Last Saturday at Frankston Library my short story collection Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract was officially launched alongside friend and fellow IFWG Publishing Australia author, Kathryn Hore’s suspense thriller, The Wildcard.
It was such a fun afternoon, filled with family, friends, and well wishers. There were themed cupcakes, plenty of bubbles, book sales and signings. We kicked off with an ‘in conversation’ FRANKTalk, followed by speeches, a reading, and general merriment.
There’s a lot of people to thank when you bring a book baby into the world, so I’m posting a copy of my speech here to leave a cyber footprint of my gratitude 🙂
I ’d like to give special thanks to Marnie and the team at Frankston Library. Marnie has one of the best jobs in the world, I reckon – interviewing authors for her FRANKTalk series of interviews and she has the versatility to make everyone feel comfortable – from writers like Kate and myself to the likes of Sir General Peter Cosgrove.
While I write across several genres, this collection represents what I love best: dark, speculative fiction that unsettles and unnerves. The stories in Coralesque have been distilled from a period spanning approximately a decade, and represent a range of styles and sub genres. I feel most ‘myself’ writing the types of stories I love to read, so I hope you enjoy reading them too.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it certainly takes a good team to bring a book baby into the world. To this end, I extend my heartfelt thanks to Gerry Huntman for adding Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract to IFWG Publishing’s distinguished list of titles. While IFWG publish speculative and children’s literature for wide-ranging readerships, Gerry is one of the industry’s champions when it comes to supporting and representing Antipodean women in horror.
Naturally, my thanks and gratitude extend to the whole production team at IFWG Publishing, including my copy editor, Noel Osualdini (a talented author of dark fiction in his own right) whose thoughtful suggestions and eagle-eyed professionalism tightened screws to deliver an extra layer of polish to Coralesque. If you like your tales dark and weird – and I hope you do – you simply must check out Noel’s collection Train Wreck and other Stories, a superbly-crafted volume released by another fabulous Australian press, Things in the Well.
And to Steven Paulsen—that gifted gentleman of horror—thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generous introduction to this collection. I am so incredibly humbled and honoured by your gracious and perceptive words. When I first read Steven’s introduction, I had mixed emotions: overwhelming gratitude closely followed by the realisation that Steve’s intro may well be the best writing in the book! No seriously, it actually is! Steve is also published through IFWG, and his Shadows Award winning collection “Shadows on the Wall” deserves a special place on every discerning bookcase.
To my friends and family, and my various dear writing communities – many of you are here today, who encourage and support me, I thank you too. Your contributions are as varied as they are valued.
To Kate, who I am so honoured to stand beside. You’re a great friend and such a talented author. Congratulations! I’m loving The Wildcard, and I can’t wait to read your next one…and your next one. Watch this girl, everyone! She’s destined for literary greatness. And she’s worked damned hard for it.
To Thomas and Steve. The unsung heroes of my writing life. Always there in so many ways – giving me time to write, even when I disappear for days at a time to focus on projects. Bringing me coffee…and wine. Cheering me on for the smallest of successes, and casting darkest aspersion on the countless rejection letters. Not just following my dreams, but believing in them. Believing in me. Steve actually asked me the other week. “When are you going to dedicate a book to me?” (Curtis Creed was dedicated to Thomas, and this one to my parents). The next one is for you, Steve. It needs to be a robust and multi-layered book to be worthy of your dedication, and I truly believe my current project can live up. I don’t want to do a David Rose and Patrick on you, but “you’re simply the best.”
Finally, you may have noticed this book is dedicated to my parents, who are here today as well, from Tasmania. To Mum and Dad, I could write a whole other book celebrating my gratitude for you, and the many ways you’ve helped me succeed in life. Instead, I’ll simply say my biggest thanks go to you – as I say in my dedication – for absolutely everything.
Big thanks also go to Kathryn’s husband Mark for photographing the launch. I’ve included some highlights in this blog.
And of course, a big thank you to everyone who came to the launch, has purchased Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract, helped spread the word, or taken the time to leave a review. I greatly appreciate your support!
Until next time,
Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days…