When Terry Pratchett won the Carnegie Medal, he came to a shocking realization. The Carnegie Medal is exactly the same shape and size as those really large chocolate coins you can sometimes buy in a sweet shop. So when the ceremony and official presentation of the medal occurred, Mr. Pratchett palmed the Carnegie shortly before giving his speech. In the talk he then mentioned how wonderful it was to win and did you happen to know the best part of getting the award is that you can eat it? Without further ado Mr. Pratchett unwraps the chocolate and pops it into his mouth with a resounding smack. And for about two and a half second there is dead silence in the room. It was as if all the brains of the people were thinking to themselves, "It's chocolate? Has it always been chocolate? How come I didn't know it was chocolate?" Mr. Pratchett immediately made it clear that that had NOT been the real Carnegie and people allowed themselves, at last, to laugh.
And that was just one of the wonderful stories told at the Harper Collins offices this morning as Terry Pratchett stopped by for breakfast. Other things you may not have known about the Carnegie Medal include the fact that when you are informed that you have won, you are not allowed to tell anyone for 2 months. The only thing that I can figure is that this must be some sort of punishment for being talented. In Mr. Pratchett's case, it was all he could do not to blurt it out to the cashier at the grocery store, to say nothing of his fellow writers who would say to him, "I haven't heard anything. Have you heard anything?" Mr. Pratchett regaled everyone present with the story behind Tiffany Aching's name, his near-obscene love of clam chowder, and of course his latest book Wintersmith. Which is excellent. Which he signed. So that was fun. I, of course, had nothing intelligent to say to the man because I am shy. And so it goes.
Hey, check it out. Physical proof I was there too. Neat.