Mums and Dads are good when award anxiety sets in. They think - however good the opposition - that your first-time novel should be shortlisted for every major award, and will most certainly win.
They have already told everyone about the book from the moment of its launch: the woman at the garden shop, the butcher, the GP's nurse. They carried it around for weeks so they could brandish it when running into friends and acquaintances, and have gently insisted that every single one of them read it and report back. They've made sure the library has multiple copies, and have been known to rearrange bookshop displays when no-one's looking so your book is suddenly (yet again) Read of the Week.
So this post is in part a good luck charm for the upcoming Montanas. In part a thank you. Here they are, my Mum and Dad, Norma and Lindsay McCallum, The Blue's unsung promotional team.
And here's one of the artistic shots they took of The Blue and Kapiti - braving the stares of startled beach walkers and hungry gulls to get it. It resonates with the blueness of The Blue, the stuff of islands and sea and sky. Blue wherever the eye goes.
In fact, people whaled from Kapiti as they did on Arapawa Island, and during one of the whale hunts in The Blue the Tory Channel whalers ponder going as far north as Kapiti Island in pursuit of the whale.
I love to think of Mum and Dad on Waikanae Beach organising this scene. Mum worried the book will fall off, Dad hoping the camera will work, and both of their voices travelling clear across the water. Then one of the beach walkers makes a silly comment about Mum sending the photo 'home' to England, and my Seaham-born Mum who's lived here over 40 years rounds on the gentleman and gives him an earful.
She tells him that the photo is staying right here in New Zealand because she and Lindsay are both kiwis now. By adoption. Kapiti-folk doing what parents round these parts do: photographing their daughter's book on a log. For her blog.