Phew. It’s the last day of March and I’m exhausted, but elatedly so (is it possible to feel both elated and exhausted concurrently?) I could scramble for my dictionary to check, but, to be honest, I’m just too tired. Instead, I am going to sit here in my comfy chair and tell you all about the month that was, and why I’m just so tired (and elated).
To start with, the end of February saw me dashing back and fro to Perth (a three hour drive) for some exciting events.
On the evening of Thursday the 25th I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Natural Selection, an exhibition organised by Writing WA. Iwas doubly blessed because not only was I able to attend the launch, but I was aslo one of the fifty authors chosen to be featured in the exhibition. Each chosen author was profiled on a large panel (approximately 1 metre square) with a photo, short bio and a bit about a recent book (in my case, Pearl Verses the World).
The launch was held at the Perth City Council function room, which boasts spectacular views over the Swan River, and was attended by the authors, publishers, international festival directors and other invited guests.
A quick trip home on Friday morning, then it was back to Perth for the weekend to attend the Perth Writers Festival. As well as getting to sit in some wonderful sessions, I was also a presenter, presenting a poetry writing workshop and a meet the author session as part of Family Day. This was the first time I’d got to see Toppling in a bookstore – and, of course, I got to sign copies, as well as copies of Pearl Verses the World. It was exciting to see Pearl sell out on the Sunday – a sign that people had perhaps enjoyed my sessions.
Monday March 1 marked the release of Toppling, and I celebrated right here on this blog with cyber champagne, cyber munchies and some virtual speeches. My friend and fellow author Sandy Fussell was good enough to drop by and launch Toppling. A cyber launch is a great way to launch a book, especially if you want to include friends and rellies who are scattered around the globe.
On March 4 I headed back to Perth for another event – the CBCA’s annual Night With Our Stars, held at Westbooks in South Perth. This event, organised by the delightful Jenni Woodroffe gives children’s and YA authors and illustrators a chance to speak about their latest book to a group of teachers, librarians and book lovers. It is, to me, a bit like speed dating – each speaker gets three mintues to inspire, enthuse or entertain the audience. Afterwards there are booksignings, and time to just mingle.
Back at home and I had a little time to enjoy the feeling of a new book, and to celebrate some more. All through the month I had visitors dropping in here, to guest blog about what they like about children’s poetry. The responses were many and varied – but all made for excellent reading. A huge thanks to those people who gave up their time to drop in here and share their thoughts. If you haven’t read them, be sure to scroll through and see what was said.
I also enjoyed seeing the first reviews come in. If you’re interested you can see Sharon’s review on the OurPatch website, Dee White’s review on her blog DeeScribeWriting, Jo Burnell’s review on the Reading Stack website and Malcolm’s review on the Storytime Books for Kids blog. It is always a relief to read a review and realise that the reviewer liked my book.
To finish the month off with an extra buzz, the news yesterday that my first verse novel, Pearl Verses the World has been shorlisted for the CBCA Children’s Book of the Year Awards was pretty awesome. I have long dreamed of being on the shortlist one day – and the feeling of finally getting there is pretty amazing.
So, the launch month for Toppling concludes, but there will be much more happening on my blog and in my writing life in the montsh to come, so stay tuned.