Thursday, 19 June 2014

Only 22 days late!

Here is my late update on The People's Book Prize Award Ceremony of Wednesday the 28th of May 2014.

The main reason this post seems to come late is because immediately after I attended the Award Ceremony for The People's Book Prize 2014, at ' Stationers' Hall' in London, I went to Glasgow for a few days before flying off to the island of Madeira for a holiday. Some of the photographs in this post have only recently been acquired by me and I'm now finding time to update on the evening event, having promised to do so.

On arrival at Stationers' Hall we chatted in one of the chambers - nominated as the Green Room. The wikipedia description of a 'Green Room' goes like this..."In show business the green room is the space in a theatre, studio or similar venue which accommodates performersnot yet required on stage. The green room functions as a waiting room and lounge for performers before and after a performance, and during the show when they are not engaged onstage." 

And so it was for us, since our presence at table wasn't required for more than an hour.

It wasn't in the least lonely in the Green Room since there were six of us who were Crooked Cat Publishing finalists. We had already met through virtual communication- mainly Facebook and our blogs - the social media sites being invaluable for recognising someone from their profile photo.It was fantastic to actually meet my fellow authors.

I was incredibly lucky to have met Trevor Ripley at the top of the St. Paul's Tube station as we spilled out to find Stationers' Hall, which was only a block or so away. I'm not in the habit of calling out to well dressed gentlemen in London but as I moved from the top step of the Underground staircase I clutched my husband's arm, shouting "It's him!" I was so stunned to see Trevor that I couldn't say his name at first. Hubby Alan was saying '"Who is him?" .... " It's, it's... Trevor!" In all of the hundreds of people around the Undrground I was amazed to see someone I recognised.My husband was also glad to know I wasn't accosting strangers. (BTW- Although Alan accompanied me to the venue, so that I'd not get lost in London, he went off elsewhere to have his own fine dinner in the company of an ex- colleague he hadn't seen for a while.) 

Courtesy of a Crooked Cat -Laurence methinks?
The line up of finalists is from Left to Right: Jeff Gardiner; Tom Ward; me; Trevor Ripley; Lorraine Mace (writing as Frances di Plino); Richard Hardie.

courstesy of Laurence Patterson (?)
and another (?) from Laurence Patterson
From the Green Room each author was requested to make their way to another chamber where they were given a TV interview. Any preparation I made for this went out of the beautiful stained glass window, my burbling almost incoherent. I do not want to ever see that interview!  (red face, methinks)

After the circling - and we did talk to other non Crooked Cat authors - we were invited to take our seats in the Great Hall prior to a splendid dinner.

The venue- The Guildhall of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, commonly known as Stationers' Hall, London - is fabulous. Stationers' Hall has undergone many changes over the centuries. The earliest building was originally on the site of Abergavenny House, purchased by the Company in 1606. That Hall was destroyed when fire devastated it during the Great Fire of London of 1666. Rebuilt by 1673, Stationers' Hall has survived many other turbulent times. Fortunately, little damage was done to the Hall during the World War II Air Raids of 1940, though there was some ceiling damage to the Court Room.
During the blitz many other Livery Halls were totally destroyed.

My named place setting was this side of the first banner- I think the first full one seen on the window side of the table.

The ceiling decoration was worthy of a better look but too much was going on to be so nosey. 

The ancient banner under glass, and shields, also needed more time but site-seeing wasn't my purpose! 

The great north stained glass window (seen below) depicts William Caxton with Edward IV and his Queen. The window was presented in 1894 and replaced a painted window of 1800.

It was extremely sad and disappointing that no Crooked Cat authors were winners this year, though one of us was very close, but I thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous experience of attending the ceremony. 

I was proud to display my Crooked cat novel - TOPAZ EYES - to the assembled company. I give my heartfelt thanks to my publishers Steph and Laurence Patterson for nominating my novel and to my readers and friends who voted to get me to the finals.

The last photo - a very nervous but happy me setting off from my hotel!

Courtesy of my husband - Alan Jardine

Topaz Eyes is available to buy from: 

Crooked Cat Bookstore



  1. Thank you for a wonderful tour and a peek into the prestigious, "People's Choice Book Award" ceremony. How refreshing to read that the excitement caused you to flub and babble through your interview, and that the sight of Trevor Ripley left you nearly speechless! Am sincerely happy that your talent thrust you into an historic moment and place in time...and all of which you hold close to your heart. Well done, Nancy Jardine.

    1. Thank you, Paula. You are a great encouragement!


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