Susan Grossey

A gong for Sam

Yesterday I was driving home from visiting family and listening to the news on the radio.  They announced who had been given a New Year Honour (for overseas readers, here’s what they are), and I had a little daydream about how marvellous it would be to be recognised (à la Lady Antonia Fraser) for services to literature.  Once home, having been offline for a couple of days, I checked my email and good heavens!  I found that I had been given something even better!  “Portraits of Pretence” – the fourth Sam Plank novel – has been chosen by influential book review website Discovering Diamonds as their Book of the Year for 2017.

Discovering Diamonds is a wonderful place.  I stumbled on it – or rather, the people behind it, before it was created – right back at the start, just as I published the first Sam Plank novel, “Fatal Forgery” and was looking for reviewers.  Everyone associated with the website – and in particular our marvellous leader Helen Hollick – has been incredibly generous with their time, expertise, guidance and encouragement.  If you’re a fan of historical fiction – of any era and in any formats, whether e-book or paperback, Victorian or Roman, self-published or traditionally produced – their reviews are unmissable.

Regular readers of this blog will remember how excited I was when “Portraits” was chosen as their Book of the Month in March.  And now to find that I have scooped the annual award – well!  Naturally Sam would dispute my role, as Helen quite rightly points out that he is the hero of it all: “The three main characters have, through the absorbing series, become good, fictional, friends.  I find them believable, plausible and very likeable.”

I know the fashion is to say that awards don’t matter, that the work itself is the reward.  And of course I do love writing the Sam Plank stories.  But they are not edging Grisham or Rowling off the bestseller lists, there is no-one from the BBC knocking at the door and begging to be allowed to make them into a Sunday night corset drama, and my marketing efforts cost much more in time than they generate in income.  And so an award like this does matter – it matters enormously.  Hopefully it will generate some publicity for Sam, but more importantly it confirms to me that I can write, that the books are worth reading, and that I am right to continue.  Thank you, Helen: to me, this award is priceless.


  1. Janis Smith Avatar
    Janis Smith

    Left you a message on FB yesterday – was overjoyed for you when I saw this – jolly well deserved, hope it spurs you onward in 2018 xx

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Thank you, Janis – you are very much one of the supportive community I mention! One of the very bestest things about self-publishing and indie publishing is the lovely people you “meet” along the way. Much better than writing alone in a cold garret! xx

  2. Jo Barton Avatar
    Jo Barton

    That’s wonderful news and so well deserved.

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Thank you, Jo – and you know that your reviews and encouragement have kept me going through the series, so thank you for that too.

  3. Graham Thomas Avatar
    Graham Thomas

    Dear Susan

    Many congratulations on your well deserved award. What great news to start off the year.

    A very happy New year to you and, as ever, keep up the good work.

    Best wishes


    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Dear Graham
      How kind of you and yes, I am still floating on air at this recognition. Sam is going to be unbearable when I tell him…
      Best wishes from Susan

  4. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    That’s great news Susan, and very pleasing for you and your fans. Certainly it must be a boost to keep up the good work. Happy New Year 🙂

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      You are so right, Roy – friends and family are obliged to be encouraging, but objective recognition makes me think that perhaps the books are worth writing after all! And you of course have played an enormous part in making sure that only the best Planks are published, so thank you so much for that.

  5. Plodcast | Susan Grossey

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  6. Flying(ish) off the shelves | Susan Grossey

    […] – note their wonderful promotion of me as an “local (award-winning) author”, referring to my Discovered Diamonds award for “Portraits of […]

  7. At long last – and a longlist! | Susan Grossey

    […] fourth Sam Plank novel) has been longlisted for the inaugural award, by dint of having been the Discovered Diamonds “Book of the Year” in 2017.  I can’t wait to see who will join Sam on the longlist, and then we’ll have to be patient […]

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