About two years ago I was driving to the supermarket when I had the thought ‘Hmm… what if I wrote a little book of poems about my year living in the Van?’
By the time I got home I decided this would be a good writing rehab project. Something to get me back into the joy of writing just for myself again after years spent on a PhD and other projects.
But as I made notes and wrote poems (often blurrily speaking the first draft or idea into my iphone while lying in bed in the wee hours), I began to get quite excited about it as a book as I enjoyed the process of collaging it together as a story and as a number of themes close to my heart started to emerge.
The idea of home, for instance, and belonging (not just who we be, but how we be).
The productive benefits of structure versus the lure of freedom.
And the fine line that often tantalises and shimmers between solitude and loneliness.
So here it is, due out 1st October through UWAPublishing. My first book in 18 years.
Vagabondage traces my journey from when I decided to sell my house and garden in Creswick, a small town in country Victoria, through to buying a van and going on the road, and wanders back and forth through parts of my childhood as the physical journey very rapidly also became an interior one.
I’m currently working out some launch possibilities in Sydney, maybe a small one on the central coast, and hopefully also something down in my home town of Melbourne — maybe even something along the way at my brother’s vineyard – the Shiraz Republic – in central Victoria.
So if you’d like to be kept in the loop and want to join in the fun, drop me a message and I’ll put you on the mailing list. Likewise please let me know if you have any suggestions for readings or events as I am looking forward to hanging up my recluse hat and being more social for a while. And if you’d like a review copy, contact UWAP.
Update: launch details!
— the Sydney launch will be at the Better Read Than Dead bookshop, 226 King Street, Newtown on Thursday 9th October at 6 for 6.30pm – launched by the wonderful Angelo Loukakis (author and Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors) with Claudia Taranto, from ABC Radio National’s 360 as contributing MC.
–Melbourne launch will be at Brunswick Bound bookshop, 361 Sydney Road, Brunswick on Thursday 23rd October – 6 for 6.30pm. Launcher yet to be arranged.
–And for those on the central coast who won’t be able to come to the Sydney launch, there will be a small garden-book-party/soiree at my house in Terrigal, 3 for 3.30pm on Saturday 11th October. Send me a message if you’d like to come to this.
All welcome but please RSVP to UWAP — < marketing-uwap [at] uwa [dot] edu.au > or 08 6488 6827 — at least a week beforehand if you’re coming, as space is limited and so we can get an idea for catering. (Or send me a message.)
Huge thanks to everyone involved in getting this book out — all at UWAP and especially Terri-ann White. I feel very fortunate that my book found such a good home.
And much love to those who read it in draft and cheered me on as a writer for so many years. With a big special mega-thanks to my Perth based friend and film-writer Ian Wansbrough for his insightful and painstaking feedback on drafts, and hours of stimulating chat on the phone. How lucky am I.
How to get a copy:
Vagabondage is currently available direct from UWAP’s website. Or in selected shops from October 1st. (If your local shop doesn’t have it, ask them to order a copy.)
Book clubs can get a 15% discount on six or more copies -- just use the discount codeBOOKCLUB15 on the checkout at the UWAP website.
*Or if you’d like a signed copy, let me know via the contact form and I’ll send you a paypal link to pay and then post you out a signed copy ($24.95 post-free within Australia).