Well I'm back from Newcastle, head held low. . .
So another week, another failed attempt at a book award. I did at least have a good time in Newcastle and Bloomsbury had booked me into a very nice hotel - the Malmaison on the Quayside.
Well done to Sally Nicholls for winning with Ways To Live Forever. What a nice person. And she did a very good job of selling her book to me. We are hopefully going to do a book-swap.
Before the event Sally and I were talking and joking about falling off the Carnegie Longlist. It wasn't until the introductions that I discovered that the other shortlisted author present - Berlie Doherty - has won the Carnegie Medal twice!
Thanks to Alec for hosting the event and for Eileen for organising it so well and to both of them for being so friendly and supportive. Thanks to everyone who voted for me and especially all those who came and talked to me before and after the event (including the girl who took the trouble to explain why the other stories in Uncle Montague weren't as good as Climb Not!). It was great to meet you all and maybe sometime I can come and visit your schools. It was fantastic to see a hall packed with so many enthusiastic and thoughtful readers.
Whilst I was visiting my dad I picked up a handful of Thor comics from a great store I still have from the 1970s. John Buscema was doing the pencils at this stage. He was a real workhorse of Marvel and goodness knows how he managed to do so many comics at the same time. I always admired his ability to draw the human figure in any position he chose and with such energy. This drawing of two running children is an example of Buscema at his best. . .