(That was the name of the newsagent my dad and I stopped at every day on the way to school when I was in grade two. My dad was the principal of Glenorchy Primary and I went to that school with him for one year, leaving Mt Nelson Primary and then returning to Mt Nelson in grade three when Dad was transferred to Blackman's Bay. Dad got News, I got Chews...it was a very satisfactory arrangement).
Anyhoo, this post is more about news than chews...
1. Breathe comes out in One Week in the US. Hope you've got your skates on and copy preordered at your neighbourhood bookstore (look, I can speak American!).
2. I'm working through the very final stages of Drift, so in a bit over a week, barring grave misfortune, it will be off to the printers. Hurray!
3. It would appear I will be signing a contract with another, very well known Australian publisher for a wee novel currently pencilled in for August. Very exciting. More news when it's all signed, sealed and delivered (well signed anyway).
4. Una had a smashing first day at creche yesterday, not a tear in sight and terribly excited when we came to pick her up, wanting us to look at everything in the room. What a relief. Though she is a bit naughty for not pining at least a smidgen. Martin hung around for a while until Frederique furtively requested that Martin go home, because Fred was Quite Capable of looking after Una thank you very much and Martin was cramping her style.
5. I think I may have mentioned there was a possible trip to India this March with Kate Constable (so we can be writerly ladies with suitcases and hats on an expedition and world adventure). Well, not to be (I wussed out, because Una still seemed a bit little for me to be in another country that soon), but now we are hoping for another overseas jaunt, maybe Kyoto in August. Maybe elsewhere. If anyone knows of a really great kids book event taking place in the world, please do let me know!
6. I have put a new tantaslising quote from Breathe in the right hand margin so you will all go, oh my goodness, I must read this great work (though of course you have already, but you might feel inspired to buy some extra copies just to decorate your home with) and added a nice little note about supporting independent booksellers. Independents are very important in the bookgame because they often support new authors in a way that the bigger chains won't. Bigger chains market what sells (and that is their way) and smaller sellers promote what they think is good and worth reading and should sell. So while I have no problem with the big chains (because often they will pick up books that have been successful with the independents and propel them into superstardom), and I think they play a very important role in the whole publishing cycle, it's the smaller players who need us to love them. Even if they are surly and antisocial Well, not all booksellers are like that, but I have met many a one who seem to find customers an inconvenience at best. But you don't have to be their friend. Just buy books. My books. And tell them how wonderful they are as you do so. Even if all you get is a frown or a grunt or a big lecture about how my books are actually TERRIBLE because Undine says crap and there's a bit of naughty business and well...just read the books and you can fill in your own angry bookseller rant. And really, most booksellers are actually very very nice people. Some of my best friends are booksellers. Well they're not, but they aspire to be. I myself was almost a bookseller on many an occasion.
7. The Taste of Lightning by Kate Constable (beautiful title, isn't it? I helped with one word) is out in February. So run don't walk. Seriously. I have my copy and have read the first page many times though I am banned from reading it till i finish Gilead. Only Kate Constable could write a book with 'cake of scented soap' and 'boot-blacking' on the first page. The Taste of Lightning is a spin off from Kate's Tremaris series but it stands alone, you can read it first and then buy the rest of the series. Ah, the flexibility.
And (for now) that is all.
Chews must be supplied by you and can include any of the confectionary, nut or biscuit families, fruit at a pinch. No sandwiches. I am not all for this wanton consumption of sandwiches at any o'clock. You can ahve them for lunch or for tea (high tea that is). And if you have them for tea they must be cucumber or asparagus rolls or maybe egg (but only if they are little triangles). Possibly chicken, but then you must cut them into fingers.