Yesterday an official press release went out from the Romantic Novelists’ Association, which means that I can now give out the news I’m bursting to tell! My first novel, The Silk Romance, is one of the contenders for the Joan Hessayon award – a national award for new writers, judged by a panel of readers from the RNA. How exciting is that!
It’s hard to believe that the novel I began writing during the dreary commute to work has now not only been published, but is one of the seventeen novels put forward for this award.
Here’s a list of the other contenders. You might recognise some of their names if you’ve been following this blog, because many of the writers on the list have been guests of mine here – and what genuinely lovely guests these authors were, too! I’ve put a link to the author’s name where there’s an interview to go with it, so you can find out more about them.
So here we go with the list of fabulous debuts:
Sweet Proposal by Celia J Anderson (Piatkus)
Gracie’s War by Elaine Everest (Pulse)
The Silk Romance by Helena Fairfax (MuseItUp) (that’s me!!!)
United States of Love by Sue Fortin (Harper Impulse)
Too Charming by Kathryn Freeman(Choc Lit) (to be interviewed here on 6th May)
The Return of Mrs Jones by Jessica Gilmore (Harlequin Mills & Boon)
Truth or Dare? by Laura E James (Choc Lit)
The House on Burra Burra Lane by Jennie Jones (Harlequin Australia)
Sweet Nothing by Alison May (Choc Lit) (to be interviewed here on 20th May)
Plus One is a Lucky Number by Teresa F. Morgan (Harper Impulse)
Once a Bad Girl by Jane O’Reilly (Escape)
The Ghost House by Helen Phifer (Carina UK)
Desperately Seeking Heaven by Jill Steeples (Carina UK)
The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas (Accent Press)
Goodbye Henrietta Street by Lin Treadgold (Safkhet Publishing)
Yes Chef, No Chef by Susan Willis (Endeavour) (to be interviewed here on 11th May)
Thank You For the Music by Jennifer Young (Tirgearr)
The Joan Hessayon Award is sponsored by Dr David Hessayon in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme. The award will be presented at the RNA Summer Party on 22nd May at the Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place, London.
And in just over three weeks I’ll be travelling down from Yorkshire to London, getting out of my dog-walking wellies for once and into my best dress and high heels, meeting the other authors on this list actually for real, and not just in cyber-space, and I’m actually more excited about the party than I am about the award!
I’ve read almost all the books on the list now (just a couple more to go), and what a great selection of talent. Congratulations to all the other contenders!