Tag Archives: Coffs Harbour

Jenn’s #WriteRoundOz Book Tour – NSW

The long way to Mudgee Readers Festival – a big literary event in a small town.

Mudgee 2016 opening drinks

Opening night: with organiser Portia Lindsay

And what fun! From opening night drinks and mingling with *warning: name-dropping ahead*: Kate Forsyth, Charlotte Wood, Jane Caro, David Dyer, and more) books and bookish types took over the pretty streets of Mudgee, where every second shop is a cafe and every second person a book (or wine) lover.

Officially, I was there as a presenter and I talked ‘Books With Heart’ with Amy Andrews, Alissa Callen and Charlotte Nash (about how the heart finds its way into all sorts of books: fiction, memoir, medical, sporting stories, even . . . cook books!! A robust cab sav is required in such instances! That’s ‘offal’ I know! ) We stuck mostly to fictional hearts: hearts that flutter, bang, burst, pound, race, tear, rip, break, swell, jump, thump, beat, bleed and skip and love, hate, ache, sigh, melt, palpitate, sink, shatter, somersault, radiate, glow, embrace, adore and feel. We discussed how hearts talk to us and betray us; become our weakness and our strength; and make us spontaneous and (according to the character in my next book) sometimes makes us wait.

Laughing about serial killers in the outback!

Laughing about serial killers in the outback!

Then, for something a little different, I had a few laughs with Candice Fox about outback serial killers and psychopaths. In fact I asked Candice for her thoughts on the most effective means of warding of potential psychopaths from my caravan door while free camping. I offered her a list of strategies:

  1. Leave out a pair of size 11 work boots and an empty box of bullets?
  2. Set up a chunky dog chain and a big, empty dog bowl—the words STILL HUNGRY visible on the bottom?
  3. Or a sign that tells the truth: “Beware – two angry, menopausal women on board?”

(Yes, she thought #3 might work, too.)

While the welcome was warm (the atmosphere too) the temps were a tad chilly. (Minus 2 over night.)

Despite it being winter, Mudgee was a great destination. But …

Of course my book tour of NSW started well before Mudgee. We took the long road, starting with the launch of book four – The Other Side of the Season – at my home base – The Coffs Coast and after that a whole lot of small towns.

Nambucca was niceCoffs Advocate_2 TOSOTS

May 19, 2016
Author talk: Nambucca Library
Lots of lovely local media.

Coffs Harbour was commemorative The Book Warehouse 2016

May 25, 2016
Library Event/Official Launch
Book number 4 of my Season Collection with more
 great PRINT MEDIA and a book signing at The Book Warehouse.

MOREE was magnificent

Catching up with Nicole Alexander and Greg Barron.

Catching up with Nicole Alexander and Greg Barron.

July 9, 2016
Library Event and a catch up with Nicole and Greg

DIGITAL MEDIA Moree Champion

and Local businesses got on board.

Big Sky Libraries online newsletter

Moree Plains Shire Council (online)

 Moree Champion (print and online)

COONABARABRAN was a little crazy

July 19, 2016
Only because I gatecrashed the local book club discussion! What fun!

TAMWORTH was terrific

Tamworth crowd

Tamworth crowd

July 23, 2016
Library Event – huge turnout. They made me feel like a star, even without a guitar!
RADIO CHAT ON 88.9 FM (Pulse)
TV News coverage – NBN: NSW Western District CLICK to Play
Articles: PRINT and DIGITAL MEDIA: Northern Daily Leader article and Northern Daily Leader f/u story

DUBBO was adorable (I’m talking meerkats at the zoo!)

August 6, 2016
Book Store/Book Signing: The Book Connection: SOLD OUT of stock!Dubbo phot news 2

PRINT MEDIA (two pages): Dubbo PhotoNews Magazine Dubbo photo news 1

Advertorial mention by The Book Connection

August 7, 2016
Special Author Event: Jenn J McLeod – In conversation @ Red Earth Vineyard (yes, there was wine). (Dubbo retweets)

Meerkat on log

Meerkat with no idea I was a famous author

Dubbo Tweets

Dubbo Tweets

MUDGEE READERS FESTIVAL was amazingMudgee mention

August 13 and 14, 2016
PRINT/DIGITAL MEDIA: : Guardian Festival features Jane Caro and Jenn J McLeod
And pre-event PRINT MEDIA: Discover Magazine
Massive social media coverage by MRF

NEWCASTLE was noteworthy
(I mean, seriously, look at the size of the poster!)

THAT's not a poster...

Now THAT’s a poster…

August 20, 2016
Book signing: Big W, Charlestown (biggest shopping centre EVA!)



Elizabeth's Turning Pages on 2NVR Radio

Elizabeth’s Turning Pages on 2NVR Radio

August 25, 2016
RADIO interview: 2NVR Radio – Elizabeth’s Turning Pages.

So, there you have it.




And home in time to remember Mum on her birthday and share Father’s Day with Dad.

Oh, and by the way… If you are into stats, we did around 3,200 kms and fed the beast about $650.00 in diesel. While it was a great experience and fun, I do hope my tour helped to get my name out there and I found some more lovely readers. Word of mouth is the best compliment. (Have you told someone today about the last great book you read?)

Book Launch Love – Coffs Harbour

Web_a proud dadHere’s me with my proud dad. (I’m his baby girl.)

Now my baby has been set free into the unknown. Okay, so that’s slightly melodramatic; it’s not a real baby and I’m not exactly setting it free. And thanks to a few terrific reviews this last week, the unknown is now also a lot less ‘unknown’. (see below)

I admit to being terrified that readers wouldn’t like it, that book reviewers would stab me in the heart (sorry, there I go with the dramatics again), and that Simon & Schuster would be left shaking their heads and saying: “Geez, that was a mistake!” So there was a kind of audible, if somewhat shaky sigh that escaped my mouth with that first review (and I’m pleased to say the good reviews keep coming!).

Of course, the best thing about publication week is the book launch; planning for such an event started years … err … I mean months ago. I decided to hold the event in the best little, big bookshop. The Book Warehouse at Toormina was going to be perfect for the small no-one-will-come-anyway event.

Hmm, fifty-plus RSVPs later, poor Julie spent sleepless nights wondering how she was going to rearrange the shop to accommodate the growing guest list. (Not to mention the added angst with The Mayor of Coffs Harbour – Denise Knight – officiating on the night.)

Totally out of the blue, a visitor (and a much-needed distraction) lobbed on my doorstop the day before the launch. Carolyn and I started hairdressing together at sixteen; she’d driven up from Sydney as a surprise guest. We hadn’t seen each other for 25 years. (Here she is as my bridesmaid thirty-odd years ago and you can tell one of us is still in the beauty industry, while the other is a struggling artist without a hairdressing budget!)

I admit that my publication dream has always included the glamorous book launch – a fabulously flamboyant affair – author swanning around, signing books and hobnobbing with literati, with much muttering about literary awards and movie deals. And that’s EXACTLY what I got (okay, minus the literary awards and movie deal). But the night was everything I could have hoped for – and more – with a humbling number of people coming from far and wide to help me celebrate. Most importantly though, as I read the first chapter – seven whole minutes (I timed it) – not one guest fell asleep, or if they did we were so crammed into that little store that they couldn’t have fallen anywhere anyway!

If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing (and in fact I probably will do it all over again this same time next year when The Simmering Season comes out. (I hope the sun has come out in Coffs Harbour by then too!)

Thank you to everyone who attended. Those who sent messages. Those who braved the elements. Those too far away to even try. Those watching over me. You were with me.

I think the Chinese proverb from the card I received from The Book Warehouse team says it all:

“I dreamed a thousand paths. I woke and walked my own.”

Enjoy these images of the launch – House for all Seasons March 4, 2013.

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What people are saying:

Daystarz Book Review – (full version)

Told from the alternating perspective of each of the four women, once childhood friends, House for all Seasons is a delightful read. I found myself engrossed in this story from the first few pages. It is a book that holds your attention throughout with enough interesting detail about the characters to have you wanting more. This book is believable and it draws you in as each of the women faces their past and their relationships with each other during their youth.

It takes the reader on a journey back to the days of the girls youth in Calingarry Crossing and to a tragic event that initially tore them apart yet now reunites them. It’s fascinating to read how each of the girls perceived this event, their part in it and what impact it still has on their lives.

We follow along as each of the four main characters confront their past and present in a way that enables them to shape their future, leaving old demons behind.

I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of character development and by the end of each of the women’s stories felt that I knew them personally. Each of the women’s personalities and lives were so different; their back stories so interesting that at times I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I really liked Poppy and Amber probably just because they were the most contrary and seemed to have the most growing to do.

There is a significant twist to the story that I just didn’t see coming and which really makes for a great ending to this book.

Jenn J McLeod has written a brilliant book in House for All Seasons which has me eagerly awaiting her next literary venture. This book is a must read and is the first on my top ten books list of 2013. I cannot say enough good things about this book, I highly recommend it as a must-add to your personal library.

Gotta be happy with that!

More reviews:
Book’d Out
Goodreads – Helene Young