Last night I had the pleasure of attending Christine Bongers launch of her debut novel 'Dust'. The launch was hosted by Riverbend Books and Teahouse in Bulimba. The event was a sell out. Every copy of Dust in store sold out as well. The place was packed with family and friends who braved the rainy weather to support Chris on her special night.
Actor and playwright, Billie Brown got things underway with a witty and fabulous speech. Chris followed on, her opening line being, "Now that's a hard act to follow".
Not true at all. I sat in awe of this woman who delivered a beautiful and inspiring account of her writing journey. She stood confident and strong, was funny and entertaining and had hold of her audience from start to finish.
I sat listening to her, considering my own writing journey. As a fledgling writer, plotting my own path into this writing world, I am overwhelmed with the generosity of Queensland writers. It was the first time I had met Chris in person, having raced with her on several occasions on a Tuesday night in the Australian Writers Market online writing race forum. I came away last night feeling like I had caught up with an old friend. She was warm, welcoming and friendly and I can see why the place was jam packed with supporters.
I met many writers at the launch and each and every one was encouraging and supportive of each other, welcoming me into the fold. Camaraderie washed through the crowd last night and made me realise what an incredible industry it is. Writers and writing industry professionals are amazing people as are the families and friends who support them.
As I listened to Chris sharing the journey of Dust, her face told of her passion and commitment to her craft. She spoke with eloquence and warmth and at one point moved me to tears as she shared anecdotes of her childhood and family life. It is that kind of connection that inspires me to write, to buckle down and believe I can do as she and many others have done.
After reading her blog about her motivation to write Dust the dedication in the front of her book speaks volumes, and are words that inspire and move me as well. I was grateful to share her special night with her and her family and friends as well as her extended writing family. I am only two chapters into the book and already I can feel it moving about inside me the way a good book does.
The night was a huge success and I am sure a great time was had by all. I look forward to immersing myself in the journey of Cecilia Maria, and I say thank you to all you good folk who inspired me last night and make me want to grow to be a great writer.
The Launch of Dust