My book hit the decks last night, blessed by kind words from Lorain Day (Commissioning Editor, HarperCollins, and person of impeccable taste in manuscripts) and Julie from Jabberwocky Children's Bookshop, which hosted the launch.
For those who weren't there, here's - roughly - what I said, besides thanking everyone:
It’s an honour to be a part of such a rich tradition of children’s literature, and to be welcomed into a community of writers, illustrators, teachers, librarians, and devotees completely focused on books and the children that read them.
My family isn’t here this evening – they’re all in Australia – but if they were, they’d all say, without exception: it’s about bloody time. They’ve been waiting a while for this.
I meant to start writing my first book about twenty years ago but somehow it slipped my mind.
I finally got around to it just before I moved to Auckland. My girlfriend reckons I wandered into the study and by the time I came out for dinner I’d written a book.
She might be exaggerating slightly. The truth is that when I’m writing I usually forget to eat dinner altogether.
But it does seem that suddenly (well, three years later) there are three books, and more on the way, and more ideas for new books and stories than anybody could ever write.
So here’s the first one, and I’m very happy you’re all here this evening to help me launch her upon the stormy waters.
Yes, that is a pirate hat on my head. I snatched it from the head of a passing Jabberwockian, who had dressed for the occasion.
And don't I look tall? That's what being published does for you.