Carrie Kills A Man was nominated for the British Book Awards this year, and while I didn’t win an award or expect to at the ceremony on Monday night (every other book in my category was a heavyweight, critically acclaimed book by an excellent author), I’m still really delighted to have been shortlisted: with an estimated 200,000 new books published in the UK every year, being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is a testament to how hard my publisher works. And how brilliant I am, heh.
I did feel like a fish out of water, but I expected that too: these awards are like The Brits music awards in that they’re primarily about the business, not the art; it was telling that every author was limited to an acceptance speech of 30 seconds but there were no such limits on speeches by the sales teams, PR departments or rights managers. I did have St Vincent in my head a little bit: “I’m so glad I came but I can’t wait to leave”: it was an honour to be invited but it’s not a world I’m part of, or ever likely to be.
The day before the awards, I travelled down to the Boswell Book Festival where I got to read to and chat with a really nice group of people. I know that’s part of the business side of books too, but it doesn’t feel like it: it’s an opportunity for a conversation with like-minded souls, and it’s become my very favourite thing about being an author. As nice as it is to be nominated for an award, it’s nothing compared to the feeling you get when you’re making a connection with people.