Book Launch – Rosanne Hawke

Last night I was extremely honoured to be part of a book launch for Rosanne Hawke‘s two books ‘Wolfchild’ and ‘Across the Creek’ being republished by Stone Table Books.

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It was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a panel with Rosanne and two other illustrators, D.M Cornish (whom I’m sure many know as the author an illustrator of the Monster Blood Tattoo books — he illustrated the front cover for Wolfchild), and also Emily Bensted who did the beautiful interior illustrations for Wolfchild. Seriously, you need to see them, they’re stunning!! She is so talented.

The panel was really fun. I got my words tied up a bit, but I think, as I have more opportunities to speak, I’ll get better at not tripping over my tongue so often.

I was so honoured to do a cover for Rosanne. It felt as though I can come full circle in a way. It feels like a lifetime ago now that I was attending Tabor University as a student in Creative Writing, back then, I was just beginning to feel the effects of my fibromyalgia but we still didn’t know what was going on with my health and I was just gradually getting worse. I kept pushing on with Uni though, as best as I could.
Rosanne was one of my lecturers and we both recall the conversation in which she showed me the cover of Wolfchild and how she hoped to someday redo the book – I said something about how, someday, it would be wonderful to redo it for her.

Life went on. My health got worse and I left Uni without finishing my Creative Writing degree. It was an immensely depressing time, but I surged onward, publishing my own work and keeping on doing what was before me despite my health. Drawing, while such a HUGE passion of mine became very taxing on my body, I simply wasn’t able to keep it up to the extent that I needed to to keep up the skill level. So — it went by the wayside.

Until now. Until Stone Table Books contacted me.
I kid you not, three months before Stone Table Books contacted me I had decided to start drawing again, with great vigour, I went and got myself a little Wacom Tablet (because my big cintiq had died) to work on. My work wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I was pretty sad that I had lost a lot of skills over the years, but I was determined to get skilled again.
Then, Stone Table Books contacted me and I was just…overwhelmed.

Rosanne remembered me. She wanted me to do a cover for her!

Years of wondering why – why do you take particular roads and paths that seemingly lead nowhere. Sometimes you end up at a dead end and have to turn back. Sometimes you’re left wandering around, endlessly trapped pondering what you’re supposed to be doing.

And it is lonely when a puzzle piece falls into place than you can look back in hindsight and see where all the puzzle pieces have fallen before to lead to the finished picture before you.

Last night was so much more than a Book Launch to me. It showed me that while I feel the past ten years have been meaningless wandering — it hasn’t been — the puzzle pieces are falling into place.

So, thank you Rosanne and Stone Table Books.

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Oz Comic Con Adelaide

Oz Comic Con Adelaide wrapped up on Sunday. I’ve spent Monday in recovery mode. Just chilling. The weather right now is truly beautiful. Autumn. I love Autumn. The sky feels richer in its blue, the air crisp, and the chill of Winter is just beginning to set in. It’s lovely.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I am so grateful to everyone who came along to visit me at my booth, to all those who purchased my novel. Thank you. Thank you so much! It was such an honour. I hope the adventure you have embarked upon brings you great joy as you read it.

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This year my little sister helped with bump-in.
I am immensely blessed to have such a tolerant family, who accept the craziness of my life, and just how much I enjoy what it is that I do and the geeky-culture that I immense myself in. I am sure its difficult, at times, for them to fully understand it, but they accept it and enjoy it along with me anyway.
I wouldn’t have been able to set up without Mel. So, thank you Mel for the help. It really meant a lot to me that you came along. I am SO GLAD we found that trolley and didn’t have to carry the boxes of books.

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Anyone notice that our glasses match our hair colour?

It was my Dad who took the time out of his weekend to keep me company and help man-the-booth on Saturday and Sunday morning, missing church. Dad works away from Adelaide during the weeks, in Whyalla, and only has the weekends home, so as you can imagine, his weekends are rather precious, and he spent his weekend at Oz Comic Con. So, an immense thanks goes to my Dad as well.
My little sister popped in on Sunday afternoon so Dad could visit my grandparents, and she manned-the-booth during the time I did a talk with some fellow indie authors. Which went very well, I feel, and if you did attend, let me know what you thought!

Saturday morning, when Dad and I arrived early — my favourite time, because I can run around freely without a crowd — I skipped happily between all the stalls looking at all the amazing things. I don’t have a great camera on my phone anymore so uploading to social media has become difficult, hence my silence over the weekend.

It was lovely to see so much artistic stuff going on, walls you could draw on, Anime station you can scribble at happily.

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I drew Sami on the Scribble Wall.

It is difficult to leave a booth that is fitted between two other booths. So all the photos I do have tend to be taken from behind my booth once the show starts.
Thankfully I had some visitors.
Deadpool dropped by. Which was awesome.

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And then there was this amazingly well crafted Toothless along with incredible cosplays from How To Tame a Dragon. Seriously. Look at the work they put into everything. They could even ride Toothless. Genius.

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I am always so impressed by cosplay. What people dress up as, the level of detail they’ll go into, and who they’ll come along as. It is magical, inventive, and colourful.

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Half the fun of a convention is sharing a ‘street’ of the Artist Alley with wonderful, creative people who love the convention circuit just as much. I did take a photo of our ‘street’ but it blurred beyond recognition (like I said, terrible phone camera). dsc05023_zpsowaninpq

My Dad said something interesting to me while I was debating about getting an autograph. He said: “This only happens once a year (or twice, depending if I do Supanova), and it makes you happy.”
And its true. To be brutally honest, I don’t have any friends (at least here in Aussieland) in which to geek out over Anime, or Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and gaming. No one to play Dungeons and Dragons with monthly. As Karen said in our talk, ‘writing can be a very lonely job’ and sadly, I’ve just ended up a bit isolated because, one, I’m naturally introverted, and two, my health caused me to seclude myself away.
And it is only now, that I’ve matured a bit more, and learnt some techniques to cope, that I’m trying harder to get out and about — to ‘make friends’ which is *really* hard. If anyone has a magical formula for it, I’d appreciate this knowledge.

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Do things that make you happy.
Go to conventions. Go for walks. Watch a movie. Read a book. Play a game.
Even the tiniest things can bring joy sometimes, in the dimmest of moments.  There can be a flower growing in your garden, a single flower, and it can bring on a smile.
Or, perhaps, this is just me. I do not know.
However, that is what I learnt from this weekend, to remember happiness is still there if I seek to find it.