This festive season

May is my birthday month (thus always a time of celebrations and joy to the  world, right?). But this May feels extra-festive, cause for much shimmying, shaking, and leg-kicking, on the beach and elsewhere.

The Hope Fault acquired by Aardvark Bureau

I’ve been quietly dancing on the ceiling (and everywhere else) about this for a while, so I’m delighted to finally be able to share the news that UK publisher Aardvark Bureau has signed The Hope Fault, with publication planned for 2018. Aardvark Bureau published my first novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, in 2016. I’m so thrilled to be part of their list, particularly as it includes such wonderful New Zealand and Australian authors: Fiona Kidman, Damien Wilkins, Lucy Treloar, and my fellow Fremantle Press stablemate Robert Edeson.

Happy (American) birthday to Lena Gaunt

Last week marked one year since my first novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, was published by Aardvark Bureau in the US, four months after the novel’s publication in the UK (and two and a half years after its original publication by Fremantle Press in Australia and New Zealand). Looking back at the US release, one of the things I was most delighted by was the novel being reviewed in the New York Times. Happy birthday Lena!

While I’m at it, happy (Kiwi) twenty-first to me

May (well, late April) marks 21 years I’ve been living in Wellington, New Zealand – twenty years of it in the same house. I’ve never lived this long (not nearly this long) in one house, and I’ve now spent considerably more of my adult life here in Wellington than in my home town, Perth. So, happy Kiwi twenty-first to me.

Celebrating reviews

I’ve celebrated a steady stream of lovely reviews of The Hope Fault over the past month or so. Hope was reviewed by Kerryn Goldsworthy in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times (Fairfax Australia papers), and by Catherine Robertson (‘quietly brilliant’) in NZ Listener. Louise O’Brien reviewed it for Radio New Zealand (‘beautifully restrained … thoughtful and nuanced’); it was reviewed for Westerly literary magazine in Australia (‘one of those rare novels where new significance is taken from each reading’), and Dunedin’s Otago Daily Times newspaper (‘a quiet and thoughtful work’).

In addition to these, there have been some generous reviews on blogs, including reviews from Perth writer Marie McLean (‘The writing is stunning, the circumstances intriguing and the backstory appealing’) and Brisbane writer Cass Moriarty (‘The prose is almost like poetry, but also like science, and like a song, too’), and some book-love on the radio from Rachel of Christchurch’s Scorpio Books (on RDU FM, with James Dann).

Writing about writing

Could you call this celebratory? Perhaps not, but I’ve certainly enjoyed writing about my writing (and reading) life in response to invitations from Amanda Curtin (‘2, 2 and 2: Tracy Farr talks about The Hope Fault’), Maureen Eppen (‘Shelf Awareness: Tracy Farr’), and NZ Listener magazine (‘Writing as a physical activity’) for their recent series A Way With Words, in which New Zealand writers describe their writing day.

Warming the book, rocking the library, celebrating in Auckland

The last month or so I’ve hosted a Wellington bookwarming for The Hope Fault, and done an author talk (‘The Hope Fault: family and faultlines in fiction’) with geologist Simon Nathan at National Library in Wellington. Now Auckland Writers Festival is only a few days away, and it should be a cracker, with plenty to celebrate. There’s no point name-checking the writers I’m excited about listening to and (perhaps) meeting, because there are SO MANY of them (if you don’t believe me, browse the author list). I’ll be in a session on Sunday with Susan Faludi, Leanne Radojkovich and Ian Wedde, convened by Anne Kennedy, where we’ll read from our works about Family Dynamics.

And after all that high-kicking celebration, next month will be time to put my head down and get on with some writing*.

*Update 24 May: putting my head down and getting on with some writing will be a whole lot easier now, as I found out on 17 May that I was successful in my recent application to Creative New Zealand for funding to work on the first draft of my third novel, which has the working title Wonderland. Full details of the funding round here.

Image credit: Dancing on the beach, c. 1920, William James (public domain, from Wikimedia Commons)

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