Tara is an Award winning Australian novelist who won several Australian literary awards for her novel ‘Swallow the Air’. Tara wrote an incredibly beautiful feature article in Vogue which detailed her story, experiences and life journey so far. When I read her article I was completely captivated from the first sentence. Tara had travelled through India for 6 months, lived in NYC for two years, completed an internship with the UN, started a charity to promote female empowerment called onethousand.org, worked alongside Wole Soyinka and other well known writers all whilst bringing up her absolutely gorgeous and adorable daughter Lila. At only age 29, Tara has lived a life only some can dream of!
Knowing I was going to to be in Paris and Tara was currently living there, I thought I’d contact this writer that I was so inspired by! It was the day after contacting her she wrote back and said she would be happy to meet up and told me to go to the beautiful designer/bookstore Merci!
Meeting Tara I was immediately taken back by how kind and beautiful she was. Her writing definitely reflected her in every way. There we were on the other side of the world from Australia, drinking blueberry beers before midday and sharing stories from our lives. I was so amazed, I admired her stories and the life she has travelled. Over the beers Tara told me more about her daughter Lila, quoting that Lila now knows more French then Tara does herself! When I showed her ‘Swept away by Wanderlust’ she looked through it and smiled – she really liked it. We spent the morning walking, talking and browsing around Merci, bouncing some wonderful ideas of places that could stock our book and ideas to consider for the future. Then suddenly it was midday and it felt like we had known each other for years. As we parted ways on the Metro I couldn’t help but smile as I had just met such a fabulous, talented writer and inspiring person who was open, loves life and is a contagious free spirit who helps and cares for so many.
People find it funny how I am not afraid of contacting anyone – but I think if you admire someone why not let them know! What’s the worst that could happen? I’d like to tell everyone out there , don’t ever be afraid to contact people, you have nothing to lose!
Tara is now working on her second book, I will update you all when it’s out, but check out her first book “Swallow the air” for now – it’s a beautiful read.
It’s time to say Au revoir to the city of love. I have had the most outrageously fun and incredible week. A big thank you to Sylvain, a lovely friend who I stayed with and had a beautiful time seeing Paris from a Parisian’s eye – truly magnifique parfait! Our book is officially in Paris and I have indulged in all the chocolate eclairs, crepes and crossoints one can eat. I have gone out to some of the most amazing restaurants with Les Deux Magot being my favourite so far – something about knowing Hemmingway and all the famous writers wrote there was just incredible and a little overwhelming. Visited and danced outside Serge Gainsbourg’s old apartment and walked up Montmartre. I also got to eat at my all time favourite bakery PAUL! I have longed to eat there for 4 years! The most amazing olive bread, panini’s and desserts you will have. Thinking of bringing one to Aus with the crepes, hahaha which maybe then sells coconuts!
I am off now to Bayonne to start my next adventure the El Camino!
Thank you to all our amazing guests who came and made this an unforgettable night…
Entertaining us with their awsome tunes was this young, well dressed, rockin’ 6 piece,who plays ‘60s-esque’
indie-pop-rock. With the sounds of Elle’s violin to Adin’s raw garage vocals we mingles the night away with their sweet tunes stuck in us for days.
COREY SLAVIN from BLACKLIGHT
Starting the show was Corey Slavin who entertained us with some great tunes on his guitar all night long.
Our lovely friend Nikki, who used to have a song on the Euro top 30 sang and is an ex radio presenter hosted, interviewed and brightened up the evening with her big smile and bubbly personality.
Who snapped away all night long to get us these awsome shots above.
SADEQ & JOE
For filming the event and putting together a video of the night that we can’t wait to see.
Our happy smiley technician who not only made our blog and website but also saved this night by jumping in as tech support!
Paris, this beautiful city is truly magnifique! I have been here for cinq (5) days and it has gone by so quickly and finally I now have a moment to write. Where to start, well firstly I am completely head over heels in love with this city and have been since the day I was a little girl and saw a picture of the La Tour Eiffel. Now here I am, sitting in Angelina the famous tea house where Coco Chanel came to relax indulging in a delicious dessert writing in Swept away by Wanderlust. I know I said this in my last post but I am totally utterly in love with the book also! It’s hilarious and I know I shouldn’t probably be talking the book up so much, but it’s really beautiful and when I am writing in it I just can’t help to smile knowing how far we came and that I have this stylish chic journal I can take around the world with me. The excitement I am getting by filling it out is hilarious! It’s the same excitement I got when I found an old vintage dress at a garge sale and my Celine Blazer I got for 3/4 of the price!
Now to the work part – Books, books and more books. I have visited many cute, unique, old & stylish bookstores over the last few days to approach them about stocking our book. This means I really got to practise my French – it has been so much fun! I am getting Tres Bien (very good): “Bonjour! comment allez-vous? je m’appelle Ashleigh…’ Every store has been so delightful and inspiring to visit and each and every one is so different and unique and I just love the atmosphere and the amazing book shop keepers – like the man with the perfect moustache or the chic french ladies. And even better is that inbetween each store I got to stop to shop at the endless boutique stores, eat a (many) crossoints, drink wine and take some pics of the old streets.
But now – the best part of all! I am very excited to announce that Swept away by Wanderlust is now to be stocked in Paris! I am looking forward to telling you all the stores in the coming week, a little surprise. But I will give you a hint with the most exciting one of all – it’s one of the oldest, most famous book stores in the world – close to Notre Dame!
Other than the bookstores, I have had the opportunity to meet with some beautiful friends and other writers living in this gorgeous city. Tara June Winch the award winning Australian novelists and feature writer for Vogue is one of them – look forward to telling you more about her in the next post. Sylvain, the truly most sweetest French gentlemen I have came across and staying with has also taken me all over this vast city – visiting the cafe’s where the famous writers wrote, eating and sipping on Cosmopolitian’s at cool French restaurants & bars and then getting wonderfully lost filming the areas and streets of Paris.
I now have 3 days left… which is plenty of time for me to get into some more trouble. Oui ! I just wish I had my gorgeous partner in crime with me.
@ Les Deux Magots
Ash is away adventuring and sending me the most exciting news from Paris. In between eating crossoints, drinking champagne and visiting Coco Chanels favorite tea house – she has met up with perfectly groomed moustache men and chic little french ladies to promote our book. So here I am working hard to keep up with her and organise everything from proposals and pictures to invoices and deliveries around the world. I hope she will have time to blog about it all soon – because she has got some great stories. What I can share for now is that tonight she has an invite to join some amazing inspiring girls she met and the amazing thing is that they are going to a place called….
I think it’s a sign of a bloody good time!
MORE SHOTS COMING SOON
Friday May 10th was the big night – the Launch Party for our book “Swept Away by Wanderlust”.
Hanna came to Sydney for the week leading up to this and we were working long hours every day to get it all organised. Meetings with bands, artists, cameramen, filmteam, booking of stage, equipment, red carpet, organise games and booths to be around the venue, get audio equipment, chase projector cables, find outfits, send contracts, emails, source aisle, find french clothes, buy letter paper, finish off film clip, discuss catering and drinks with Berkelouw cafe where the party was held and so much more needed to get done. And most important, make sure the books arrived from print in time..
The party started at 6.30 and we were officially done and ready with the last piece at 6.29. In front of us was one of the biggest nights of our lives. We hadn’t even had time to run through our presentation or speech and we had 150 guests coming that we were going to share our book and story with. But it didn’t matter – from then it’d be what it would be. We’d go up there and tell them our story straight from our heart.
So at 6.29 we took a big breath, looked at eachother and laughed. In the end – everything always works out. With a glass of champagne in our hands we went to say hi to our first guests…
…the rest of the story will be told by the pictures coming soon.