Richard & Judy!

It’s paperback publication day in the UK and I’m utterly thrilled and completely gobsmacked that Secrets of the Tides has been selected for the autumn 2012 Richard & Judy Book Club. I found out just a few weeks ago and have been smiling and pinching myself ever since.

Richard & Judy won’t know this, but we go waaaaay back. As a kid, the best thing about being sick and off school was watching them on This Morning. Fast forward a few years and I was skiving university lectures with my flatmates and hanging out a little too much with Richard & Judy from the comfort of our knackered old sofa (yes, there was also a little Sunset Beach, too … I know, ssshh). Jump ahead a few more years and there I am working in publishing in London as it’s announced that Richard and Judy will launch their very own Book Club. Excited? You bet!

As any UK book lover will know, Richard & Judy have championed a huge number of books and authors since they launched the club. I was working at Hodder & Stoughton in London when it all began and  had the immense joy of seeing David Nicholls’ hilarious debut Starter for Ten (2004), David Mitchell’s mind-bogglingly brilliant Cloud Atlas (2005) and Jodi Picoult’s emotional roller coaster My Sister’s Keeper (2005) all get selected for the club. Those moments when we found out at Hodder that books (and authors) we all, as a company, felt so passionately about had made the campaign still remain some of the best moments of my publishing career.

It’s a testament to just how crazy/strange/cool life can be that seven years later I find myself with my debut on their book club list. I have only four words: Get. Out. Of. Town.

Sadly, 12,000 miles just seemed a teeny bit too far to travel to meet them, what with a looming novel deadline and two small people at home to worry about but, with hindsight, I wonder if it wasn’t for the best. I’m sure there would have been sweaty armpits (mine) and shaky legs (mine) and maybe a little bit of inappropriate gushing and knee touching too (me to them). Perhaps I would have, in my nervousness, even delivered a wardrobe malfunction spectacular enough to surpass that moment of Judy’s at the 2001 National TV Awards. I can only imagine.

So, instead, just a few weeks ago, on a gorgeous winter’s day, I went to the Sergeant’s Mess in Sydney’s Chowder Bay, where I filmed my answers to a few of their questions. And yes, I was giddy with excitement about the whole thing. (There is a video somewhere – I’ll link to it when it goes up.)

Now the 30th of August is finally here, the Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club has been launched and my paperback is out there. I’ve seen for the first time the wonderful titles Secrets of the Tides will sit alongside and I feel truly honoured and gobsmacked all over again. I’m particularly thrilled to see Eowyn Ivey’s magical The Snow Child on there, which I’ve already read and loved, and another fellow Orion title, The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz of which I’ve heard wonderful things. My current reading pile is already out of control but I’m certain I’ve just discovered a few new favourites to add to my bookshelves. So thank you Richard & Judy. Thank you WHSmith. And thank you Orion.

If you’d like to find out more about Richard & Judy’s autumn Book Club and the other great titles selected you can get more info here.

Here’s to a happy northern hemisphere autumn jam-packed with books and reading!

Get Reading!

I’m chuffed to bits that Secrets of the Tides has been included in Australia’s Get Reading! 2012 campaign, selected as one of 50 Aussie books that you can’t put down. For the next month my book will be sporting the lovely sticker (above).

Get Reading! is Australia’s largest annual celebration of books and reading and their aim is to encourage Australian’s everywhere to put up their feet and pick up a book. You can find out more about the campaign here, or pick up their free reading guide in a local bookshop.

I’m not sure I ever thought I’d see Secrets of the Tides in the Blue Wiggle’s TBR pile, but there you go… happy days.