On Saturday morning, I found a Google alert in my inbox. A Google alert is an email indicating that someone has used the phrase, “Strangers Have the Best Candy,” along with my name, on the internet. Yawning, I clicked on it, thinking it was a mistake.
It was not a mistake. The 7-book shortlist for the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of 2015 had been released, and Strangers Have the Best Candy was on it. I learned this from The Guardian, which published a photo gallery of all seven book-covers:
According to Horace Bent of Bookseller Magazine, which issues the prize, “Ultimately, it is a stunning collection of books. Let other awards cheer the contents within, the Diagram will always continually judge the book by its cover (title).”
Strangers Have the Best Candy is the first self-published book nominated in the 37-year history of the prize. That is a great honor, because while the Diagram Prize is lighthearted, it is no farce. These are not odd books, just odd titles.
In the past few days, I’ve enjoyed my 15 seconds of fame, seeing my book mentioned by the Huffington Post, BBC News, the Booklist Reader, the Irish Republic, and a host of sites and blogs, some of which were not even in English. There have been no calls to appear on TV yet, but sales to bookstores have begun to pick up.
Please cast your vote for Strangers Have the Best Candy before March 20, 2015. Click on this link to vote — you don’t have to provide personal information, and it will take less than a minute: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/diagramprize2014.
I’ve also published a limerick about the Diagram Prize on Meps’n’Barry.com.