It was so lovely to meet readers from communities large and small across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, as well as the many committed booksellers and librarians who helped make the tour possible. Huge thanks to Cheryl Arkles, Director of the Get Reading program, my hardworking and ever-cheery publicists Ali Crisp and Bethany Clark, and to the indefatigable Andy Palmer, Publicity Director at Allen & Unwin, for his ceaseless activity behind-the-scenes.
Some happy snaps from the road:
And here are my Top 10 Tour Moments:
- Delivering a talk at Goondiwindi library with a gorgeous child (not mine) pulling at my clothes. I felt right at home!
- Country hospitality in Narrabri, care of the Narrabri Library, ProSound Books, the Crossroads Hotel and some super-friendly locals. Rural Australia knows how to deliver a bloody good shindig, doesn’t it?
- Meeting Natasha Boyd – one of Australia’s most enthusiastic booksellers – and her Book Bonding ladies over dinner at Il Portobello in Essendon… with the majority of them having already read the novel, less than a week after its release. What a treat!
- Talking taboos – including pelvic floor damage – with the farming crowd at Oakey, rural Queensland. There were some very red-faced agricultural blokes in the room!
- Meeting the membership of a mothers’ purchase risperdal group at Arana Hills library, QLD – eight ladies having a girls’ night out to talk about my book. Very chuffed!
- Bumping into Pat Rafter and Leighton Hewitt in Brisbane. One of them was reading, one of them was swearing. No prizes for guessing which one.
- Being in South Australia. People were lovely, they gave me unnecessary gifts, they asked curly questions… it was fabulous. In the Clare Valley, they even put up a huge welcome sign for me in the Town Hall. I got to taste some local wine, then jog along the Riesling Trail the next morning. Crisp SA air, sunrise over the vineyards… does life get any better?
- Being asked at every event if there’s going to be a sequel to The Mothers’ Group (A: Maybe. The characters are talking to me a bit about what they’re doing now. But I need to ignore them for a while.).
- Tea and choccies at Black Cat Paddington QLD, lovely locals at Lilydale VIC, the bubbliest bookseller ever – Becky Lucas from Shakespeare’s Books – at Morphett Vale, SA, a sell-out event at the ever-stylish Coaldrakes at the Barracks in Brisbane… thank you all.
- Coming home to this drawing of ‘My Mummy’ by my eldest: