When I started writing Minnie and Bogle at the end of September last year, I had no idea that in 7 months’ time I would be saying the words, “I’ve made it to the shortlist!” Back then, I thought it would be a miracle if I managed to finish the novel and enter the competition, let alone make it this far!
Seeing my name on the Times/Chicken House shortlist alongside four other shortlistees has to be one of the most surreal experiences of my life. What makes it even more surreal is the fact that I was convinced I hadn’t made it.
The shortlist was due to be announced at the end of April. By Friday 28th, I hadn’t heard anything. I assumed I hadn’t been shortlisted and I headed off for a week’s holiday, trying my best to be philosophical.
On the last day of my holiday I spotted the latest Chicken House blog post The Times Chicken House shortlist is here! and I prepared myself for the worst – OK, just get this over and done with. Scroll down the page, read the shortlist, and enjoy the rest of your holiday.
Only it didn’t happen like that because I scrolled down the page, scanned the text… and THERE WAS MY NAME!
I blinked. For a moment it felt like I had entered some kind of parallel universe.
But no, there was my name in black and white. I had been shortlisted! (For the record, this has to rank as one of the best/most surreal moments of my life.)
A few hours later, still in disbelief, I scrolled through my Facebook posts from last year and came across this entry on September 23rd in which I announced, “something is telling me” to enter the Times/Chicken House competition:
Needless to say, I will be paying a heck of a lot more attention to my inner voice from now on!
The competition winner will be announced on June 21st. It would be a dream come true to win, but whatever happens, I’ll be celebrating!