I attended a talk Selwa gave at Brisbane’s South Bank auditorium with Di Morrissey. As Jill Wran was retiring as my agent, I asked a question from the audience as to whether Selwa took on non-fiction authors and biographers. She asked my name and I told her. She said she had sold my book Pioneer Women, Pioneer Land in her bookshop and it had sold well, and she asked to see me after her talk. I was delighted, as lots of wannabe authors were there all wanting to get on her list. We got on well together and she took me on.
I had just divorced, from the Professor Larry Evans, and I was about to marry City Architect, Jake de Vries. I had written The Impressionists Revealed, Masterpieces and Collectors, which became a bestseller in America, under the name of Susanna de Vries-Evans. Very sensibly, Selwa told me to shorten my name to Susanna de Vries and then sold my book, Great Australian Women, to HarperCollins.
We have been close friends now for 30 years.