ON Wednesday 22nd October the great John Marsden came to Janet Clarke Hall, the university residential college where I've taught, currently work as Artist in Residence and live with my husband
Nick. I walked around in a happy daze for days. To have one of your literary and educational heroes (John's also the principal of Candlebark) launch your book and then to find out that he is
funnier, kinder and more wonderful than you imagined is pretty awesome. Many people came to talk to John afterwards, he made time for them all and even signed their well-worn, well-loved copies
of his books.
You can't see it in this picture, but John was wearing an impressive pair of tracksuit pants with double white stripes down the side. Not only does the man have wisdom, talent and the love of
five million young adult (and adult) readers, but he also has gangsta flair. It was the perfect outfit as Laurinda is set simultaneously in a private all girls' school as well as the
rough Western suburbs of Melbourne.
As an author you spend a lot of time - years - with a book, furiously plugging away at it, getting to know your characters and letting them take you where they want to go, doing edit after edit,
that when it finally is here - you feel like you have to adjust to being out of hibernation. What a great way to come out of hibernation. Thank you, John Marsden.
For those interested, the public events for Laurinda are here, I'd especially love to see teenagers,
teachers and YA lovers there!