So far? Joyous.

My friends and family are all super happy for me and it’s too soon for any dubious reviews. Quite the opposite, including this very nice one in The West Australian. People have even complimented me on my neat handwriting.

In the past week alone I’ve had a launch party, two library talks and five radio interviews (including one with Wendy Harmer – yes WENDY HARMER!!!!!!) And every occasion was full of people who wished me well, and simply wanted to know more about Elizabeth Macarthur.

The launch party was an absolute highlight. I decided against holding the launch in a bookshop, and instead gathered with friends and family in the back room of an inner city pub. Finger food and an open bar ensured everyone had a good time. People travelled from near and far (including from interstate and and overseas) and the room was full of happiness. Readings Books sold copies of my book on the night, and the salesperson exclaimed that she’d never seen so many people at a launch buying multiple copies. But then, I already knew my friends were generous and kind.

I was initially quite anxious about the radio interviews but it turns out that they’re not hard. Ten minutes of friendly Q&A, usually beginning with ‘So how did you come to be interested in Elizabeth Macarthur?’ Some of the interviewers had even read the book. Most of the interviews were by phone, although I did speak to Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck (in Sydney) from the ABC studios in Melbourne. And I travelled up to Bendigo to be interviewed live, and in person, for ABC Central Victoria – that one was probably my favourite, although I got lost trying to find the venue. Stressful!

The author talks have been similarly happy occasions: small groups, active listeners, and thoughtful questions afterwards. I have three more coming up this week, and I’m really looking forward to them. Later in the week I’ll also be talking to 3CR (after 11:30 on Thursday 19 April) and recording an interview with Geraldine Doogue, for her show on Radio National. Yes, my publicist from Text Publishing is awesome, and this is the result.

So how does it feel to be a new author?

It feels good – in fact, every bit as good as I was hoping. My life hasn’t changed (my day job continues, the laundry pile awaits, I clean up horse manure on a daily basis) but I’ve achieved something worthwhile. And, best of all, I’m still having plenty of Adventures in Biography – even if they do have a new look and feel now.