Well, I went to the Costa Book Awards last night. There’s something gloriously indulgent about going to a book award ceremony which you know you haven’t won. You get to take photos of silly things for one thing (see below), get to feast on the delightful morsels of food without fear of them exploding in your hands and ruining your outfit moments before you know you have to make a speech, and you get to star spot.
I brought my mum along to this night (she’s been asking…no, pleading…to go to somewhere with tasty awards morsels for months now) and we had fun. And reader, guess what, there were paparazzi present at this awards ceremony … although, when Mum and I left the event, there was a distinct lack of camera snapping going on. In fact, when they saw us coming, they decided to take their fag break. Nevermind, I rubbed a shoulder with Ian Hislop (on the way to reaching for another one of those delightful coffee mouse things), and Mum got a smile from Andrew Neil (which she’s still pleased about!), and I got to spend some time with the ever-lovely Tim Bowler and his equally delightful wife. I also had some fab chats with the other shortlisted children’s authors Sharon Dogar and Jonathan Stroud (what lovely people they both are!). In fact, my mum even invited Jonathan and his family for tea! And finally, of course, I congratulated Jason Wallace for his fabulous book, Out Of Shadows, which won the Children’s Category. I met Jason about a year and a half ago where we were sharing a panel on teenage fiction – it was his first event and Out Of Shadows was still only in proofs. I knew it would be a powerful book even then, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It lived up to all my expectations. So, reader, if you haven’t read Out of Shadows yet….get out there now to your friendly local bookshop and snaffle a copy quick. It’s going to be a strong contender for this year’s Branford Boase too, I’m sure.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you who won the overall Costa Book Award! Well, for the second year running the prize went to a poetry collection, this time to Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutibility. I read this on the long train home back to South Wales and rather enjoyed it. So, while you’re out there buying Out Of Shadows, perhaps pick this one up too.
Anyway, here’s some pics so you can pretend you were there too. Sorry they aren’t very brilliant – ‘fraid we had to make do with camera phones. I did try for you though!
Wishing you morsels and magic,