Oh, the furore over the Montanas.
First off, warmest congratulations to all of the finalists - creating a book, of any form, consumes your life. It's like birthing a baby, except, with a baby, everyone says, aw, how cute, they're beautiful, what a bonnie wee thing. With books, they have no qualms about trashing it in a public arena. So for the finalists, the acknowledgment of quality and worth from a panel of peers is huge.
For the rest of us, I can say I am very proud of my first novel, Overkill, and I am sure all of the other people who produced works in 2007 are enormously proud of their work too. I find myself in splendid company in the ranks of those who did not make the cut this year, fabulous company.
As for judging? Please, no one ever, ever, ask me to judge a book awards, ever. Not that anyone is likely to, but I thought I'd get in early and state this. Besides the fact I read too slow to get through the book mountain, well, you've seen for yourselves, its appears to be a hiding to nothing.
There you go - I couldn't resist my 5 cents worth on the subject. And now, I shall go, and proudly work on novel number three.