Monday was an exciting day. After much hard work, a few little hiccups and the wonderful input from all at Allen and Unwin (namely Siobhan Cantrill, Louise Thurtell) Purple Roads arrived in my mailbox.
You know, it’s funny. I thought I’d rip off the mailbag, tear open the packages and stare at it. I didn’t. I thought I might cry, but I didn’t.
I held it in my hand for a while, feeling the weight and knowing what was inside. I had all sorts of emotions coursing through me; excitement, happiness, relief, and probably a little sadness too. After all, I’ve finished with these characters who have been my friends for the last twelve months or so.
But I didn’t open the parcel.
Driving into school, where I was picking up my daughter for an orthodontist appointment, it sat on my lap. The whole way in I kept glancing down, thinking about the last year and how somehow, some way, I’d managed to get to the end product.
Suddenly I started to feel proud.
I had actually written this book. I’d jumped over so many hurdles to get to this stage and here it was, finally finished, with as much love and passion I could throw at it. This was the book I’d written for my parents.
I pulled up at the school and left the post bag on the front passengers seat of the car. When my daughter opened the door, it was the first thing she saw. She knew exactly who had sent it and what was in it, the moment she looked at it.
‘Want to open it?’ I asked her.
She did. So it was Rochelle who held the book first, who ran her hand over the cover and smiled. I wanted her to do that, because, although it may have been me who actually typed the words, the kids and the boss help out in ways they don’t even realise. They hang out the washing if I haven’t and they ask me questions about the characters that sometimes make me think. They love me.
It’s them who have to put up with me when my imaginary friends aren’t talking to me, aka writers block, or when I have ideas in the middle of a conversation and I have to rush to write them down – this can be rather disconcerting for someone who hasn’t had a conversation with me before!
The kids and the boss are as involved in this writing caper as much as I am.
It’s amazing to see the three books together, and even though they aren’t a series, they look like it and I love every cover.
For me, Purple Roads is drawing to a close. It’s finished and it’s time to start on Silver Gums.
For you, as a reader, it’s just starting and I hope with all my heart, you enjoy this book as much as I did writing it and I hope you’ll let me know.
Oh and by the way, I’ve only just realised this, thanks to Rochelle. What colour does red and blue make?! Not intentional I assure you!