Hello all you beautiful people! Here we are in 2020! What a strange place! In mid March we arrived back in Oz to this interesting new world. By crikey! I hope this finds you all well and looking after yourselves.
Since the end of 2015 we have been chasing winters between Niseko and Melbourne and this blog has become an annual submission. It’s a pretty fun routine to spend 4months in Japan, making the 8 months we spend in Oz rather action packed. I know that right now everyone is looking for anything to read that is not about COVID19.
So for the sake of making a positive contribution, I thought I might gloss straight over the current state of pandemonium and tell you about 2019 – it was an absolute cracker! And boy did it zoom past! I won’t go into all the details of another glorious ski season and will leave the photos at the end to tell that story.
Instead I’ll take you back to April last year when one of my lifelong dreams came true. I got my first publishing deal!
Check out all the details of the book and order your copy by clicking here
I still have to pinch myself about it. As most of you know, since finishing the bike trip in 2015, I have been doing a lot of writing, dividing my time between a long form novel about our journey and developing a children’s book series. The long form book is quite bluntly, long. Thankfully now it’s in the editing process.
The first kid’s book however, did not take quite so long to write. My very cute kangaroo friends “Ed & Brenda” (you’ll never guess where their names came from) began playing in my mind as we rode through the Americas, and in 2016 they found their way onto paper.
It wasn’t long before my cousin Fee joined me in my book dream and began the illustrations to bring Ed & Brenda to life. It’s the story of two kangaroos exploring the world on their tandem bike. You’ll never guess where the inspiration came from…..
Without any publishing experience, I sent a lot of pitches and received tonnes of rejections. I am however decidedly persistent and continued to develop it and kept sending it out. Rinse & repeat and fast forward to April 2019 when I got an email reply from independent Australian publisher “Brolly Books”. A lovely lady named Emma (of course she is lovely) said was interested in the book and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind ever since!
We signed on with Brolly Books in April, and Fee worked her magic to finish all of the illustrations by August. In September “Ed & Brenda’s Big Adventure” was sent to the printers and I am thrilled with how it turned out. I can’t thank Fee enough for the inspirational artwork she has created, all the while raising a toddler and growing her second baby. What a woman! And the incredible publishing team at Brolly Books produced this beautiful hard cover book and it really is stunning. You can order your copy directly through the TotallyTandem website here.
Despite a delayed shipment of books, we held an official launch in November with 78 copies and sold them all. Brolly Books have a fabulous Australian distribution network and our book is stocked in all good Aussie bookstores as well as being available online with the first print run already down to the last boxes. It is an immense pleasure to share it with you all.
Before heading to Japan, I ran several writing workshops at primary schools and visited kindergartens to share Ed & Brenda story time. It’s been the best to see kids engaging with the book and to field their amazing questions.
2020 was set to be a busy one with visits planned to international schools in Taiwan, Bangkok and Hong Kong and an invitation to the BookTown Festival in Clunes. Alas everything changed under this pandemic haze. I am certain though that 2021 will be a wonderful opportunity to revisit those plans with gusto!
The next adventures of Ed & Brenda are underway along with a second print run of the first book. Stay tuned over the coming months to get the update on all of that as well as the latest on the long form book too.
In the mean time, Brendo is staying modern by running online pilates classes. It’s been very cool to watch him develop a following with his “Get bendy with Brendy” series. Click the link and get yourself involved!
In between the fitness regime, he’s been working on the solar setup for Falkor. Yep, Falkor has experienced a few more modifications. You know about the Rohloff hub and new 20″ wheel set up, well add to that a 500watt motor and a trailer to haul our 2 huge solar panels. Indeed, there is a new adventure on the cards.
There is much research going on at Chez Bremma regarding a solar powered event called “The Sun Trip“. Riding from France to China, our motor will be fuelled by batteries recharged by the sun. It’s a super challenging project with so many new elements for us to consider and we’ll keep you updated on these developments. It’s all rather exciting!
Thanks for sticking with us for another blog. We do a lot of regular updates on FB and Instagram now but it’s nice to get some proper words in and share an update here with our 1200 glorious subscribers. I hope that we can share more throughout the year. Stay well beautiful people and do make sure you get your very own copy of “Ed & Brenda’s Big Adventure” before it sells out. It’s great for isolation!
And now the pics you’ve been waiting for;
I am so grateful to you all for your incredible support. Please share this blog with your mates and let’s send Ed & Brenda off on more adventures around the world.
Copies can be ordered here www.totallytandem.com