Soon after I arrived in Mackay I began work as office manager at The Centre in Wellington Street. The Centre housed Family Day Care and Family Services, and was also a community information centre. The downstairs area was used by a variety of local groups.
Single parents constantly arrived at the office, or rang in need of information and help. At the time we only had a few pamphlets and telephone numbers to give them and I frequently wished we had a single resource. We didn't, so I wrote Just Me and the Kids. Kids is not a word I use, in fact I dislike it intensely, but Penguin chose the title, and it was catchy and certainly sold the book.
As part of the Penguin publicity effort for the book I undertook approximately 47 print, television, and radio interviews in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane and it was amazing how many of the journalists, who interviewed me, were sole parents. They had a vested interest in the subject and, as a result, I enjoyed interviews which were both engaging and wide-ranging.
A few years after the book was published I morphed into a widow and it was just me and the (three) kids.
Just Me and the Kids is now very much out-of-date. I have looked at it a few times with thoughts of updating it but a total rewrite would be needed and now, particularly with the internet so widely available, all up-to-date help is out there in an easily accessible and printable state.