Congrats to the three winners of last month’s “Ghost Flight” competition. They are, in no particular order…

A cover of an old romantic novel

Above: another competition winner vents her, um, great pleasure…

  • Nancy Campbell
  • T. Anderson
  • Barra O Ceallaigh

But I know what the rest of youse are thinking:

Don’t you hate the way them bloody online book competitions pitch winners against losers, brother against sister, in a terribly dog-eat-dog /civil war / capitalist free market thingummyjiggy kind of terrible thing?

Tough. Rules is rules. You are losers.

Oh well, at least three (3) of you must be dead chuffed. I’ve emailed all three (3) of you. Please check your spam folders, because the winners have only four (4) weeks – i.e. until 7 February 2015 – to send me their postal addresses for me to post them their large stash of goodies. Each of you will getting three (3) good solid paperbacks with shiny covers, not flimsy old PDFs.

(Hold on. Now adopts serious tone…)

After that date, as per the competition rules, any unclaimed prizes will be bloody well redistributed at random to any one of the other eight (yes, I did say 8) entrants who successfully answered the terribly difficult tie-breaker about what my private eye Moss Reid’s profession as a PI was.

If by some strange twist of fate we run out of these “alternative” winners too, the books will be distributed among the poor and needy of Stoneybatter in my local pub.

(By now 99.99% of you who started reading this page will have abandoned it, figuring you didn’t win the prize. Hello to the other 0.01% of you.)

Yes, the competition organisers were, to put it mildly, quite unpleasantly surprised at the response to this latest competition compared with our previous tightly fought contests.

“Underwhelming” was the non-swearword being muttered most frequently around the corridors of Moss Reid Towers this week.

(Now adopts very very VERY serious tone…)

So I ask myself: what more do ye want?

  • A walk-on part in the film version of the book?
  • A villain in my next novel to be named after a nasty PE teacher who took a particular dislike to you at school?
  • A slap-up dinner at Patrick Guilbaud’s plus a couple of tickets to Caroline Morahan’s long awaited Abbey Theatre debut in She Stoops to Conquer, followed by two nights B&B in the bloomin’ Gresham with all the trimmings – oh, and while we’re at it two Ryanair Business Plus flights to Dublin if you don’t live there?

So tell me. Email me. Do a drawing if you like. Or add your tuppence ha’penny’s worth in the comments box below. Yes, I’m not bitter – far from it. I’m putting it down as “a learning experience”. In fact I might even give a consolation prize or three for the best suggestions…