Thursday, 2 April 2015

What we call the end is the beginning

This is the first week I’ve had off in a looong time.  The past few months have rocketed along, and the busy-life stuff was a bit wearing, but I am absolutely not complaining – I still can’t believe I get to do this book business as a job.  But yeah – it’s been busy!

First of all, we had the book launch for EVERY MOVE.  Thank you all so much for coming along, or lending support, it really was an amazing night – I don’t think we even had so many people at the launch for EVERY BREATH – and Readings Carlton did a super job.  I got to meet a bunch of bloggers, vloggers and fans!  They are all so gorgeous!  A blogger from North America actually sent her uncle to the launch, to get an early copy of EVERY MOVE (hi, Yash!), which was pretty incredible, and I think I was signing for about an hour and a half, wow.  Adele Walsh was THE BEST – she made a wonderful speech for the launch, which you can find here, and because it was her first launch, she was about as nervous as me!

I didn’t get to say hi to everyone, which is pretty normal, but I always feel bad about it – if I didn’t get to grab you on the night, please know that I would’ve liked to, and I appreciate you took the time to come along.  And if you’d like to relive the glory of the night, it’s right here in two vids – one is from Miranda at Books101, and one is from Rachel and Annette at Tome Travellers (thanks, ladies!):

I also have to announce that the EVERY MOVE book launch giveaway was rolled up by me and my son (he picked the names), and we have winners!  Elizabeth Gordon, @SnugglyOranges, and Alyssa Hamilton, please send me your contacts via DM (or you can email elliemarney[at]gmail[dot]com), and I’ll be sending out your parcels early next week (after Easter is over and the post office is back in business).  If I don’t hear from you by next week, I’ll draw another winner from the hat.

There were also two winners from over 800 entries on the GoodReads giveaway (see right), and I’ll be sending those at the same time.

On Tuesday, straight after the book launch, I jumped on a plane and flew up to the Gold Coast, where I attended Somerset Celebration of Literature, a week-long extravaganza for students, parents, teachers and authors.  What a festival – my god, I had no idea before I arrived that the celebration would be of such an incredible magnitude.  There were fireworks and Dippin’ Dots, a photo booth, a book shop, a Writers Wall, performances, amazing food, students dressed as literary characters, signings, author talks, karaoke, poetry and novella competitions, bus-loads of kids from schools all over the country…  It kind of blew my mind.  The parents and teachers were incredible – so much of it was organised and carried out by people who had taken time off work to support the festival.  And the students were wonderful!  So engaged and diverse, and with such fantastic questions!

As well as all that gorgeousness, there was the company of other authors.  I don’t know if you’ve gathered this already, from my other blog posts, but I live way way out in the country – about two hours away from Melbourne – and while there are quite a few writers up around here, we all come from different areas, and rarely get together and hang out.  So I don’t really get the chance to just sit around and chat with other authors that much, maybe just a couple of times a year.

Somerset, on the other hand, was like a giant sleepover party with just about every cool author I’ve ever wanted to meet.  We saw each other’s talks, bumped into each other at the hotel, joined each other for dinners, went and had drinks together, and gasbagged the whole time.  I felt like I was in Wonderland, honestly.  I had a long chat with Richard Newsome (The Billionaire’s Curse) about writing a book a year (we agreed that it’s hard), discussed writing kissing scenes with Melissa Keil (Life In Outer Space) and Clare Atkins (Nona & Me), talked about feminist writing practice with Melissa and Nova Weetman (The Haunting of Lily Frost) and Sarah Ayoub (Hate Is Such A Strong Word), reunited with Adele Walsh (who had some interesting things to say about fruit…), argued about the best Dr Who episodes with George Ivanoff (Gamers series), and was given excellent social media advice by Alison Tait (The MapMaker Chronicles).  I even talked about pearls with Tara Moss! (The Fictional Woman)  I made a lot of new friends (hi, Christine Bongers – Keith Austin – Rachel Spratt – Michael Gerard Bauer!) and met some of my heroes (Kari Gislason rocks).  Overall, I had an AMAZING time, and even though I missed my family at home and don’t usually love living out of a suitcase, I didn’t really want to leave.  Everyone who would like an annual Australian Kid’s Authors Gossip and Catch-Up Camp, raise your hands now J

I guess I’d better sign off – we have to chop wood for the upcoming winter today, so I’ll be getting out my chainsaw and slinging on my boots.  I’ve had a lovely week-long break now, so I’ve got no excuses not to work!  I’m getting back into writing again (how I’ve longed for some solid writing time!), and the manuscript for NO LIMITS is shaping up pretty well – it needs a lot more done to it, but I’m happy with it so far (and I’m gonna shut up about it now, so I don’t put the moz on it).

Thank you all, for supporting the EVERY series, and for sharing the excitement of launching the final book – I couldn’t have done it without you.  Take care of yourselves, have a happy and peaceful holiday season, if it’s your time to celebrate, and see you next time!

Xx Ellie

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