Release day is fast approaching, and don’t I know it! Already the wonderful pre-release publicity plan my Hachette publicist Ailie has worked up is showing results with a wonderful five page spread in the June edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly.
I was commissioned to write about my friendship with Vera Hays (Toddie) and Florice Bessire (Beezie), and how it developed into an almost 24/7 commitment over many years to secure their early release from their 14 year jail sentence.
As I said in that story, when Toddie and Beezie were finally granted their release on license, my ‘job’ had been done, but it had never, ever felt like it was a job. It was about righting an injustice which began with a betrayal.
This edition of the Women’s Weekly will reach up to 1.3 million readers which is terrific exposure for the story about the Drug Grannies, and of course, for my book ‘Betrayed’.
There is an interview with Woman’s Day out soon, as well as an extract from the book appearing in Sunday Life, a magazine insert included in the weekend Sun Herald (Sydney) and Sunday Age(Melbourne). An interview with a new UK true crime website Clued In has gone live, along with a selection of the women’s photographs (which do not appear in the book).
I also recorded a long interview with Emily Webb and Meshel Laurie of the Australian True Crime podcast and they’ll be letting me know when it goes live.
Although Hachette (Australia) has no plans — at the moment — to release ‘Betrayed’ beyond Australia, demand and pre-release requests could help the publisher change its mind!
I have another half dozen or so interviews with newspapers, magazines, website, radio and TV programs in the coming weeks, and I’ll make sure to post details here in case you want to listen in live, or catch the interview later as a podcast.
The most exciting new project coming off the back of the book’s forthcoming release is a two-part radio documentary I have been producing and preparing for the last six months for broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s program The History Listen on Radio National.
Each episode, which I will narrate, will be 30 minutes’ duration, and will include historical recordings of Toddie and Beezie during their time in prison, as well as when they learned of their release, and then cassette recordings with family in the US once they’d returned home.
I’ve interviewed jail officials, former government ministers, former narcotics agents, actors and friends associated with the Drug Grannies (and one in particular, a close friend of drug kingpin nephew Vern Todd) whose observations 40 years later are insightful and in many instances quite moving.
Wait until you hear the story from the former narc who went undercover to get to know the two American women, and what effect the drug operation, trial and ultimately 14 year sentence had on her as the Drug Grannies’ captor. I don’t have an on-air date yet, but it’s likely to be mid-late June. In any case, the two-part series will be available online as a podcast once it has gone to air.
Well I better get back to work; there’s no time like the days counting down to your first book’s release. I am excited!