... well not Monster-blood Tattoo anyway. The top dog in the Childrens' Literature section of the 2008 Festival Awards for Literature was actually (the roll of drums - or "flams and parradiddles" as Craumpalin would call them):
Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Bauer, published by Omnibus Books (my own publisher BTW)
Worthy worthy worthy.
It is a funny feeling when another gets the prize; certainly no bitterness or rage or any such thing, just a honest yet muted disappointment overborne by delight a/ just to have been shortlisted & b/ that someone has one - everyone likes a winner - in this case a someone I very much admire.
Truly it is just amazing to me that a 'fantasy' book (I used the term loosely) was even allowed to inhabit the shortlist of a literary prize, that not just you and I believe that the genre does not only have to be thin and/or derivative but can be done to a higher level.
It also struck me recently that it is a most Providential thing that I am a part of the YA scene where eyes and minds are wide open and hearts ready to receive what ever innovations authors care to cunjour. I do not think ol' MBT might have received quite the same attention had it been released through the more usual adult channels. How things can work out, even from the depths I found myself in during 2003 still amaze me. Halelujah! All those years of fuddling about with book after book of obscure little ideas only a very few understood, like some nerdy Jekyll suddenly, with the insight of one woman (Dyan Blacklock, Omnibis Books) I am propelled to bigger better things.
So to all of you, fellow Jekyll fuddlers, fuddle on - who knows where it will take us!