It began in 2017. An idea to publish a book that would help showcase Australia's extraordinary west in New York. And in April, it landed, announced winner of the gold medal for non fiction in Australia and New Zealand.
Well, you could blow my co-author, Carmen Jenner and me down with a feather. The news came in at midnight and for an hour we sat, stunned and proud both at once that this little book had become a bit of a game changer.
Publishing a book is not easy. But when it is a collaborative book, it adds a whole new dimension. We worked with fabulous businesses, researched cultural facts and dove into WA in a way neither of us had done before, surprising ourselves with what we learned.
We began the book because we both held a strong belief that somehow, the magic of WA wasn't being shared enough with the world or Australia and New Zealand. Realists and aware that a book is only one piece of the puzzle in tourism marketing, we believed it had potential to be a powerful piece.
And now, as we ponder a podium in New York with our book in hand, we can proudly say, "Hey WA, look at us! We did it!"
New York here we come - 28 May 2019... Act II to follow...
How a book is born at Creatavision Publishing
It has to be said that a book can't create itself, and without our contributors and such an incredible canvas as WA, it would not exist.
But it does. I have never designed a book or cover of this magnitude. Selecting photography from contributors and Carmen's and my files, as well as sourcing incredible images, takes time, but slowly and richly, it comes together.
I do it unconventionally, there is no doubt about that. I lay in text (either provided or as I am writing it) as I go, making the design work the words, not the other way around. At the same time, I am editing for flow and readability.
Meanwhile out in the field, Carmen is interviewing and then returning to turn speech into words on paper, meticulously delving into peoples' fascinating life journeys.
Slowly, it came together. The final checking took weeks as we strived to deliver the best we could.
It took a team and, thanks to our many contributors who also helped with accuracy and presentation, our book was born.
This award reflects on a collaborative effort, from the design to its content, from its layout to the very words that build a book. It's a publishing award that helps boutique publishers like Creatavision put forward bodies of excellence and receive recognition.
Creatavision hasn't entered the awards before and as founder and publisher of now, over 15 books, I cannot extend enough gratitude to the judges of the awards for this honour.
The IPPY Awards are in New York on 28 May, 2019. Australia's Extra.Ordinary. West will be showcased at the Book Fair to tens of thousands of potential buyers and visitors.
Congratulations to fellow publisher, Fremantle Press, for winning the Silver medal.