Thursday, October 22, 2015

Straight Chatting from the Library: Deborah Disney

VBT_TourBanner_UpAndIn copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deborah will be awarding an eCopy of Up and In to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Do you have any writing habits you consider strange?

Sometimes just the concept of being an author I consider strange. The idea, that as a grown up, I make up stories to entertain people, it borders on the ridiculous. It doesn’t feel like I’m adulting!

Do you have any unique talents?

‘Nature spotting’ is what I call my unique talent of being able to see creatures in the wild before anyone else does. I consider myself quite the champion of this on family holidays. On one occasion this talent led to a long observation of a black ocean beast off the coast of Tasmania that turned out to be large black plastic bin liner :-/

For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?

Since my own book was published in the ‘digital first’ format, I have come around to the concept of e-books. Probably about half of the books I read are now e-books. I am a bit of a book hoarder though, and I must admit it is just not as satisfying to see your book collection lined up in iBooks as it is to see them collecting dust on your bookshelf.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished reading Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. Even though I knew the secret when I started reading it because I had foolishly read reviews first, I still thought it was brilliant.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed it?

I was very fortunate to have the good people at HarperCollins design the cover for Up and In. I had given them an idea of the sort of covers that appealed to me and they used that info to come up with the style, but they came up with the concept. They presented me with a few different versions of the same (different colours, different fonts, caps versus lower case for my name) and I chose from those. The colouring was originally a little lighter, but when I asked them to send it to me with the colours looking stronger, I was absolutely rapt with the result. Getting my book cover was one of the most exciting events of this whole experience.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

For an unknown author, absolutely! An author like Liane Moriarty could probably have a cover that looks like a hessian bag and the book would still sell, but for someone like me, I think the cover is extremely important in helping to draw in a potential reader.

How are you publishing this book and why?

Up and In is published by HarperCollins and that is purely because they said yes! I did not even go down the road of considering other publishers or self-publication because they were there with me from the beginning – ie from the time I had written my first three chapters.

Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen?

Uniball. But for book writing and editing – keyboard all the way!

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Way more than I ever imagined I would. Sometimes it is all-consuming and I have to remind myself that the best marketing is to write another book.

What do you do to get book reviews?

Beg, generally. Book reviews, I have discovered, are our lifeblood as authors. I wish I had been more assertive when my book first came out and people were telling me that they really enjoyed it. Instead of responding with an ‘aw shucks’, I should have immediately loaded up Amazon for them and asked them to tap it all out! So anyone who reads this and reads my book and can think of something nice to say about it, please, please, please, please, PLEASE write a review! X

Thanks so much for hosting me and Up and In today!


MediaKit_BookCover_UpAndInDistinctly middle-class parents, Maria and Joe have committed every bit of available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria finds herself thrust into a high society of champagne-swilling mother-istas she hasn't budgeted for. Saturday morning netball is no longer a fun mother-daughter outing, but a minefield of social politics.

While the increasingly neurotic Maria struggles to negotiate the school mum hierarchy, Joe quietly battles a midlife crisis and Kate attempts to grow up as gracefully as possible (without having her life ruined by embarrassing parents).

For every woman who has ever felt she may be wearing the wrong shoes, this is a book that will remind you - you're not alone.

Fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins are sure to enjoy this debut offering from new Australian author, Deborah Disney.


There it was again. That damned full stop. How does so much passive aggression fit itself into such a tiny punctuation mark?

Fine with me.

‘Fine with me, full stop.’

‘Fine with me full stop, no x.’

‘Fine with me full stop no x, no way am I ever going to let you think you are in any way deserving of the lathered-up, flattery-filled, signed-off-with-a-kiss kind of email I always send to everyone else on this email list.’

And there you have it. That is what she was able to say to me with one little full stop.

Of course, if any of the obsessively-stroking-and-simultaneously-self-aggrandising netball mums on this email list ever decided just to hit ‘Reply’ instead of ‘Reply all’ to the coach’s weekly email, I probably wouldn’t know that this little full stop means that I am absolutely, categorically, no longer in the fold. Unfortunately, because I am still on the email list, every week my inbox fills with messages ending with ‘x’ – not emails addressed specifically to me, just a plethora of inappropriately ‘Reply all’ emails sent to every woman with a daughter in the Red Rockets Under 10 Division 1 netball team. Every ‘x-ending’ email I have read over this netball season has served to reinforce the knowledge that if I were the object of Bea’s contrived affections her response to my offer to organise a group gift for our daughters’ netball coach would instead have gone more like this:

(Reply all)

Oh Maria, you are always so thoughtful. Of course I had been planning to find Linney the perfect gift – she has done such a stellar job with the girls this season! Sadly, I am just run off my feet this week. With putting the finishing touches on the gala, and having the nanny taking time off for her final exams, I just haven’t had a chance to even think! You are a life saver! Truly. I can’t wait to see what you choose – you have such impeccable taste! By the way, where did you get those absolutely to-die-for wellies you were wearing last week? I absolutely covet them. I just have to have some. Anyway, I must press on, I have a hundred emails to get through. I see another one just popped up from the Governor’s Office. Did I mention that the Governor and his wife will be joining us at the gala? I have known him forever, of course. Just adored his Christmas card last year! Remind me to tell you about it. Thanks again for organising the gift. You are an absolute gem! Bea x

I guess, in a way, ‘Fine with me full stop’ is in fact a lot easier than the alternative. Back when I actually gave a damn what Bea thought of me, the alternative would have filled me with insecurity. What kind of ‘perfect’ gift would she have chosen for Linney? Did she really like my wellies? Would she ever choose them over her Louboutin ballet flats to go to an Under 10’s netball game – even when the grounds were covered in mud like when I wore mine the previous week – or did she really just plan to sit them on the porch by way of decor at her thousand-acre ‘hobby’ farm up the coast? How would I confess that I actually bought them at Kmart? And shit, shit, shit, the Governor is coming to the gala? It was bad enough that I had to hide from Joe that it was costing us $500 a head just to be at the gala, but now I would have to somehow convince him to pay a grand for a decent new dinner suit as well?

I have to wonder, though, if it was really such a relief to open up her fine-with-me-full-stop email, instead of receiving one of the phoney rambling prop-ups she sends to all the other netball mums – the ‘lower-case beas’ – then why did it feel like I had just had my face slapped?

Admittedly, I cared a hell of a lot less than I once would have. Before I realised that my name had been wiped off the Bea-list, ‘Fine with me full stop’ would have spiralled me into days of tortured analysis. What did I say that I shouldn’t have? Is she upset that I invited Lauren’s daughter for a play with Kate instead of asking Mirabella? What is it? What did I do? Did she wave to me in traffic and I missed it? Did Kate do something to upset Mirabella? Is it because Kate got a better score than Mirabella at the eisteddfod?

After being off the Bea-list for almost six months now, though, I have started training myself to see things differently. When I think about what got me wiped off the Bea-list in the first place, my reaction to her flagrant snubbery is now more a mixture of amusement and incredulity, rather than feeling any sense of self-recrimination.


Australian author, Deborah Disney, grew up in the regional city of Toowoomba and now lives in Brisbane with her husband and two school-aged daughters. Deborah has a BA/LLB from the University of Queensland and practised as a solicitor for a number of years prior to having children. She chose to specialise in litigation law as that seemed like the best preparation for what is now her looming battle – mothering her daughters through the teenage years. Deborah's first novel, Up and In, is a satirical look at the interactions of school and sporting mums.


Buy the book at Amazon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway