Madigan Mine: the book launch that was

The book launch for Madigan Mine on Monday night when exceedingly well. Lots of lovely people came along to the Carlton library and ate yummy food and drank yummy wine (or orange juice) and had a wonderful time. The brilliant and erudite Lucy Sussex gave a introduction which included a neat timeline of the Gothic in Australian literature, as well as some very nice things about yours truly:

Kirstyn has easily and gracefully moved from short story to novel form with Madigan Mine. It’s a very Melbourne story, and also a very Gothic story — being about Goths, but also about a truism of human nature, that being drawn to the dark side can lead us to some very banal evils. A love story, which turns into a hate story. Strongly characterised, intensely and skillfully narrated, and lastly beautifully written. Here’s my favourite line from the novel: “The past is a poisonous place and I’m not going to live in it any longer.”

Thanks so much, Lucy. Thanks also go to Theary and the staff at Carlton Library for having us, as well as the delightful crew from PanMacmillan (Debra, Meagan, Corey and Kate) who came to fly the flag on the night, Justin Ackroyd of Slow Glass Books for purveying of books, Tiger Lily cafe for catering, and of course, to everyone who came along to help me celebrate, as well as those who sent their regrets but very best wishes.

I talked to a lot of people, but didn’t get to meet everyone who came, for which I do apologise. Thank you, thank you all for coming. I also signed a lot of books . . . and for my appalling handwriting and wildly differing signatures, I also must apologise. 🙂 My beloved, Jason Nahrung, wandered around with a camera:

Lucy Sussex

Lucy Sussex waxing lyrical

Justin Ackroyd

Justin Ackroyd ... bookseller extraordinaire


The lovely people from PanMacmillan ... Debra, Meagan, Corey (who designed Madigan Mine's amazing cover) and Kate.

Kirstyn McDermott


Kirstyn McDermott

My favourite purple pen!

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Rowena ... all the way from Brisbane!

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Ori and Ian, two of my oldest friends

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Ian, Ori and . . . iPad!!

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Myself and Julia

Madigan Mine Book Launch

An ebullient Rachel

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Blurry Elizabeth, sharper Steve 🙂

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Sarah and Talie

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Paul Collins and Jane Routley

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Ellen and Tracie

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Tracie, Paul and Miranda

Madigan Mine Book Launch

Listening attentively ...

Madigan Mine Book Launch

... and general milling about

Kirstyn McDermott

Tired but exceedingly happy!



  1. wish I could have been there too!

  2. Looks like it was a brilliant night. Thanks for sharing the photos. It was good to see some familiar faces there. I’m looking forward to reading Madigan Mine. xx

  3. Congrats 🙂 xxx

  4. Looks like a fantastic night, Kirstyn. Huge sales ahead!

  5. I soooo’ wished I could have been there. It looked fabulous and sounded a great success. Great pix, great event and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

    Am so looking forward to reading it and getting it signed 😉 Go girl – You rock!

  6. Review on mah blog. Looks like the launch was fantastic; what was the passage you read from? I think the first section – ‘Confession’ – is very you, but the trip into Alex’s brain, or perhaps the bathtub scene, would have made for a fun reading too… If you don’t mind I’d love to put a pic of the cover up on my blog, to go with the post.

    • Thanks for the great review, Tim. Hope you get some sleep soon! Please feel free to grab the cover for your blog as well. 🙂

      • That was two nights ago now, thank God. Sleep wasn’t helped by the fact that the cats had plonked themselves in the most comfortable part of the bed, thereby forcing me to indulge in a game of cat-human Tetris (not wanting to offend them by actually picking them up and moving them.)

    • Oops, forgot to say: I read from the scene in the kitchen with Madigan, Ruth and Alex near the beginning of the book. It’s always hard to pick a section from a novel that a) is interesting enough in its own right; b) won’t require too much background info; and c) doesn’t give too much away. I found it especially difficult with Madigan Mine!

  7. Kirstyn, what a star you are. So sorry I couldn’t make it down, but I’m really glad it was such a ringing success. Congratulations.

    • Thanks, Rod, to you and everyone at Picador and PanMacmillan. The support has been wonderful!

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