Last Saturday I had the good fortune to have my book launched at a fantastic venue by lovely people just before the annual Aurealis Awards ceremony in Brisbane.
My publisher, Bernadette, began with introductions then Marianne de Pierres, fellow Aussie author extraodinaire, gave an amazing speech, saying wonderful things about my books and revealing things about them I didn’t even know – like how long they’d been on bestseller lists!
Then it was my turn. I talked about the difficult time I had while writing the book, read a funny email from my UK editor, and tried to keep the thankyous short and sweet, then couldn’t resisit finishing with an appalling pun.
There were gifts…
Books were signed. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy, especially those who decided to give my work a try for the first time.
There were photos…
(left to right: Bernadette, me, Marianne)
And then we all made our way into the Judith Write Centre of Performing Arts for the 2008 Aurealis Awards Ceremony.
Back when the awards were created I was the art director for Aurealis magazine. The ceremony was held in a small Melbourne specialty sf bookshop and the awards themselves were certificates printed out on my printer (which were later replaced by the sculptural version given in following years). They gradually became more well known, the venues ranging from a big commercial bookstore’s cafe (where you couldn’t hear a thing for the coffee machine) and a university theatre.
Then they moved to Brisbane and I ‘retired’ from being the magazine’s art director. I wasn’t able to get to Brisbane for the awards until this year. And was I impressed! Now there are frocks and suits, hosts and presenters, and it all looks and feels very polished and professional. But not stuffy – there was a real feeling of celebration for the genres and those who write, edit or illustrate in them.
Over the years since the beginning, I’ve had glimpses through people involved in organising, convening and judging the awards of the enormous task it is. The organisers did a fabulous job. I now want to head up north every year to glam up, see the ceremony and celebrate the best of Australian sf.
(If you’d like to know more, and/or see the shortlist and winners, check out the Aurealis Awards website.)