Bluegrass Symphony launch: In Which I Gush and Share Photos

Sometimes I feel soooooooo lucky, and last night was definitely one of those times.

It’s actually hard to describe how awesome everthing was at the Bluegrass Symphony launch. Jude at the SA Writers Centre was incredibly lovely, and helped to make sure the atrium was ready for the event to kick off at 7pm — and what a space! We are so fortunate to have such a gorgeous Writers Centre here in Adelaide, with such a great venue for book launches. Thanks to Dr Chad, Brain and Badger, the wine flowed all evening, the sushi platters were never empty, and the festivities were photographed for posterity — if it hadn’t been for these three, I would’ve been a giant ball of stress all night. Instead, I was a butterfly, flitting from group to group, chatting, laughing, and feeling so special. (Thank you so much, Angela, Chad, and David!!)

Russ came all the way from Perth to sell books (thanks again, Russ!!) and the wonderful crowd kept him busy all evening — by the end of the night he’d sold all the hardcovers he’d shlepped to Adelaide, plus most of the paperbacks he’d mailed ahead of time. SO COOL! And between sales, Russ acted as MC. He got the proceedings under way by giving a lovely speech before introducing the incredible Sean Williams, who launched the book. And when I say launched the book, what I really mean is gave the most unbelievably thoughtful, generous, flattering, mind-blowingly perfect speech ever in the history of book launches. Ever. From now on, any time I feel like my writing is crap, I’m going to relive all the perfect moments from Sean’s speech… And I keep saying perfect because, frankly, it was. Sean captured the essence of Bluegrass Symphony so beautifully in his descriptions, and this was nowhere clearer than when he compared the ‘vibe’ of the stories in my collection to Johnny Cash’s song, ‘The Long Black Veil’ (the lyrics of which he read out, like a poem, and I had goosebumps the whole time!):

Ten years ago on a cold dark night,
someone was killed ‘neath the town hall lights.
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed,
that the man who ran looked a lot like me.

Chorus ~ She walks these hills, in a long black veil.
She visits my grave, when the night winds wail.
Nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows, but me

The Judge said son, what is your alibi,
if you were somewhere else, then you won’t have to die.
I spoke not a word, though it meant my life,
for i’d been in the arms of my best friends wife.


Now the scaffold is high, and eternity’s near.
She stood in the crowd, and shed not a tear.
But some times at night, when the cold wind moans
In a long black veil, she cries over my bones

Chorus ~ She walks these hills, in a long black veil.
When the cold winds blow, and the night winds wail.
No body knows, no body sees.
No body knows, but me.

Oooooooh, reading the lyrics again just now gives me shivers! Thanks so much, Sean! (and Johnny!)

So, I was gobsmacked after hearing Sean speak — so much so that I pretty much lost the ability to string coherent thoughts together — which meant that my list of ‘Thank yous’ was somewhat abbreviated… Really, I wanted to thank everyone, and I did thank them all (you all) in a rambling sort of way… but by the time I got up to the lectern, I was just so overwhelmed and happy that I managed about half a dozen official thank yous before I went into general ‘gush’ mode. Even so, I somehow managed to maintain my composure long enough to read the opening of ‘The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds’ (which you can listen to here) and then basically spent the rest of the evening, smiling, hugging dear friends, having great wine, and signing books.

I think I can safely say that last night wins the prize for Most Awesome First Book Launch EVER.

Without further ado, photographic evidence of the awesomeness that was:

Beauty shot: Bluegrass display (photo by David Pollitt)


Russ selling books... (Photo by David Pollitt)


...and doing introductions. (Photo by Alex Hender)
Sean speaks brilliantly... (Photo by Alex Hender)
...while the crowd looks on. (Photo by Alex Hender)
Signing! (Photo by David Pollitt)
More signing (and pretty hairband!) (Photo by Tully Barnett)
Gloating with Jason and Brain! First ones to receive our contributors' copies to the Year's Best 2010! (Photo by David Pollitt)


  1. Wish I was there, Bellezza. The photos are gorgeous and looks like a fabulous time was had by all.
    Hugs and love,
    Angie xxx

  2. Wow Lisa! I am so proud of you…if I lived just a tad closer you know I would have made the trip!!! What a wonderful accomplishment. I can’t wait to get a copy for myself 🙂 I had trouble pre-ordering a couple of months ago but will try again now that it’s officially published!
    I feel like this is a new chapter to the amazing adventure you have been experiencing already. The best is yet to come!!!

    1. Oh it would have been so incredible to have you here for the launch, my dear Heather! But the commute *is* a bit long, isn’t it?!? 😉 Thanks so so so much for all your support! xoxo

  3. That’s a truly wonderful looking book. Congratulations on the launch. For the Long Black Veil my favourite version is Mick Jagger wit the Chieftains, but wouldn’t have minded hearing Sean’s rendition

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