Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I’m grateful for love in Brisbane (Part One)

The more I visit Bris-Vegas, the more I fall in love with the city. My growing infatuation is increased through the love I receive from locals... and with that I mind, tonight I have much to be grateful for. This is the first of three blogs related to my recent trip to the Sunshine State.

1. AVID READER: Many of you will already be aware that I am a HUGE fan of Avid Reader in West End, because it is one of the country’s top independent booksellers. I always feel loved in their store and my visit last week was no different as my friend and author Krissy Kneen (who was a guest blogger her a few weeks ago and is pictured with me above) threw me a wonderful launch for Paris Dreaming. Hey Krissy, what was in that ‘pink drink’?

A cosy venue, the room was filled with family, friends, and Avid Reader fans as well. And after a day of feeling frustrated as a writer, and almost ready to throw the towel in, I found my zest for the writerly life simply by stepping through the Boundary Street doors. The pic above includes my cousin Bev and her nieces Gracie and Susie and brother-in-law Tom. It was great to meet them.

My long-time tidda, Jackie Huggins, stepped up like never before to deliver one of the best launch speeches I have ever heard, and I’ve heard some in my time! It’s a struggle for Jackie NOT to be funny, she’s just so damn good at it, and her words on yours truly and Paris Dreaming were no less hilarious than her words about the previous novels of mine she’s launched. I’m grateful for her generosity of spirit, but more so the inspiration she gives me. I’ve never seen Jackie lose her temper in all the years I’ve known her. There is definitely going to be a wise Murri Aunty in the next novel... a book some seem to want to call The Gap Dreaming. The jury is out on that one... Pic below of Jackie and I at Avid Reader.

3. SMART STUDENTS: During my trip to Brisbane, I participated in my inaugural ‘student press call’ at 612 ABC Brisbane, where I was cleverly grilled by three students – Jocelyn, Caitlyn and Yuji (pictured above) - from Queensland Academy for Science, Maths and Technology. They each threw intelligent and probing questions at me over thirty minutes, guided by broadcasting dynamo Madonna King. I really enjoyed the experience and am grateful for the opportunity to yarn with such inspiring and focussed students. To be honest, they were so smart I felt very nervous! You can hear the whole interview right here.

4. WALTER WILLIAMS: Brisbane locals will know the sexy tones of Walter Williams on 4BC each night, but it was a real treat for me to meet him for the first time. I was most impressed by this fella because he’d actually read my ‘chick-lit’ novel while soaking in the bath (there were water stains on it). The book had tagged pages which he referred to throughout the interview asking me, at times, some rather risqué questions. I’m glad Mum couldn’t hear the interview back here in Sydney. Kudos to you Wally (pictured with me above). Love your work! Love your shirt.

5. MURRI COUNTRY: What a bonus to get to yarn with Karen Dorante on Murri Country, 98.9FM. The stunning new studios in West End were full of budding young broadcasters learning the craft. It was also a bonus to bump into one of my favourite poets there, Samuel Wagan Watson. I’m grateful that within their broadcasting schedule they found room to yarn with a girl from Matto.

6. WARM WELCOMES: Part of the ‘hard-slog’ of being on a book tour means dropping into bookstores to sign stock. Each and every time I was greeted with a smile and friendliness. I am particularly grateful to Riverbend Books and Mary Ryans at Bullimba and Dymocks and Borders at Westfield Chermside.

The highlight of the trudge from store to store was bumping into the gorgeous Jessica Rudd (pictured with me above) while at Riverbend Books. She’s the author of Campaign Ruby, which I highly recommend reading if you haven’t already. I love how Jess’s dress matches the cover of Paris Dreaming.

Hey speaking of fabulous bookstores... I’d love to know what yours is? And where?


Krissy Kneen said...

pink drink is bookseller term for vodka with a little bit of pink tiro in it. Just lurk at the bookshop counter at about 3pm every day during December and you will see copious amounts of pink drink consumed. Glad you had fun with us beautiful Anita. x

Dr Anita Heiss said...

I'm planning my December right now for that pink drink happy hour at your place Ms Kneen! XX

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