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The rush: an advance copy arrives

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Last night I did a happy dance. On the spot, feet drumming the floor, a yowl of joy wanting out. And this is why. A package arrived. A big brown package with a Walker Books sticker on it. I sat on the couch with my two older kids. I felt giddy with anticipation. I pulled the little red cord and…carefully removed one advance hardback copy of Megumi and the Bear.

Honestly, I’ve never felt so excited holding a book in my hands. Why this is I’m not sure. After all, it’s not my first. But there’s something about the way this story arrived in a rush — a kind of gift. And the pleasure of working with the illustrator, my dear friend Craig Phillips. And perhaps it is also that I can share it — truly share it — with my children.

As we sat together on the couch we were about to read another chapter of the Famous Five (they are madly obsessed, and we are devouring the series in chunks every evening) before my husband placed the package in my lap. So when my nine-year-old — who is really too old for this book, and has already read it multiple times at draft and proof stages — said, ‘Let’s read your book first, Mum’, I felt a small thrill.

Read More »The rush: an advance copy arrives

And so we read the book together.

Megumi and the bear play hide-and-seek.
Megumi hides carefully and tries to make her breathing quiet.
But the bear always finds her.

‘That’s because the bear can sniff her out!’ my six-year-old son said with a grin, and we all laughed.
‘It still makes me sad when the bear goes away,’ my daughter said after we’d finished. ‘But then it’s happy in the end.’

And I’m happy, too. So damn happy the grin won’t be wiped.

Delivery day

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deliveryIf this arrived on your doorstep would you feel terrified? Because I did. Terrified and excited all at once. Why? Because I knew what was inside that little parcel sitting innocuously on my doorstep. Advance copies of The Invisible Thread.

Inside I place the parcel carefully on the dining room table. I pick up the scissors, and cut.

The first emotion I feel when I open it is a little bit relieved. The cover looks just as I imagined it would from the proofs, better even. The texture of Judy Horacek’s illustration invites touch. And I do, holding it in my hands like some foolish, lovesick teen.

Then I feel a little bit proud. Of all the unseen work that has gone into this book. The days, nights, weekends I’ve invested in it, sometimes even working in my sleep. And all the others (so many of them) who’ve worked in different ways to transform this book from a bold idea into a tangible object with that delicious new book smell.

Read More »Delivery day

And right now I’m trying not to feel a little bit trepidatious. Because copies will soon be boxed up and delivered to bookstores around the country, sent out for review. Come 22 October this anthology will be public property. In the meantime I’m trying to enjoy this private moment. To simply feel grateful that I’ve been part of such an incredible project.

It looks beautiful, don’t you think?