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Island Life, Word Birds & Process #15

My default setting with regard to public accolades, and praise of any kind frankly, is fairly low key. It doesn’t mean that when amazing things happen or people pay my writing compliments, I’m not affected. I am charmed, grateful and delighted. Inside, I’m all aflutter but apart from the smile, on the outside it doesn’t particularly show. When Ghostbird was chosen as ‘Waterstones Wales & Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month’ last April, I was gobsmacked. In a dumbstruck, smiley but silent kind of way.

It isn’t false modesty – I simply don’t have the ‘blow your own trumpet’ gene. I genuinely don’t know what to say. I never expected to be published, never mind see my book picked as book of the month.

The other day I discovered one of my favourite book bloggers – Anne Williams – had nominated Ghostbird for the Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker’ prize. Like many people, I’ve heard of the NTB but it simply wasn’t on my personal radar. It wouldn’t have occurred to me in a million years to check for my book. And yet there it is. Out of the enormous number of books she must have read over the past year, Anne has chosen mine.

If anything is going to evoke a ‘squee’ in me, I guess it’s that. Not for being nominated per se – rather, it’s the fact that from day one and her wonderful review of my book for the blog tour, Anne committed herself to it. When she said she would do everything in her power to support me, she clearly meant it. Anne Williams is the tiara on the fairy on the icing on the top of my publishing cake!

anne W

I nominated Maggie O’Farrell’s fabulous This Must Be The Place. (Ms O’Farrell can rest easy – I’m the one on the outside with my nose pressed up against the windowpane being an awestruck admirer.) But my name’s in there somewhere too. I may not be making much noise; inside I am squeeing.

carol 8 dp hat large - Copy
Photograph © Janey Stevens