the photos: official book launch at Ariel, Sydney
Posted in my heart wanders May 10th, 2011 by pia

photo by murdoch book publicist ashlea wallington, photo treatment using lo-mob, with text additions in adler font.

A little less than a year ago – about half way through the making of My Heart Wanders – it did occur to me that once the book was published, I may have to do some public book events. For a very private person who has shied away from the spotlight my entire life, I can tell you, that realisation was much, much more daunting than writing, photographing, and designing this book. Over the weeks leading up to these events, I have had many discussions with french boy about how and why I don’t like being the centre of attention. My reasoning and explanations range from “I’m an artist, not a performer” to “I don’t have an oral monologue to tell” to “this is not who I am”.  He listens. And smiles. There is always something in his dimpled smile that gives me strength.

Last Friday night’s official book launch at Ariel was the first time I’d gotten up in front of a crowd with a microphone to my lips in, well, I don’t think I ever have. I didn’t say much, just a few thank you’s. But that in itself was a huge deal for me. I asked Romain if he would come up on stage with me and hold the microphone in case I had shaky hands. He did. He held it so close to my mouth though, and kept moving it every time I moved my head that it made me giggle, which helped relieve the tension I had building up inside me. It was wonderful to have him by my side. But I have to say, I think it was all made easier by the fact that everyone who came that night made me feel so special and supported. After a lovely introduction by Ariel’s event coordinator Steven, my publisher, Diana Hill, talked a little about the ‘making of’. It was wonderful hearing about it from her perspective, and funny to be reminded of some of the more stressful times we had last year, trying to work from opposite sides of the world. Then Victoria Carey, editor of Country Style, spoke next about how she first came across my blog, and how thrilled she was to learn that there was a country connection that stirred my wandering heart, and how that lead us to meeting and me writing the piece for the latest issue of Country Style. Victoria also read out parts of my book, and that for me was delightful. I don’t read my work out loud, so to hear it in her voice, with her interpretation, was very special.

Regardless of the awful weather outside, and the royal wedding, so many people came to wish me well and buy the book. I met lots of beautiful sydneysiders who I’d been in contact with online over the years but had never met, I had friends come along who I hadn’t seen in years, and family who drove through the downpour from the other side of sydney, to be there to support me. Ariel put together a great event, with french champagne and a fabulous spread of charcuterie and french cheeses (including my favourite cheese, comté)  by La Planchette.  It was an amazing night, one that went way too quickly, but one that I will treasure for always…

A big thank you to Jillian Leiboff for coming along with her camera and taking so many great shots of which you see above. Please visit her blog to see more photos from the night.

Thank you Ariel, Murdoch Books, Country Style and each and every one who came to celebrate with me – you made the making of this book worth all the effort.



PS here is the dress I wore that night…

It’s bright red, vintage, and I bought it at Grandma takes a trip the day before the launch. I wanted a big red flower for my hair but I couldn’t find one, so I took a red chiffon scarf that I had in my closet and fashioned it into a flower shape and pinned it on the side of my head.


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  1. sonrie says

    thank goodness for good men and beautiful dresses. 🙂 congratulations – it looked like a wonderful evening. if you are ever in the states, and st. louis, mo, I will come to an opening.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  2. ludid says

    what a treat it is to have learned about you and your work. i look forward to having your new book in my hands. what an amazing night it looks like you had. what a gentleman Mr. Romain is indeed.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  3. zara says

    congrats!! and how wonderful to have all that love and support to get you through.. i adore your blog. thank you for your inspiration! can’t wait to read the new book 🙂

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  4. katiecrackernuts says

    The dress was a stunner. And vintage. Lovely.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  5. Amanda says

    aww so sweet of Romain!
    congratulations on being brave.
    you looked beautiful, Pia xo

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  6. eilish bouchier says

    The dread of doing is rarely as awful as the doing. You looked and spoke beautifully. The launch was lovely and you could feel the energy of love, support and excitement in the room. I bought your book that evening and have been enjoying reading your words and poring over the visuals. It’s a beautiful story of love and life, and adventure. I have moved countries and cities many times so I can intimately elate to the joys and aches. Very inspiring and beautifully done Pia. Keep doing what you’re doing. And what wonderful memories you are creating with Romain, all of them. Bon chance with your new home in Sydney x eilish

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  7. olga says

    oh,you look gorgeous, Pia!!! I’m so sorry I missed you in Melbourne, things didn’t work out for me as expected that saturday. I’m so glad to hear the launch went well for you, yay!

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  8. Candice says

    You look gorgeous and it looks like it was a successful night! Love your blog and I hope to get my hands on your book soon. Wish I had been there!

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  9. Michelle says

    You look gorgeous! Congrats on a big night.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  10. TERI REES WANG says

    Surely you did amazingly well.
    When showing up for the swell stuff,
    all you need to wear is a skirt and a smile.

    Cheers! the road of success.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  11. Lisette says

    Congratulations on surviving your first public speaking! You looked stunning in your red dress and pretty golden sandals. Lovely to see Romain by your side… hope to get a copy of your book soon!

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  12. LatteLisa says

    It’s so much fun following your book events in Australia and I have to say congrats on your first public speaking. I’m pretty sure no one even noticed if you were nervous; usually it’s just the mind playing tricks on us 😉

    I’m still admiring ‘Amsterdam: Made by Hand’ but I’m pretty sure I’ll be holding your new book in my hands later this summer.

    Good luck with everything!

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  13. hybrid handmade says

    Brave, brave, very brave. Super big congratulations.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  14. M says

    Congratulations! I found your blog through your book, which is beautiful so I am glad you got to enjoy speaking about it in the end 🙂 Hope you get to come to New Zealand for a book signing one of these days.

    (By the way, that dress is lush!!)

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  15. hilde says

    Congratulations from Amsterdam Pia
    Yes,I know that feeling, of being the centre of everyone’s attention and not wanting to and being afraid to speak to the audience, while you really would prefer to just speak one on one with everyone. But hey, on all the photographs you look very relaxed and beautiful. And no need for too many words because everything is said in the book wich, I am sure everybody will enjoy very much, because you made it! And you are a very inspiring person. I pre-ordered it at Amazon, but it has not arrived yet. I hope that you will get the chance to launch it in Amsterdam too and I will get the opportunity to meet with you in person again. Best wishes and good luck.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  16. Sam says

    Thank you for admitting your vulnerability, here. Your books and blog and words and pictures are so inspiring to so many – it is reassuring to learn that amongst the beauty,creativity, artistry, insight and achievement, there is a perfectly human, sometimes uncertain soul. Can’t wait to read your new book, as get the feeling it touches on this theme.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  17. dayle says

    fabulous – your dress is beautiful. loved you launch in brisbane – such a great book & amazing afternoon we had. thank you. dayle

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  18. sarah-jane down the lane says

    Now that’s what I call a dress! So lovely and in red, perfect,

    Sarah x

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  19. Maria says

    You looked just gorgeous. You are indeed inspiring with all of the things that you are doing and sharing! We all love you just the way you are.. and I do hope that one day you will come back to Europe and launch here your new book, My heart wanders..

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  20. Leslie Oschmann says

    Looks like it was a great event! You looked beautiful and Romain made quite a dashing microphone stand! xo

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  21. Ameesha Lee says

    Wish I could of been there, looks like it was a magical night..Hooray! Congrats.

    May 10th, 2011 | #

  22. Mandy says

    How lovely, you looked really beautiful (love the photograph of the dress, and I love Grandma Takes a Trip …. So glad it all went off so beautifully for you Pia X

    May 11th, 2011 | #

  23. Miranda says

    It so good to see you shine!

    May 11th, 2011 | #

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