Phew! What an insane week!
To start with, the Sunshine Coast book launch for DRAEKORA (the third book in The Medoran Chronicles) was last Tuesday night. It was held at Collins Booksellers in Caloundra and turned out to be such a magical night! I posted photos on my Facebook page, but here’s just a few of the highlights:
^^^ So many people that they were spilling out the doors!
^^^ Chatting up a storm.
^^^ Signing, signing, signing.
^^^ Multitasking (signing and chatting) is a skill I’ve come to appreciate!
Overall, it was such a wonderful night! Here’s a quick rundown of how I felt straight afterwards:
Following on from my Sunshine Coast book launch, I was supposed to have a Brisbane launch on last Thursday, but thanks to Cyclone Debbie deciding to shut down the whole of Queensland (*sigh*), schools and workplaces and everything else were closed and/or cancelled for the day. So due to the miserable (and dangerous) weather, we had to postpone the event. Such a shame, since soooo many people put soooo much planning into making this event fantabulous (not to mention, soooo many disappointed readers who were planning on coming along), but it was better to be safe than sorry, and we’ll hopefully be able to choose another date soon and have a belated launch party (because there’s still cake to be had!!!). More news on the rescheduled time coming soon!
Friday morning had me freaking out and checking in with the airlines every thirty seconds (not really) because my early morning flight to Sydney was cancelled (thanks, Debbie *sigh again*), but the amazing Maddy from Pantera Press managed to get me on a later flight and, after chilling at the airport for an hour delay where I may have broken out in hives at the fear that it would be cancelled, too (not really — to the hives, but I was a tad concerned), I was finally in the air on my way to Sydney!
After a brief drop-in at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School, I had the chance to have a quick catch up with one of my amazing critique readers, Jenna, who flew in from Adelaide that day for the launch events (awwww), and here’s a perfect example of how hilarious (*cough* crazy *cough*) the two of us are (and also note that this is only the second time I’ve actually met her in person, and I may not actually remember the first time *awkward guilty shuffle*):
As you can imagine, we had a fabulous time catching up, and then after parting ways, I met up with another amazing friend of mine, Ineke, who also happens to be the literary manager of Supanova Pop Culture Expo. (She got more than she bargained for when she first invited me as a stranger to come along as a guest in 2015 — I’m now like a fungus she can’t get rid of, haha.) The two of us had a delicious dinner in China Town and then we went to see the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie — and IT WAS AMMMAAAZZZINNNNG!!!!
I think I got back to my hotel just before midnight, and then suddenly it was Saturday and all the real crazy-crazy began. Three events were planned for the day: an exclusive ‘meet and greet’ for competition winners to come along and spend an hour with me (and drink Dillyberry Juice!!), followed by a Q&A at Galaxy Bookshop, and then lastly a YA Bookmeet at Dymocks Books.
Honestly, I had no idea how the day was going to play out, I was just excited to be a part of it. But nothing — nothing — could have prepared me for how insanely massive the events ended up being!! The meet and greet was a really nice, cool, casual start to the day — a warm up, really, for what was to come. Since numbers were capped to keep it exclusive, it was close and cosy. But then, by the time we got to the Q&A… well, my mind was blown by how many people were there. And wow! The questions!! Some of them were so awesome and creative!! (For example: if my main characters each had one Disney song to depict their lives, what would those songs be? THAT was fun!)
The signing after the Q&A was hectic — as in, hectic — but I loved every second, and then I was whisked away to have a quick moment to breathe before the Dymocks event. Our plan was to arrive at Dymocks and disappear upstairs to the cafe for that quiet moment, and we had to do that sneakily since when we arrived in the store (about 45 mins before the event was due to start), we were told it was already packed out! (Cue my massive freak out!)
Time whizzed by and suddenly I was headed downstairs to the area where the Bookmeet was taking place (running into Ali Green, the amazing CEO of Pantera Press, along the way — YAY!), and then it was allllllll happening. The wonderful Emily from Dymocks (founder of the “YA Bookmeet”) had to part the crowd for us to get through the aisles (!!), and then she and I were seated up the front of the masses where she began her interview (*cough* interrogation *cough*).
Honestly, we had the absolute BEST time. Five days later and my cheeks are still hurting from laughing so much. Emily has a memory like an elephant and recalls me saying things from the last two years that I have zero recollection of, which made everything even more hilarious. The whole thing was such a blast! And it was made even better by some surprises, like my author friend, Maria Lewis, being there to support me (AND SHE GAVE ME DISNEY SHOES AND TIGHTS!!); a stack of bookstagramers and book bloggers who I’ve become friends with over the last two years being there (including the lovely Kaysia from @Bookskay, the wonderful Catriona from @LittleBookOwl, and a whole host of others all of whom I adore); an unexpected visit from an old friend who I hadn’t seen in over ten years (I legit did a double-take when I saw him up that back and I’m pretty sure I stuttered whatever question I was answering, so shocked as I was, haha); and Supanova Live TV coming to “crash the book launch” (which you can watch here). There were soooo many other amazing things that happened, too (including being allowed to announce that Pantera Press has bought the AUS/NZ rights to WHISPER so that it will release over here at the same time as the US/CAN release next year — YAAAAAAY!!), as well as some crazy things (like, I heard afterwards that girl fainted at one stage — whoever you are, I hope you’re okay!!!).
All in all, it was such a FANTASTIC DAY!!! And truly, words cannot describe just how surreal it all was! I had to rush off to my plane straight from Dymocks, and it was only when I was in the air and halfway home that the “overwhelmed feels” really hit me. I just… I still can’t quite believe how big the day was. Nor can I believe how many people are loving this series. So, from the bottom of my heart, and every other part of it, to everyone who made the day so incredibly special and completely unforgettable: thank you.
To end, here are some pics of the Saturday’s events. And for anyone interested in giving this series a go, the first book, AKARNAE, has a huge e-book sale on from now until the end of the week. This is especially convenient for any new international readers, since it’s a total bargain no matter what country you’re in (AUD$0.99, USD$0.76, GPB£0.99, etc., etc., etc.), so grab it while it’s hot!
PICS FROM THE EXCLUSIVE MEET AND GREET:
^^^ Possibly the best draekon I’ve yet drawn! He only half looks like a cow! YAY!
^^^ Dillyberry Juice!
^^^ Meeting and greeting.^^^ The lovely Kaysia!
PICS FROM THE GALAXY BOOKSHOP Q&A:
^^^ The fantastic display I arrived to find.
^^^ The lovely Allison who moderated the Q&A.
^^^ Lots of people and lots of questions!^^^ Signing!
^^^ Group photo! (Mostly — we lost a few people before we remembered to take the shot!)
ON THE WAY TO THE NEXT EVENT, I HAD A SPECIAL “FRIEND” TAG ALONG (SIR CAMDEN):
PICS FROM THE DYMOCKS YA BOOKMEET:
(And SO MUCH FUN!!! Can’t WAIT for the next time!!)
Aaaaand, just to end, here’s me with the super amazing Disney shoes I already mentioned from my super amazing author friend Maria Lewis. And yes, I do look like I’m about to cry — IT WAS SERIOUSLY THE NICEST GIFT EVER!!! I *didn’t* cry, though, just FYI. And I also received some other ridiculously lovely pressies too! (Including a massive Haigh’s assorted chocolates box from my publishers which will last me until the end of time and beyond!)
So… Much… Happiness…