Friday 14 November saw the mercury hit a sweltering 38 degrees in Sydney – but the heat didn’t deter the sensational crowd from attending my first ever book launch for my first published book – Anzac Ted.
Oh, what a night!
As I said in my short, and almost dry-eyed speech: writing and illustrating picture books may be a lonely pursuit – but it’s anything but a solo one. There are just so many people involved with getting Anzac Ted up and running and I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of them.
To my parents for helping me fall in love with words so early on in life, and to my brother, Adrian for nurturing that love. To Anouska, Gareth and the entire team at EK Books (Exisle Publishing) for taking on an unknown author and to Ali and Mark for managing such incredible publicity for the book. To the wonderful and talented Tania, Susan and the Kids’ Book Review team for their exceptional encouragement and support.
To my biggest supporter and inspiration my husband, David, who not just encouraged and believed in me every step of the way but helped me organise every last detail for a successful book launch. To my gorgeous daughters, Samantha and Elyse for their unswerving faith, social-media know-how and terrific pics. To my wonderful sons, Michael and Alexander, who move not just mountains for me but are my tech-savvy saviours and of course to the ever-vigilant Alana and Karen who never fail to roll up their sleeves and make everything run like clockwork.
Being also my mum’s birthday, there was a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday before I signed books for the rest of the night, and watched in awe and wonder as people approached me at the signing table with 3, 5 and in one case 9 copies in hand!
The entire night was a very moving experience for me which was punctuated by so many highlights – but perhaps the most touching was when I was given a hand-written letter from a young Army wife, who had written to me about just how much Anzac Ted meant to her after she’d been given her own Army bear by her husband when he’d been shipped off for training. I was incredibly moved that my book had already made such a positive impact – and immeasurably grateful.