HOPE`S ROAD - It`s real ...

Introducing the stunning cover of my March 2013 release, HOPE'S ROAD. I have sincerely been blessed by the cover gods.

The page proofs for this book arrived at the local general store cum post office on Friday. As I was in Melbourne at the time, I didn’t call into the store and pick up our mail until Sunday. 

Standing at the tiny little counter in my dirty work boots, a pair of jeans and shirt that were grubby with milk slobber from the calves I’d been feeding, I finally laid eyes on the parcel I’d been sweating on arriving all week. There it was, sitting on the counter over which my family have been collecting their mail since the turn of the century.

Gathering it up with a slightly unsteady hand, I bolted for the truck and scooted home before I ripped open the parcel. I have discovered that these things are often better done surrounded by your family.

For the uninitiated, page proofs are laid out in the same way that your book will appear but printed on loose A4 sheets. So, this is the first time you see your labour of love (add blood, sweat and tears to that as well) of the last two years in the form that it will enter the world and fly away.

In our house this is a pretty moving moment, and I (predictably) always shed a few tears. My husband looks over my shoulder as I open the package. There’s a moment of silence while together we pay homage to this ‘thing’ that has, at times, turned our life upside down. I then invariably do my usual, ‘Oh my God, there it is …,’ followed by, ‘Did I really write that?’ My husband places his hand on my shoulder, gives it a little squeeze, and quietly says, ‘Well done, Hon.’ My boys yell, ‘Mum! Is that your book? Which one?’ to which the eight year old princess will always reply, ‘It’s blah blah, silly,’ because she has my writing career categorically filed in her head; all the which is which and what is what (much better than even her mother!) … and then … well, life rolls on. The moment of revelation and poignancy is gone, but I can say not lost.

Later at night when all the troops are in bed, I will sneak back up to the kitchen where the manuscript sits incongruously on the bench. I gather it up, curl myself into a comfy leather chair under a blanket, and in the quiet of the sleeping house I slowly flick through each page, reacquainting myself with the story, the characters. They all look so swish and removed from my creative pen now, I wonder again, ‘Is this truly mine?’

And the answer comes as I turn the last page, stack the pile and refasten with its thin rubber band. HOPE’S ROAD isn’t mine, because now, finally, it’s becoming yours.

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