This time last week I received official confirmation that In Search Of Alan Gilzean had been shortlisted for football book of the year at the British Sports Book Awards which are to be held in London at The Savoy on May 9th. I had known for about six weeks that I'd been nominated but to read my name on the list last Monday morning was, I'll confess, a tremendous relief. I kept expecting an email or a letter from the organisers telling me there had been a terrible mix up and some clerical error had resulted in the wrong message being sent to the wrong person. Anyway, it wasn't the case and I have to say I'm chuffed and a little stunned, not least because of the calibre of writers who have also made the shortlist. http://www.britishsportsbookawards.co.uk/book/byhierarchy/17/237
There are a great many people who are deserving of sincere thanks for helping me achieve the nomination and I don't have time to list all of them - but they know who they are. Primarily, though, I want to say a special word to my publisher BackPage Press for having the guts and the faith to take a punt on an unheralded author and for putting up with my constant handwringing during the writing process - the support given to this inveterate worrier was invaluable and the way in which Martin Greig, Neil White and James Porteous went about promoting the book ensured that it became the success it did. Indeed, their micro-marketing and adherence to modern publishing methods should serve as a salutary lesson to some of the bigger, more established names.
There is one other person deserving of my eternal gratitude, too. Thanks Gillie.
PS. Get well soon, Whitey. We've an awards dinner to attend and several bottles of expensive *free* wine to consume.