood. His first book, Achtung Pavlova, is a glorious tongue-in-cheek homage to Stu’s boyhood heroes: Biggles, Tintin and the many punch-first-ask-questions-later characters that populated the Boy’s Own annuals of his youth.
Recently Stu teamed up with an old boyhood friend, Ivan Clarke, to help create the book Alveridgea and the Legend of the Lonely Dog, the film rights to which have subsequently been sold to Warner Bros. He now resides in Whangaparaoa, Hibiscus Coast with his wife and two adventure-loving boys; the inspiration of many of his books and tales.
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