In which I met Melina Marchetta

So! Yesterday was Melina Marchetta day at the booky nook! 
Let me say that again: Yesterday was MELINA MARCHETTA day at the booky nook!!!
There, can you feel my excitement now? 
I was excited (that was for those of you who couldn’t feel my excitement). I have been reading Melina since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (I am now elbow-high. It’s a much better view from up here), and also since I thought you pronounced her name with a “ch” as in “chickety-china-the-chinese-chicken”, when it’s actually pronounced “ck” as in “karma-karma-karma-karma-karma-CHameleon”.
I know. Everybody already knew that. But I am from Wynyard, Tasmania. We don’t know much stuff down here.
But I digress.
Melina came. She was lovely – softly-spoken and very, very pretty and she had on the BEST SHIRT EVER.
I had to introduce her and I was a tad nervous, but I think I may have just pulled it off. Hurrah!
Then, Melina talked. Melina talking was much more interesting than me talking (note to self: become interesting before book launches). She talked for about half an hour about her new book, The Piper’s Son –  which, is, just by-the-by, so complex and poignant and raw and real and incredible – and the books the preceded it.
Then, she answered questions about teaching (never again – the marking, THE MARKING), and whether there will ever be a sequel to “Alibrandi” (probably not).
Then, she answered questions about her writing. I was secretly hoping that somebody would ask her questions about her writing. I wanted to know (and, possibly, STEAL), her secrets.
Refreshingly, she didn’t claim that her writing was a magical, mystical process, whereby she dreamed the plots to her books and woke up to find them all magically typed out for her by some whimsical writer sprite, who also left a cup of steaming coffee and a bagel for her to eat while she edited.
Instead, she actually admitted that there is a FORMULA, and that she PLANS AND PLOTS AND MAKES MANY, MANY NOTES BEFORE SHE STARTS WRITING, and that SOMETIMES SHE STEALS IDEAS.
This is why I love Melina. Not only is she supremely talented, she is also honest, humble and giving.
One day, even if I only get the last three qualities, I want to be a lot more like Melina Marchetta.

I also want her shirt.