Life has been crazy over the past weeks with me being involved in a dance routine with a group of friends, for the Katherine Dance Massive celebration on Territory Day. I think that we, ‘The KTown Kougaz’ stole the show with a funky routine, blue wigs and silver sequin outfits, sharing stage with the local Hip Hop Group, traditional Indigenous dancers and school kids dressed as little birds. It was certainly a fun night.
The following week I was involved in ‘SPUN’ a story telling event with a group of story tellers at the famous ‘Finch Café’ in Katherine. The stories were recorded by ABC Radio so I will post the link when it becomes available.
My husband Shaun and I went on a big trip back in time, through the country where we spent 14 years at McArthur River Station. We drove the 800 kms, one way on one day to the famous, now 106 years old, Brunette Downs Races on the big Barkly Tablelands, for a book signing and catching up with friends that go back 30 years. Yes, 30 years! I shouldn’t complain about the aching joints that everyone under 30 looks about 18 ears old – and being left behind by technology – that is the Pokémon craze.
I know I am getting old when I couldn’t get it together to back to the Show for the night rodeo last night. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything in the world a few years ago. It was too cold and I preferred to curl up on the couch, in a blankie, and watch the ABC news. A walk outside to listen to the muted fireworks and the rodeo announcers from afar was the most energy I could muster with a heart flutter of nostalgia.
I have had the pleasure of having my publisher, Sophie Hamley from Hachette Australia spend a few days in Katherine, planning and talking about the next book over Show week when the town is in full celebration mode. Yep – a contract has been signed and I am in full gear getting a first draft of 70-80,ooo words together by the 1st of October. As ‘A Sunburnt Childhood’ took 14 years to write you can imagine I am feeling a little anxious…just a little!
But, I pinch myself and remind myself how lucky I am, that at the age of 60, my story about my big family and all the people we shared our crazy lives with, in the remote outback, was snapped up and is on the bestseller lists. What an amazing journey it has been.
‘Sunburnt’ remains the No 1 seller of local (Australian) authors for Hachette Australia. It has spent over two months as the No 1 Memoir on Booktopia and continues to sell steadily.
Writers rarely make a living from their books in Australia – unless you are Tim Winton or Helen Garner of the likes.
It is all a love job so keep on supporting Aussie writers and spread the word!