October and November were just determined to be a lot of Everything.
Everything Under the Moon, of course, both as a book, as well as in many other ways.
In the last six weeks I’ve:
Launched the book in Naarm with Alison Evans, Amie Kaufman, Jes Layton and Lili Wilkinson, on the rooftop of the Victorian Pride Centre with Hares and Hyenas. The weather was GORGOUS (thank goodness!) and while we chatted about the book, people were able to watch a stunning sunset behind us over the city skyline.
Launched the book on Eora Country with Will Kostakis and the ever-delightful Erin Gough leading the proceedings. It was delightful to be launching it at Kinokuniya as that was my first ever bookshop job, twenty-one years ago.
Those authors and I also drove around signing books at 8 stores with the Melbourne Pals, and 12 stores in Sydney with Will. Both were big days! Thanks to Chris, the awesome Affirm Rep in Sydney who did all the driving for us there. It’s nice to sometimes just have my ‘Author’ hat on, and not be worrying about the ‘sales rep’ or ‘bookseller’ side of things.
There have been events all over the place, including at Caroline Springs Library, Verso Books in Healesville, and Bookish in Bendigo partnered with Bendigo Writers Festival for a satellite event. I also was invited to speak about the book at the Collins Booksellers conference, which lead to a mini-regional tour being set up fairly spontaneously. Tomorrow, I drive (6 hours) to Mildura for an event there with the incredible Donata at Collins partnered with Arts Mildura. Then, drive to Shepparton, stopping at Swan Hill and Echuca on the way to sign books for them, before ending up at ‘Out In the Open’ Festival for their Carnival Day on Saturday 18th at Queens Gardens, Shepparton. I’ve booked a stall just as me, Michael Earp, Author, for the first time ever doing something like that, and will be sitting there all day with my books and some Zines I’ve made hoping that people come and talk to me about books. (not even mine! I’ll talk about books in general! – but I will have my own books for sale.) Next week, I fly to Sydney, catch the train down to Thirroul on the South Coast for an event with the incredible Collins Bookstore there. I’ll be in conversation with Helena Fox, Will Kostakis and Gary Lonesborough. It’s going to be an absolute delight! I then fly home the next day.
I’ve also been doing a WHOLE bunch of interviews! Writers Victoria, QNews, JoyFM, Tripple R, ABC Radio: Victorian Evenings, RTR FM, Good Reading, The Leaf Bookshop, 2SER FM, and Queer Writes Sessions.
The book itself has been garnering some wonderful reviews! Readings, Books and Publishing, and a 5 star review in The Big Issue among them!
I wrote an article for Archer about rewriting fairy tales that I had a lot of fun with.
And this weekend just passed, I ran a 6 hour workshop on rewriting fairy tales which was the first time I’ve run a full day workshop and it was great! I honestly didn’t expect people to want to spend money on me to hear me rabbit on about fairy tales all day, but there was a great turn out with twelve people there! They were all really engaged and we set about to question everything and wonder at what new stories we could all come up with.
In amongst that, I was also somehow maintaining my full time job, working on two other anthologies coming out next year, both going to print this month, judging a writing prize for grade seven students, and trying to fit in my own writing. (Dear Reader, very little writing was achieved).
And I haven’t even touched on the state of the world which is a literal dumpster fire right now and trying to do what I can to support there.
Before October even kicked off, I also had a very significant turn in my mental health. The level of overwhelm I felt with the impending month had my mind and body physically react by shutting down. I couldn’t do anything without an enormous amount of masking how I was feeling. I was on the verge of tears, if not crying at the drop of a hat, for nearly three weeks straight. My self esteem and everything that goes with it has never been strong, and when you throw imposter syndrome at it too, along with exhaustion and nihilistic doubt, it wasn’t a fun time. But talking about it with my partner, checking in with my therapist, and checking a few things off the to do list saw me bounce back a bit. I’m still craving a time where there’s zero expectations of me, but I quite honestly don’t know if such a time will ever exist. Let’s see if I can get a nap in somewhere, instead.
Thanks to Teague Leigh for the incredible photos of the Naarm Launch.