My book launch was wickedly fantastic.  Thank you to everyone who came.
My contribution was my famous (in my own mind) onion tart, ham quiche and turkish chicken kebabs (which didn't make it to my side of the room where I was signing books), a feeble speech (as I lost my notes about ten minutes before I had to get up to the lectern) said with "rabbit in the headlights" animation (Luckily my dad laughed at my jokes.) and a reading which was squinty at best as I forgot my glasses.  Also carpel tunnel from signing the books and insisting I put a poem in each one whether they wanted it or not.

What else did I do?

Oh yeah, I wrote the book :)
Which is just incidental I feel.  My name may be on it but - like a celebrity getting ready for the red carpet - it takes an army to produce the final product.

The joyful task of writing the book ends for me when I am not allowed
 to titu with it anymore and it goes out to the grown ups to be printed in books.  

My brother Johnny launched my book.  He launches other things for other people all over the world it was about time he launched something for me - also he had been my Patron forever like since long before the beginning of this foolish scheme called "Trying to be a full time artist and writer"  (Also, we were on a tight budget this year so flying Stephen King in from Maine USA was out of the question) 
His speech was amazing in which he waxed lyrical about how much of an amazing imagination I have referring back to our childhood when it was called "lying" Thanks for that bro :) 

This is what my speech should have said as opposed to the waffle that came out.
  I should have thanked everyone but as usual my panicked brain was screaming like a siren inside my head shouting 'get off, get off, get off, get off.'  Id also written out the thank you's in the acknowledgements in my book and somehow when I do that, I think I've said it out loud.

So, in my best "winning the oscar" kind of voice I would like to thank;

Christina Doherty my cousin who allowed us to use her fantastic venue, Expressions Gallery in Upper Hutt, it was awesome.  Also her fantastic whanau who set up and broke down, and my uncle Barnet for being there and being so hip and cool.
Thank you so much TJ who was just magnificent on the Piano so the rest of us didn't really have to do anything to be impressive.  Thank you Ata and Michael for lending us your fantastically talented son, and thank you Ata for helping with the organisation of everything.  

Thank you to my beautiful nieces who were on the covers of the books, Amber, Alia and Ariana the three A's that go with me Aroha....Yeah I did that on purpose (no I didn't, that just occurred to me as I was writing it) I want to thank their mother's and father's Marguerite, James and Tania for Amber, Nina and Fred for Alia and Helen and Johnny for Ariana. 
I want to thank Norm Heke who photographed our first cover and Big Mark who did our second and third cover and took photos on the night.

Helen, Hineaorangi and uncle bill with Ariana              Amber, Dad and James with her cover.

Thank you to my son Naffa (Nathan) and my daughter Megan who took over the kitchen and made everything so amazing and gorgeous and yummy.  Thanks to Rob, Megan's partner who took care of my Mokopuna Piper and Griffin so Megs could slave away in the kitchen.
Thanks to all my cousins, nieces and nephews who worked so hard on the night, as you always do, and I am so honoured because you are all amazing and have busy lives and gave up your time for us.  Thank you so much, you make me really proud of you guys.  By the way, you all looked so gorgeous doing your mahi.  (Every one of you will probably end up on a book cover ya know.)
I want to thank my daughter Jenna-Rose who is amazing for just jumping in at the last minute and being MC and who - as always - handles me when I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing.
Thank you to Johnny for launching my book.
Thank you to my cousin Nina for EVERYTHING, way too many things to count.

Thanks to my husband who is just...

Yes he is holding me up,  
(noticeably my spanx are not holding me in)

Thank you to my brother James who is spectacular in every way and my sister Lynda who couldn't make it to the launch as she was in Whitianga running a "Theme Park" yes that's right I said theme park. 
Thank you to my cousins, aunties and uncles who brought such gorgeous kai for us.  Yes we are the only book launch that has its own signature 'Fry-bread" and "fudge cake"
Thank you Tohu wines for your delectable sensational wines.


Thank you to my cousins who came down from Kereru Marae, you truly made my night. 
Thank you to my friends from Wainuiomata who came over the hill and made me feel so young again :)
Thank you to my Dad with making me part of the amazing whanau I have and for his brains etc etc 
Lastly thank you mum for the ability to do all this stuff and basically lie for a living.

Thank you Thank you THANK YOU....if I missed anyone its because my brain is mashed banana and not because I didn't notice you working so hard, I did, and I always do.

Love Olivia, Aroha, Axxx