Next week, or thereabouts my latest book will officially hit shelves. A Murder Unmentioned is the sixth book in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, my ninth published novel and the tenth book I’ve written. So, how does one launch such a book into the world?
Later in November, on the 29th to be precise, the wonderful Snowprint Bookshop will help me celebrate the sixth Rowly with A Night Worth Mentioning under the stars at the spectacular Lake Crackenback Resort. There will be canapés and champagne on the peaks, under a glorious night sky. There will be conversations about Rowly, the 1930s and books as well music and I’m told dramatic performances of scenes from the novel. I am looking forward to it beyond measure!
The 1st of November will, however, slip by quietly in terms of literary galas. The date of the release of my book happens to coincide with the date that my husband Michael will undergo surgery for a cornea transplant, so I will be hanging out in Sydney keeping him company. While I wish Michael didn’t have to undergo the surgery at all, I can’t help thinking that spending the time focussed (no pun intended) on him is somehow appropriate.
I’ve never made any secret about Michael’s involvement in my books – particularly the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries. He is my first editor, my historical advisor and the inspiration for Wilfred Sinclair. But it’s more than that. Writing is for most writers a tough profession to make work in the real world. If you don’t have a day job, it generally means sacrificing notions of income for at least a time, perhaps forever. If you do have a day job, it generally means working a night shift in addition to whatever it is you do in the day, in order to “get those books writ”! When you have a family, both are hard roads. For me, it’s only possible because Michael has compensated.
Society has always held those who support artistic endeavour in the highest esteem… galleries, philanthropic organisations, state institutions. They are all necessary and rightly valued. Sometimes overlooked however, are the partners of artists who in many cases, willingly or otherwise, find themselves patrons of the arts - unofficial sponsors of the artists with whom they have become entangled. This is so with us. Into every one of my novels have gone the characters and stories in my head, Pantera Press’s investment in my work, and Michael’s donation to the cause.
And so I will celebrate the release of A Murder Unmentioned by raising a quiet glass with my husband to what we have created together… some fairly disasterous meals, a high-maintenance garden, our extraordinary sons, and Rowland Sinclair.