CBCA…still pinching myself…
14th April 2015
I think my heart stopped. I could hear it in my ears. Ba boom ba boom…and then…holy moly…there it is: Nona & Me shortlisted for the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year for Older Readers.
I had actually given up. I saw the Notables announced on Twitter (I’m not on Twitter – just not enough time in the day – but I look at it now and then) and I was absolutely thrilled to make it onto the list. But I saw the other Notable books and thought…well, that’s that for the CBCA Awards. And you know what? I was happy. Making the Notables is bloody good. My heart was still racing but I made myself move away from the laptop. I distracted myself by reading – I’m halfway through The Cracks In the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty (a book listed in the Notables that I am coincidentally reading at the moment – incredible imaginative language and storytelling). And that’s when an email pinged onto my mobile…Christina (hello Christina!) from Black Inc Books, my publisher, had written to say ‘Have you heard???’
I hadn’t. Ba boom ba – wow!
I’ve grown up reading CBCA Shortlisted and Notable books. I’ve admired them, laughed and cried reading them, re-read them. So it is absolutely mind blowing for Nona & Me to be recognised by the CBCA now. Add to that the fact that I recently met some of the other shortlisted authors at the Somerset Celebration of Literature so it is an extra thrill to be listed alongside the lovely Christine Bongers and self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd Melissa Keil!
But…and I apologise for the downer here…I can’t help but think of that twinge I felt knowing I’d just missed out on the Victorian Premier’s Award Shortlist…and hope that the other authors on the Notables list aren’t feeling that now. Because we are all in this together. It is honestly a privilege to have joined the world of YA writers – those I’ve met so far are intelligent, funny, creative, big-hearted, passionate…and probably a little crazy, in the best way possible. They have spent hours, weeks, years writing fantastic stories that make people connect, think, imagine, believe. So here’s to all of us…