I LOVE sharing the book birthday love, and my guest today is not only celebrating her book's birth (CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!),
but has been kind enough to write a little about her experience in a fab post.
Cassie Hamer has a professional background in journalism and PR, but now much prefers the world of fiction over fact. She is the author of two novels, The End of Cuthbert Close (2020) and the Australian bestseller, After the Party (2019).
Cassie lives in Sydney with her terrific husband, her three, mostly-terrific daughters, and a mini-labradoodle, Charlie, who is the newest and least demanding family member.
Ketchup or Mayo? - Mayo
Night or Day? - Day
Inside or Outside? - Hmmm... bit of both. Depends if the sun's out.
Dogs or Cats? - Dogs, please.
Twitter or Facebook? - Twitter for professional networking. Facebook for friendships.
Ebook or Paperback? - Paperback
Sun or Rain? - Sun (with lots of sunscreen, thanks skin-cancer!). Rain if I'm indoors.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Both - keyboard for writing, notes for planning.
Comedy or Drama? - Both, together. (Starting to think I'm very greedy. I seem to be answering 'both' to everything)
Chips or Chocolate? - Chocolate (See, not that greedy)
ISBN 10: 1489257918
Imprint: HQ Fiction - AU
On Sale: 23/03/2020
List Price: 29.99 AUD
BISAC1: FICTION / Contemporary Women
You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your neighbours.
(Trad. proverb, origin: Australian suburbia)
Food stylist Cara, corporate lawyer Alex and stay-at-home mum Beth couldn't be more different. If it wasn't for the fact they live next door to each other in Cuthbert Close, they'd never have met and bonded over Bundt cake. The Close is an oasis of calm and kindness. The kind of street where kids play cricket together and neighbours pitch in each year for an end of summer party.
But no one's told Charlie Devine, glamorous wife of online lifestyle guru, The Primal Guy. When she roars straight into the party with her huge removal truck and her teenage daughter with no care or regard for decades-old tradition, the guacamole really hits the fan.
Cara thinks the family just needs time to get used to the village-like atmosphere. Beth wants to give them home cooked meals to help them settle in. Alex, says it's an act of war. But which one of them is right? Dead guinea pigs, cruelly discarded quiches, missing jewellery, commercial sabotage and errant husbands are just the beginning of a train of disturbing and rapidly escalating events that lead to a shocking climax.
When the truth comes out, will it be the end of Cuthbert Close?
A Bit Like Having a Baby
a guest post by Cassie Hamer
Writers joke that publishing a book is a bit like having a baby. You gestate something and you birth it into the world. Book-baby sounds so cute, right?
If you’ve actually had a baby then you’ll understand how this is less amusing than it might seem. Childbirth is euphoric and despairing. The pain of it is both physical and emotional. One minute you are a functional human being, the next you are a zombified rock with a mollusc attached, a mollusc that wants to suck the life out of you. As a rock, you have no idea if you’re doing it right and you’re beset with insecurities. You’re also aware that you should be grateful for this bundle of joy, and you are! Or, at least you would be if you weren’t so bloody tired and over it to feel anything.
So, is this really what it’s like to have a book published?
Well, yes. At least, that’s how I found it the first time around. I was overjoyed to have ‘After the Party’ out in the world, but the experience was incredibly exposing and anxiety-inducing. This was me on the page. Would anyone like what I had to say? I had insomnia for weeks, both before and post-publication. Speaking endlessly to people about the book was both energizing and thoroughly depleting.
Now, I’m on the verge of my second book being released. You’d think I’d have a handle of these things.
Let’s go back to the baby analogy. Does having one kid make you an expert on having the second kid? No. Because each child is different – they sleep differently, they poo differently, they cry differently – and you have no idea of which type you’re getting until it’s actually in the world.
I could say the same about the next book. Is it different the second time around? Yes, it is. I know a bit more of what’s coming and that knowledge is both reassuring and alarming. What I now know is that there are critical matters that are beyond my control – namely, whether people I like it, and secondly, whether they buy it.
What I know is this – I’ve written a book of which I am proud. ‘The End of Cuthbert Close’ is about a special friendship between three women – Alex, Cara and Beth – and the pressures they face, as mothers, partners and providers. It’s about neighbours – good and bad – and how these relationships can change our lives. I’ve worked as hard as I can to produce a story that’s both funny and moving. This alone means I should be able to sleep well at night, but already I’m starting to have circular thoughts about what more I could be doing or could have done to assure this book’s success.
This morning, I woke at 4:30am for my usual panic-thinking. But this time, I did manage to get back to sleep. Probably because I was dog-tired, but also because of this – the thing I did learn from book one. Having your book published is a circus that comes to town once a year, if you’re lucky. The best way to handle it is to know the circus will come, it will be exciting and exhausting, and then it will move on to the next town, the next author. It’s a season that passes. In baby terms, it’s a phase that comes, and then it will go.
For a period of several weeks, I will be too distracted to write. But when I am ready, the page will be ready for me, and that’s where I will find myself again.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
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