Meet my new boyhood memoir! 12-year-old Justin is keen to meet ya (but a bit shy.) Signed copies with basketball card bookmark available HERE.
Yessum possums, Get Up Mum is out and about. I’ve spent the past two weeks getting amongst it; speaking publicly about the thorn in my side and the chip on my shoulder and the monkey on my back. I suppose this is my ‘coming out’ as a heartbroken person. A determined artist with a good book, I might add.
It was a tad surreal sitting alone at my own TV news desk at 8am on a Sunday morning. I was doing a live cross for Sky News. We teamed up with ‘Schizophrenia Awareness Week’ and I had an earpiece in one ear and was talking to a big black lens. It was 1984 meets 1993.
That said, I felt centred, like I was in the right place at the right time. It’s not often I can say that. The interview before me was the Greens’ Adam Bandt saying how the royal wedding hadn’t really ‘turned him on.’
There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction so far (to my book, not the wedding), especially from social media. It’s not everyday you get tweets like: “Young carers really need more of a spotlight. There’s a twisted and persistent sense of guilt that comes with being a carer (and lingers long afterward) that isn’t well-understood. It’s like a side of mental health that hasn’t really been defined, but it desperately needs to be.”
Thanks Stevie A.
Anyhoo, it’s also a ‘cracking good read’ according to ABC Hobart presenter Melanie Tait.
There’s been a splendrous response from media. I’ve been hitting the circuit, check out the smorgasboard of links below:
- I make my Guardian debut in this classic interview from fellow only child Elizabeth Flux.
- A tender and compelling chateroo with Myf Warhurt.
- Pseudo counselling session with excellent psychologists on Triple R’s Radiotherapy.
- Lifestyles of the poor and infamous, or eloquent expose by one of Australia’s hardest working artists? You decide as I bare my artistic soul for Kill Your Darlings.
- Rigorous pow-wow about schizophrenia on RNs Life Matters. Plus more radio action with ABC Adelaide & ABC Sydney.
- Sunday afternoon driving home with Mum (excerpt on Soundcloud.)
- Watch the trailer on YouTube.
‘Unfortunately, this beautifully written, evocative memoir will only appeal to anyone who has had a childhood.’ Judith Lucy.
‘A young’uns tentative forage through a thorny scrub of filial love, written as postcards from the nestling.’ Tim Rogers.
“I’m halfway through this book and it’s GODDAMN WONDERFUL and heartbreaking. Justin’s writing voice is so phenomenal, such a perfect combination of funny and whole-hearted without being syrupy, woe-is-me and sentimental. I have a feeling a lot of people will find “oh my god that was me” relief in this book, especially if they grew up with parents who were dealing with any kind of mental illness.” Amanda Palmer.
… [Heazlewood] does evoke what it is like to live in a loving, if flawed, family. In particular, his nan and pop – the latter the closest he has to a father – jump off the page as beacons of stability. Ultimately, if Get Up Mum is about youth, it is also about growing up too fast. Told to be a man while still a boy, Heazlewood feels responsible for his mother. Maybe, then, this is his way of finally letting go.” The Saturday Paper.
“The lows in this tale are always complemented by affectionate highs. Heazlewood displays wonder at the world and its possibilities for delight – in his grandmother’s garden, in salty fish and chips, in swims in the sea. Littered throughout the novel are lines of poetry that almost startle, asking to be read and re-read…Get Up Mum is a warm, humorous memoir about coming of age, and the deep love between two individuals who need each other equally.” Readings Monthly.
“Superbly written… perceptive account of what it’s like to grow up with someone who has [a mental illness]….written with no judgement – it’s just a simple recounting of his life and their lives but done in such a beautiful and perceptive way.” Book of the week, Burnie 7BU.