“Learning that The Heir of Night had won the Gemmell Morningstar Award was a tremendous moment. I have always loved stories of quests and heroes and magic; so perhaps not surprisingly, quite a few of David Gemmell’s books stand on the shelves of my personal library. I would definitely cite his brand of epic-heroic fantasy as a strong influence on my aspiration to write Fantasy myself. So it does mean a great deal to me that the first novel I wrote, The Heir of Night, has won the Gemmell Morningstar Award. On learning the news, I also felt both humble and deeply grateful that people ‘out there’ must have not only read HEIR but enjoyed it enough to vote for it. I am aware, as well, that HEIR is both the first book by a southern hemisphere writer and the first written by a woman author to win in either the Morningstar or the Legend categories, and I feel the honor of both firsts very keenly.
I would also like to acknowledge my fellow writers on the Morningstar shortlist: Elspeth Cooper, Doug Hulick, Mark Lawrence and Peter Orullian. As one of their number I felt very much that I had already been awarded “the crown of good company” and I would like to hope that in the reading and discussion of all the books that the words of 2009 Legend Award winner Andrzej Sapkowski still hold good: that “it is fantasy – our genre – that is the ultimate winner.”
“It’s incredibly touching to think that so many people have enjoyed my first novel and allowed my name to sit alongside such giants of the fantasy genre. I’ll definitely be back next year with a pseudonym, a new hat and a fake moustache, trying to win Best Newcomer for a second year running.”
(Translation Courtesy of Tom Clegg)
“As one might imagine, receiving the Morningstar Award for The Cardinal’s Blades, my first novel to be published in Great Britain and the United States, was both a great pleasure and an immense honour. Being full of admiration for the work of David Gemmell, I attach particular importance to these awards, and to the fact that they are voted by the readers. I remember that, at the time, I found it hard to believe my novel was one of the finalists. But when I heard Anne Nicholls calling me up on stage at the ceremony, I was completely taken by surprise. I felt very, very moved when I found myself standing in front of the microphone and I don’t even remember the thanks that I mumbled in my very tentative English! But it is a splendid memory for me, nevertheless.”