For those of you who know me, I can hear you chuckle. A website, a blog, radio interviews, newspaper articles, in house conversations, panel discussions – me of all people! Thing is, I’m much more comfortable in the wings and yet here I am, out in cyberspace, writing notepad jottings and talking with journalists and literary folk about a book I have written; an intimate story about a particular time in our family’s life. While the introvert in me can quickly tire at the repeated sound of my own voice, I feel exceptionally lucky to be invited to speak about ideas that are close to my heart and it is fabulous to meet readers of my book. The response we have had has been overwhelming. Letters are pouring in. Thank you all. I am so very grateful.
Many of you will know that I initially wrote Green Vanilla Tea for my teenage sons, after my husband died. It was a simple offering of love and hope in inexplicable times. So much of what they had experienced felt invisible, slippery and without words. The process of writing provided a wonderful launching pad for rich conversations between my sons and I; this family act of storytelling became their book.
I had a chat about the book and the writing process with Richard Glover on ABC 702. Richard was also one of the Finch Memoir Prize judges. Before we went on air, I grabbed a quick moment to let him know that one of the most powerful moments for me at the Sydney Writers Festival was watching my sons sitting in the front row listening to the panellists discuss our story out loud. A story that initially ‘lay beyond the reach of articulation’ now had a voice. It had shape and form. And here they sat, these two sons of mine, watching as the esteemed panel reflected on our family tale.
Feel free to have a listen here: