Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Big Night...

After months of anticipation we finally got to enjoy the big night which was the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. It was exciting to be flown up to Christchurch, get put up in a very posh hotel and then get dolled up in my new frock, cardy and shoes for the big event.

Photo : David Batterbury
A good sized crowd came to the Visions Restaurant at CPIT, enjoyed the drinks and nibbles and settled in for an evening of entertainment. It was great to see some familiar faces in the crowd including Bookman Beattie and Christchurch-based novelist Rachael King.

The entertainment came in the form of fellow panelists Ngaio Marsh Award finalist Neil Cross, Local crime author Paul Cleave (sporting a magnificent Movember effort!) and myself. The chair was instigator of the Ngaio Marsh Award, and Crime Watch blogger Craig Sisterson. Craig came up with a great bunch of questions for us, which we answered to some degree, avoided to some degree and generally had a fun time with. Both Paul and Neil are hilarious - the crowd was frequently in fits of laughter. They are also both interesting to listen to so I think the enthusiastic audience came away feeling informed and entertained.

Photo : David Batterbury

There was a wee interval for people to refresh their drinks, and buy books - I got to autograph plenty - which always pleases me! Then came the moment we had all been waiting for (and which I'd been worrying myself sick about all day - literally) the announcement of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. After such a great evening everyone was eagerly awaiting this moment.

The winner was announced - Congratulations to Alix Bosco, for Cut & Run.

Craig had to explain to the now subdued audience that Alix Bosco was a pseudonym for someone wishing to remain anonymous, and the award was duly accepted on her behalf by Louise Chrisp of Penguin NZ.

So, on to the Bouquets and Brick Bats...


Huge, huge Bouquet to Craig Sisterson for having the vision and enthusiasm to set up an award for crime fiction in New Zealand. To have a national award for crime fiction is an enormous benefit to the crime writing community, and not only promotes crime fiction, but also New Zealand fiction. Craig - thank you so much for doing this - you're a hero as far as we are all concerned!

Warmest congratulations to Alix Bosco for winning the Ngaio Marsh Award for best Crime Novel - it is a great achievement and something you should be very, very proud of.

Thanks to Ruth Todd, Morrin Rout and Maryanne Hargreaves, and the crew of the Christchurch Writers' Festival for your ongoing support of this award, despite rather difficult circumstances.

To fellow panelists Neil Cross and Paul Cleave, and chair Craig Sisterson for a fun night.

Brick bats:

To Alix Bosco - for not turning up.



Dave B said...

Twas an awesome night to be sure (to be sure). And I think you got your fair degree of laughs too Vanda.

Shame AFB decided not to come out.

Claire Beynon said...

You are graciousness itself, dear Vanda.
I was gunning for you - you're a winner, and you look fab. in your new frock and cardy (can't see your shoes).
Love, C xx

TK Roxborogh said...

As always, my dear friend, you are controlled and eloquent. And, tactifully honest. As you and others have mentioned, perhaps a criteria to be in any award is actually to be available to accept the award.

Dorte H said...

You look gorgeous, Vanda!

And I really wish you had won - but perhaps next time?

The Paradoxical Cat said...

You look lovely and I wish you had won.