So last night was the Aurealis Award ceremony in Melbourne. (For context for my overseas readers, the Aurealis Awards are Australia’s big national juried SFF awards). City of Lies was shortlisted for Best Fantasy Novel but I didn’t go to the ceremony because – well, because of quite a few things; I’d already been to Melbourne in March for Cursed Child and am going again in June for Continuum and I didn’t think I could justify the expense, juggling kids’ activities on weekends is hard for the remaining parent, and honestly, with the mess around book 2 I haven’t really been feeling super positive about my writing and I genuinely didn’t think I had a chance. All solid reasons. I stayed home with my family and sat in bed with a glass of wine to watch the awards on the livestream, happily texting with friends who were there, including my friend and agent sibling Devin Madson (whose excellent ‘We Ride the Storm’ was also shortlisted for Best Fantasy Novel, and which you should absolutely rush out and buy if you haven’t already).
Dev had offered to accept on my behalf if I did win and had asked me to write an acceptance speech for her to deliver for me and I put it off and put it off and eventually told her that I was far too British* to write a speech for an award I wasn’t going to win, it was too embarrassing to think about, and I jokingly said she could say ‘I’m too British for this… *mumble mumble embarrassed thank you*” in the unlikely event that I did.
Here is my real time reaction as they read the results (excuse the usual profanity):
But she is fabulous and did a lovely speech which is FAR more than her idiot friend deserves, and holy CRAP I won an Aurealis guys!! (As did many other awesome writers – special shout out to my pal Maria Lewis whose wonderful The Witch Who Courted Death tied with me to win Best Fantasy Novel, and to other excellent folks including Shauna O’Meara, Joseph Ashley-Smith, Kaaron Warren, Stephanie Gunn, Juliet Marillier and Cat Sparks, as well as so many worthy authors on the shortlists – too many friends and talented colleagues to list here, but check out the full list of the winners and the shortlist)
The moral to this story is, don’t prepare and rewards will come your way? Uh. That’s probably not meant to be it?
Anyway I did a big gabbly rant thanking people on twitter and FB but obviously, huge thanks to the Aurealis organisers and judges for your time and efforts (and for picking meeeee! 🙂 ), to my agent Julie and my publishing team including editors Diana and Simon (from Tor and Transworld/Penguin respectively), to my hugely supportive husband, children, siblings, parents, extended family and friends – honestly couldn’t do this ridiculous writing gig without you all. Love you to pieces.**
(And hey if you are in the US and haven’t read the book yet, by great coincidence City of Lies is on sale for a measly $2.99 on all the electronic platforms, a price that even my six year old could afford with 2 weeks pocket money if he were so inclined, and if I do say so myself that is a pretty good ratio of hours of entertainment per dollar – no idea how long this will last though so hop to it! Link to US sale.)
I will leave you with my favourite review of City:
and would like to note that this is officially AWARD WINNING GIBBERISH now, mate.
* In spirit, I mean, in the Very British Problems sense, rather than by actual nationality. Some of us Aussies are very British in that sense, I promise.
** Not literal pieces, obviously, what are you *thinking*, these are *GOOD* people