After a champagne reception and speeches by Paul Atterbury (of Antiques Roadshow fame), and the sponsor, Anthony Woodhouse, we were interviewed by Kate Adie. How cool is that? I don't think I stuttered, and she didn't ask me anything difficult. Yes, I did enjoy writing it. That sort of thing - to be honest, I can't remember what she asked me now. I do remember reading the opening of the novel, to the accompaniment of a car alarm going off outside which wasn't ideal. All the windows were open because it was so warm, but what splendid windows they are, as you can see.
Has there ever been such a week for losses? England, Federer, Nadal...and I didn't win the Dorchester Literary Prize. Not quite the same league, I know, and thank goodness I hadn't had to write Secret of the Song in front of huge crowds. Of course, I was disappointed, but I certainly wasn't devastated. It was a big thrill to get to the last three and be invited to the award ceremony in Dorchester.
The prize was sponsored by Hall and Woodhouse who are the brewers of Badger Beer and own a chain of hotels including the rather marvellous Duchess of Cornwall in Poundbury, the venue for the ceremony.
Now I know what it's like to be in a line-up! Although it is certainly nerve-wracking, it has also reaffirmed my belief that competitions are A Good Thing. If you have a story then why not give either the Exeter Story Prize or Flash competition a go. The old adage: you won't win if you don't enter, is relevant here!
Ps I've had a boost so am hoping Secret of the Song will have a boost too. It's 99p on Kindle all this week.