My face in the first photo is an accurate representation of how last night felt in my speck of the universe, when HarperCollins brought 15 book-loving women together in Brisbane to meet over The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. It’s also the moment we were sitting overlooking the the river, sharing food and wine and stories, when fireworks started exploding from the Story Bridge, for a reason no one knew.
The evening was rich with laughter and kindness; I couldn’t have dreamed to have been with more generous-of-spirit and empowering humans for my first ever author event in my home state. To have the chance as an author to meet booksellers from various bookshops I’ve visited all my adult life was a kind of internal, beautiful hysteria that defies words. When the wonderful Fiona Stager (owner of Brisbane’s beloved Avid Reader where I used to go when I was 20 and in need of hope and wonder) took a photo of us together with my novel and posted it with her caption, I was waiting for someone to leap out and scream at me, Punk’d, or, to turn into a pumpkin. Later, home to my hotel at the witching hour when I noticed the lobby was blanketed in flower paintings. And front and centre in my room?! A painting of flowers in a vase - with the name of one my main characters on it. I sat watching the light reflections from my room play on the glass against the reflections of fairy lights on the bridge and river, and had no skin left to pinch. And, the name of the street my hotel ran off? Oh, just Alice Street.
It’s taken me all day to get my head together to write this post, such is my bewildered joy. Thank you so much, you queens, for coming along to support Alice Hart, and me. And thank you wildflowers, for ever-cheering me on. Friday fireworks for everyone, on me.
HOLLY RINGLAND grew up barefoot and wild in her mother's tropical garden on the east coast of Australia. Her interest in cultures and stories was sparked by a two-year journey her family took in North America when she was nine years old, living in a camper van and travelling from one national park to another. In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert. Moving to England in 2009, Holly obtained her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. Her essays and short fiction have been published in various anthologies and literary journals. She now lives between the UK and Australia. To any question ever asked of Holly about growing up, writing has always been the answer.