Cranky Ladies of History, the launch report

The launch got off to a slightly rocky start, as I was struck down with plague just prior to the arrival of co-editor Tansy Rayner Roberts (flying in from Tasmania) on the Saturday afternoon. Kaaron Warren (and her sidekick) swept in to the rescue, collecting and delivering Tansy to us, and hanging out with the family while I was in quarantine. Despite the shaky beginning, Sunday March 8 dawned fair and fine, the sun shining on International Women’s Day and treating our visitors to Canberra’s best behaviour.

Launch table


Tansy and I arrived nice and early (with Miss 9 as offsider) to set up at The Front Gallery and Cafe – a big thanks to the venue for a great space and a great price, and friendly and helpful service. Thanks also to my work colleague Alexis who was a huge help throughout the setup and launch, completely unexpectedly but most appreciated. Our special guest Karen Middleton joined us – next time I hope I can actually have a proper conversation with her, but I think others did get to chat more – and the attendees began to trickle in. The room filled up quickly and the poor airconditioner couldn’t quite keep up with the pressure, but the launch proceeded regardless of the warmth. Karen Middleton spoke passionately and thoughtfully about the book and the concept, to the point where I was nearly in tears – it’s so great when people really get what you were aiming to do, and we couldn’t be more grateful for Karen for her time and kindness in officially sending Cranky Ladies of History out into the world.

Karen Middleton talking Cranky Ladies
Tansy Karen Tehani
Tansy, Karen and Tehani celebrating the book


Tansy followed Karen, talking more about the genesis of the book, and then the three authors who could be with us, Kaaron Warren, Barbara Robson and Thoraiya Dyer each took a few minutes to tell the guests a little about the genesis of each of their stories. They all did a marvellous job, and it was really fascinating because each of their ladies is so different, and the reasons they each chose their lady were completely different too!

Kaaron Warren showcases the story that started her Cranky Ladies journey
Barbara Robson describes her Theodora experience
Thoraiya Dyer channels true crankiness describing Ranavalona!


Congratulations to the winners of the lucky door prizes, and a huge thank you to everyone who came to support the launch – I was delighted to see people from the local writing community, from my “day job” and other friends, alongside a huge array of people I had never met before! Thank you especially to those people who travelled from interstate to be with us (and yes, it’s not all that FAR to New South Wales, but it’s still interstate!), and to Tansy for taking a long weekend away from her family to be with us. And the most enormous thanks to Cat Sparks for her wonderful photos (all the good ones in this post are hers, I’m pretty sure!) – you can see a bunch more of them here.

Tansy and I both extend our appreciation once more to our amazing authors, our artist Kathleen Jennings, the Pozible campaign backers (and the cheerleaders for the campaign way back in March last year), Arts Tasmania, and Amanda Rainey, Elizabeth Disney and Katharine Stubbs: without all these people, the book would not be as fantastic as we know it is!

Cranky Ladies of History is now available for sale from all retailers in both print and ebook form. Please ask your local bookshop to order it for you if they don’t have it, buy directly from our website for print, or see our list of suppliers for ebook here.

Sales table
Some of the launch crowd
Kaaron signing (and juggling) books
Happy Tehani phone cover
Happy publisher, showing off swag
Tansy doing her “schtick” (that’s what it said in my running sheet!)
Jo Anderton models the latest in FableCroft books
Lap books
Lap books…



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