The fabulous Miriam Margolyes and me backstage after a performance of Lady in the Van at MTC. It was wonderful meeting you Miriam and thank you so much for your support! When I humbly approached Miriam and asked if she would read a few chapters of my manuscript and write an endorsement if she thought it warranted it.
This was after a few publisher rejections and a whole rewrite and a genuine belief I had that this amazing true story of Alice Anderson had to be told and I’d spent years researching, writing and editing as a passion project.No funding, no grants, no nothing – like so many writers who have a dream they can’t shake off.
Thanks to Miriam and few other other successful ‘artists’ I reached out to, who all, to my great gratitude agreed to read some chapters, I finally had a break through when Jacinta Di Mase literary manager
(JDM Management) took me under her wing.
Of the chapters she read, Miriam responded:
This unexpected & delightful story, of the pioneer woman driver, Alice Anderson, enthralled me. ‘Alice wore breeches, laced boots and gaiters, a collared shirt, short tie, three-quarter length belted overcoat, leather driving gloves and peaked cap, though she made no attempt to invest her attire with any more ‘womanly charm’ than her magnetic personality, and with curly hair cut short as a boy’s at the back she was more often mistaken for a young male chauffeur as not’. That’s a clue to other parts of her life, but this beautifully-written book is not directly about SEX. In 1926, Alice & her companion, Jessie Webb, Melbourne University’s first female lecturer in the history department, drove across Australia. I would LOVE to have been in the back seat. I relished the realisation of her dreams, set against the development of feminism in 1920s Australia. And her tragic death of Alice provides a powerful end to a thrilling book. I’m so grateful for the chance to know about Alice Anderson. Alice’s story is part of the history of Australia but until now, she’s been an unknown hero.