I haven’t read the winner. Yet. I only had time to read the children’s book shortlist. They were all good, but some better than others.

I was pleased Linda Newbery won with Set in Stone, or SinS as she calls it. Our family read it on holiday last summer and the difficult reader (Daughter 13) loved it. We went to the beach for a swim. She sat on a sand dune and read. We went to an art gallery. She sat on a bench and read, moving to the next bench as we went along. Thought Linda might be interested in the effect her book had, so I emailed her. And she apologised for ruining our holiday! Aargh!

Always thought how hard it must be for the winner not to go round grinning like some Cheshire cat after they’ve been told and before the news has been made public. Who do you tell? And how do you avoid inadvertently letting on you’ve won? Heard about some of the non winners on the shortlist emailing each other to see how they’d done. A couple even discussed it in the school playground, what with their children going to the same school. And if you’ve won, do you say so, or do you lie through your teeth? While grinning.

The fashion report from the Costa Awards ceremony is black. How come all these exciting writers and other types who get to go still only do black? (Please invite me next time and I’ll show you!) Though Jacqueline Wilson didn’t wear black for a change. Adele Geras admits to her shoes, non black, killing her, but says she’ll wear them soon again. Really. I’d have thought they wouldn’t have survived ploughing through the snow to get home. The shoes, I mean.  Anne Fine’s agent wore a black tie. Literally. Carol Thatcher talks a lot and Sophie Kinsella is very small and wore a properly sticking out skirt. It’s entirely possible that Esther Rantzen’s jewellery was real, and she once shared a boyfriend in Oxford with Adele Geras.

Having a great deal of understanding for agoraphobics I will now go and read the winning book. Which, horror of horrors, was written by an author who’s not been to Canada. As someone commented in the Guardian’s blog, Douglas Adams presumably never went to Betelgeuse. Or maybe he did?

Surely this is what a good writer does. Makes things up.

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