I'm just back from Cambridgeshire, from the "read it Again" award ceremony. It's a great award to be nominated for I think because it's actually voted for by thousands of real-life children! It was the nicest book event I've been to so far, actually. They really do impressive things there to promote picture books.
I held a speech in front of about 300 children... They looked like less as an audience, but felt like more when getting their autographs. I'm really good at writing my name with a big flourish now, which is good. And I managed to only say two unsuitable things while answering questions. Well maybe four. But not very. And my speech was ok as well, they said. It was quite short.
I think I said: "I didn't expect to be the first person to be asked to do a speech today because I am far down in the alphabet, and frankly I am quite frightened. I thought I might be, so I brought my stuffed monkey. Here he is. He he makes me feel a lot better. Uhm. Well. I would like to tell you what my favourite book is and when I started drawing but I honestly don't know at all. I just really like books, and I think I've always been drawing. About the book I wrote which I've been told you've all read I can say that I think it is mostly about this: Sometimes when you want to be strong but you feel small you need something to make you strong, maybe your mum or your favourite pyjamas or your stuffed monkey. And that's ok. You can still be a hero. Or make a speech for example. Erm. That's it I think. Thank you!"
Then I got a trophy (not the winning one but a highly commended one) and I can't believe what sharp edges it has. I wanted to say it was the pointiest trophy I ever got but in fact it's the first one, so that wouldn't have been very impressive...
Afterwards I went for tea and baked goods with some of the other people involved (who were charming and let me have all the cinnamon swirls, even though the cafe only had two of them and everyone else had to eat mostly biscuits) and I ended up detailing how you best keep warm in a wetsuit, but they did ask, so that was ok. Yes. I rather liked them, actually.
I'll post some pictures when I get them, my camera ran out of battery but I've been promised to be sent some.
And now I can drink up the second half of the miniature bottle of red wine I got given before the speech (don't like to drink more than a small glass at a time, so swiped it in handbag).
I think I did well! Next time I think I can probably make the speech without the monkey. Hm. Yes. Good.