Island Life, Word Birds & Process
Last year, my first novel, Ghostbird, was nominated for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize by the generous blogger, Anne Williams whose blog Being Anne is up there with some of the best on the circuit. When I read the extremely long long list, one the names that stood out was Edna O’Brien. Quite. The actual Edna O’Brien: one of my favourite writers. I was highly amused & for a while one of my passwords was ‘onalistwithednao’brien’ & I’m not even kidding. I lunched out on it for weeks not caring that I was never going to make the shortlist. I was just tickled pink to be on a list with one of my literary sheroes. And indebted to Anne for her generous & genuine support for my book.
(And this year, by the way, one of my sister Honno authors, Sara Gethin, did make the NTB shortlist! For her wonderful book, Not Thomas. I’ve been lunching out on that accolade too!)
With my second novel, Snow Sisters out last September, time flew & all at once it was that time of year. The readers (in particular the book bloggers) began posting their lists of favourite books of 2017.
Back in April 2015 when I got an offer from Honno for Ghostbird, it would never have occurred to me that it would end up on anyone ‘all-time favourites bookcase’ (see Hayley at Rather Too Fond Of Books) or be anyone’s favourite book of the year. Or, that two and a half years on, my second book would not only be considered worthy of inclusion on several lists, in one instance it too would be awarded the top slot. I am indebted to all the book bloggers who chose Snow Sisters & in particular, Linda Hill of Linda’s Book Bag for making it her Book of the Year 2017.
And there’s this: another of my favourite book bloggers, Anne Cater of Book Connectors fame & randomthingsthroughmyletterbox brought Snow Sisters to the attention of Prima magazine & the book was included as one of 9 Perfect Autumn/Winter reads. Colour me joyful!
There are other people I am indebted to – too many to list to be honest. One or two are fabulous writers who have stunned me by their kindness & ongoing support for my writing. Louise Beech is one, Amanda Jennings is another as are Rebecca Mascull & Su Bristow.
Being on a list with Edna O’Brien will always be my secret thrill but hanging out on so many lists & with such a fabulous gang of tremendous writers has blown me away. My thanks to everyone who has supported my writing, bought my books or reviewed them.
Happy New Year you lovelies.
Be kind, be brave & read books! xXx