6 August 2022
I live on the island of lutruwita/Tasmania, and I'm writing to you from a desk with a view of kunanyi/Mt Wellington blanketed in winter morning mists.
This week, my new book With Love from Wish & Co officially arrived in the world, meaning it was time to lace up my aqua boots and do the rounds of the bookshops of the beautiful city of nipaluna/Hobart.
From my beloved 'home' bookshop of Fullers (Collins Street) to Dymocks in Centrepoint, where I was astonished to discover an entire display window filled with Wish & Co's, from the fabulous Hobart Bookshop (Salamanca Square) to the elegant State Cinema Bookshop (Elizabeth Street), from the zany and inspiring clutter of Cracked and Spineless (Imperial Lane, off Collins Street) to the pop culture enclave of Area 52 (now in new premises on the corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets), I was privileged to have a warm welcome, and to be asked to sign stacks of new books.
In coming weeks, the arrival of the book will be celebrated, first in a soiree event at 121 Harrington Street, an exquisite heritage building that became one of the key settings for the novel. There, a handful of guests will sip champagne, eat cupcakes, listen to a reading and be presented with a signed copy of With Love from Wish & Co, gift-wrapped by my mother, to whom the book is dedicated. A launch party will follow a week later at Hadleys Orient Hotel (Murray Street), where the task of smashing the bubbles over the prow of the good ship Wish & Co will fall to another writer born on this island and obsessed with almost otherworldly blend of history, story, myth, light and darkness: Carmel Bird.
This is a place that turns out writers, and books, in abundance: it is a story-making machine. Further, it is blessed with an abundance of fabulous bookshops, remarkable libraries and story-repositories, a long-standing literary magazine in the form of Island, and a community of readers who make writing for them an immense pleasure.