Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


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And here’s winter . . . What happened to autumn?

I warned you I’d soon be complaining about the cold instead of the heat but this is ridiculous! It’s 13 Celsius at the moment (55 Fahrenheit) and I’m barely resisting the urge to turn the heater on. This time last week we had the air-conditioner on every day and night with temperatures consistently in the 30s (80s to high 90s Fahrenheit). Glad to be rid of that but hopefully we’ll have a few nice autumn days before the worst of winter hits. Anyway enough complaining about the weather.

St Patrick’s Day yesterday. My son plays in an Irish band so we went and watched them for a while; part of the road outside one of the local Irish pubs was blocked off and they had a stage set up outside. Quite a few people there, most wearing silly green hats or something green at least. Good to see families and old people as well as younger ones all enjoying the music.

My ancestry is 25% Irish, although I only found that out recently. I was pretty sure I was a mix of British bits and pieces but when I started tracing my family history, using a couple  of online resources, I had no luck finding anything on my father’s mother. She died the year before I was born and Dad’s father died long before her, so they were somewhat of a mystery to me.

One day I received an email from a distant relative who’d come across my details on ancestry.com and knew quite a bit about my grandmother–I was thrilled to get that kind of information and now know I have that 25% Irish blood! I also have 25% Welsh and the rest is a mix of Scottish and English so a good mixture.

I’ve been amazed at the emails that arrive out of the blue. Not just my family history but also history relating to families that have some connection to my book, Not Guilty. I put an ad in a Melbourne paper years ago to try to find out if Camellia, the mother in the story, had any family out there. Since the story is set in 1910 I was pretty sure I could publish whatever I liked but as it’s not a pleasant story I wanted to speak to her descendants if she had any.

It was years later an email arrived from a man who married the niece of Camellia’s second partner. Quite a surprise! Since then I’ve had emails from her first partner’s grand-daughter and the niece of the woman he was having an affair with . . . it goes on and on. Fascinating to me and they were able to give me information and photographs I hadn’t seen before, most of which I agreed not to publish. They were also able to tell me that she has no descendants herself. I was also able to give them a lot of information they didn’t have of course, having spent years researching the murders. I’m hoping to put some other photos on my Amazon Author page, am currently waiting for permission.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Not Guilty is available on Amazon, both as an ebook and a paperback, https://www.amazon.com/author/christinemgardner.  I’m hoping to put it up for a free day in April and I’ll announce it here.

See you later.