Yesterday’s not-a-launch

October 14th, 2018

Well yesterday was perfect weather for my not-a-launch. I sat outside the Hobart Bookshop with my teapot and my signing pens, and chatted to whoever turned up, and enough people came to make me feel wanted.

One of the nicest things was seeing people who come to every launch, who turn up year after year to say hello and buy books and take photos. Ella started off reading the Keepers when she was in Year 3, and is now in Year 11. I only see her once a year, but she feels a bit like an old friend. Same with Jacinta and Martyn, adult sister and brother who love fantasy (Jacinta took these pics).

And then there are friends, and teachers, and teachers who have become friends because of the books, including Mary who let me read the entire manuscript of Museum of Thieves to her Lauderdale primary school Year 5 class roughly ten years ago. It was an early draft of the book, so it was very different from what ended up being published. And part of that difference was due to her kids, who gave me feedback and talked about what they loved and didn’t love. I read it to them over two weeks, and their reaction was my first inkling that I had something fairly special on my hands.

Now it’s back to writing, and putting the finishing touches to the website. I think it’s pretty much done, though if you stumble across something that is not working, please let me know. The free-Keepers-story-for-subscribers is working at last (because I just tested it), but I don’t think people who subscribed earlier will have received it.

So if you’re a subscriber and you’d like to read ‘The Last Brizzlehound’, leave a comment and I’ll email it to you.

What am I reading?

For kids (middle-grade): Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George. This has similarities to Museum of Thieves, in that the rooms move around and change, according to the mood of the castle. It’s the story of Princess Celie, who is trying to map the changes. But when her parents disappear, her knowledge of the castle is the only thing that might save the kingdom. I really enjoyed this – Celie is a great heroine, the villains are loathsome and the ever changing castle is wonderful.

For adults: I found two terrific books this week. The first, Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, is the fictionalised story of Constance Kopp, one of America’s first female crime fighters. She’s a tall woman who has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into the country fifteen years ago. But when she comes up against a ruthless factory owner, she finds she has a knack for fighting back. It’s beautifully written, often funny, and Constance is one of those splendid heroines who suffers no fools.

The second was Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce, set in London in 1941. Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper, she seizes her chance. But after an unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine. Also well written, also funny, but immensely moving, too, in its depiction of London during the Blitz, and the way people coped with it.

6 thoughts on “Yesterday’s not-a-launch

  1. Brodie says:

    Hi Lian,
    Brodie here. I just saw your blog post when I logged on to my computer, and I just wanted to say thank you so, so, so much for being a writer. I remember when I read Museum of Thieves for the first time. I was probably in Year 4, and I remember reading and reading until the whole book was finished, and then I moved on to City of Lies. I think one of the main reasons I loved the Keepers so much was because they were unlike anything I’d ever read before. The characters were so interesting and different, and the plot was so intriguing and intricate. I wanted to be just like Goldie when I grew up, and I think at one point in Year 4 or 5 I was quite set on the idea of changing my name to Goldie…
    I’m in Year 9 now, and we have to pick a book we think should be added to the curriculum for our English assignment, and I knew straight away that Museum of Thieves would be the way to go. So, thank you again for being such an incredible writer, and writing books that would go on to change my life. A lot of the kids in my grade want to be engineers, but thanks to you, I know that I want to be a writer.
    From Brodie
    P.s could you possibly email me The Last Brizzlehound?

    1. Lian Tanner says:

      Hi Brodie! Every now and again I get a message that really touches me, and yours is one of them. I very much hope that when you are a writer you will get messages like this, because they are so special. And because all writers have days when they are completely miserable and have lost faith in themselves – and we need something to go back and look at, and remind ourselves that there’s a really good reason why we’re doing what we’re doing. (I’m not having one of those days at the moment, but I know they happen.) So thank you so much for letting me know that Museum of Thieves had such an impact on your life. And thank you also for suggesting it for the curriculum!

      The brizzlehound story will be in your email shortly.

  2. Lindsey Little says:

    Hi Lian,

    Congratulations on your not-a-launch yesterday – how thrilling!

    I’m sorry I could not make it. I was busy teaching some ballroom dancing. Pathetic excuse, I know, but we emerging writers must do something to pay the bills.

    Would you be so kind as to send me a copy of “The Last Brizzlehound”? My life has been distinctly lacking in brizzlehounds of late.

    And, if possible, could you send me a close-up picture of your teapot from yesterday? It looks distinctly as if it has great character, but it’s hard to tell from this angle.

    Many thanks. Much obliged.

    1. Lian Tanner says:

      Hi Lindsey, teaching ballroom dancing is pretty high on the list of excellent excuses. Definitely not one I’ve heard before. If I need to learn ballroom dancing, I will now know where to come. Brizzlehound and teapot Will be in your email shortly. Well, not the actual teapot. And not the actual brizzlehound. You know what I mean. xx

  3. sam says:

    hi Lian,
    i started reading museum of thieves a few months ago, instantly hooked, i am currently reading path of beasts, these books just keep on getting better and better! the one thing i don’t like about the series is the fact that it has an end, i could read these books for years if i was able to.
    (p.s. would you be able to send a copy of the last brizzlehound? i just really want to read as much of the keepers as possible!)

    1. Lian Tanner says:

      It’s so sad when a series ends, isn’t it? I feel that way too, even though I wrote them. That’s one of the reasons why it was so nice to go back and write The Last Brizzlehound. It’s on its way. 🙂

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