My creator (the one who retold my story, that is, not the one in whom I long ago ceased to believe) tells me that my first volume – what he called The Waste Land - is shortlisted for The People’s Book Prize.
I find this confusing. In my day, ‘the people’ would scarcely recognise a book if they saw one, let alone be able to read it. Όι πολοι (remember I know Greek!) have come a long way since my time.
But I know that I should be pleased.
“How is the winner chosen for the prize? How can I be chosen?” I asked.
“Anybody who wants can vote for their favourite book,” my creator answered.
This confuses me still more. How can anyone, any ordinary member of the people, have a vote?
“Anyone? Is it as if they were members of the College of Cardinals electing a Pope?” I asked.
“Similar,” he answered, and an expression of mischief crossed his face. “You remember how after their Grand Master has died the Templars choose his successor.”
He is deliberateily needling me. He knows how I hate the Templars and their doings.
“Of course I remember. They select an electoral college, a cabal of thirteen. They scheme and they machinate, they make bargains with each other and offer promises and bribes. Is that what we have to do to win this Prize?”
“Not exactly. In these modern competitions you have to persuade the public to vote for you because you want it more than you have ever wanted anything else in the world. Then they sympathise with you and may give you their vote. Do you want it more than anything?”
I am taken aback.
“No, of course not. I wanted Blanche more. And my revenge on Black Baldwin and Hasan i-Sabbah - I wanted that more.”
“How badly do you want the rest of your story to be told? Do you want it to stop with The Flowers of Evil, or to go on?”
“I would like it to go on, of course.”
“Then we need to win this prize.”
So I am asking you please to vote for my story. The correct request, I believe, is to follow the link below : http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/