It’s release day for SAFE HARBOUR! We’re celebrating, bobbing at anchor in Horseshoe Bay off Peel Island, with an early coffee while we watch the sunrise.
For something different I thought I’d share my Acknowledgements Page with you because some people need more of a thank you than I can fit in the limited space available. The extra notes are in blue – enjoy!
Acknowledgements for Safe Harbour.
Firstly, thanks to all my readers, friends and family who’ve supported me since my first book, Border Watch. Your emails and messages are a joy. I hope you enjoy Safe Harbour, a story which is very dear to my heart.
Flying into remote areas I’ve always been conscious that young people have limited options for their future. Sport, particularly footie of any code, provides opportunities. When I met Sergeant Howard Pratt at the Cooktown PCYC I knew I wanted to explore the important role policemen like him play in rural communities. Then it was over to Darcy, Noah, Conor and Rosie to tell the story of Banksia Cove, a village I’ve dropped onto the Queensland coast near Bundaberg. (We moored in the Burnett River sailing between Brisbane and Cairns and back again. Everyone we talked to was doing it tough after all the floods and the tornado. A lady called Vanessa Hair, who lives in Bundy and I met via Face Book, added more insights for me. And, of course, I’ve flown into Bundy many times so I drew on those memories too. I’ve taken some liberties with the topography and the history of the whaling industry but, after all, I am a story teller not an historian!)
As usual, many people added much to the story. Thanks to my wonderful publisher, Ali Watts, who believed in Safe Harbour when it was only nine pages long and continues to provide wonderful support. To Louise Ryan and her Penguin Australia sales team thanks for working so hard behind the scenes. Thanks to Caro Cooper who edited tirelessly, and a very special mention to Chantelle Sturt for her infectious enthusiasm. Clare Foster, my agent, has been a rock this year – thank you. (A special thankyou to Rhian who’s been my publicist for Safe Harbour – I hadn’t met her when this was first written and she’s been awesome!)
Colleen, from Raven’s Parlour Bookshop in the Barossa Valley, took the time to tell me about her son’s work in the Australian Defence Force, recruiting indigenous teenagers who don’t make the cut with sports teams. (It was a serendipitous moment when I met Colleen while I was on tour in the Barossa Valley. I’d had a wonderful High Tea at the Seppeltsfield Winery and Colleen was the supporting bookseller. After my talk, in which I mentioned the themes of my next book, she came and shared her son’s story with me.)
Donna Gallagher generously shared her insights into Rugby League – and writes a great story herself. (A Face Book call out for assistance led to Donna emailing me – social media at its best!) Thanks to Wendy Johnson for revisiting her courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Wendy and Bronwyn Parry are responsible for Capt G and I frocking up in November to fundraise for ovarian cancer research. (Wendy contacted me about contributing to a fundraising book for Ovarian Cancer Research. She was then generous enough to answer all my questions about the disease and how it affected her life. A wonderful woman who does so much for other people.)
Thanks to Glenn for advice on general policing and to ‘he who can’t be named’ for a peek into a Special Emergency Response Team. (Glenn’s been there from the beginning of my writing journey so a huge thank you to him for his ongoing support. And now there’s Mr No Name who’s the real deal SERT lad – an Action Man who’s so unassuming, but I want him on my side in a dark alley on a stormy night when all hell’s breaking loose!)
Thanks to the Volunteer Marine Rescue and Volunteer Coastguard, who took our radio calls as we travelled the Queensland coast in Roo Bin Esque. The boating community is safer because of your tireless efforts. (We’re moored opposite the Moreton Bay Coastguard – a great bunch of people.)
A huge thank you to The Get Reading team. Bethany Clark told me to ‘put on my big girl panties and get writing’ at a moment when I couldn’t see the tunnel, let alone the light at the end. Ali Crisp made me feel like an author. Thanks to the wonderful community of romance writers, too numerous to name, who’ve kept me company on this journey. (An awesome experience touring with these ladies – my life will never be quite the same again!)
My sister, Bronwyn, continues to provide support even when life gets in the way. 16,798 kms is nothing between sisters. (Thanks, Bron 🙂 )
Lastly, without my husband I would forget to eat and I’d probably wear sarongs all day. Without him Zeus the Salty Seadog would be lucky to get a walk, let alone a game in the park. Most importantly, without Capt G there’d be less laughter in my life. Thank you just doesn’t say enough. ( 🙂 )