Queen Mary 2 – Author Visit

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Once in a lifetime, an author has an innocent conversation with a friend who is the Business Development Manager for the world’s best cruise ships.

This leads to all manner of dreaming and scheduling and before she knows it, she’s in the back of an UBER ride on her way to the famous CUNARD LINE Queen Mary II.

And yes… in my wildest dreams I would never have imagined this would be MY author adventure, but thanks to my fabulous friend Andrew Perry, it is.

And I am still pinching myself.

To continue the giddy-fest of drool-worthy photos of this magnificent vessel, I bring you the day Rel Mollet, (my part-time assistant, part-time photographer and full-time partner in author world adventures) and I, boarded this recently remastered flagship on its 2017 World Voyage – Melbourne visit.

What an honour to be invited to deliver copies of my debut Australian Historical Romance, Carry Me Home, for readers from all over the globe.

Here’s how we rolled…

 

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Really, truly…. our first ever UBER ride. Early morning excitement – before the wind tore up our hair.

 

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We’re official! Passed security and tagged for embarkation.

 

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Aboard the Queen Mary 2 with our escort and dear friend, Andrew Perry. I think he’s saying, ‘You should live onboard and write away each day in some sunny corner.’ And I’m saying, ‘I so should.’

 

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One copy each of Carry Me Home for the 3 Cunard Queens – The Queen Mary II, The Queen Elizabeth, and The Queen Victoria.

 

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With the QM2 Librarian, Nathan, and Sandy, QM2 Events Co-ordinator.

 

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Talking all things libraries and the habits of seafaring readers.

 

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Top shelf, centre…. goosebumps and cheesy author smiles.

 

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The Queen Mary 2 is the world’s largest floating library, with a backlit collection of over 8000 titles to cover the reading delights of its 2600 passengers and 1300 crew.

 

Queen Mary 2

After my author visit to the library, Andrew took us on a 3 hour guided tour of the QM2. Melbourne put on a glorious summer’s day and showered us in sunshine, befitting a ship so grand.

 

 

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The QM2 has 14 decks. I think we covered every one of them!

 

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Acres of fine dining.

 

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We worked up an enviable appetite and were delighted with our delicious luncheon. Thank you, Cunard!

 

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The Grand Lobby. Lives up to its name and then some.

 

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The Captain’s Table…, a little larger than the rest, to welcome special dinner guests.

 

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Part of the Royal Family photographs in the Grand Ballroom. I’m looking at an original photo of Queen Mary, after whom the ship was named. Bliss for a lover of all things historical.

 

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Aussie Pride on a cabin door.

 

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The view of Marvellous Melbourne from the top deck of the QM2.

 

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Author life. It’s a hard job. Lucky for me my assistant insists on afternoon naps. In the sun. On a luxury ocean liner. #dreaming

 

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Most passengers were exploring the sights of  Melbourne.

 

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So, take your pick of deckchairs.

 

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The spectacular Royal Court Theatre seats 1000 guests for movies and live performances to rival anything seen on Broadway or West End.

 

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Illuminations – The QM2 seriously has a planetarium! Seating almost 500 guests it also screens movies and features lecture programs.

 

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What a magnificent vessel! Why would anyone want to leave? A cruise onboard the Queen Mary 2 is now TOP of my wish list.

 

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Rel Mollet and I had to be lured into our ride home by this generous gift of CUNARD boxed chocolates. Otherwise we might have stayed forever.

 

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I’ve learned a lot in my short time as published author. Here’s what’s impressed me the most – My readers are the BEST PEOPLE around. They cheer me on, encourage my writing, and constantly surprise me with opportunities to speak and showcase my work. This time it was this guy. Thank you, Andrew, for your generous heart and invitation to come aboard. The author life is never dull and this week in particular, it was off the charts super spectacular. #literallyblownaway

 

 

 

 

Author Talk Snapshots

 

The nights have been cold and this winter has not been mild.

Nope. Melbourne continues to deliver its iciest blast.

But my readers have showered me with warmth and love.

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Rustic bookshelf, scattered sea shells…

In June, it was my privilege to speak with the wonderful women of NewHope Baptist Church, in Blackburn. These girls sure know how to manage an event. Every corner of the room was festooned with details inspired by Carry Me Home.

A million thanks, to my beautiful team…Fiona, Surette, Laura, and Robyn. 

From shells to tea cups, lanterns and candles, to olde worlde books and nostalgic touches like handmade bunting… the entire room glowed with such attention to detail, I thought I may have walked into my own story-world.

And notice the carefully chosen tablecloth, matched to Finella’s skirt! Brilliant!

Many thanks to the beautiful souls who attended this Meet The Author event, and for your wonderful support! What a treat to discover such warm hearted readers.

Meeting you girls was the highlight of my June!

 

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Old Bible

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Book display

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Beautiful Bunting

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Vintage Books

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Wonderful Readers

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More Wonderful Readers

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Stunners, each one

AND… just last week, it was a delight to chat with the good people of Phillip Island in the local library. We talked all things Carry Me Home, Displacement Fiction, and my road to publication. Many thanks to Helen and Jenny for their hospitality.

An Aussie author could easily believe the months of June and July are cold and unwelcoming. Not true. For this debut author, they’ve been a warm embrace.

Thank you, dear readers! Once again, you’ve blessed me beyond measure.

 

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Book Signing At The Phillip Island Library

 

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Meeting New Readers

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Final Instructions…. Read Carry Me Home

 

I hope you’re keeping toasty or ice cool… wherever you may be.

Happy reading,

Dotti xx

 

 

One year on…

Last April, we shot all the photography for the Blue Wren Shallows series book covers, as well as the location shots I’ve used on this website. Each photograph captures the beauty of Phillip Island and the beaches where the stories of Finella and Shadrach, and the people who come into their lives, are set.

April, 2015

I’m privileged to walk these beaches when I visit my island. They remind me of critical scenes in my stories and continue to inspire new ones. One particular stretch of beach is where my daughter sat for this website’s homepage header. She’s perched on a washed up, sun-bleached log left for us by the wind and the waves.

My dear friend, Rel Mollet, spotted that piece of driftwood the day we went scouting the beach for suitable photography locations. It served us well later that afternoon when we took our cover model and photographer down to the beach for the last of the photography. (See this fun to revisit that day.)

Since then, I’ve walked that same beach a dozen times, maybe more. Each time that driftwood log is snuggled into the sand a little more. Last week, it looked like this… in places, almost completely buried by the kiss of the tide.

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April, 2016

And I was reminded how much has happened since last April.

The happy launch of Carry Me Home.

The delightful months of introducing Shadrach and Finella to readers all over the world.

And for me… the opportunity to connect with many of those readers who’ve now become friends.

I’m thrilled to say book two in the Blue Wren Shallows series, Carry Me Away, is a now a complete story.

To me, it looks a little like the log in the photo. I can see the beginning and end. But there’s branches which need dusting off and polishing up. That’s what I’ve been doing these last few months and will continue to work on in the weeks ahead.

I’ve also been a little distracted by the happy engagement of our daughter to her sweet love, in February. And with their permission, I will share some of that deliciousness in my first newsletter, scheduled to be sent out next week.

Are you on the Ink Dots Newsletter mailing list?

You can subscribe by filling in the field at the bottom of any page on this website.

I’m so excited to share it with you.

 

 

Mornings look like this…

Summer days are racing by and I’m spending more and more time in the library working on the ending of Carry Me Away, book 2 in the Blue Wren Shallows series.

Lots of new reader friends have popped in to pick up their copy of Carry Me Home (book 1). They sit in that chair while I sign their book, but most of my days I spend in the library, all alone… working on this new manuscript. (Don’t be fooled. I’m not complaining. Alone = bliss for this homebound author)

Here’s a peek at my view one morning this week ~ surrounded by my words, my tea, and a little angel watching over me to make sure I’m on task. I’m in the thick of making life miserable for my characters. Really bad. Tissue box bad.

During a coffee catch up with a dear writing friend, we brainstormed a further ‘misery twist’ … and even I flinched. Thankfully there’s a giddy, full blown romantic thread to wrap around this story before it’s delivered to YOU, my dear reader.

If you haven’t signed up for the Ink Dots newsletter, now is the time to get on that list. You will be among the first to receive news about upcoming book releases, the first to glimpse cover reveals, and in the month of February, anyone who subscribes to the Ink Dots newsletter is in the running to win an autographed copy of Carry Me Home.

You can do that by filling in the field at the bottom of any page on this website. There’s two books up for grabs this month!

Good luck, dear friends!
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Happy Summer Days

Happy New Year and welcome back to Ink Dots.

It’s been a crazy summer for me, with my book launch, (see Facebook author page for all the pics) beach trips to Phillip Island, a family Christmas at home, and a breathtaking stop in Fiji to soak up the sun and recharge my author batteries.

December and January have certainly delivered above and beyond anything I expected as a debut author. On December 18th I took receipt of the first print run of Carry Me Home and within 3 weeks, you wonderful people had bought Every. Single. Copy.

Pinch me, hard!

I did not anticipate I’d SELL OUT so soon and I’m still giddy to have shared the story with so many readers.

To those who bought those first print copies… I offer my heartfelt THANKS!!!

It’s because of loyal readers like you I could order the second print run and look into the face of 2016 with great anticipation.

I’ll be disappearing into my library to work on book two in the Blue Wren Shallows series this month. But before I do…I want to honour those who’ve taken the time to message me their reader feedback.

You really know how to bless an author in the early days of her writing career. I could not have wished or dared for more. But that’s exactly what you returned to me! Much more than my giddy heart could have imagined.

You might recognise the part you played in my delight in the following photos. Bless you for sending them to me and posting them on social media. If only every author had such faithful readers. You guys are the best.

Now, take your bow!

(And if I’ve missed your pic… message me and it will be my pleasure to add it ASAP)

***** For my Australian AND international readers… To celebrate the second print run of Carry Me Home, I’m offering all new mailing lists subscribers the chance to win one of two autographed copies. No matter where you live, this contest is open to you. Just sign up for the Ink Dots Newsletter in the month of February (scroll to the bottom of this page) and you could be that winner. Good luck!

 

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Delivery ~ Carry Me Home

 

There’s IMG_4073much I can say about the book publishing process, which added grey hairs to my head and wrinkles around my weary eyes.

But I forgot most of it the day I ripped open this package to reveal the first ever print copy of Carry Me Home.

Fast-tracked via Amazon, it arrived one sunny November morning, like any other delivery which barrels into the driveway on the back of some regular looking truck.

Only, this truck had been listened for all morning.

 

I’d pottered around the front garden, half interested in the new summer roses, but really, head tilted to every noise and rumble from the other side of the hedge.

The cardboard packaging fell apart easy enough under the pull of my knife, and there it was. Velvety cover, cream pages, everything I’d imagined for years. Beside the lemon bowl on my kitchen bench.

In. My. House.

A proof copy for me to examine from every angle, before I pressed the publish for all the world to read button.

But first, I had to hold it. And smell it. And rub the soft cover against my cheek. And when my breathing allowed… hold the book at arm’s length to make sure it was real. And squeal a little.

Giddy, giddy gooseflesh, all my prayers had been answered…and my book had come home.

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