Since posting earlier I've found a piccy of the glittery plunging thing I wore (it was on the Booksellers website with all the other photos) but you can't really see the glitter here, which is a shame. I am standing with the NZSA's Paul Smith after collecting the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book of Fiction which Rachael King won last year for The Sound of Butterflies.
An exciting moment. I felt outrageously happy and proud. And then, while I was admiring my gift bottle of Montana wine and about to open the envelope to look at the lovely cheque, they announced the Readers Choice Award.... and, dear readers, it was The Blue. I gaped, my husband gulped his wine, my publisher swallowed his fork.
As-ton-ish-ing. A-maz-ing. W-on-der-ful.
Thank you to all the people who voted. Thank you to all my readers especially the ones who took a punt on The Blue in the early days when it was an unknown quantity.
Thank you to the readers who grab my arm outside the greengrocers and say 'I'm half way through and I love the bit where you desribe the gulls like washing', the ones who buy book after book for presents for their friends, the ones at the libraries who ask me if I think Micky's okay now, the ones who say they know the place I've written about that's how it is.
In the end this novel-writing thing is all about the book and the reader and the solitary act of reading.
Thank you to Montana and Booksellers for the Readers Choice Award and for the most wonderful evening. And to NZSA and Hubert Church for the Best First Book Award.
Congratulations to Charlotte Grimshaw for winning the Fiction and Poetry gong for Opportunity which is a startling collection of stories that verges on the genius, and to Laurence Fearnley who was a deserved fiction runnerup. Congrats too to Janet Hunt for Wetlands which won the Non-Fiction medal. And to all the rest.
More on the awards at Beattie's bookblog. And elsewhere no doubt.