What a time, dear Reader!
Not only has Mel and Shell made its way into the world, thanks to the superlative Fremantle Press, with the grooviest, ABBA-est cover ever!, but ABBA released two singles the day after its publication! AND they have announced concert dates in London in 2022 (I do not care if it is their avatars, naysayers – it will be an EXPERIENCE).
There are not enough exclamation marks or capital letters in the world to express my utter delight at this wonderful synchronicity. Nobbly (my Frida) and I have been messaging each other from opposite sides of the world, crying and laughing at the hope this package of events have engendered in us. And to those of us of a Certain Age.
And the singles are so perfectly ABBA:
The reviews of Mel and Shell thus far have been so lovely: from Wendy Jeffrey at ReadPlus, Anastasia Gonis at Kids’ Book Review, Sam at Lamont Books, Sarah Stivens at Reading Time, WritingWA and more. The review in Magpies by Alison Paterson says:
Award-winning author Julia Lawrinson has penned a tale of serious middle-grade issues in a light-hearted approach that ensures and engaging and enjoyable reading experience for the audience … with historical themes relevant to the Australian Curriculum. Humorous interactions between the often-melodramatic Shell and her more mature best friend Mel ensure that Mell and Shell will be a fabulous book to read aloud.
There have also been interviews: a fun Meet the Author at Alphabet Soup, and an audio from my favourite radio station, RTRFM, in which I am giddy from just having heard the first new ABBA single. I recently met with the delightful Chenée Marrapodi to talk about writing processes, ABBA, leaving school, horses and more: the link is here.
All this on the back of having a very busy Book Month: the pic below was taken on the last day at Karratha Senior High School, where I had the privilege of spending a couple of days with keen readers and writers.
Happy reading, all, and happy first spring if you’re on Noongar Boodjar.