So the Awards Night has been and gone (way back in June if you must know) and I have an A4 framed Award Cert declaring me a Northern Writers’ Award Winner 2013. It was a very grand and literary do – lots of writers and readers and beaux food and free flowing wine. We all went up to get our cert and I was given mine by the very gifted and talented and beautiful wordsmith that is Sarah Hall, she of the Granta Best Young British Novelists mob, writer of books (Haweswater, How to Paint a Dead Man) and fanastically electric short stories. Before I went up she introduced me. She was so generous about my work that I couldn’t quite take it in but the clever pixies at New Writing North sent me her comments from the night so here it is to serve as a reminder for when I get down days.
She said my work had an incredibly cool note of intrigue and a very high standard of psychological sophistication, and that the main character (Luke) is conflicted and complex, sympathetic without being sentimentalized, and it’s not often that she’s surprised as a reader, but she was.I loved that she thought that about Luke. She only read the first 5K but got him, just got him – tell you that made my heart soar 😉
And she went on:
‘Jude is another writer who can hold back, allow the plot to develop within the bounds of an activated world, reveal things gradually and keep the reader really engaged. The prose style is deceptively plain, the language very atmospheric and almost note-perfect. This was the first of the pieces I read that made me forget why I was reading. I just read and I enjoyed enormously.’ This was the best bit, she actually forgot why she was reading. Now unless she’s got early onset Alzheimers that’s a bloody good compliment. Was I a happy bunny that night? Oh yeah.
Reader it didn’t last.
The plan was to have a few bevvies back at the hotel bar post do, and then retire to beddy byes. The plan also involved me taking a sleeping tablet as my cousin Pauline (like myself) is a bit of a lawn mower of a snorer. Now Zopiclone really works for me. Sends me into whipped cream cloud sleep very nicely… which is a bummer when you have to wake up and deal with your cousin who is screaming in agony because they’ve just fallen over their tipsy lil feet and broken their teeny weeny wrist. Ouch.