At long last …

Nov 4, 2017 | 6 comments

Back in February, during my first meeting with the publisher, the Old Boy suggested that we ask Tim Costello, the CEO of World Vision in Australia, to speak at the book launch. We laughed.  (It was always my dream to have something from World Vision at the back of the book, as their rehabilitation work with child soldiers was the inspiration for my story.) The publisher said  I should contact Mr Costello and ask him to write a foreword, or an endorsement for the books. We laughed again. I thought he was joking.

At the end of August, when I handed in my proofs, the publisher said, “Have you heard from Mr Costello, yet?”
I felt as though I’d been slapped across the face with a wet fish. He hadn’t been joking!

I had no idea how to contact Mr Costello so I got out the big guns (Google) and did some searching. Somehow I ended up on a chat line with a helpful young lady who said she’d send me the email address of Mr Costello’s PA. I then emailed that person, who seemed interested in my project and suggested I send her a copy of the book. I only had an old self-published version of the first book, but it went in the post that day.

Several weeks later I asked how things were progressing. She said my book hadn’t arrived. Aarrggh! I asked the publisher to make contact – perhaps they thought he was a figment of my imagination – and he sent a digital version of the books. Then, a few days later he sent a mock-up of the covers and the endorsements that will go on the back.

We then waited … Waited … The PA found my book in her pigeon hole. Who knows where it had been; maybe someone had taken it to read. Friends finished their books and announced their launches and we still waited … Waited …

We’d done the edits and the rewrites, we’d paid the artist for the book covers and still we waited. Pressure was mounting. We’d originally planned to launch the books in October and now we were running out of year!

Some people said I shouldn’t expect a positive reply. Mr Costello had turned down similar requests in the past. I also thought it wouldn’t happen. I thought he’d just say, “Who is she?” and then say, “Nope!” After all, who has ever heard of a young adult fantasy novel having a foreword?!!!

I did some desperate praying but nothing happened. (Note to atheist friends: it’s how I roll.) I told God I was a bit over this “patience” thing and suggested I could learn something else instead, like: how to deal with unexpected riches or, how to get a “yes” to every prayer without it going to my head.

Finally, yesterday morning I lost faith, hope and even a bit of charity. I told the publisher that if we hadn’t heard anything by the end of the day, I’d like us to cut our losses. I wanted to have a book launch this side of Christmas.

At 5pm last night I heard from the publisher: Mr Costello had sent something! We are going to put it as a Postscript at the back of the book; just as I had always dreamed it would be. (I’ve never told the publisher that.) So … another lesson for me of little faith.

If you can come, the launch will be on Friday, December 1st, 6.30pm, in the hall of Immanuel Lutheran church, Archer Street, North Adelaide. It’s in the heart of the city, so it’s handy for everyone. There will be two guest speakers, Dr Lynn Arnold of Anglicare and well-known author, Rosanne Hawke. There’ll also be a wonderful dragon cake, made by a very talented friend of mine. It’d be great to see you there. Either RSVP here or look for the formal invitation on Facebook.

Moral: don’t give up.


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