The Blue was launched a year ago today to great fanfare at my bookshop: Rona Gallery. It had been in the shops for about a week beforehand and had already had a wonderful review in The Press.
Two-hundred people came - friends and family from near and far - my publisher Geoff Walker said lovely things and Damien Wilkins, who was my tutor at Victoria University, did a kind of Best Man's speech and got the audience rolling about delightedly.
I don't recall he said much about the book, although he did talk about the cover (the way the whale seems to be about to eat the Penguin and how this somehow represents the world of publishing and my little book ....or something like that.... ) and about how I was the Mother Hen of the MA class where I wrote much of The Blue.
We drank Marlborough wine, ate miniature fish pies and little egg sandwiches and finished up with fruit cake - just like Lilian in The Blue would have made. Close on two-hundred books were sold, which doesn't mean everyone bought one, although many did. My best friend Alexandra bought 20!
It was an unforgettable evening.
NB. The photos are of The Blue at Gleebooks in Glebe, Sydney. Gondal-Girl sent them to me recently - she is one those writers whose blogs I enjoy and who is a regular visitor to mine. She was excited to find The Blue on a shelf beside Canadian author Alistair MacLeod's book.
Interestingly, I see on her blog that it was Emily Bronte's birthday two days ago. And my daughter, Isabel, was 12 yesterday. So The Blue's in good company.