One in a Minion

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This is a tiara. All Minions get one. They are worn at the annual minion breakfast or, if you’re forgetful like me, you keep wearing it most of the day and wonder why people are looking at you indulgently.

I’m not sure which of the Valerie Parv Awardees started either the “minions” term or the tiara tradition but it’s been going for a while and looks likely to continue.

I was clueless about minions until I became one. My first experience of them was sitting around a breakfast table at a truly ungodly hour while they caught up and talked shop.

It was more than a little daunting. There I was with a whole bunch of people who make their living from writing books. They might have basically all started at the same place as me, winning the same competition, but I felt like an imposter. There’s not much an unpublished writer can contribute to moans over cover designs, tips for juggling multiple deadlines, notes about the merits of different publishers, or discussions regarding book distribution, taxation regimes, and upcoming conferences.

So, for once in my life, I shut up and listened.

Over the course of a number of coffees and a lot of Danish pastry (make mine a cappuccino with a pain au chocolat please), I was given an insight into a working writer’s life without the gloss and sparkle. (Tiaras excepted.) And, you know, it still sounded like the best career I could imagine.

There’ll be a new minion added to the posse this year. That means more reading for me, since I’m slowly working my way through their extensive backlist of novels. What’s obvious when you do so, is that Valerie has really good taste. I haven’t read one yet that I haven’t liked.

If you’re interested in the list so far, the nom de plumes of the minions are:

  • MICHELLE SOMERS
  • BRONWYN McEVOY
  • DAKOTA HARRISON
  • ANNA COWAN
  • KYLIE GRIFFIN
  • ERICA HAYES
  • BARBARA de LEO
  • RACHEL BAILEY
  • BRONWYN PARRY
  • MELANIE SCOTT/M. J. SCOTT
  • ANNE LOUISE DEBRAWSKI
  • KELLY HUNTER
  • GABRIELLE LUTHY

 

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