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Top 10 Best Book Launch Moments of The Zanzibar Moon

Top 10 Best Book Launch Moments of The Zanzibar Moon

Saturday 24th June 2017 the date of my very first personal book launch for The Zanzibar Moon. It couldn’t have gone any better. My wildest dream of selling out of books happened and I have orders for more. My first fortnight’s sales have exceeded my own expectations by at least double.

The Zanzibar Moon Book Launch

Beautiful bunch of flowers from my lovely friends, at the launch of The Zanzibar Moon, 24th June 2017.

It was a modest, but lovely affair at my friends The Ashby’s home in Currumbin Waters. The outdoor room was decorated in Zanzibar theme, with flowing Arabian material on the ceiling, poster of The Zanzibar Moon on a wall, ancient lamps (at least they looked it), palm trees, tea lights, butterflies, bright kangas (African sarongs) and leopard print table runners. It was magical.

The Zanzibar Moon Book Launch

Colleen, my little helper Ella and Me with copies of The Zanzibar Moon.

Inside we had a round table filled with my books, bookmarks and a stand with a poster inserted of me and the book. This table very quickly had fewer books, but filled with congratulatory bottles of champagne, flowers and gifts (truly overwhelming). Some people knew it was my birthday (53rd) but most were just celebrating my book. Over the afternoon I was told; “What a fabulous achievement!”, “Now I can say I know an author,”, “How did you do it all?” (as a self-publisher), “You must be very proud,”, “Congratulations you are an inspiration.”.

The Zanzibar Moon Book Launch

My cousin Mandy, Ella and Me with Sue, Katrina and Karen in the background.

I was prepared for a day of celebrations for producing a book, but the support and well wishes were stunning, enthusiastic and heartfelt. I am forever grateful for the support I received. Thank you everyone who came, particularly those who bought food as well (we ended up with plenty).

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

My dear friend Sam getting a book signed at The Zanzibar Moon book launch.

After spending almost two hours signing books (no I am not complaining about writer’s cramp), putting books in bright pink bags with names on (so party goers would not mix up books or spill champagne on them), having my little niece Ella as my helper and wondering what was going on with everyone outside, I finally took a break then quickly went into book launch speech mode.

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

Helen gave me a lovely bunch of flowers and bought a signed copy of The Zanzibar Moon. The gold bottle of wine was from Debbie and I also received one from Karen. Thank you ladies.

My husband Bevil was MC. As always he got a few laughs before leaving it to me. I know I was mainly in front of family and friends, still I was nervous. I had cue cards though barely looked at them. I wanted it off the cuff as much as possible. Of course then I forgot some major points. No one seemed to mind. I didn’t want to talk for long, so didn’t read a passage of the book (besides having contact lenses on which would have made that difficult). Then The Zanzibar Moon was launched. My son Blake recorded the event. I’ll be cringing when I see it. You should record these things shouldn’t you?

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

One of my most supportive friends Chrissy, who couldn’t wait for book launch day. Here we are wine and books in hand.

My brother Brad and sister Karen then gave me a gift, which Mum (away in Bali) had picked. It’s a framed version of my book poster with the date and a little plaque at the bottom which reads, “Congratulations Donna on your first published book. Love from your Family.”

The Zanzibar Moon book launch

Me holding the beautiful framed poster of The Zanzibar Moon with my gorgeous hubby Bevil.

That leads me to the top 10 moments of my book launch:

  1. Most people arrived on time (eager) and went straight to the book signing table (wow!)
  2. Those who’ve finished reading are telling everyone else how much they enjoyed The Zanzibar Moon and how good it is (please post these on-line readers, thanks)
  3. Receiving my first unexpected bottle of champagne
  4. Being handed a bunch of flowers (then more and more)
  5. My dearest friends being more excited about the day than me. They showed much they care by setting up, cooking food, providing the venue, telling others, making things perfect and being the wonderful people they are.
  6. My family coming; which included husband, son, siblings, nieces, cousins and uncles and aunties (unfortunately Mum was overseas). My other kids and grandchildren couldn’t make it either. They were in touch with lovely wishes through the day, as was Mum.
  7. Selling out of all but two books (which I wanted to keep on me, as an author cannot go without her book) and having over a dozen more ordered.
  8. My husband’s heartfelt speech. For a non-book reader, he is extremely supportive of what I love doing – writing.
  9. Receiving the gift of the framed book launch poster. It means a lot to me that the family thought of the perfect gift, particularly Mum who desperately wanted to be here.
  10. The overwhelming support. I had no idea that people would be so excited about my book launch (I’d worked in the publishing industry before and never seen a response like it). The offers of re-posting to social media, using word-of-mouth publicity, offering to sell books and every other supportive comments. Just – wow!


The Zanzibar Moon book launch

I may look a tad happy here. Signing books, selling books, having fun, loving life, loving family and friends and of course new readers too.

Thank you to everyone who came to the book launch of The Zanzibar Moon. The video is coming soon.

147 to 165 Days of Gratitude – Black Hawk Anniversary

Day 147 to 165 of 365 Days of Gratitude – Black Hawk Anniversary

It’s been 18 days since I last gave gratitude on this blog. I’ve been grateful for many things in those 18 days and most of them deal with my health and being alive. We should have gratitude for every day we wake and live on our beautiful planet Earth. Lots of people have come and gone since I’ve lived, and I ponder why some left this journey early, while others (such as my nana who lived till 94) stay longer than, perhaps, they would have liked. And, mostly why do some die so young?

Sunrise at Currumbin Beach Qld.

Have gratitude when you can wake each morning and see a new sunrise.

I am melancholy about this, as during these days the anniversary of The Black Hawk Accident occurred. 18 of our finest men died in that tragic incident June 12th 1996. 15 were SAS soldiers and one of them was Corporal Brett Tombs, a dear school friend. Many Australians will remember when the two Black Hawks collided over Townsville and how we mourned as a nation when we heard of the tragedy.

I think of Brett and his family each year and wish he could still be here with Gaye (who I also went to school with) and their two children, watching them grow up. It’s one of those things that, even twenty years later, you still don’t quiet believe that it happened. It resonates with me further because two of my sons have been in the defence force (one did three tours of duty). The Black Hawk incident shows that even in peacetime, there is always danger of some kind protecting our country. RIP Brett Tombs and all the young men of The Black Hawk.

You can read this tear-jerking account from last year’s Courier Mail, featuring Brett’s daughter Giverny. Brett would have been so proud of her and his son, Josh. I am grateful for something through that, and that is that his children have wonderful uncles (Brett’s brothers) who love his children and do their utmost to fill some of Brett’s void for them. It’s poignant and bittersweet.

So, for these 18 days of gratitude, let’s just say I’m truly grateful that all my family are safe and that we are here.

Reflect on what you were doing on the day of The Black Hawk Accident 21 years ago.

Lest we forget.

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