I’m so excited to have Anna Daniels, author of the funny and charming debut Girl in Between, as part of her blog tour! Keep scrolling as Anna talks about her relationship with her publisher, Louise Thurtell, and what it means to have someone just as passionate as you are in your dreams. And keep an eye out tomorrow for my review of Girl in Between, which is in bookstores now!
Hello! I’m typing this to you on Friday 5th May, having just heard the news that my publisher of Girl in Between, Louise Thurtell, is leaving Allen & Unwin after ten years.
Before I start sobbing into the keyboard, there’s a funny story behind Louise and I meeting, so I think I’ll begin with that.
In 2015, my manuscript was shortlisted for the Vogel Award, but at 38,000 words, it was very short, so whilst I knew deep down that Girl in Between would not win the prize, my dearest hope was that a publisher would recognise the potential in my writing, and wish to develop it with me. That person turned out to be Louise Thurtell!
I arrived at the Vogel’s party, held atop the Allen & Unwin terrace in Sydney in April 2016, knowing in the back of my mind that I’d like to meet Louise. I’d done a bit of stalking on the Allen & Unwin website and saw that Louise had started the Friday Pitch submission for A&U because she wanted to encourage more unpublished writers to send her their material. I also read in an interview where Louise particularly loved championing authors from rural and regional Australia, who might feel daunted by the publishing process.
I asked to be introduced to Louise at the party, and when we met, I immediately felt at ease. Louise grew up in Orange and I grew up in Rockhampton, so we got each other as ‘country girls’ from the very first. I told Louise that I’d brought my Mum and Dad along to the awards night, and she said she’d love to meet them. Well, that sparked off a very funny chain of events!
My parents are characters! They’re not as ridiculous as Brian and Denise in Girl in Between, but they’re very funny and lovable and have an uncanny ability to charm and disarm! I introduced Louise to them and walked away to retrieve drinks, and when I turned back I saw that Mum and Dad had Louise wedged between them on a couch! She could not escape!
They all got along like a house on fire, with Louise talking cattle and sheep with my Dad until apparently he at one point said to her, ‘So, are you going to be able to help this daughter of mine out or not?’ Louise then replied, ‘Well, you know her manuscript’s too short…she’d have to write another 40,000 words,’ to which Dad immediately said, ‘Oh Louise! She’d do that in her sleep!’ Too funny. To this day Dad still takes credit for sweet-talking Louise into giving me a publishing deal! He’s dreaming!
From that initial meeting at the Vogel’s party, Louise then requested my manuscript, and wrote back within the week saying she really enjoyed it and hoped we could turn it into an amazing novel. She said she thought I had the talent to do so. I almost fell off my chair when I read her email, and after I jumped up and down and patted myself on the back, I got down to business, workshopping ideas with Louise for how I could develop Girl in Between.
When you’re in the creative industries, you use your talents and pursue your passions, but sometimes you need just one person to believe in and champion you to help you achieve your dreams.
Louise instilled such blazing confidence in me and my writing that I never had a chance to doubt my ability to transform Girl in Between from a novella of 38,000 words to a novel of over 80,000 words…something I never thought I could do.
Girl in Between will be one of the final books which Louise publishes at Allen & Unwin, and I consider myself so lucky and fortunate to have worked with her.
Thanks very much for everything you’ve done for me and all the other debut authors in Australia, Louise. Best wishes for your next chapter!
When you’re the girl in between relationships, careers and cities, you sometimes have to face some uncomfortable truths . . . like your Mum’s obsession with Cher, your father’s unsolicited advice, and the fact there’s probably more cash on the floor of your parents’ car than in your own bank account.
Thank goodness Lucy’s crazy but wonderful best friend, Rosie, is around to cushion reality, with wild nights at the local Whipcrack hotel, escapades in Japanese mud baths, and double dating under the Christmas lights in London.
But will Lucy work out what she really wants to do in life and who she wants to share it with?
Girl in Between is a warm, upbeat and often hilarious story about life at the crossroads. Featuring an endearing and irrepressible cast of characters, it will have you chuckling from start to finish.
Girl in Between by Anna Daniels is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.
Anna Daniels has enjoyed great success as a comedic storyteller since kicking off her career by winning the ABC’s ‘Comedy Segment of the Year Award’ for an interview with Russell Crowe. She then went on to co-create the ABC’s first online sketch comedy series ‘Tough at the Top’ with Melbourne comedian, Anne Edmonds.
For several years Anna wrote and presented funny upbeat stories for The Project, winning over viewers with her warm, silly, endearing style. Having grown up in Rockhampton, she particularly championed the stories and characters of rural and regional Australia with affection and humour. As well as The Project, Anna has written, presented and/or produced radio, TV and online content for Queensland Weekender, Red Symons’ Breakfast Show, and the BBC One series, ‘John Bishop’s Australia.’ Anna continues to report for The Project and often presents on ABC Radio Brisbane.
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