It sounds so glamourous, doesn’t it? A book tour to far-flung and exotic places, where hordes of eager readers come to listen to me speak and then queue for hours waiting for me to sign their books.
Well, I had a little book tour last week. Yes, it was to somewhere far-flung and exotic – I’d never even heard of the place when I received an email inviting me to visit. So, where did I go?Paris? Melbourne? No, Kalannie.
For all you uneducated souls (and yes, I was one until about 3 months ago) who have no idea where Kalannie is, it’s a Wheatbelt town about three and a half hours north-east ofPerth. There may only be about three hundred people in Kalannie but there are a lot of readers there. And so it is in country towns in general it seems.
It all began a few months ago when a lovely and entrepreneurial friend of mine, who just happens to live in Moora, decided that she could easily help make life more interesting for those living in far away places. She invited me to come up for a morning of coffee, cake and books – she and her friends would drink the coffee and eat the cake and I would talk about my book.
That morning in Moora I spoke to a full-to-bursting café and sold out of copies of What is Left Over, After. I remember saying to my friend afterwards what an amazing morning it had been and how it was not uncommon to speak at an event inPerth and have a quarter of the number of people attend and sell only a handful of books.
Kalannie proved to be the same. A large group of lovely ladies, every single one of whom had read my book before I came to speak to them and so were able to ask insightful, thought-provoking and often very funny questions. We had a ball. And to top it off, I didn’t get lost on the way there, I didn’t run over any kangaroos and a complete stranger put me up for the night at her farm and didn’t murder me (she did tell me she’d always wanted to write a book about a severed head in a fridge but I’m sure that was a joke).
So a big thank you to wonderful book reading country people – long may your towns and your book reading communities flourish!