This is a bit of sightly old news, now, but even belatedly, I am pretty happy to share it with you. Sometime last year, I received an email from Paul Collins, from Ford St Publishing, asking me if I would be interested in writing an introduction to their new anthology, to be called Trust Me Too. The book was to follow on from a previous collection, called Trust Me, which featured an impressive range of Australian writers for young people, and which was enormously successful with readers, and taken up enthusiastically by many schools around the country.
Well, I was a bit chuffed, as you can imagine. I’ve known Paul for a long time now—and his partner in life and business, Meredith Costain even longer*—and I’ve watched their growing success at Ford Street with interest and pleasure. (It’s always nice to see friends do well, and especially with an independent publishing house in these difficult times!) So I immediately said yes, and looked forward to the great big pile of manuscripts—short stories, poems and even illustrations—that was soon on its way to me.
And again, what a treasure trove of Australian writing it proved to be. So many wonderful writers (and illustrators!), and such a diversity of themes and imaginings to be found. I admit it was a bit of a challenge to write the introduction—each writer was given a free hand to contribute whatever they wished, so there was no overall theme, as such, for me to pick up on. So instead I chose to address the form, the form of writing short prose pieces and poetry, and the particular challenges that presents. And off I sent me introduction, happy to contribute, but not really expecting much beyond that self-satisfaction. Because really, who reads introductions?!
So you can imagine the enormous pleasure I took when I received my advance copy of the book and saw there, on the cover, my name in glorious yellow type. My first cover credit! My name, alongside Paul’s, and Isobelle Carmody‘s**! I can’t tell you the thrill.
Not that I can take credit for the contents, so it seems a bit of a cheat that I am so notably credited, but I won’t complain. Here’s the cover, in case you haven’t seen it—the book has been out for a few weeks now, and is getting some terrific reviews, so I understand:
Possibly even more thrilling is that we’re going to have a Sydney launch of the book at my old high school (OK, one of them—I went to three), Parramatta High, on July 20. I’m really proud that I can go back to that school and show off this modest achievement.
So there you are. I’m really pleased and excited to be part of this publication, and I hope you might seek out the book and find something—much!—to enjoy in its many and varied contents. And maybe you’ll sneak a peek back at the cover and be pleased for me, too.
* Meredith and I have long joked that we are twins separated by a few years—our lives have had a remarkable number of parallels, and we share a temperament and a sense of humour, I think. She’s a top gal, our Meredith, and I’m proud to call her Near-Enough-Twinny!
** What I didn’t know at the time was that it was in fact the lovely Isobelle who suggested me as the writer of the introduction to Trust Me Too. So now I am triple-chuffed! And look out for a Misrule post about Isobelle’s new online venture, to which I also play a small part, in the next day or two.