It was Rufius himself who broke the news
that my debut novel was long listed for the
Polari First Book Prize!
I’m not joking! Tony Leonard who played Rufius with an incredible performance at The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton in October 2016 called to congratulate me as I was sitting in the Snowdrop Pub in Lewes at my Tuesday writers group led by best-selling novelist and writers coach, Siobhan Curham. It was a surreal moment. For established writers a long listing might not be a big deal, but for me it was a dream come true. And of all the lists, Polari was the one I’d wished for. Siobhan recounted her experience of winning her first prize and shot down to the bar insisting on a celebratory drink.
Thank you to the 2017 Judges –
Rufius and I are delighted you enjoyed the book,
And thank you to my mentor Martin Goodman and Barbican Press for having the balls to publish a novel that deals with a barbaric and unpalatable period in history, the reverberations of which are still felt in the West today. European culture is but a flicker of Ancient Rome and the consequences of the intolerance and laws that condemned effeminate men to death by public burning in the 4th Century A.D. are still felt today.