Boonah novelist's first book reprinted before publication date

BOONAH BOOK: Tabitha Bird's first novel went into reprint before it was even published.
BOONAH BOOK: Tabitha Bird's first novel went into reprint before it was even published.

A SCENIC Rim debut novelist and mother of three will share with local residents how a tree change led to the launch of her debut novel published by Penguin Random House at local book launches and signing events from next month.

The local launches of A Lifetime of Impossible Days at Kalbar, Boonah and Tamborine Mountain will involve an author talk and book signing at events in June and July.

Author Tabitha Bird, 42, said that she was surprised to hear that due to high demand in pre-sales, publishers, Penguin Random House had authorised her book's first reprint before it had even been published.

"I did a little happy dance and then burst into tears when I found out," she said.

"You don't dream about something like that happening when you're a debut author."

Mrs Bird said she had not long been diagnosed with the mental illness Bipolar 2 when she and her family moved to Boonah.

"I had the support of a gifted counsellor, my amazing husband and my beautiful sons and finally having a correct mental health diagnosis was instrumental in healing," Mrs Bird said.

"I'd always wanted to live in the country, so living here in Boonah was one of many 'first steps' in becoming more 'me' - who I was if I stopped being afraid of simply being myself.

"Writing this novel was a way of finding myself, a way of saving myself. The kind of story that needed to be nurtured in a place that fed my soul.

"During early drafts my story didn't have a setting so when I moved to Boonah I immediately rewrote my novel to place it here."

Just as the country town had been a perfect fit for Tabitha, it was also a perfect fit for the characters in her novel.

"My fictional characters also found a home to love in the middle of this small town," Mrs Bird said.

"I used the landscape, weather, and the seasons to illuminate what was happening for my character's inner journeys throughout the story.

"The old Queenslander we bought seemed an obvious choice for my main character, Willa, who we meet in the novel at age eight, 33 and 93- She needed a house with quirk and history."

Mrs Bird said that her novel was a work of adult fiction heavily dusted with magic and her second book, would be in the same genre.

She said her writing had stalled after her beloved grandmother became seriously ill and was diagnosed with cancer.

"She sat me down for a good grandma talk and told me to get back to work," Mrs Bird said.

"A Lifetime of Impossible Days is dedicated to her, she tells all the nurses and doctors about my book, she's my number one PR person.

"I contacted the publishers to ask if we could get a book off the printing press so she could at least hold it in her hands and they rushed a copy to her, but thankfully she is now home from hospital and beyond excited to come to the book launch."

Book Launch Event Details:

  • Friday, June 14, 6pm at Black Hall, 87 George St, Kalbar
  • Saturday, June 22, 3pm to 5.30pm at Under the Greenwood Tree Bookshop, 92 Main Western Road Tamborine North
  • Saturday, July 20, 2pm at The Story Tree, High Street, Boonah.