You know by now that I am a total fangirl, right?
I mean, I developed extremely nervous hands when I got introduced to Libba Bray at the Emerging Writer’s Festival. And also, Garth Nix was standing right there, so I could go home and say ‘OMG, I saw Garth Nix!’ to my kids, and they were all ‘Wow, OMG!’ right back.
And I met Lili Wilkinson once! (She is awesome, btw) And Karen Healey! (Who totally talked to me!) And I still sometimes tweet replies to Maureen Johnson’s tweets, and live in hope that one day she will tweet back, at which point I will fall over or something, and then start squeeing ‘ OMG, Maureen Johnson!!’ to everyone nearby, and they will look at me weirdly (especially my husband, who doesn’t really know who Maureen Johnson is), but I will not care because OMG, Maureen Johnson!!!
Because to me, this all started with being a fangirl. Mainly of authors like Susan Cooper and Elynne Mitchell and Roald Dahl and Susie Hinton and Margaret Mahy, and then onto authors like Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy, and somehow at the same time authors like John Marsden and Melina Marchetta and Margo Lanagan (I met her once too! She signed my copy of Red Spikes!) and so on, until I reach this point I’m at now, where I actually get to meet some of the people who have created some of my favourite books, like Simmone Howell and Leanne Hall and Cath Crowley.
For me, the thrill never goes away. And I find it pretty inspiring, to know that those real live people out there exist, who keep giving their whole selves to the writing of the words that lift me up and spin me round and make me see the world in a different way.
That’s the promise I try to keep: that I’ll do my utmost to throw myself into the things I write, that I’ll try to give my best (or at least as close to the best that I’m capable of at this moment) to the words. Basically, that I’ll be the best fangirl I can be, for the worlds I create.
Anyway, I said I was going to Sydney - yeah, well, I went :) I met my agent, Catherine Drayton, for the first time, and - with her incredible powers of assurance - she filled me with the feeling that Every Breath will be fine, that it will go out into the world and have a happy life. So thank you, Catherine, it's good to have that feeling in the last few months before your book is released.
I also met the lovely people who work at Allen & Unwin Sydney, who took me out to coffee, and bought me lunch, and listened to me bang on about the book, and my kids, and checked out the photos of Guildford and our house and stuff that I had on my phone. And I met the cover designer, Lisa, and talked characters and book covers, and then slogged on in the rain to visit bookstores all over Sydney, in the short time I had left.
Now I'm back on the ranch, and it's a freezing Victorian winter (Sydney, you were so warm!), and I'm deep in the writing of the third book, while the winds howl outside. My littlest son sometimes stops by to sip my tea while I'm working, and I am planning the launches for Every Breath.
Yes - launches. I said there would be two, and now there are two, one for Melbourne friends and one for Castlemaine friends (although friends from both are welcome to go to both...I'm sure you know that). They are both in September (the 12th and the 20th) and as we get closer I'll probably send out invites and bake cakes and buy bottles of wine, and all that stuff you do for parties... I'll let you know more details as the Time Draws Near.
I'm also going to do some special posts soon, with details about giveaways, and competitions, and also some guests, and - this is very exciting - I will be able to show everyone the cover of Every Breath soon, very soon. Don't worry, you won't miss it - I'll probably make up a giant blow-up poster and stand on the street corner, pointing and grinning like an idiot.
Until then, have a good week.