When Famous Friends Come To Cowtown

Where do I start with the day I’ve had today?

After 6 years of cyber friendship, I met in person the writerly woman who was my first Facebook friend, and has always been an amazing supporter of my writing career, Jenn J McLeod; with her partner in all things writing and life, Jeannette – also known in official circles as the ‘J’ in Jenn J McLeod.

Jenn is the author of the ‘Seasons Collection‘ plus her new book A Place To Remember.

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 6.15.22 PM.png

When I first ‘cyber met’ Jenn, it was through common links and goals in our writing, and a very similar sense of humour, plus I think a love of red wine clinched the deal…

We’ve been writing mates since, but our paths haven’t crossed in person in all this time, and today I got to meet the ‘nomadic novelist’ on her journey to WA. Jenn is here for several special events, including being writer in residence at Serenity Press’s upcoming Writing Retreat near Busselton in October, plus a signing author at West Coast Fiction Festival in Perth (where I’ll be too) on November 3. She’s also visiting various libraries across the South West, and whenever she’s resting, she’ll be writing in her mobile home, affectionately known as ‘Myrtle, the Turtle.’

So, to throw in a few twists to my day (because let’s face it, what is a typical Lily Malone day without twists??) it was my eldest boy’s 11th birthday today, and the day began with a visit to the dentist to repair a chipped front tooth!

Meanwhile, Jenn and Jeannette were traversing the town of Cowaramup, waiting for me to let them know I was back from said dentist visit before we could hook up. On the way back through town to deliver my newly-re-toothed boy to school, I spied the famous #WriteRoundOz vehicle, with the even more famous magnetic strips on the side… my first clue that the Double JJs were officially in town…

41990987_1472659892877895_8270815528314994688_o

I decided to stalk them and see if I could track them down in Cowtown… (for those not in the know, Cowaramup is the size of… well, kind of a postage stamp. My task should not prove too difficult!)

41990461_10213748384237066_9108033821151854592_n
Me in stalker mode…

My first stop was the post office, where I got my second official clue. Mail delivered to my address on behalf of Jenn J McLeod… Yes, she is bookish royalty, quite obviously, we all wait on her hand and foot. (Any more parcels to come, my-Lady?)42044292_1472721026205115_4809871056598728704_o

Next thing there are hoots and hollers across the highway, and lo and behold, I see these two ladies waving at me! 41991263_1472659849544566_4529771693488472064_o

Well, much hilarity and a good few hours of coffee, toasted sandwiches, muffins (yes I baked!!) and conversation ensued… plus more photographs and a visit to Ellensbrook to see the sea.

41954810_10213748374156814_4999317562899562496_n

Tomorrow, it happens to be Jenn J McLeod’s birthday! Yes, the day after my son’s, which feels doubly kismet & special. We have the day planned, and poor Jenn and Jeannette get the dubious honour of being invited to dinner with me, whereby I will set my mad baking skills to work for her! Bwahahahaa…

Lovely to see you, Jenn J & Jeannette. Welcome to Cowaramup and WA. I hope your visit is every bit of extra special awesome!

 

xx
Lily

The Evolution of a Butterfly Book Cover

How cool is it to have a book series called Butterfly House, and to be able to show the metamorphosis of a book cover… just like a butterfly!

If you scroll through the photos, you’ll see the unveiling of my latest Butterfly House cover, version by version, once again designed by the ever-talented Kerry Sibly.

Movie 1
Version 1: Kerry started with pink in the background, like my original Butterfly House Who Killed The Bride?¬†… but I want something different from pink, so the first alteration was easy.
Movie 2
Version 2: Right from the get-go I love this purple through gold. The Butterfly House Book 2 line on cover and spine are hard to read… they need to be white… and there is a lot going on with ‘Marilyn figure’ ‘actor bloke’ ‘cow’ and ‘camera’… I’m thinking, we need to simplify. Let’s make ‘Marilyn’ bigger and lose the bloke.
movie 3
Version 3: Now we’re cooking with gas! I’m loving this… but because it’s ‘movie star’ I’d like to see some twinkle twinkle little stars on there… stay tuned!
movie 4
Version 4: Ask for stars and ye shall receive!!!
lotsa stars
Version 5: More stars! Too many?
movie 7
Version 6: Subtle stars… I’m loving this! Now we’ve just got the back cover blurb to update and a new barcode to add, and we’re done. Here’s our Beautiful new Butterfly!

 

So there you have it folks! Can you see the progression? Isn’t it beautiful? It’s got all the quirk and character of Cowaramup, and it’s so very original and pretty! ūüôā

Love your work, Kerry Sibly!

For more information and a gallery of work for Mr Kerry Sibly, please visit http://www.mukau.com.au

Living in Downtown Cowtown

Sharing a quick video about my hometown – Cowaramup in the south west of Western Australia.

Earlier this year I was involved with the group that put together an entry submission for Cowaramup to be named the ‘Legendairy Capital of Australia.’

After lots of consultation with local dairy farmers and representatives of various local groups and committees, I put fingers to keyboard to help write our town’s submission.

In autumn this year, we got the great news that Cowaramup had won the title of West Australian ‘dairy capital’, and would now go on to represent WA in the national competition with the winner announced later this year.

The State nomination and winner’s announcement all happened right before the Deja-Moo 2017 (a huge weekend of cow-themed fun in Cowaramup), and the team from Dairy Australia came to visit our town during the mid-year school holidays and festival. I can only imagine what those Dairy Australia representatives must have thought – landing in the midst of a cold winter weekend of Cow Onesie frenzy!

butterfly-magnetI feel so chuffed to have written a book set in Cowaramup, involving the increasingly famous Cowaramup Cows. One of the speakers in the video is Kerry Sibly (you see him wearing the cow horns in his cow onesie chatting during the vid); Kerry designed the awesome book cover for Butterfly House Book 1, Who Killed The Bride?

Please click the link below to check the video:

Margaret River Region Open Studios April 22 – May 7

I had the huge pleasure last night to join two talented Cowaramup artists, painter Kerry Sibly and sculptor Alan Meyburgh, at the launch of Kerry and Alan’s exhibition for this year’s Open Studios.

17952735_10154993803435590_6010447907711110515_n
One of Alan Meyburgh’s sculptural creations. This looked amazing lit up at night.

Poster900x600

My connection to this clever and versatile¬†pair is that Kerry illustrated and designed my Butterfly House ‘Who Killed The Bride book cover… plus he lives in the same street as me, and in our street we’re always up for a party. ūüôā

About 80 people came along to¬†the launch, held at Kerry and Wendy Sibly’s house. The house itself made an amazing frame for an art exhibition. At different times Kerry and Wendy’s home¬†has been in the lens of programs such as ‘Grand Design’; and on the radars of some of Australia’s house and lifestyle magazines. It’s an incredibly special place, filled with personal traits, tricks and treats.

Kerry and Alan made a combined sculpture that they offered as a prize on their launch night. Alan sculpted the heart, and Kerry (in his words) “added the rusty barbed wire to it”.

IMG_7644
Kerry Sibly stood on the kitchen bench to make his speech at the launch. He’s holding the sculpture he and Alan put together as a prize for launch night. Alan is pictured in the centre bottom of the screen, and the lovely lady in the background is Wendy Sibly, Kerry’s better half. PHOTO: Emily Cockburn.

 

We were thrilled to have the sponsorship of Stella Bella Wines and the Margaret River Dairy¬†Company for our launch. There’s nothing like viewing art, sculpture, and books whilst enjoying classic Margaret River wine and cheese!

18033851_10155003889200590_7989366333325413341_n
A sample of Kerry’s artwork above Alan’s sculptures.

The Margaret River Region Open Studios (MRROS) is now in its fourth year, involving artists of all pursuits from Busselton to Augusta who open their studio/shop/shed or workplace to visitors where people can peruse and buy artworks, but also talk to the artist and see them at work.

Over the next few weeks, I’m relocating my ‘writing room’ across to the Sibly’s house for several mornings a week, and I’d love to see you for a cuppa¬†and perhaps to chat all things books, writing, and reading…

IMG_7657
People are laughing… so Kerry’s speech must have been funny. PHOTO: Emily Cockburn.

If you are in or around the Margaret River region, please look for the Open Studio signs everywhere, or visit www.mrros.com.au¬†to see what’s on offer.

Kerry and Alan’s exhibition is No. 51 in the Guide. They’re open every day from 10am to 4pm, including ANZAC day.

When Cows and Butterflies come out to play

Q: How much fun can an author (moi), a cover designer (Kerry Sibly), two giftshop owners (Kerry & Wendy Sibly), a photographer (the very patient James Bunting), a journalist (Nicky Lefebvre from The Augusta-Margaret River Mail), and a Cowaramup cow have during a photo shoot?

A: Too much fun. Will Cowaramup¬†ever be the same again…?

Thanks James Bunting for the photos!

Check out Nicky Lefebvre’s story here.

You can get your personally signed print copy of Who Killed The Bride, Butterfly House Book 1 for $18.95 by emailing me lilymalone@mail.com or if you’re in¬†the South West, call into Mukau Giftware and Gallery in Cowaramup or Barefoot Books in Fig Tree Lane, Busselton.

More information about the book is right here.

About dickheads and idiots

I wrote about the Cowaramup Cows here. I have a new book coming out soon and it is set in my hometown of Cowaramup, where there is a herd of about 40 life-size fibreglass cows.

I said in that post something like: not everybody likes the cows, but the cows have been a boon for local businesses in the area, bringing people to our town, and giving them a reason to stop in Cowaramup instead of bypassing us for the bigger tourist towns north and south.

Saturday morning, this happened, and it makes me angry and sad.

When these pictures were posted in the Cowaramup Community Facebook page, almost to a comment there¬†was condemnation of the dickheads¬†who would do this sort of thing.¬†I hate that it feels like incidents¬†of vandalism are growing in this part of the world that’s always felt somehow insulated and innocent of what might seem to be ‘city things.’

It’s easy to think that it is done by ‘kids’ blowing off steam, or ‘the youth of today’. That’s not fair to all the great kids that I know in this community.

Not long ago a memorial was vandalised in Gracetown. It was commemorating a surfer who had been killed in a shark attack some years ago. ‘Kids’ got blamed for that one too.

Who knows if it’s young people or old? Locals or visitors? Trump-lovers or Trump-haters? Whoever did it is a dickhead. Pure and simple.

The cows in Cowaramup are not everybody’s cup of tea. Leave them alone if they’re not your thing. Boycott deja-Moo and the Christmas Fair and any other cow thing. Don’t take your visitors to any park to see the cows.

In my new book, part of the story involves a mystery surrounding the theft of one of the Cowaramup calves. My book is fiction, but I wrote it after a calf was stolen from outside a local shop last year. That time, the calf was taken, not destroyed, and eventually the community got the calf back.

Seeing the photographs of the cows destroyed is somehow worse. Like the surfer’s plaque at Gracetown. It’s malicious. It’s disrespectful. It’s anti-social. It’s dumb.

And I suspect whoever desecrated the surfer’s memorial, or the calf in the park knows this, and doesn’t care.

That’s what¬†dickheads do.

 

Fly, Fly, Butterfly

butterflyhouse-for-blogI have a new book project‚Ķ as always seems to happen, it¬†feels like it has taken forever to write, but all of a sudden I have the most amazing cover, and I’m signing off on printing plans, and I have a launch date and publishing deadline, and everything is happening at warp speed!

It’s called¬†Butterfly House¬†and its a real change of pace for me. First – it’s a series – which I’ve never done before and second it’s kind of chick-lit, not romance. It‚Äôs a seriously local story, set in an imaginary location in my home town of Cowaramup. If you‚Äôve ever visited Cowaramup it‚Äôs that little dot on the map¬†snuggled in the middle of far more famous cousins such as¬†Margaret River, Busselton and Dunsborough‚Ķ and for years and years if you blinked driving through on the Bussell Highway, you missed it.

Not anymore. Now you blink because you think some farmer just¬†let his prize herd of dairy cows escape out the farm gate…

These days, Cowaramup is famous for its herd of life-size fibreglass cows that munch imaginary daisies on our main street, chew their cud, a-low and a-moo and lie or stand around doing their thang day in, day out. (Here are some photos of WA romance authors Jennie Jones and Juanita Kees checking out the cows during a visit with me in 2014).

Not everyone loves the Cowaramup cows, but most people do, and I’m one of the latter. The cows have been wonderful for retail businesses who might otherwise have had to close their shop doors as our town got bypassed for the bigger, more touristy places. Now people have a reason to stop, take photos, and enjoy so much of the community spirit that makes Cowtown, such a cool town.

In the first of the Butterfly House books, Who Killed The Bride, we meet Cally Minter and her best friend, Sienna Devereux, just as they are about to launch their new business: Murder Mystery at Butterfly House.

Do you remember those old fashioned murder mysteries that were a ‚Äėthing‚Äô about 20 years ago? I wrote one once (incidentally). It featured Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie and Jack Nicholson. (Hubby played Jack).

I wrote scripts for everyone and the game ran on the clock. People had to be some place at a certain time and say something to another character. Or some other character might see them leaving the garden, or the shed, or the house (with a dripping bloody dagger in their hand) kind of thing.

In the game I wrote years ago, ‘Tom Cruise’ was¬†found¬†dead¬†in the front yard of our garden¬†in Hahndorf‚Ķ and it turned out Angelina¬†and Russell were the dastardly pair who combined to knock him off. (Russell was jealous because he‚Äôd missed out on¬†the lead in The Last Samurai, which Tom went on to get…). We played the game and¬†ate, drank and made very merry‚Ķ we had a blast.

Butterfly House kind of takes off, where that fledgling idea began.

I can’t wait to show you the AMAZING full cover for Who Killed The Bride? Butterfly House: Book 1. It was designed by local¬†artist (incidentally – he doubles as ‘vet’ to the Cowtown cows) Kerry Sibly who runs the gift shop Mukau in Cowaramup main street. This man is a genius!

I also can’t wait to tell you about my¬†plans for¬†the launch and sale of the book and how, where and when you can¬†get your hands on¬†a signed PRINT copy. Lots of exciting news to come including a cover reveal tomorrow! I’ll post it here first ūüôā