A Story in my head buzzing hard

I spent a day lost in the magical light of Norman Lindsay’s home at Springwood.

Can you beat a drystone wall? I grew up loving them and they still have the power to charm.

Wandering into the bush with notebook in hand, it’s easy to believe Norman’s statues are luring you into another world.

A smaller magic outside my writing shed where my David Austin Prince rose proudly displayed its first bloom.

 

The  magical perfume so divine to savour. Hopefully a good omen for my current mystery novel.

 

And I must let you know of an event I will be taking place in for Better Read than Dead bookshop and Newtown  Library Tuesday 31st July . It’s Talking Heads with Josephine Pennicott. I know this is very advance notice and will update nearer to the time. Places will be limited but you can book through the library online or on  8512 4250. Would love to see all who could make it come along so we can chat murder, mystery, families, bohemians, secrets, Tasmanian sea-fishing villages, writing tips and a host of other fascinating topics. Here is the beautiful Newtown library I  shall be chatting in.
I’m really looking forward to seeing The Mousetrap in Sydney with the Sydney Theatre company performing Agatha Christie’s classic.
 I first saw The Mousetrap in St Martin’s Theatre with David in London’s West End and it remains one of my favourite theatre experiences. (Followed closely by The Woman in Black).
This week I also went to my bookclub at Better Read than Dead to discuss Craig Silvey’s feisty and wonderful mystery novel, Jasper Jones.

My daughter has just told me she has a story in her head and it’s buzzing hard. I know the feeling.
This weekend I am going to try to find some time to sit in the autumn sunshine with these two pink magazines I picked up today. I love the beautiful Christy Turlington’s feature in the gentlewoman (one of my favourite magazines).

This photograph of Johnny Depp was doing the rounds on Facebook and of course I cant’ resist ending this post with his sage and beautiful words. Thank you for visiting me. Stay creative. xx
Remember, murder lurks around every corner…

Rainbow on a rainy night

Hello,
the beautiful Belinda Alexandra is not only a wonderful storyteller but also happens to be an angel when it comes to helping out wildlife and animals. And so when she requested I help to try to place this very pretty rescue cat, Rainbow I couldn’t resist.
 I’d take her myself except my Smuchie cat would never speak to me again. If you live in Sydney and could provide a loving home for Rainbow, then all the information you need for her is HERE
I was sent this beautiful photo today of Poet’s Cottage at the airport. And friends have been kindly sending me photos of when they see my book out in the wild making her way.
Here’s a link also to a recent radio interview that I did with Penny Terry of ABC Tasmania if you would care to listen HERE.
And apart from that – it is school holidays. I have been busy with playdates, cinema and trying to finish the first draft of my latest mystery.
Tonight it is raining in Sydney. The weather has suddenly become crisp and cold and I’m heading to bed with Agatha Christie. xx
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – from The Lorax by Dr Seuss

Sparkles and Jungle Drums

 

The last week is a sparkle-blasted blur as after all these years Poet’s Cottage finally made it way into bookstores around Australia. It’s been overwhelming (to say the least) to see the reaction already from folk who have not only bought it but are kind enough to post photos of their animals reading it. This lovely photo of charming
Sambhu Canine with his copy is via one of my Facebook friends, Lynn Priestley.
I’ve had quite a few queries from people on where to buy – hopefully this post will cover the selling side. I’m having flashbacks now to my years as a sales assistant on cosmetic floors where I had to stop people cold and try to convince them that ‘Yes, sir, your wife would love this fragrance’ moisturiser, toner, etc). Not the best job for a natural introvert but it provided me with ample people study.
Hopefully if you’re reading this you’re already interested in my book and so I’m not doing the hard sell.
It is most helpful for a writer if their book is bought as quickly as possible. This helps create a buzz around the book and helps ensure that stores re-order rather than return unsold copies to the publishers. It also means that sales are counted on Book Scan. (I’m not very up to date on this thing, but I know it’s crucial.)
And so if you have been even half-way thinking of picking up a copy – it would be appreciated if you get it now and not wait a few years in the hope it will be marked down.

Poet's Cottage next to Kate Forsyth's Bitter Greens

All good bookshops should have copies in stock. I know my local Better Read Than Dead (inner Sydney) should still have signed copies, but after my friends have rushed them they could be running low. Better Read Than Dead do online ordering and if you would like a signed copy, if you request one when you order I’m happy to head into their store and sign it for you. Their link is HERE. Just state at the time who you would like it made out to.

Josephine Pennicott signing at Better Read than Dead

The award-winning and innovative Booktopia also does online ordering and so if you live in an area where there’s no bookshop then they can also send you one. The lovely people at Booktopia put me through my paces this week with Ten Terrifying Questions. If you want to discover why I originally wanted to stake vampires and be a man, then head to this very revealing and fun quiz.HERE
Other outlets like Big W and Target should also have copies in stock. 
If you are broke (don’t worry I’ve been there many times so I understand) but you would still love to support me – please head to your library and request they order you a copy. Library sales are also very welcome to writers in Australia as once a year we receive a cheque for every book loaned out. It’s not huge money for me ( it would be for some authors) but it’s good lipstick money.
And most importantly – please spread the vibes and good word. It is word of mouth that really helps to move books. If you know anyone who enjoys Midsummer Murders, mystery novels, Agatha Christies, the 1930s, Australian Fiction, Daphne du Maurier, Enid Blyton – then please tell them about Poet’s Cottage. If you are in a book-club then suggest it as a possible read if you think it suits their reading agenda. The more the jungle drums beat out there – the more the energy is passed along.
Whether it’s been my daughter’s school principal putting my Sydney Herald newspaper up in the school with WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT and requesting parents to buy the book from their local bookstore, or
mothers doing the school run who have ran up to me clutching copies for me to sign; countless emails from friends on the internet who have rushed the stores and shown such genuine enthusiasm for the story.
I’m gobsmacked by your vibes and love this week. Thank you also to LOVETHATBOOK on the Gold Coast for making Poet’s Cottage their book of the month. And to the Tasmanian Mercury for doing their lovely spread and for giving me the cover page of the books section.
The early reviews have been wonderful. I’m so happy that people love the fact it’s set in Tasmania and are enjoying the characters so much and becoming creeped out. I take my hat off to the wonderful
Karen Brooks who wrote the most beautiful review I could have imagined on her Good Reads. I shall post this with her permission in my reviews section as it was so insightful and thrilled me so much.
This week I start my radio interviews. I’ve never spoken on the radio in my life so looking forward to a new adventure.
My beautiful Magic Hat Bookglams organised a little party for me at Better Read than Dead. The Great Gatsby was slightly ignored that night as we celebrated Poet ’s Cottage and my friend, Manisha Jolie Amin’s book, Dancing to the Flute which also hit the bookshelves this week. More on that later. And there may possibly – thanks to my Hatters – be an event/launch book for Poet’s Cottage so watch this space if you are in Sydney and would like to attend. Being the no-fuss, no-frills person I am I wasn’t planning on having a launch but the Hatters are insistent. There’s no arguing with my Bookglams.
If I could thank you all with as much beauty and style as Elizabeth Taylor does in this clip following then I would.
Thank you for making a week so sparkly, joy-filled and celebratory.
And thank you also, if you managed to make it through this post. One last thing – Mother’s Day is approaching and Poet’s Cottage would make a beautiful gift for the important woman in your life. Receiving a book wrapped in brown paper and tied with string is a magical thing. Here’s one of the important early complimentary copies I sent out to an important woman to Poet’s Cottage.
If you don’t want to buy my book then I urge you to buy ANY book and wrap it to give at Mother’s Day. As my agent Selwa Anthony loves to say, ‘Let us never forget the joy of turning the printed page.’
x x

On the Orient Express

An overcast Monday in Sydney. David carried the proofs back to Pan Macmillan for me this morning and now I’m free to return to my artists, all waiting patiently in the Blue Mountains in the Currawong book. I’m eager to lose myself again in their world as I’ve been out of their story for quite a few weeks.

At my daughter’s school assembly this morning the children sang the National Anthem as the flag was hoisted. Swooping over their angelic, Australian voices a flock of brightly coloured parrots dazzled.

Last night I curled up next to David and watched the wonderful David Suchet travel the Orient Express in a documentary. In the show, David Suchet travels to Venice on the Orient Express which is probably the most glamorous way I could imagine of entering that magical city. If I was a passenger, I’d start to be a bit unnerved by ‘Poirot’ suddenly appearing on the train. In one scene, David Suchet drives the Orient Express and my mind of course couldn’t help imagining the headlines if he had managed to crash the train and kill the passengers…

How fascinating that he stayed near the carriage where the fictional Hercule Poirot was described as being by Agatha Christie in her inventive novel, Murder on the Orient Express. When art and reality mesh and mingle in that twisty way I find it so surreal and oddly satisfying. Although ‘real life’ will always win for being the most surreal and twisty over any fiction.

Rainbows and Snow

Just back from a rushed trip to Tasmania to see my family.
Hobart as magical as always. Snow capped Mount Wellington and rainbows shimmered over the city for days.
I did nothing except watch Daisy’s excitement to be with her young cousin as she explored the delights of a ‘real’ backyard with a (gasp) trampoline.
At night ferocious winds gusted over my sister’s house – the trampoline was blown over the neighbour’s fence with the winds recently.
I knitted and read yet another Miss Marple.
Since our return we have been relaxing on our holiday break. We are a family who enjoy nothing better than to potter, sleep in, an excursion to a cafe, read and play at home. My daughter found this mermaid on the beach at Manly.
But Hobart , city of rainbows and snow. It is always a wrench to leave her. 

SNOWBALLS ON FIRE

The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball — the further I am rolled the more I gain.

– Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906), American civil rights leader

I just love this quote from the fabulous Blog No Country for Young Women.
 
It made me think of some of the older women I think have just got better and better with age. Here’s a few of my favourites

Beatrice, Mirka, Agatha, Brigitte

 
And I couldn’t resist sneaking a Johnny Depp photo in as he’s also improved with age. 

King Snowball Johnny Depp

Who do you think is an older inspiration? 
Hats off to all smoking hot snowballs! 
beatrice wood image source 
mirka mora image source
agatha christie image source
brigitte bardot image source
johnny depp image source