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Tag: Toni Jordan

My book launch

For me, the most exciting part of publishing my book was to see it there, bound, in a cover — a real book, rather than a word file or a heap of pages spewing all over the floor from my printer.

Sorrowing woman leaning on table in front of photo of her husband

But the next most exciting experience was last night, at Readings Bookshop, Carlton, where Toni Jordan launched it. Toni has a huge deadline to meet in a couple of weeks’ time, yet she had spent time thoroughly reading Lily Campbell’s Secret and looking back to her notes, to the time, in 2015, when I took her workshop, Refining Your Novel. I had naively thought that my carefully drafted novel was ready for refining! No way. It went through several iterations, but after the workshop with Toni it gained direction and purpose.

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Toni Jordan launching Lily Campbell’s Secret

Barry Lee Thompson, from my writing group, Elwood Writers gave a generous talk about the development of my book from the perspective of the writing group. I expected that they might have thought it would never be finished — but he said I had persistence (like the main character, Lily).

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Barry Lee Thompson of Elwood Writers

There was a huge gathering of about fifty people — wonderful to see so many friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for many years. Tremendous to have that support. Angela Munro took a fine collection of photographs both at the launch and at the dinner afterwards at University Cafe.

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Jennifer Bryce at her book launch

Thanks to everyone who came. And if you still want to buy a copy, if you live in Melbourne, it’s available from Readings Bookstores, Avenue Books, and some independent book shops such as Jeffrey’s in Malvern. Out of town it’s available from New Leaves (Woodend) and Aesop’s Attic (Kyneton) and The Trading Post (Mount Macedon) (the setting for much of the book). Otherwise, it can be obtained from Amazon: Click here to buy from Amazon, Click here to buy from the Amazon Kindle Store, Click here to buy from Apple iBooks. Goodreads 

or Book Depository




Toni Jordan: Our Tiny Useless Hearts

This novel has been described as ‘a classic bedroom farce’,  a comedy about love and marriage [ Australian Book Review, 382, p. 27]. And it is. Filled with wonderful wit and cynical statements about suburbia, relationships, food fads, at times wittily exposing people acting instinctively, with over-the-top exaggeration. But it’s far more than that. The first half of the book builds up like a crescendo – at the end of each chapter a person turns up, almost impossibly – oh no, it couldn’t be, and the reader wonders what ever is going to happen next.  Then – wham – in the middle of the book we learn that the narrator, Janice, and her husband Alec, split up because Janice was unable to have a baby – the pain of it, the terrible emptiness.  When Alex was a little boy he wheeled his cat around in a pram. Janice so much wanted to give him a child. She felt she had to leave Alec to enable someone else to fulfil that role.   The rollicking comedy becomes a backdrop, transcended by Janice and Alec seeing each other again after some years, over which remnants of love have remained: ‘the former me, when it was the former us, knew every inch of him . . .’p.76. What will happen? Will their love be rekindled? It seems to have been smouldering in the background all the time. In comparison, the other relationships, battling over infidelities, seem mundane. And in the end it seems that Janice and Alec will find a new kind of life together. It is Janice who is concerned about her primary school age nieces being exposed to adult bawdiness, and it is Janice who works in a laboratory with bacteria and notes how we humans, in our existence, are not many steps away from them. The whole story takes place within 24 hours – beautifully crafted.



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