September 16, 2015

To launch or not to launch?

I wondered whether to even have a book launch for Long Bay – with the first book it seems mandatory, but second time around you wonder if it is a little self-indulgent. Book launches used to be covered by publishers, but now it is generally the author’s responsibility. Which explains the absence of champagne magnums and shirtless waiters. In the end, I decided it would be worthwhile because so many people helped me with the research and stories behind Long Bay and it would be a chance to have as many of them as possible in one place and say thank you.
My PhD supervisor, the very talented author Debra Adelaide, did the launching and rather than have a traditional speech we had a short question and answer session about the novel, and a brief reading where I also sang – simply because there was a song lyric in the section I was reading and I felt like it would be a cop-out to speak it. I do not have a tuneful singing voice. I apologise to anyone who was there and has sustained hearing damage as a result.DSC_9516

I think people are smiling because I’ve stopped singing.

I was particularly glad that the Rebecca Sinclair’s relatives were there – it must have been strange for them to have a writer take their grandmother and great-grandmother’s story and create fiction with it. They were very understanding and generous, which I was so glad of.
Rebecca’s descendants, including her granddaughter Christine Jensen (holding the novel) and great-granddaughter Annette O’Bree to the right of Christine.

Then came the best part, the wine. Or not, if you’re sitting behind a table signing books, with adrenaline making your hand shake so it looks as though a six-year-old signed them.

DSC_9537There we go. It was fun, truly. My mother was visiting from the US and I think the best part of it all was being able to say thank you to her in front of a room full of people. Because we live thousands of miles (and even more kilometres) apart I rarely have that opportunity.

So launches are not so bad, after all. A special thanks goes out to my friend Sarah Rowan Dahl for taking these photographs on the night. And to you for reading this. Just be glad I didn’t sing it to you.


Victoria Newport

I was lucky enough to be able to attend both book launches and get the opportunity to have my copies signed by you in person. I also understand your point on whether it is required. I think it is but I don’t think there needs to be the wine and nibbles, just a chance to see you in person, to hear your voice and have you explaining about the book. I thought the questions and answers was a nice touch and your singing worked in perfectly with your reading, very nice and overall I totally enjoyed the experience.

September 16, 2015 at 12:44 pm


My sister and I have really enjoyed Long Bay. Any prospects of a sequel?

September 23, 2015 at 5:09 pm


    Thank you Cathy, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed Long Bay. I have not really considered a sequel but I’ll ponder that, meanwhile my next project will also be historical fiction but from a slightly different era. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

    September 28, 2015 at 10:49 am


Hi Eleanor, I am sorry I missed your second launch. I have just finished reading Long Bay and wanted to let you know I loved it. I’m sure my family will be glad to have me back after a week or so of me saying “I’m just going to read my book”. I was totally swept up in Rebecca’s story and your re-imagination of her life.
Lots of my family will be getting it for Christmas!
Can’t wait for the next book.
Bec xx

October 10, 2015 at 8:17 pm

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