Books and saying goodbye to them
During the week I received an email from a mother who had been searching for a copy of my third picture book Flame Stands Waiting, illustrated by Sebastian Ciaffaglione and published in 2010 by Black Dog Books.
For this mother, a new niece had just been born in Tasmania and she had decided to buy the new baby a copy of her 14 year old daughter’s favourite book – which happened to be Flame Stands Waiting.
A reprint for Flame is under consideration by Walker Books Australia and the mother contacted me as she was desperate to find a copy.
In my personal stock I knew I had only 2 copies left, saving them for the right person. As it turned out, this family live only a kilometre away (a bit freaky) so they came and collected the signed book as well as bringing the daughter’s treasured copy which I also signed.
To top this off a neighbour wanted to send some of my books to her grandchildren in London – she checked my website and came in with her requested list yesterday. On it was Flame Stands Waiting . . . so went my final copy, along with quite a collection including the second last hard-cover of The Dog on the Tuckerbox.
It was a lovely feeling knowing the books went to the right places.
I’ve just read through this blog post and I probably need to explain that to us crazy creators, our books are kind of like babies, precious and special and as time passes and they grow, it’s hard to say goodbye.
This story is dedicated to my darling mum, who mentioned one day that the first thing my grandmother wanted to do when she moved from Tasmania to live in Melbourne was to ride the carousel at Luna Park. It’s also dedicated to my grandmother and to my great grand-mother Clara, the name of the character in my book. This photo is of my mum when she was a little girl which Sebastian used to illustrate from. Her dog was called Donny.
About the story – Flame is a beautiful, golden carousel horse with a sad heart. Unlike the other horses, who are designed to move up and down, Flame was built to stand still. The children choose to ride on the turning, dancing horses and Flame is left waiting. Until one day, a little girl who has always dreamed of riding the beautiful horses comes to ride the carousel…
I love the magic of carousels, so in 2016 I wrote another story, also set on the carousel at Melbourne’s Luna Park called One Christmas Eve, illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall and published by Black Dog Books/Walker Books Australia. This story was also the theme for the 2016 Myer Windows in Melbourne and Brisbane and this year is on display at the Myer Windows in Geelong.
One Christmas Eve, Grandpa puts on his best shirt, Bella passes him his favourite hat, and together they walk to Luna Park. Bella is given one silver coin to spend on whatever ride she chooses. When she climbs onto a dashing carousel horse, something magical happens – they launch into the night sky! There they encounter a jolly man in a red suit and his prancing reindeer. But the magic doesn’t end there … One Christmas Eve is a heartwarming story celebrating family, sharing and caring for each other.