It's been a weird few days. Very wonderful, but weird all the same. We're in the middle of moving house, which gives me an unsettled, disengaged sense. And I've been busy - a full days training on Wednesday near Reading which involved going down the night before and one of Virgin's more unpredictable train journeys. I knew I'd have to go back down to London for the Daggers Awards and seriously considered at one point making an excuse not to go - what I really needed was a night in front of the telly and of course I hadn't won. Someone would have dropped a hint, wouldn't they? On Thursday morning I woke up not being able to speak. Really. Nothing. A strange series of squeaks and croaks whenever I opened my mouth. The result of a heavy cold and a day hectoring the library staff of Wokingham.
But I went. Checked into the lovely hotel Pan Macmillan had booked for me, lay in the deepest bath in the world and was ready for a party. I still couldn't speak, which saved me the trouble of making polite conversation and the bother of dreaming about an acceptance speech. The Waldorf was gorgeous and full of old friends and I smiled and whispered and drank champagne.
Then I won. A heart-stopping moment. Sarah, my editor, accepted the award for me and we drank more champagne. If I had been speaking I would have said something like this -
I probably wouldn't even still be published today if it hadn't been for 3 things -
The support and friendship of the other Murder Squad members.
Sara Menguc and Sarah Turner, the best agent and editor in the business
The fantastic public library service which buys books which are unfashionable, different and interesting and allows publishers to take risks.
And a huge thank you to Duncan Lawrie. This prize will make a difference. It'll save me from being so frantically busy that writing is done on slow Virgin trains and crammed into weekends.
Now it's back to getting ready for the move on Monday.