Happy to hear that my high school classmate James (Tom) Murray's novel was shortlisted in this year's Vogel Award:
Fishing Secrets by James Murray (34, from NSW) tells the story of Jonas Mutton, an adopted boy growing up in the sleepy oyster farming community of northern NSW as he finds his real mother, loses her again and comes of age in the process.
Told with a quirky, original voice and a wry sense of humour, it balances acrobats, explorers, helicopters and fish in a strangely convincing mix of the bizarre and the mundane that sits somewhere between realism and parable. Jonas’ clowning mother is a particularly marvellous character.
Sounds great. I'd love to get a look at it.
I always assumed I'd manage to get a novel into the Vogel before the age limit passed me by, and I liked to fantasise that I would win. But for many reasons I didn't get my act together to submit anything; mainly, I don't feel ready. I'm still learning. And, alright, maybe I'm a bit gutless too.
Anyway--onya, Tom. (As Linda says, Mr Young would be so proud.)