The Best of Times, The Worst of Times.

Posted by Nette on Mar 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

So, we have finally had the CBCA Notables List announced and I’ve had to experience the delight of having read so many fabulous books for younger readers and the disappointment of knowing so many authors and illustrators are feeling disappointed and – if they’re like me – full of spite and despair and homicidal/suicidal thoughts. It has been a double edged sword.

To begin with it was a hoot – lots of books, lots of covers to consider, lots of notes and ticks and crosses. By the time we have surfaced from the twelve month journey I must say I was ready to get my head down in a good old ‘who-dun-it’ for adults. Even now, as I sit here writing this I’m aware that there is a list of to-do waiting in the inbox for me – we are not finished yet, not by a long shot. But this blog is not about my journey. I wanted this blog to be the one that soothes troubled authors and reassures them that their work, their books, their ideas and plots and hard work are not simply written off.

I am not a lover of competition. I have failed many more than I’ve even won but it doesn’t stop you from wanting to be the one that gets the accolades. I can still remember Joanne Horniman and I sitting having coffee when the short list was announced and WE WEREN’T THERE! How could that be? How could OUR books that were so honest, so deep and so bloody worthy miss out? Well, they did. There was no magic salve to stop the hurt so we simply decided the judges were nuts, not well qualified enough to sit in judgement of such obviously well written tomes and sulked for quite a while. I accept that many authors are now deciding this about me and the other judges. Honestly we did our best within the guides and criteria that shapes CBCA winners.

Authors write as they write – as do illustrators. I could no more write a series than fly to the moon in spite of filling many, many boxes and pages with ideas and attempts. I wish I could – believe me, it would pay a lot more than having a one-of that done good! I am in awe of the trials and tribulations of all the the characters who are strong enough to appear in book after book after book. I am equally in awe of books that can fictionalise real events and make them into stories that are page-turners. I love adventures where things happen! I think I’m saying that books that didn’t make this list sure as hell are making others. So, please – if you didn’t get there this time give yourself a giant pat of the back for lining up and taking a chance – and line up again next year.

We march on towards more excitement and more heartbreak – so buckle up! And if you’re not on the next list please don’t hate me too much – we’re doing the best we can – just like you are.

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