Well well well, who knew a promo tour could be so much fun huh? I wasn't exactly sure what a writers promo tour would entail, I mean, I assumed that there would be vast quantities of A-grade cocaine, plasma screen TVs thrown out of 5 star hotel windows and fistfights with police, but other than that the details were blurry.
Melbourne, just so you know, I have a big crush on you. I mean, I'm in a committed relationship with Brisbane, but I do like sneaking down and visiting you on a no strings basis. Thanks for providing a capacity crowd for the launch event too. Oh and that cougar hitting on me was a nice bonus too. If I had been single, a few years older, and not rendered almost unconscious by the potency of her discount perfume I may have taken the bait.
I also got to make with the tourist styles and visit the penguins on Phillip Island, they ban the use of cameras, but here is a dramatised re-enactment:
We also met the King of the Penguins (aka head of the board of trustees for the penguin protection society) who regaled us with delightful tales of the various gruesome murders that have occurred in the small community of Phillip island. Apparently a man he used to have dinner with carved an 'A' in the chest of his adulterous wife and dumped her in the ocean. What a heart-warming story, I'm surprised they haven't made a telemovie about it.
I also saw Red Symons in a couple of bookstores. Unfortunately he wasn't dressed like this:
On the plane from Melbourne to Sydney I had the distinct pleasure of sitting next to a female body building champ from New York. She had arms the size of telegraph poles, and would not shut up about her newly acquired puppy. I wasn't about to tell her to pipe down so I could grab some shut eye though, she would have crushed me more easily than bad reviews crush my fragile eggshell ego.
I'm also very fond of Sydney, but there's a lot of bad memories for me here too. I lived in Sydney for a couple of months in 2003 and I was hanging out with a bad crowd. By which I mean actors. Seriously people, if you can at all avoid it, never date a TV actor. (Seriously Jovita Lee Shaw, I don't care if you did have a recurring role on Mcleod's daughters, if you spent all your money on champagne and fancy lingerie don't come crying to me about being broke when rent day comes round.)
I dropped into the Dymocks on George st and was proud to see my book located so close on the shelves to Nick Cave's new novel. However, I decided it looked a lot better in front of some other book that had been shortlisted for a major literary award. I think the staff moved it back though, the bastards.
By strange coincidence, internationally best selling author Matthew Reilly was there signing copies of his new book, THE FIVE GREATEST WARRIORS. This is the sequel to THE SEVEN ANCIENT WONDERS and THE SIX SACRED STONES. No doubt it will be followed by THE FOUR IMPERTINENT HOOLIGANS or something similar. I got him to sign MY novel instead of his. He proudly proclaimed it "the greatest book I've never read."
Of course, I did have to buy one of his books in order to get his attention. I got that signed too. It's listed on ebay here.
The launch event at Sydney was another capacity crowd, this time held at the NSW writers centre, which is ironically located on the grounds of an abandoned lunatic asylum. It's quite pretty though, I could certainly think of worse places to suffer from severe delusional paranoia.
PS a big thankyou to all the authors I toured with. You can check out their brilliant and original work at the Interactive Publications website.