Journey of a Groningen Girl
I recently returned from Bali, having a highly successful launch in Ubud.The venue for the launch was the Anhera Hotel, a beautiful place in the centre of Ubud situated where the main focus of the festival activity occurred. That was very encouraging to begin with! A few days into the festival, banners started to appear and on the Anhera Hotel, a banner with the Lost Sister appeared, which was very moving for Malcolm and I. We really wished Anneke had been there to see it!The festival provided a lovely open venue with a large space, overlooking green fields and on the road below sat the festival headquarters.At the launch Malcolm and I both spoke and answered many wonderful questions about the book and about Anneke! The launch was attended by many local writers, Australians and Balinese Artists.It was so amazing to be part of the festival and be able to speak about the book and the artwork to so many people. While I was in Bali, many friendships were forged and I have returned with many ideas and contacts that will hopefully promote this novel and the new one, The Girl From Shay's Flat. Especially like to thank Marcela Romera, the amazing Mexican Storyteller, Dewa Atra, dancer and performer, Warwick Purser, the Festival patron for allowing us to stay at his villa, and for the beautiful dinner he put on for all the writers, Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, poet, teacher, lecturer and performer, Cassandra Lehman-Schultz and all the Bali artists who were interested in the project. Without these people things would have not been the same. I was so lucky to be encouraged by other great writers and to have been given the opportunity to launch at the festival. Thanks also to Alexandria, our book launch manager and to Jenni Caffin, Creative Producer for supporting my work and to Sandi Aranha (Sandy Ghandi, Comedian) for initially encouraging me to pursue this opportunity. Highlights for me were listening to the other writers telling their stories and discussing all things writing (and of course the issues and topics that we are drawn to as writers.) Izzeldin Abuelaish, Chris Abani, DCB Pierre, Juan Vasquez, Anita Heiss, Kanal Basu and Salena Godden all truly amazing and inspirational people and of course one of my favourites, singer songwriter Paul Kelly. It was wonderful to meet these writers, listen to their work and talk with them. I have returned refreshed and ready to get back on the saddle.
I have posted up some photos of the launch on the slide show. So it's been a busy year, Sydney and Bali launches, both successful, both sold books, more than I hoped for, and I will continue to get the story out there, hoping to launch in my home town in the months ahead.