On Friday, Dom, author Sue Ransom, her daughter, Ellie (for whose twelfth birthday she wrote Small Blue Thing, and who is in the photo with her mum above), her husband, Pete, and I met up at on the lawn of the swanky Surrey offices of The Book People for their rather joyous and pink Queen of Teen awards.
Maureen Johnson won, but our very own Sue was shortlisted – which was a terrific triumph for someone whose first book was published just last year.
Sue and the other shortlisted authors with the enthroned winner
It’s a great and very generous sort of event: every single shortlisted author gets to sit on the Queen of Teen Throne in a rather lovely Rajasthani tent on the sweep of lawn, while a “super-fan” tells the audience why her chosen author should win the Queen of Teen crown.
After being presented with a tiara, the shortlisted author gets to say a few words too.
Sue, speaking, with her super-fan
Pink cupcakes and fizzy wine combined with a “fierce in fuschia” dress-code to make for a very particular and, I suppose, feminine sort of an atmosphere (though one of this year’s shortlisted authors was a man, who wore his tiara and his pink Converse with pride).
Sue and me taking the “fierce in fuschia” dress-code seriously
The fans went away with bags of signed books and, I hope, a sense from the speeches that reading teen fiction was an important gateway into not only adult reading, but grown-up life, and the sense that they too could one day be successful writers.
Sue and her proud publisher
It was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon for readers and for authors and their publishers.