I used to think shortlists were those things that I took when I went shopping. Those tiny pieces of paper ripped from old envelopes that bore unintelligible squiggles like 'rice and purple'. Well, that's what it looked like. Or, if I couldn't remember the actual word I might draw a picture which would, when faced with an entire supermarket full of possibilities, prove to be completely illegible. My drawing abilities are excellent should you want a horse's head (years of practice as a young girl) or a box, but lacking in all other departments, and my shopping trips rarely require me to bring home a box of horse-heads. Suffice it to say, my cupboards are stuffed with random artifacts (why is it that I always buy cans of beans? Why? No-one even likes beans) and our meals are more trials of endurance than pleasant family activities.
Where was I? Oh, yes, shortlists. Anyway. Following on my recent triumph at the RoNA's, where my shortlisting for Romantic Comedy turned into an actual award (did I mention that I won an award? Well, I did, I won an AWARD...) I can now reveal that I have also been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance!
Yes! This award was set up by Melissa Nathan's husband following her death from cancer at the tragically (and surely illegally early) age of 37 in 2006. Melissa wrote books such as 'The Nanny', romantic comedy at its best, and the award was set up to recognise this genre (because not many people do recognise it. A lot of people mistake it for next door's cat, or just plain old romance, or, in my case, tins of beans) and it is an absolutely HUGE honour to be shortlisted. If you don't believe me, take a look at the other people listed with me!
AN AUTUMN CRUSH, Milly Johnson (Simon and Schuster)
GIRL ON THE RUN, Jane Costello (Simon and Schuster)
MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFE, Jenny Colgan (Little Brown)
SUMMER LOVING, Allie Spencer (Arrow/Random)
YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME, Sarra Manning (Transworld)
PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC, Jane Lovering (Choc Lit) (THAT'S ME!)
So I am doing the happy dance, and shall be until June 12th, which is when the ceremony is. Yes, there's a ceremony and everything! And Jo Brand is there, and other lovely people like Joanna Trollope and Morwenna Banks and Sophie Kinsella, plus me and the other people on the shortlist! Although I cannot guarantee that I don't miss the point entirely and send a box of horse-heads. I have a special face prepared for the entire event, one that shows my shock and awe at being in such company, and probably one that has some kind of food-stains around the mouth, but I am sure that everyone will be far too polite to comment on this.
I am off to practice it RIGHT NOW. And also eat beans. We can't get into the kitchen any more, and I think there might be someone in there underneath the tins, vague cries of 'help' have been heard. Although, that might have been the yoghurt...