Posts Tagged ‘Marj Kirkland’

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.]

Chris Bongers and Melina MarchettaQuick gush here…

Last night I was at Melina Marchetta’s Brisbane launch of her latest novel The Piper’s Son.

Melina is such a rock star; her launch at Riverbend Books would have needed bouncers but for the good behaviour of the crowd. Hearing her in conversation with CBCA National President, Marj Kirkland, was an absolute treat.

My autographed copy has been burning a hole in my pocket, but I’m not allowed to open it until I’ve finished Chapter Two of my new YA w-i-p, Intruder.

I can’t even look at The Piper’s Son or I’ll crack and spend the rest of the day on the couch with my legs in the air.  I’ve had the biggest literary crush on Melina since Looking for Alibrandi and have adored all her books, so my pitiful supply of willpower is being tested here folks; I’m hurting, believe me.

chris Bongers at Riverbend BooksBTW, I ♥ Riverbend Books. I had my own book launch there and have often admired their awesome book-covered verandah blinds. But it wasn’t until last night  that someone drew my attention to the little orange spine sandwiched in between Bram Stoker and Nick Earls…

Thank you to the lovely Lynn Priestley for not only pointing it out, but for capturing these Kodak moments on her trusty iPhone. Somerset Writers' Festival

In other news, I’m counting down the sleeps till Somerset Writers’ Festival at the Gold Coast from 17-19 March.

Melina will be there, along with an awesome lineup of literary talent including Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness, James Roy, Belinda Jeffrey, Derek Landy and Anthony Eaton.

If you click here you can book tickets to hundreds of sessions and dozens of authors, including little old me.  (I’ll be the one reading The Piper’s Son in an empty tent while fifteen thousand people stampede the rock stars of the YA literary world. If this pathetic image moves you, please come up and say hello. I’ll welcome you with open arms, I promise.)