Last week, my colleague and good friend Shanthi Robertson launched my debut novel Into the Sea as part of The Australian Sociological Association’s annual conference. You can watch the recording of the launch here:
I really, really enjoyed the event. When the book was first published, I joked that I wanted people to buy the book but never speak to me about it. It was a weird experience having something that feels so personal put out into the world — even as a work of fiction. I cannot imagine what publishing a memoir feels like. I think that feeling had less to do with any fear it might reveal some secret part of who I am, and was much more about the serious time I spent caring about every line I wrote and every feeling I tried to capture, feelings that I wrapped myself up in for years while writing the book. I spent most of my twenties working on this project and I am really proud that the story captures some of the hopes and frustrations that can colour that time of life. I am admittedly relieved the book and those experiences resonate. The book was published in June, amidst COVID lockdown, and I found out it was available for purchase because I had randomly refreshed the publisher site one evening while sitting quietly in my living room after dinner. So it is also a relief, now the book has been launched, to talk with people who have read it, like taking a big gulp of air. I didn’t realise I was holding my breath.