The life of a writer is, as you probably know, a lot of time of quiet, pyjama-clad desperation punctuated by occasional bursts of socialising or special events.
Today is a special event day, with pyjamas.
Today, the author copies of Dying in the First Person arrived. Let me set the scene for you: B and I were at the breakfast table, in our pyjamas, eating Vegemite on toast. The front and back doors were open, and ABC Classic FM is playing. Our postie arrives. He’s a familiar face after months of weekly, sometimes daily, Tiptree deliveries. But we are in our pyjamas. Unwashed, unpresentable. There is a brief, albeit passionate, wrangle over who will go to the door. I win, and B retrieves the package.
I get a small knife and slice open the box. The books are packed in with bubble wrap, and pages from Australian Master Tax Guide (the sections on Trustees and Trust Losses). A congratulations slip from the publisher (thanks Barry!).
The book looks beautiful. The cover design and internal design are elegant and clean. Transit Lounge have done everything they can to make this book the best book it can be.
The book comes out officially on May 1, and the launch will be held on May 6, at Avid Reader.
I’ll be able to thank some of the many people who’ve contributed to the writing and production of this book then, but for now I’d like to share with you the acknowledgments that appear in the print edition of the book.
To my students and colleagues at the University of Southern Queensland, who offer me inspiration and insight on a daily basis; who tolerate my eccentricities and help me to celebrate the small triumphs. This book would not exist without your support.
To my family. Mum, Dad, Shane, Aaraon, Asha, Rami, Tabatha, Fin, Candice, Rhys, Jade, Braden, IndyaRose, Aanika, Imogen, Ema-Lea and tiny Liam. You are the earth from which anything I grow arises.
To the incredibly diverse and widespread community of writers who offer me courage, laughter, wisdom, honesty and inspiration. I tried making a list of all of your names, but the acknowledgments threatened to become longer than the novel.
To my readers. I don’t know who (all of) you are, but I cannot thank you enough for making it possible for me to keep writing.
To Barry Scott and Penelope Goodes, who saw the glimmer in the tangle of words I sent them, and did all they could to make the manuscript shine. All the beauty is yours; any ugliness that remains entirely my own.
To my amazing Literary Lovelies, who are so much more than just a book club. Who have saved my life on numerous occasions by offering me a home, a meal, a bottle of wine, a cake, a shriek of laughter, a book. Maria Arena, Lee Kemp, Sarah Wright (all the Wrights!), Helen McKenna, Bek Jean. And the (very occasional) interloper from NZ, Megan Gordon.
And finally, and most emphatically, for Rebecca Jessen, who shines.