Last night’s RNA Summer Party was another sparking occasion as members gathered together to hear who had won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and also the winner of the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers.
It hardly seems like a year ago since , trembling with shock, it was announced that The Apothecary’s Daughter had won the Joan Hessayon award . It’s been a fabulous year for me as my debut novel is now in the bookstores and soon to be followed by the sequel, The Painter’s Apprentice. Winning the award helped to publicise my debut novel and gave me the confidence to feel that I could, at last, call myself an author.
The other contenders in a record year of new publishing contracts were Rhoda Baxter, Talith Davenport, Lynda Dunwell, Liz Fenwick, Linda Mitchelmore, Ginna Rossi and Scarlet Wilson, who were all presented with certificates.
Watch out World, here they come!
The Romantic Novel of the Year Award was launched in 1960, the same year as the RNA, to recognise excellence in romantic novels. Previous winners of this coveted award include Philippa Gregory, Julia Gregson, Freya North and Jojo Moyes.
This year’s shortlist was compiled of category winners from the RNA’s annual awards – The RONA – which took place earlier this year. Jane Lovering – winner of the Romantic Comedy Novel award – saw off competition from Historical Romantic Novel award winner Christina Courtenay, Young Adult Romantic Novel award winner Caroline Green, Contemporary Romantic Novel award winner Katie Fforde and Epic Romantic Novel award winner Rosie Thomas.
Jane Lovering’s delight was wonderful to see when she discovered that her novel Don’t Stop the Music had won the Romantic Novel of the Year award but she managed to pull herself together to give a very funny speech, which had us all hooting with laughter.
The party ended all too soon but the RNA Winter Party in November isn’t that far away!