Ah, you don't really want to know, do you? You do? Gosh, how flattering. Well, I'm me, obviously. I'm a writer, baker of inedible cakes, mother of an indeterminate number of children (they keep moving, it's hard to count), dog owner, cat slave. Occupier of a crumbly old place in the crumbly old countryside in Yorkshire. And merciless self-publicist.
Romantic Novelists' Association Awards, a dress like a lampshade and thanks to people I was too drunk to thank at the time
I think I mentioned, did I not, my little chocolate-covered Cheerios, that this week's blog would be a touch late on account of my attending the RoNAs on Monday in London? Oh, I am sure I mentioned it. Anyway. On Monday I turned up in some degree of finery (actually I was loosely disguised as a lampshade) at One Whitehall Place (it was so big that I'm not sure that there was room for Two and Three Whitehall Place, it seems that the whole of Whitehall Place was just a big Number One, which is far better than it being a huge Number Two, when you come to think of it). Here I am, 'enjoying a joke' as they used to say on the Deb pages of Country Life, with my fellow nominees for the Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year. Although it may appear that I have a bucket under my dress that is merely an illusion caused by lack of alcohol.
Anyway. The whole event went off beautifully. I sat and drank much pink champagne, and was, in fact, right in the middle of quaffing a glass when my name was announced as the winner of the Romantic Comedy Novel! Yes, just like that, right in the middle of knocking back some alcohol! Well, I had a good mind to make them wait! But I was desperate for a wee and everything, and they were all so terribly nice about my book that I felt it politic to go and collect the award. So I did. In my lampshade frock and my nearly-but-not-quite-wellington boots and with my expression on sideways (because my mouth was trying to get back to the champagne) I stumped up onto the podium, collected the rather lovely glass star (WITH MY NAME ON IT!!) and said some words which appeared to make some kind of sense because people laughed and clapped, or perhaps they just wanted to encourage me to shut up and get back to the champagne.
And this is what I looked like afterwards. Except everything from there on is a kind of blur. I have isolated memories of Luke Roberts telling me about the six o clock bus to Machu Pichu (I think, although it could have been Manchester, it's all very fuzzy), Kate Johnson and I deciding to wear camouflage gear (yep, me neither, it all seemed to make some kind of sense at the time), getting lost in Covent Garden and only locating the other Choc Lit authors because Charing Cross Station is very, very hard to miss even when so drunk that unable to recognise other Choc Lit authors even close up.
And now, in true 'Luvvie' style, is a list of 'thank yous' that I fear I may have inadequately expressed at the time.
My wonderful agent Kate Nash, who fed me lunch before the event so that I wouldn't become too drunk. That was a truly Epic Fail, but a nice try anyway.
The Choc Lit crew, for getting Please Don't Stop the Music into any kind of shape to win anything other than Best in Show.
My co-nominated Choc Lit authors, Pia (Christina Courtney) and Kate Johnson for their company during a truly terrifying photographic experience. Pia went on to win Historical Novel of the Year and Kate was nominated for Contemporary Novel (and was narrowly pipped at the post by Katie Fforde, sadly. Well, not sadly for Katie, but sadly for us Choc Litters).
My gorgeous Other Half, Steve, who kept me upright, told me I would win and managed to focus for long enough to find the other Choc Lit crew in a Pizza Express where they had gone to hide from me.
And pretty much anyone else who knows me. Your support has kept me going. This award is for all of you too. Look, here it is. I know my name is on it, but your is too, in spirit.