'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Boundless Festival Opening: Gabrielle Lord

Tonight at the ACT Writers' Centre, we experienced a very special event - the launch of the Boundless Festival of Australian Children's Literature - with a keynote address by the superlative Gabrielle Lord, author of the 365 Conspiracy Series, and more.

The lovely and literary savvy Belle Alderman, whose deep passion for books inspired the creation of this festival, warmly welcomed the audience before introducing local authorly success, Jack Heath.

Jack introduced Gabrielle with much gusto, regaling us with the astonishing and wonderful success she has experienced on her 36-year journey as an author. Gabrielle began writing her first novel at the age of 22 - and was around 10,000 words in when she realised she had no idea what she was doing. It was when she read an article about an author who began writing aged 30, that she made the decision to gather more life experience - and begin writing in earnest eight years hence.

On her 30th birthday, Gabrielle began her journey to full time writing.

It was also astonishing to hear this talented woman talk of her inspiration behind the 365 Conspiracy series, and how research into her family name - Butler - uncovered a surprising link to Black Tom Butler, a cousin of and close friend of Queen Elizabeth I. The friendship between the two - and the events of the time - inspired many fascinating elements of her bestselling series.

But what I loved most about hearing Gabrielle speak was her belief that committing oneself to writing and to a particular project - with gusto and self-belief - has an inherent power in it. As Goethe said - "...at the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you..." I have always believed this, and hearing Gabrielle confirm her belief that dedication and passion quickly manifests, as a universal principle, had my heart racing.

Needless to say, I got home and felt compelled to get writing!

Warmest thanks to Belle Alderman and the ACT Writers' Centre for organising such an enlightening and enjoyable evening. So much fun to catch up with author friends Jack Heath and Stephanie Owen Reeder, Kimberley Gaal and other Writers Centre peeps - and to meet the wonderful Gabrielle, who happens to share my passion for gorgeous earrings!

Gabrielle will be appearing at Paperchain bookstore in Manuka tomorrow at 6pm, where she will launch her latest Conspiracy 365 book - Malice. Come along! More info.

- Tania McCartney