Writers penning opinion pieces for highly reputable sites – like The Times or The Conversation – will often have a disclaimer after their by-line. Something along the lines of: ‘Thomas Fotherington-Smythe does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.’
So in the spirit of full disclosure, I must declare an interest in my next fun and frivolous activity:
#24 ‘Stand Up and Cheer’ at a Book Launch
The truth is, I have familial ties to the author of the book in question. I even did a spot of editing during the early drafts. So,
I did work for –
I did consult with –
And I do have affiliations with –
the author, so am duty-bound to declare my interest, even though the cheque must still be in the mail…
Naturally, it was exciting to help organise its special regional launch recently at the Albury LibraryMuseum, and as you can see, I even made matching bookmarks to accompany the gorgeous art-deco design of the book.
Did I mention that the book’s title is Stand Up and Cheer?
And I’m proud to declare, with a possible hint of bias, that it’s a thrilling children’s novel based on a true gem of Australian history that we should all celebrate, namely the rescue, by the people of Albury, of the Dutch DC-2 plane, the Uiver lost in a fierce thunderstorm over the Riverina during the Great Centenary Air Race from London to Melbourne on the night of 23rd October 1934.
A Douglas DC-2, at the Albury Aerodrome during the Open Day in October 2014. Although not the original Uiver, it’s one of only a handful of surviving DC-2 planes in the world.
Written for 8 to 12-year-olds, and enjoyed by everyone who loves an exciting and true aviation story*, Stand Up and Cheer is set in Albury at the height of the Great Depression and tells the story of the Uiver’s rescue through the eyes of the 10-year-old hero, Jack, the son of the local ABC radio announcer who plays a pivotal role in organising the townsfolk help the plane find a safe place to land.
Of course, helping organise a book launch isn’t the only fun and frivolous entertainment to be had around books.
A friend of mine was visiting her family recently in the Northumberland region of the UK when she noticed that Tim Winton, Australia’s highly decorated author, was reading from his latest book, Eyrie, at a small pub nearby. Not knowing how these events work, and concerned that she may be asked questions if she attended, she dutifully read the novel beforehand.
Now apparently, Tim Winton isn’t quite as well known in the north of England as he is here, so only a small group of people turned up to listen to him read in a cosy, intimate setting. And my friend was the only one to have read his latest book and have thoughtful, relevant questions in mind.
So that’s how she came to spend a marvellous evening chatting one-on-one with the charming Tim Winton on a cold night in the north of England.
See how fun and frivolous activities can often lead to so much more?
* The Australian adventurer, Dick Smith wrote: ‘I stated reading Stand Up and Cheer and couldn’t put it down – it’s such an exciting aviation and adventure tale. I think everyone will want to read it.’