I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’. – Henry Moore (1898 – 1986)
Having a predisposition toward over-analysis and self-flagellating internal monologues I generally avoid the siren call of reflecting upon the year that has been. Having a personality that is hard-wired for more ups and downs than a hooker at a blowjob convention, I tend to like to leave the past in the past and run like buggary from it. However I am going to break all my own rules (because I don’t like rules, even my own) and have a wee look back because it’s been a good year.
October 2012 saw the publication of my first novel Creepy & Maud (Fremantle Press 2012), whilst 2013 saw it Shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, Older Reader’s Category. Well, that’s good news! No problem having a look back at that. It received (mostly) good reviews and came out in audio format thanks to the Association for the Blind. It was also listed in Australian Book Review “Books of the Year”. A lot of people were involved in bringing Creepy & Maud into being, and they took more risks than I did (I just had to write it). Extraordinarily, they’re all still talking to me, too!
I got to talk to lots of nice people. From my very first “Author Talk” at Christchurch Grammar School (mouth so dry tongue kept sticking to roof of mouth) all the way through to breaking into ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ in a session at the Kimberley Writers Festival, I’ve met a slew of gorgeous people and made some really good new friends. That’s worth dragging this year into the next.
And income. Coming from a place of excitement and gratitude for the opportunity alone, my response to my first royalty cheque was an email to my publicist which read: “I forgot this shit pays!” And pay it did. 2013 was the first year ever I was able to nonchalantly take one of my babies to the vet without checking my bank balance first. And for those of you who consider it gauche for me to talk about money – I am gauche.
I also received an unparalleled amount of support at my day job, a job I will never leave because I love the construction industry. I just love it. It fulfills me. (She’s probably reading this). I have taken a lot of time off this year for appearances and festivals. This would have been impossible without my employer, Jacqui Croon-Hargrave, being as excited as I was. You don’t take that for granted.
So thank you, all of you, who made 2013 nice to look back on. You know who you are. Now give me a moment to recover my cynical, moody center before the schmaltz police turn up. And watch this space for some BIG news January 2014.
Post Script: A special shout out to my best friend, Joscelyn Evans, who once booked a hotel room for the weekend just to read one of my manuscripts. She who has believed in me since the dawn of time must be acknowledged.