Santa Paws

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Jonah has been chasing me around the house telling me it’s time to get in the Christmas mood. He loves all the sparkly decorations and I’m embarrassed to say he adores dressing up in his Santa costume. With his love of tulle and jewelry, we’re pretty sure he was a drag queen in a previous life.

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Jonah wasn’t impressed by the amount of travel I did in 2015. He resented staying home in the loving care of Man while I traipsed off to see my fabulous New York publisher, Michaela Hamilton. Michaela keeps three pampered felines in her glorious apartment overlooking the Empire State Building. While I was there, I was honoured to have a heartwarming reunion with Bono, the rescue cat I’d fostered in New York two years ago. A survivor of Hurricane Sandy, Bono has kidney failure, and nobody wanted to adopt him. These days he lives like a rock star. His is such an uplifting story, I’m hoping to tell it in book form some day.

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From New York, I flew on to London and then Europe’s party central city, Vienna. My German language publisher, Martina Schmidt, has become a good friend and is planning to visit us in Australia this February. During the month I was there, Martina arranged events to publicise the German edition of Tumbledown Manor, (Gluck mit kleinen fehlern). I’ve no idea what it is about my publishers and cats. Like Michaela in New York, Martina also keeps three cats and lives in an apartment with an exquisite view.

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Back home in Australia, Jonah reminded me it was time to focus on family (and him) again. Caring for grand daughters, Annie and Stella (aged three and five), every Wednesday afternoon became a highlight of the week – though sometimes I needed Thursday to recover!

In early December, I wept buckets as daughter Lydia received her PhD in Psychology from Melbourne University. I’m in awe of the way Lydia has stayed true to herself. We’ve come a long way since Cats and Daughters.

I swore I’d never write columns again, but editor of Yours Australia magazine, Lisa Sinclair, proved she isn’t a woman who takes no for an answer. Magazines often reflect their editors, and Yours has a generous heart. I’m loving writing for one of the fastest growing mags in the country.

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I can’t wait for the US launch of Tumbledown Manor in May, and in the UK in March 2016. And with help from young Geeks, I’m planning to release some of my early publications as ebooks next year.

There have been exciting developments on the Cleo movie front, too. I’m sworn to secrecy, but some top names are involved with the project. Watch this space.

Well, Jonah is wriggling on my knee. He wants me to put out his second breakfast, change his litter box, give him his pill…. (well, maybe not that part).

I can’t thank you enough for your kind words and support through the years. A writer is nothing without you, the reader. Long may we continue the adventure together.

Warmest wishes for Christmas and the year ahead,

Helen and Jonah.





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