April the first is a double whammy in our house: you get your usual first of the month “pinch ’n’ punch” followed by the “slap and a kick for being so quick” (not sure if this extra slap-kick bit is a world-wide phenomenon or just our I-will-get-you-back-even-if-we-have-to-invent-a-new-level-of-acceptable-violence kinda family), and then there’s the April Fool’s Day pranks. This year, like the rest of the world, was a little different due to COVID-19 self-isolation. It lost its usual zang. There were no strategies, just the lame launching of pincered fingers and loose-gripped fists missing its target.
The best thing happened. (No, not winning against my kids in our pinch-punch calendar trend.) Drum roll, audience applause, sirens, lights—everyone out there please make some NOISE.
I signed my first ever book publishing contract.
With a world-wide publisher.
Think: J.K Rowling. Stephen King. James Patterson. John Grisham. And many more incredible authors all published by Hachette. Even though I’m a teeny fish in a very big Hachette pond, I’m STOKED. Stoked to be signed by a large traditional publishing company. Stoked to be working with one of Hachette’s fantastic editors. Stoked that one day I will see my book in stores with my name printed on it, titled The Upwelling.
In 2017, the idea for this book came to me while I was surfing at Kirra (Gold Coast, Australia). I wondered—could I even write a novel? Then I decided to go for it—the plan was to write it and enter a competition (black&write! Fellowship) with the State Library of QLD at the end of the year because you could win a publishing opportunity with Hachette.
So I did.
And I won.
From May 2018 to May 2019, I worked with the black&write editing team on my manuscript and send it to Hachette to see if my publishing opportunity would arise.
Sometimes an unrealised dream can hit you like a set wave.
Never give up on it. If it can happen for me, it can happen for you. Ideas can come anywhere, any time. They’re seeds. Water them. Nurture them. And never underestimate that you too are an incredible brilliant creature. If no one has told you before, I’m telling you now. Maybe you’re like me and you’d been too busy to find your “thing” or the right garden to blossom in.
Thank you to everyone who have supported me, believed in me, and cheered me on. When all of this COVID-keep to yourself and keep inside subsides, we’ll chink and drink and celebrate together.