By the time I opened an email from Mslexia this morning, I was a) nervous as hell and b) terrified in case I had won. That sounds silly, after all, I did enter the competition at some personal cost in time, effort and twenty-five quid. As an agoraphobic recluse, the idea of the publicity and the expectations now placed on the mystery winner would be a huge hassle for me in my hillside retreat. All I want to do is be allowed to write books, preferably for an audience, and preferably for some money (last bit optional).
So, I am informed I was in the last three which, it has to be said, is magic even though part of me still wants to go for the Good Housekeeping competition with book 2 (the Novel With No Name).
I feel strange - not elated but sort of justified. When I first wrote Borrowed Time I knew it had something special, that I needed to develop, because at its heart, it's a story about people that I have grown to care about. Well done, Jack, Sadie and Felix, you should take as much credit as me for getting your story this far.
And this is something else to put in the rationale for my MA! So, well done and congratulations to the winner and all the other shortlisted novelists, who have stressed and waited and stressed some more over what has proved to be a terrific competition. I look forward to seeing some of those novels in print!