I’ve been away from home for two weeks, just got back late last night and having sorted out the mountain of washing, and been shopping to put food in the fridge… I can find a spare hour or two to get some thoughts down on the blog. Getting my thoughts in any sort of order at the moment is a major achievement because I am on a true BOOK BUZZ. Buzzier than any bee. Fizzier than the fizziest champagne. I care not whether fizzier and buzzier are words. Right now they are perfect!
I am two days away from launching my debut print title with Harlequin MIRA (drum roll please) THE VINEYARD IN THE HILLS… The book launch will be at the Margaret River Bookshop on September 1st, and I’ll be amongst friends, family and local booklovers in and around the Margaret River region. I’ve been practicing my ‘launch speech’ in my head at night… and in my head I sound fantastic. There is one problem however… I usually fall asleep before the speech ends. This means I know the start of the speech very well, but I’m not sure how it ends yet. Therefore, I shall be ad-libbing!
What a holiday we had! My adventure began with 3 nights (3 blissful, wonderful, child-and-husband-free nights at the Stamford Grand hotel in Glenelg, Adelaide)… at the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference. It was the first time I’d been to conference, although when it was in Fremantle going back a few years, I did put my head in to the Cocktail Party and had a breakfast with fellow authors at Escape Publishing the next morning. Still, this made me a Conference ‘newbie’ at Adelaide. What a great time. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be surrounded and immersed in books and writing, and in people who love books and writing, for three whole days (and did I mention the hotel room all to myself??) There were seminars, parties, workshops, more parties, networking opportunities, a gala ball, publisher meetings, more parties, and pitch opportunities. (Pitch in this instant doesn’t require singing… it is just an opportunity to spruik about your book for 5 minutes and hope you don’t make a complete dill of yourself, plus hope that whoever you are presenting your book idea too, they like it and request to see more – in my case, this ‘pitch’ went well).
Then my Conference kind of got side-swiped by this wonderful thing called: a book release!
On Saturday morning in the lobby of the Stamford Grand, Sue Brockhoff, managing director of Harlequin MIRA in Australia, hand-delivered me my first copy of THE VINEYARD IN THE HILLS. There ensued much excitement. Again – as luck conspired to have it – at the time I was surrounded by bookish friends, chatting away, so they all got to see my smile when I got to hold my book baby in my hands. There is even video of that magic moment, thanks to big-hearted WA author, Tess Woods.
When Conference ended on Sunday afternoon, my holiday was really just beginning. There followed a week of long, wonderful lunches with old friends… the type of friends I haven’t seen now in 3 or more years but who you can start chatting with all over again, like you’ve never been away. There were catch ups with family and more friends, there were football games… and through it all there were emails and tweets from readers and author friends telling me they’d seen *my book* in the shops.
I saw *my* book in Dillons Bookshop on The Parade in Norwood. My hubby was with me, and the pair of us were like kids in a candy store. I really do think he was every bit as excited as me as he kind of politely elbowed this poor bookshop customer out of the way so he could take a picture of ME with MY BOOK! “Excuse me, mate,” he says. “That’s my wife. That’s my wife’s book.”
I was buzzing enough to go meet the lovely ladies running the bookshop and introduce myself and ask them if they’d like me to sign any copies of the book while I was there… which they did. And this meant my old friend at Winetitles Publishing in South Australia, Elizabeth Bouzoudis, later got to go nab herself a copy of one of these personally signed books. And took the selfie to prove it.
So please forgive me my book high… it won’t last forever, but I reckon it’s hanging around for at least another few weeks. Lucky I have a great family and friends who keep it real… must dash from my post because I have two children in school, and after 10 days without worrying about school pick-up, I can’t be late!