Being in lockdown had some advantages – one of them was that I produced my first book. The book is Bowl the Maidens Over: Our First Women Cricketers and it’s about the first games of women’s cricket in Australia. It was received well by Gideon Haigh, which was a fabulous start for the book. You can read what Gideon had to say in his article in The Australian here.
Also in May, Dr Clare Roden, a cricket enthusiast herself, had me over as a guest on her blog where I talk about my inspiration for the book and share a short extract. It was a great start to have the book so well received by cricket enthusiasts and fellow authors.
As this was my debut book, and a self-published one at that, I found the publishing experience both harrowing and rewarding. There was so much to learn and so many different things to do, just to set up the ISBN and register all the details. In hindsight – I wish I’d spent more time learning about the details first! Luckily, I am no stranger to having a home business so I was able to pick things up eventually and manage the admin of the shop and other details. When you self-publish you essentially open a new business.
Another highlight for the month was attending the Frankston Arts Centre launch of Stories at the End of the Line, to find an excerpt of my story on display on the wall! Stories at the End of the Line is an anthology project that captured the Frankston community’s experiences during the Melbourne lockdown. My story was called ‘Phone calls’ and was about how I managed my mother’s sudden illness while wrangling family matters and coronavirus restrictions. It was certainly a piece from the heart.
On a lighter and final note, much to my delight, I was a Shadows Awards Finalist in the Best Edited category for Tricksters Treats 4:Coming, Buried or Not!, a book I co-edited with Geneve Flynn. I know people say they didn’t expect it and it was a shock, but I didn’t expect it and it was a shock!
This certainly felt like the biggest month in my writing career. After years of what seemed like rejection after rejection for my short fiction, it seemed that things were taking a brand new direction.