The past six weeks have been a little surreal. I finished up my full time job at the end of October, although with another week of handover it was really the end of the first week of November and even then I have been back to school many times since; hosting an event, attending a special farewell, teaching in the Junior School, looking after the VIPs at Speech Day and hosting the Alice-Miranda Boarding Experience for ten very excited little girls. It has been hard to say goodbye as Abbotsleigh was part of my life for such a long time.
It was probably a good thing that I launched straight into a Random House tour, visiting loads of schools and bookstores until a couple of weeks ago. And in true crazy me style, I've also been working on two books - putting the finishing touches to Alice-Miranda In Paris (which is out in Australia 1 March 2013) and writing (and re-writing) the third Clementine Rose book, Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present (out 1 May 2013). I love being busy and won't be slowing down anytime soon, with another Alice-Miranda and the fourth Clementine Rose due before the end of February. I am loving every minute of this new life. I'm starting to find a routine - getting up very early and replying to emails and publicity things then writing, usually to a self imposed word limit which some days has been a little scary. Somewhere exercise needs to be factored in, and cleaning the house - but I'll get to that soon :). Seriously Ian and I currently in danger of being swallowed by the mess - which I can't stand but have learned to ignore in the wake of other more important activities. It's a good thing I've come to realise that I really don't want 'Was amazing at housework' on my gravestone. Believe me, in my younger years that would have been a no brainer.
The support I've had from my family, friends - who write and those who don't, booksellers, readers, parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians and the amazing team at Random House in Australia, the US and UK has made the transition much easier than I had perhaps anticipated. And even with all the work, there has already been more time for family and friends - YAY!!
So really what I wanted to say is thankyou - to everyone who has made this year incredible. To my wonderful husband Ian who walks every step of this journey with me and to my family, friends, readers, booksellers, teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents and the incredible team at Random House. None of this has come easily - there has been, and will continue to be, a great deal of hard work, but I am so grateful for all of it. It is indeed a dream come true and I certainly don't intend to waste a minute - or die wondering for that matter.
So, whatever your beliefs, I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and may 2013 be an amazing year of dreams coming true.
A Bookish Adventure
I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.