2015 was, without doubt, the year of Are You Seeing Me?. By November, it had achieved nine big-time recognitions on three continents, including five major prize shortlistings. Then the year ended with a nod in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
Over twelve months, I’d pinched myself so much I took out a self-restraining order.
The ticking over of the calendar to 2016 felt like the end of AYSM‘s dream run, especially with my focus now firmly set on the draft of the follow-up novel, Where You Are Now. The little book with the car and the cracks and the marauding monster on the cover, though, was not yet prepared to shed its sneakers.
In fact, it was saving up a finishing kick of epic proportions.
In March, after so many bridesmaids, AYSM broke through for its first win — the Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Literature. I did my own dash at the presentation ceremony, distributing high-fives to the Premier of South Australia, the SA Arts Director, the crowd, pretty much anyone in Adelaide; and, in doing so, coming to the dual realizations that I’m not nearly as fit as I used to be and that impromptu sprinting is not the best preparation for a thank you speech.
April saw good fortune swing back across the Pacific and a nomination for the BC Book Prizes’ Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. Like the Queensland Literary Award shortlisting before it, this was particularly gratifying because it was recognition close to home and heart. The ceremony was held at the Lieutenant-Governor’s crappy little abode in Victoria and provided just enough free booze for the awesome Jordan Stratford and I to tread the fine line between entertainment and eviction.
Not to be outdone, Australia has just this week conjured up one last shortlist gasp — a place among the six tremendous finalists for the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards. Winners will be announced in October.
If AYSM manages to get over the line for that one…well, I guess there’ll be another one of these self-effacing ‘Look how brilliant I am, bitches!’ blog posts.