If ever there were an occasion worth celebrating, it would have to be the birth of a book.

Novel writing is such a torturous exercise in delayed gratification.

The labour is elephantine, even for a relatively short, 53,000-word effort, like my latest offering.

Leonie and Marj

According to my diary, I started writing it on 22 March 2009.

I delivered the completed manuscript to my made-of-awesome publisher Leonie Tyle on 23 November last year.

Copy edits, courtesy of the redoubtable editing team of Rosie Fitzgibbon and Sarah Hazelton, were completed by Christmas.

First pages came through with proof readers’ comments, corrections and queries in February 2010.

By the 1st March, we had signed off on proof edits, the superb cover (by Geoff Kelly and Sandra Nobes), preliminary pages, acknowledgements, dedication and blurb.

While the book was off being printed, bound samples of the uncorrected proof were making their way into the hands of long-range media, booksellers and reviewers.

The first print run was boxed and delivered to bookstores at the end of June.

In July, exactly one year after my debut novel came out, my second novel hit the bookshelves in hundreds of bookstores around the country.

Me and Marj Kirkland at HHH launch

Last night, on 21st July, Marj Kirkland, National President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia launched it to a packed crowd at Coaldrake’s bookstore at Paddington Barracks in Brisbane.

Marj told them she had fallen in love with a twelve year old boy by the name of Henry Hoey Hobson.

She wasn’t the first – that distinction is mine – but I do hope she won’t be the last.

[A special thank you to the lovely Lynn Priestley of Zenquill for her fabulous photos of the launch.]

  1. Congratulations, Chris,

    So pleased for you. It looks like a fabulous launch…and some familiar faces there too:-)

    Looking forward to reading HHH.


  2. Lynn says:

    Thanks, Lovely one. You clever little linker! The picture taking pleasure was all mine! xx

  3. Congratulations Chris! I really wish I could have been there to help launch Henry into the world. The photos are all gorgeous – you look like a glowing new mum 🙂

  4. Congrats again, Chris. It was a great night and I’ll be looking forward to the next one. I’m almost finished reading HHH and have had to tear myself away from him to do my own writing 🙂

  5. Sharon Greenhill says:

    True testament is the fact that my 12 year old son finished it in just over a day and loved it. Write faster Bongey.

  6. chrisbongers says:

    Now that’s what I like to hear! (Tell him, I’m on it). 🙂

  7. Trudie Trewin says:

    Congrats, Chris – looks like a great night. I found HHH in the bookstore on Monday and I can’t wait to read it. Keep up the cracking pace! 🙂

  8. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Trudie, I’m in the middle of the middle of my third, so will do my best!

  9. Gus Gordon says:

    Big congrats and hugs from me! Looking forward to reading it – a good source told me it’s awesome and she’s always on the money.

    Looks like a fun launch too!

  10. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Gus. The other day I was wishing out loud that I’d been up at the Whitsundays with you and the guys, and someone piped up, ‘I love Gus Gordon – his books are adorable!’ So true. xx

  11. leemcgowan says:

    Sensational story. One I will repeat to my students. Not just so I can boast about writer friend.

    • chrisbongers says:

      I would have loved to have known all that stuff about timelines, proof edits etc when I was a student, so repeat, reuse, recycle to your heart’s content, Lee. 🙂

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