After the train nightmare at Euston, I spent my entire morning trying to find alternative ways to get from my inconveniently located house to Prestatyn tonight, and I'm pissed off beyond belief that I couldn't make it happen. So, while I sit at home, sick with disappointment, I send my warmest and sincerest thanks on behalf of myself, the brilliant Jim Kay, and the much-missed Siobhan Dowd, to everyone at Pornokitsch and all the judges for giving the Red Tentacle to A Monster Calls. I absolutely love that it's won this award, and I'm genuinely thrilled. Especially so, since I feel like a bit of an interloper from the YA world, and you've been so generous to me and my books.
In fact, that's what I'd really like to thank you all for. I was a weird kid, and not in any of the usual loveable ways. I was the anxious, clever, gay, preppie little son of American fundamentalist Christians, so my head was, to put it mildly, an often stormy place. Even worse, my parents decided to move house just before seventh grade, so I had the double bad luck of starting secondary school knowing no one. The very first friends I made - and who are still my friends to this day - were the kids who played D&D, and I can't tell you what that meant to 12-year-old me.
You may not think of yourselves this way - and you may even not like being addressed as a collective 'you', which I'm cool with, but go with me here - but the science fiction, fantasy, and genre community is possibly the most open-minded and tolerant one in the world. And I know from both my own direct experience and from the letters I get from young readers that it's not at all unusual for a kid in need of a warm and welcome respite to find one here.
And so for that, and for this awesome Red Tentacle, thanks from the bottom of my heart.
3 February 2012