Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Here are another couple of skull-related images I've been playing about with.

I developed a twinge in the small of my back yesterday and it blossomed into jarring pain by the evening as I watched the rather dull match between Barcelona and Chelsea. My back is still astonishingly painful this morning if I try to bend or swivel. And it turns out I bend and swivel quite a lot.

And children are very happy to kick a man when he's down, so I got a hard time from my son yesterday who told me that his English teacher had put up posters of the Carnegie Medal shortisted authors and because I was such a loser I wasn't there. I'd let him down, he said. 'You've let yourself down, and you've let your family down,' joked my wife.

At least I think she was joking.

I'm due to fly up to Newcastle on Thursday for the presentation (to somebody else presumably) of the North East Book Award. I'm shortlisted along with five other authors. I spent seven or eight years in Newcastle before going to art college in Manchester and my father and my sister still live there.

My sister phoned this morning and I told her that I may have to cancel if it gets worse, but I really don't want to have to. She was happily impressed by the hotel Bloomsbury have booked for me, though. As things stand, I will fly early on Thursday, get a cab across to my old house in Kenton where my dad still lives and see him and my sister. Then get over to my hotel on the Quayside and then on to the awards bash at the Centre for Life. I'll go back over to my dad's on Friday and then fly back in the evening.

I received a couple of packages from Bloomsbury today: one was a book very kindly sent by Isabel Ford called Unnacustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (a book she had mentioned during our editing session) and the other was a collection of David Roberts' roughs for Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth. They are going to be great.

Oh - and I forgot to mention that Joad Raymond ran the marathon on Sunday in, what seems to me anyway, the incredible time of 2.57.11. I watched the finishing line waiting for him, stepped out of the room to check what he was wearing and missed him! He describes the whole day on his blog ('Miles to go before I sleep' in my blog list on the left)


  1. You are NOT a loser! Your writing is really good and maybe the awards don't like "horror" books so much as they should. :)


  2. Well you've obviously let your friends down too...

  3. Thanks Frini. I appreciate the thought. Mind you I've lost out on another book award since you left this comment!

    And Maggi - you're only saying that because it's true