Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Hull Book Awards

Congratulations to Chris D'Lacey who was voted the winner for his teen thriller A Dark Inheritance at The James Reckitt Hull Book Awards yesterday. A Dark Inheritance is a must-read for fans of The X Files, and those with more than a passing interest in dragons.

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Jeff Norton was there for his most recent book, Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie, and on the way to the ceremony, he regaled me with the insane and amazing plots and premises to his many novels. If you know any youngsters that love ponies, go out and buy them a Princess Pony book immediately (Jeff writes these with a partner under the pseudonym Chloe Ryder).

Sam Angus moved everyone deeply with her speech about the role and treatment of donkeys in the First World War, of which I previously knew nothing about. Those with friends interested in the First World War should pick up her most recent book Captain for them, it has lots of crossover appeal, and would suit adults as well as sensitive, intelligent teens.

Martyn Bedford was shortlisted for Never Ending, a beautifully written, emotional read, which would appeal to Jenny Downham and Gayle Foreman fans. It has parallels with Infinite Sky too, featuring a sudden act of violence and the death of a beloved sibling.

Unfortunately, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald couldn't make it, though she sent us a message over Twitter.

It was great to see the warm and hard working team in Hull again and to catch up with some of the students that voted for Infinite Sky last year.

The teens were enthusiastic about all of the books, with lots being bought and signed, and I wasn't sure who was going to win right up until it was announced (more tense than the X Factor, with two rounds of drum rolls). Chris seemed truly delighted to hear his name called out, and gave a heartfelt speech, which was lovely to hear. Martyn had talked to me earlier about the importance of regional book prizes, and how much of a difference they can make to an author's career, and he's right. 

The event is a real celebration of reading and books and authors, and it was lovely to return as mistress of ceremonies. It's a great thing the team at Hull Libraries are doing, and it's been a pleasure being involved.

Finally, I checked in with Larkin, he sends his regards.

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