There were a lot of friends and family that provided me with encouragement along the way. To all those people, a huge thankyou. But there’s a few that deserve a special mention:

Editing assistance

Thank god Jane Lawler enrolled in my Novel class. Jane has been a rock for me when it has come to getting the best out of this story. She’s known all the characters from the start and has run her eagle eyes over every word of the book, suggesting edits within almost every line. That I got to the end is testament to her encouragement and generous help. A talented writer, Jane has developed a range of fiction work and her the first book in her Shadows Trilogy entitled Long Shadows is a ripper. Also check out her fun blog about life and being human called little white truths.

Design & illustrations

Love-in-a-Duck_coverFinalThe front cover of the book was laid out by Ben Day (who effortlessly worked out how it should look at both a miniscule size for online sites and as a full size front cover for a printed book). Thanks mate, it needed your eye to set it off in the right direction.

Ben also deserves a special mention for conceiving the Numbers Theory in a moment of pure genius. I hope that I’ve done it justice.

Jack Chadwick took Ben’s layout and turned it into a wonderful cover with his delightful illustrative style, then put together the fun character images for this website. Thanks Jack. Great job.

French translations

It was important to the character development for Barry, the mechanic, that he was fluent in French. So when it came time for me to have some of the dialogue translated accurately, it was vital that I found a French person. There were Australians who could speak French quite well, but I wanted real French, from a native speaker. And I also wanted that person to know and love 2CVs. As you can imagine, there aren’t too many people here in Melbourne that fit this profile. But I was lucky. Through the 2CV club, I came across Raphael de Serres, a young Frenchman living here with his Australian girlfriend.

After making contact, I sent Raph a late draft of the book, with Post-it notes attached to the pages requiring translation. I didn’t expect Raph to read the whole book, but he did and it was wonderful to see that he loved it. It was clear that his passion for 2CVs helped (Raph owns several back in France), but it was gratifying to find that he was so engaged with the story as well. So we eventually got together over dinner and after several wines, we shared many a laugh as we translated the English dialogue to genuine ‘street’ French. After dinner, I took Raph into our garage and showed him Fifi and Pantoufle – and I almost detected a tear in his eye as he sat there in the left hand drive van, breathing the smells in. It was a nice moment. Merci Raph. I’m so glad we met.

Website development

Thank you to the wonderfully gifted web guys at Hubink for putting together a site that captures the spirit of the book. Alex Miles is a maestro with project coordination and content management. The multi-talented Cam Lee set the design off in the perfect direction. And Sanjay Hadiya and Paul Amato made all the coding bits sing no matter what device you’re using. Cheers guys!