Life in Outer Space

Welcome to the world, Life in Outer Space

421520_421771737911012_143146688_nThursday evening, a bunch of lovely people gathered in a very Melbourne laneway in front of the awesome Little Bookroom for the launch party of Life in Outer Space. There was Champaign! And cupcakes! And a badge-making machine with quotes from the book, possibly the most exciting thing I have seen since – well, let’s just say I was slightly over-excited by the badges.

I focused on not toppling over in my giant heels, and on not quaking in terror as I took to the mini stage to thank the many, many people who have helped make this book a reality. I won’t reiterate the list here – there are far too many of you to mention, and hopefully you all know who you are by now.

Thanks to everyone who came down, everyone who was there in spirit, and anyone I happened to have left out of my speech. Much love and hugs to you all.

Melissa

Yes, the amazing Hardie Grant Egmont even made 'Say Anything' badges!

Yes, the amazing Hardie Grant Egmont even made ‘Say Anything’ badges!

Launch party nail art, inspired by the beautiful Steph Spartels cover design

Launch party nail art, inspired by the beautiful Steph Spartels cover design

LiOS launch party

And thanks Melbourne sky for clearing just in time…

Ah, the Sharpie. No signing would be complete without one…

The housemates, being contemplative...

The housemates, being contemplative…

The lovely Marisa Pintado, editor extraordinaire

The lovely Marisa Pintado, editor extraordinaire

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The Barbara Stanwyck of nowhere at all

ava-gardner-femme-fatale

** this is not me

In a distant, or perhaps parallel universe, there is another me who is inexorably cool; I imagine her as being pretty suave – leggy, of course, coiffed in a sharp black bob, possibly perched on a bar stool in red stilettos while sipping a martini.

I think it’s pretty telling that my only reference for cool and sophisticated seems to come from bad Film Noir.

In this universe, there is a me who has been sneaking into book stores to surreptitiously photograph her book on the shelves, suppressing a little squee with every copy she manages to find.

But look. It’s so pretty.

photo

Cool can be next year’s New Years resolution.

Happy New Year!

My LiOS advances. They may have pride of place on my mantelpiece...

My LiOS advances. They may have pride of place on my mantelpiece…

So it’s been a busy couple of months. I had yet another birthday (which, as is typical, I did my best to ignore). I moved house (always a fun, and not at all stressful thing to do over Christmas). I made New Years resolutions, which I have promptly forgotten about three weeks later. And oh, I finished the final, final, final copy edits and tweaks and last second panics, and I sent my book to press. It’s in stores tomorrow, which is something I haven’t quite managed to get my head around yet. I’ve been chatting with lots of very cool people over the past few weeks, doing interview-type things and answering questions about my book – the sort of questions that are forcing me to think back to when Life in Outer Space was but a couple of random paragraphs on my laptop. Surprisingly, thinking about the book this way – the actual process of writing, of forming and developing a world – is a weirdly difficult thing to do. As I wade through the initial research and drafting stage of my new novel – battling the empty page and the difficult slog of a first draft – I’m finding that I need to constantly remind myself that Life in Outer Space, and these fictional people who I feel like I know so well, weren’t always fully formed. There were many, many moments where the only whiny words that my writing buddy and I could share, were, ‘writing a novel is really hard…’ It may be a naff thing for an author to admit, but two years later, these characters – Sam and Camilla and Mike and Allison and Adrian – feel like old friends to me. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I did.

Now, here are some links to a few of those very cool people I mentioned above:

Book Probe

Where the Writer Comes to Write

Vegan YA Nerds

‘Is the author’s name supposed to be spelt like that…?’

Working in a publishing house, there’s a particular sort of geek-fest that occurs with the arrival of the first copies of a book. Shipped straight from the printer, it’s the very first time that anyone gets to see a project – that’s typically been underway for over a year – as something other than flat sheets or a file on a screen. It’s a little hard to describe just how exciting cracking open that first box of books is. Finally being able to hold the finished, physical object in your hand; blurring your eyes a little over the cover, just in case you’ve spelt the authors name wrong (hasn’t happened yet, but there is always the sick-making fear). Typically, a bunch of people will be ooh-ing and ah-ing over it, while the editor peers through splayed fingers shrieking ‘I can’t look!’

So my novel is not quite at that stage yet. But a mini geek-fest was had nonetheless, as an advanced bound proof copy of Life in Outer Space has made its way to my house (bonus points to the postie who managed to throw it over my locked fence and land a direct hit on my doorstep, not in my trees or my next-door-neighbour’s yard, as periodically happens).

It has a cover, and a spine. It has my name on it (spelling a-ok). It’s going out into the world, to the hands of the sort of people who receive advanced proof copies – if you’re one of them, hello, welcome, would love to hear from you.

Next step: final proof read, then to press for real.
Michael approves.

Life in Outer Space

My debut novel, March 2013 from Hardie Grant Egmont

It has a cover! The awesome peeps at The Ampersand Project have been working hard for the past couple of months to create the jacket for my book. And I love it! The wonderful Steph has done a fabulous job of rendering the characters (authentic outfits and all). Very exciting, and a little surreal…