I have also had people mention Once Were Warriors. Although I touch on similar topics, my book isn't the same and is written very differently. Not only are the styles nothing alike, but Once Were Warriors focuses on one family, and was set in Rotorua (while the movie was set in Otara). In contrast my book encompasses a number of families. Once Were Warriors was also from a different generation. Although it was published and made into a movie in the 90s, the mention of Jake’s slave ancestry suggests that it was set further back.
But, as I said, my novel does touch on similar topics as Alan Duff's. Domestic violence, suicide, gangs, abuse, crime, and so forth are all portrayed, which shows that these problems have spanned a number of generations.
And because of the crime in my story I had to do a bit of research, such as finding out about the effects of drugs and how a stabbing would feel. I also had to research hospital procedures, because a number of scenes were done there. But other than these, my book largely relied upon what I was familiar with, such my understanding of certain characters as well as the area portrayed. Like any author I incorporated traits from people that I have met as well as some of my own. For example, Maia’s grinning when in trouble is something I do.
Korcula on the Dalmatian Coast