Monday, May 16, 2011

Vote For Me!

My novel Fifty Grand has been longlisted for the prestigious Theakston Best Crime Novel Award. There are 14 other books on the long list and to make the short list of five the general public is required to vote for their favourite.
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If you want to vote for Fifty Grand you can do so here.
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To be honest I think making the shortlist seems like a bit of a tall order. I'm up against several huge beasts of best sellers and I imagine those books will have a hard core fan base in the thousands. I suspect the five shortlisted books will also be the five books who sold the most copies. . .but you never know, do you? So I'd certainly appreciate your vote.
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Fifty Grand's always been a bit of an ugly duckling. I've gotten some barmy reviews from left wingers who say my portrayal of Cuba is fascist propaganda; I've also been attacked by right wing nuts who say that my description of immigrant life in New Mexico and Colorado is blatant commie propaganda. They can't both be right, can they? I then had to deal with some potential libel issues and a breach of copyright suit from the Church of Scientology (because I quoted from one of their rather eccentric questionnaires). Fifty Grand also seems to stir up strong passions among online reviewers (I got almost no print reviews in the US (thank you Henry Holt!)) who generally either love or hate the book. Some of the online reviews are pretty heavy but on the other hand I got a really nice review in The Guardian and Fifty Grand won the 2010 Spinetingler Award which is also voted on by the general public.
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Anyway if you hated Fifty Grand you can go to the Theakston Prize website and vote for somebody else. If you liked it you can go there and vote for me.
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The system they have in place to prevent double voting isn't the greatest one so if you want to vote Chicago style, feel free. (I voted only once and not for me.)
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And finally, for the Amazon reviewer who didn't believe Cuba could possibly be as bad as I've portrayed it and claimed that I hadn't been there at all...here's a link to an article I wrote for The Times about just one of my trips to Havana, and here's a link to the blog of Yoani Sanchez, a young Cuban woman, who despite being daily intimidated and on one occasion beaten up by Raul Castro's secret police, still bravely tells it like it is.
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Slainte and thank you for your vote!