By Richard Jay Parker
I know it's the done thing to be casual about these sort of things but last Friday it was announced that STOP ME has been shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award and frankly I'm chuffed to ribbons.
I absolutely love getting feedback from people who have been kind enough to read my book and receiving evidence that my work has resonated with people who care about the genre is also hugely exciting.
There's another seven talented writers who share the honour:
Acts of Violence, Ryan David Jahn (Pan)
Cut Short, Leigh Russell (No Exit Press)
Martyr, Rory Clements (John Murray)
Random, Craig Robertson (Simon & Schuster)
Rupture, Simon Lelic (Picador)
The Holy Thief, William Ryan (Mantle )
The Pull of the Moon, Diane Janes (Robinson)
More info about these and other CWA nominations and winners HERE
I know Leigh, of course, but have only met one of the other writers shortlisted. I was on a panel with Diane Janes at Crimefest and she was kind enough to send me an email soon after the announcement. I'll say hi to the others here because I'm sure we're all checking out each other's websites, blogs and reading each other's books as well. Writers are good like that.
What I do know though is that each name represents an ordeal of hard work and perseverance to get their first book published and I wish all of them the very best of luck. It's a shame we can't all win but being shortlisted is an award in itself.
These sort of moments don't come along very often so it's always my policy to enjoy them while they last. I've reviewed the competition and I've got a fair idea of what my chances are against such quality but until the three nominations are announced on August 9th I'll be using it as an excuse for celebration.
This weekend I'm seeing a writer buddy of mine that I've known since school. His name's Tim Lebbon and as well as a great friend he's an award winning horror and dark fantasy writer. I'm horrified that it's been almost a year since I last saw him in the flesh. A few years ago he achieved his ambition of giving up his day job and writing full time. You can read all about his dark world HERE.
Tim's had some ups and downs like all writers but he works damn hard and has just secured some very exciting book and screen contracts. Neither of us have ever been shy of clinking a glass together so we'll certainly be enjoying the moment this weekend because we both know that the following morning the reality is always the same - back to the keyboard.
We wouldn't have it any other way.