Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

Category: Inspiration

Launch Day – The Tides Between – Elizabeth Jane Corbett

Launch Day started early – I’ve been waking too early for weeks – my brain flickering and pulsing like an intensive care machine. I showered, took far too long choosing what to wear for a radio interview, then cycled to Fitzroy for Radio 3Cr’s Published or Not. I’d been on the radio before but only in Welsh. During those interviews, I was simply focussed on understanding the interviewer and getting a few coherent words out. Today, I’d be expected to sound literate and to be honest, I’d been forgetting names and essential details for days. The other guest was a writer called Konrad Marshall who’d written a book on the Richmond Football Club. A strange juxtaposition – football and Welsh fairy tales. Though as it turns out, we’d both been involved in a form of cultural immersion. After a short briefing, we were admitted to the recording studio. Disappointingly, I didn’t need to wear head phones but I’ve always wanted to so I took this photo anyway.

The interview went well. I didn’t forget anything too important. At least, nothing that the interviewer couldn’t prompt me about. I cycled back to Coburg for a hair cut and arrived too early for the appointment. Actually, I arrived late but the hairdresser was running behind. Which meant my plans to visit mum on the way to the launch had to be cancelled. I arrived at the library in time for the the evening staff’s dinner break. It was great to spend half an hour laughing and chatting with my library buddies. My book had been catalogued and covered ready for borrowing. There had apparently been some debate over to which section of the library it belonged. I suggested it should go straight into the classics section. Not sure if they’ll take me up on that suggestion. 😁

I set up my banner and my display table and waited for Alison Goodman to arrive. Just prior to the launch I received the first non-five star review of  my book (note to file, don’t check reviews prior to important literary events). On top of which, I noticed my protagonist’s name was spelled wrong on the back cover. Not a new error, one my publisher had been trying to fix for weeks, in a process not unlike putting out spot fires as files and editions on various platforms were updated, uploaded, printed, and then downloaded again. I took a deep breath and thought: Liz, time to let this book go…

Alison Goodman was a calm, reassuring presence and said some rather generous things about my book. We then did a short interview after which, I thanked some of the many people who’d supported me on my creative journey. All of which, we filmed Live on my Facebook author page. The interview is still there, if you’re not to cool for Facebook. If you are, then maybe you can sidle up to someone who has a Facebook account. We had people watching in Wales, England, Scotland, America, Sweden, Slovenia and South America. Maybe there were others too? I had a great Launch Day and you will be pleased to know I have been sleeping much better since. I believe my publisher may also have put out the last of the back blurb bushfires. Meanwhile, if you have a copy of The Tides Between with an error on the back cover, hang onto it, whatever you do, don’t send it to the charity shop, coz it might just be worth millions one day. 🤣🤣🤣

Christopher Maloney, some Celtic history and my challenge for 2014

Confession. I have a weakness for soppy British talent shows.

Remember Pudsey the dog?

Only Boys Aloud?

Paul Potts from Wales?

Well, this week, I came across another scalp pricking performance thanks to @frecles24 posting the clip on Twitter. It's over a year out of date. I don't get to watch these shows live, residing in Australia as I do. But I thought, hey, if I missed it, there's a chance you may have too.

Christopher Maloney is a Liverpudlian and, from his surname, it's not hard to detect his Celtic heritage. Historically, the Celts inhabited large tracts of what we now call England. With the coming of the Romans, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Danes and Normans…, these people's were displaced, and much of their language and culture lost. Even today, populations of Celtic heritage suffer the similar health problems, suicide rates and and socio economic status as other indigenous populations of the world.

Liverpool (or Lerpwl as the Welsh spell it) is a Lancashire town at the mouth of the Mersey River. Lancashire was known for it's cotton mills in the nineteenth century when Liverpool was a thriving industrial port. Being only a short ferry trip from Dublin, the city has attracted its fair share of Irish immigrants over the years. Most notably during the potato famines. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Liverpool's population.

The city is also known for its large Irish population and its historical Welsh population.[97] In 1813, 10 per cent of Liverpool's population was Welsh, leading to the city becoming known as “the capital of North Wales”.[97] Following the start of the Great Irish Famine, two million Irish people migrated to Liverpool in the space of one decade, many of them subsequently departing for the United States.[98] By 1851, more than 20 per cent of the population of Liverpool was Irish.[99] At the 2001 Census, 1.17 per cent of the population were Welsh-born and 0.75 per cent were born in the Republic of Ireland, while 0.54 per cent were born in Northern Ireland,[100] but many more Liverpudlians are of Welsh or Irish ancestry.

Now, I don't know Christopher Maloney's background. Whether he was poor, unemployed, had health problems in keeping with other indigenous populations. But I do know two things from watching this YouTube clip.

  1. He faced a wrecking ball of self doubt. People had told him he wasn't good enough. And he'd believed them. So much so that he'd torn up his X Factor application five years in a row. As he stood on the stage this, sixth time the enormity of the step was written in his tear-filled eyes and trembling hands.
  2. Over the years, one person did believe in him. His Nan. She was there, back stage, and the affection between them was tactile. Now call me sentimental but there is something compelling about a thirty-four year old man standing in front of thousands and admitting how much his Nan's support means to him. Frankly, he had my vote, before he'd even opened his mouth.

I'm not going to tell you how this scene plays out. That would lessen its impact. But we all have areas of self-doubt, don't we? Things we'd do differently if only we had the courage. Hopefully, we also have people who believe in us. So, here's my challenge for 2014 – doubt the voice of self-doubt. Believe your supporters. And, if you can get through this video without tearing up, you've got a harder heart than mine.


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