Yesterday morning I left my luggage in a locker at Southern Cross Station and continued on to Fed Square for my session, Family Matters. By the time I found the Green Room I was much later than I’d anticipated, but luckily, I did make it to my session on time. I hope I managed to appear cool, calm and collected by the time the kids filed in.
Amra looked striking in a brightly coloured dress and bright red coat, in contrast to my purple and black. Ruby is tall and slim and is the sort of person who looks elegant even in jeans, and she chaired the session with grace and professionalism. She gave a (brief) bio about us both, then asked each of us to tell the audience about our books and read an extract.
We discussed, among other things, the degree to which our work was informed by our own lives, how people have reacted to our novels, and to what extent they recognise themselves in our stories. We also talked about the fact that what kids grow up believing is so much a result of their upbringing and the families who raise them, and that there comes a time when they themselves begin to realise this.
The audience were terrific – very interested and attentive. I’m not sure exactly which schools were represented, but I did recognize the uniforms of The King David School (Year 9 was there) and Xavier College – it was great to know that boys too are reading my book despite the ballerina on the cover.
After the session I got to meet Kirsty Murray (yay!) – she’d come to see Ruby, her daughter, who did her proud – and we had a nice chat.
Brisbane greeted me last night with lovely warm weather. I arrived too late to attend the Qld Premier's Literary Awards, though I was chuffed to be invited. This morning I met Fiona Wood and we had breakfast together. Just bought her book, Six Impossible Things, and am looking forward to reading it. Also met Dave Hackett and Rebecca Sparrow.
My session went well. I was introduced and interviewed by Joy Lawn, longstanding member of the
CBCA and current judge of the fiction award for younger readers. She's really gentle and softly spoken.
The kids were fabulous. They were really engaged, and their questions were intelligent and thoughtful. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.