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It has been a hectic though entirely joyful few weeks launching MY HEART IS A LITTLE WILD THING into the world: I’ve had events in Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane (Queensland).

Such wonderful crowds, despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19. The Canberra launch, thanks to Harry Hartog ANU Bookshop, was an entirely masked affair, which helped to make people feel a little more comfortable. It is always terrific meeting readers, those who read BODIES OF MEN and are eager to read the new novel, or those who have already read MY HEART IS A LITTLE WILD THING, or those who are new to both novels. It doesn’t matter; a novel only comes alive when the words are making magic in the mind of someone else.

To all those who have sent me messages or emails saying how much they have been moved by the story: thank you.

It’s also been lovely chatting with various podcasters. Two recent ones include writer Samuel Elliott, for The Write Way Podcast, and writer Michelle Barraclough, for The Writer’s Book Club podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed both conversations – so spirited – and highly recommend both programs.

Another response to MY HEART IS A LITTLE WILD THING that has become very special to me is ‘Monaro’, which is the latest composition by UK-based artist and composer BPMoore.

Ben and I became friends over social media. As readers of this blog will know, I adore music and have done so from a young age; listening to music continues to be a daily habit. I immediately connected with Ben’s work: perhaps fitting into the ‘contemporary classical’ category, the songs – and they are indeed ‘songs’, as though written for those who are more used to pop music – are evocative, engaging, and deeply moving.

One evening last year, after having a couple of wines, I messaged Ben via Instagram to rather boldly suggest I send him an advance copy of MY HEART IS A LITTLE WILD THING and see if perhaps it might resonate enough to result in some kind of musical response.

To my surprise, and delight, Ben leapt at the offer.

And here we are: today Ben releases ‘Monaro’, a pair of songs that have been written to be listened to as a whole.

Some words from the composer:

Monaro I & II’ were written during the reading of ‘My Heart is a Little Wild Thing’, reading in the evening each day, and then working on music the next morning in response. There were pictures in my mind, colours, vibrations in my body – all from the words Nigel wrote. I have never visited the Monaro. I hope to one day.

What I find extraordinary about Ben’s music is how it captures the Monaro in all its beauty and strangeness. The rolling notes evoke the wide-screen bareness, and the soaring vocals suggest the height that comes from what locals call ‘big-sky country’.

Of course, the music also reflects a crucial aspect of the novel: the main character, Patrick, who is devoted to the care of his ailing mother, meets a man called Lewis, who will change his life – and Lewis is a composer of contemporary classical music. Early in the story, Lewis invites Patrick to listen to the sketch of a new composition on his phone; Patrick is suitably moved. This event becomes central to how these two men will continue to connect over time.

‘Monaro’ can be listened to on all streaming services; it can also be purchased via Bandcamp. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I also hope you discover BPMoore’s two albums, Komorebi and If I Don’t See You Again.

Once again, to all those have read MY HEART IS A LITTLE WILD THING and have taken the time to share with me your thoughts: thank you – so very much. I’m absolutely thrilled that Patrick and Lewis’s story is resonating with people the way it is. Patrick and Lewis have become real to me – I feel sure they’d both be fascinated to hear BPMoore’s musical response to their story – and it is just so wonderful that they are becoming real to others.

Gratitude.

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