Wednesday, 27 February 2013

And the winner is...

Last night at a glittering reception, Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley announced the five category winners who will contest the prestigious Romantic Novel of the Year.

Sarah Mallory won The RoNA Rose Award with Beneath the Major's Scars

Contemporary Romantic Novel winner - Katie Fforde
Epic Romantic Novel winner - Rowan Coleman
Historical Romantic Novel winner - Charlotte Betts
Romantic Comedy Novel winner - Jenny Colgan
Young Adult Romantic Novel Winner - Victoria Lamb
Sophie Kinsella was presented with Outstanding Achievement Award

The winning novels will now be read and judged by five independent industry experts, and the overall winner will be revealed at the Romantic Novelists' Association's (RNA) Summer Party on 16 May 2013.

Annie Ashurst, current RNA Chair, told the capacity gathering of some 250 romantic fiction authors, publishers and guests how proud the Association was of its finalists and winners.

"Tonight we are here to celebrate the success of our brightest stars. We are proud of their talent, tenacity and dedication to their craft. It is a lonely thing to write a novel, and to keep on going even as doubts set in - as they do with us all. Our Awards give us an opportunity to publicly recognising the enjoyment you bring to your readers. Congratulations to you all."

Long-time RNA member, Sophie Kinsella, was honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award for her continued contribution to the world of romantic fiction.

The category winners 2013
Katie Fforde won the Contemporary Category for the second year running with Recipe for Love. This category is for mainstream romantic novels set after 1960. The other competing authors included Veronica Henry, Mhairi McFarlane, Monica McInerney, Sue Moorcroft and Polly Williams.

In the Epic Category, which deals with issues or themes including multi-generational novels, Rowan Coleman triumphed with Dearest Rose. Other finalists included Madeline Miller, Dilly Court, Kate Moreton, Gill Paul and Liz Trenow.

Finalists in the Historical Category (set before 1960) included Charlotte Betts, Christina Courtenay, Kate Furnivall, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanne Kearsley and Mary Nichols. Charlotte Betts was declared the winner with her novel The Apothecary's Daughter.

In the Romantic Comedy Category, for consistently humorous or amusing novels, the finalists included Jenny Colgan, Victoria Connelly, Jane Costello, Nicola Doherty, Belinda Jones and Jane Wenham-Jones.  Jenny Colgan claimed victory with Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams.

The Young Adult Category features protagonists who are teenagers or young adults and the shortlist this year included Jo Cotterill, Laura Jarratt, Marie-Louise Jensen, Victoria Lamb, Sarra Manning and Susan Waggoner.  Victoria Lamb was declared winner with her book Witchstruck.

The RoNA Rose Award, which recognises the best in category/series and shorter romance that focuses on a developing love affair between hero and heroine, was presented for the second year running to Sarah Mallory, author of Beneath the Major's Scars. Her rivals included: Fiona Harper, Heidi Rice, Carol Townend, and Scarlett Wilson, who had two books nominated. This category does not go forward to contest the Romantic Novel of the Year.

Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists. Can't wait for the Summer Party.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Hiding Exposition

Thanks to a tweet by Roz Morris, I came across this article by Janice Hardy.
You hear it all the time. Make it active. Start with the action. Make sure your characters act. But we've all written scenes where we have to convey a lot of information and there is no action to speak of. We know we can't just flop the info out there and get away with it, so what can a writer do? How do you convey all that information and still keep the scene tense?

I like the layer technique.

On the first draft, I just write what needs to be said and don't worry that it's probably a pretty boring scene. It's critical info, and what matters at this stage is getting it in there.

Once that's done I go back and look for ways to add the "action," which is often just another way of saying tension or narrative drive. Something is moving the story forward, making the reader want to know what happens next. A lot of times this is just the protag worrying they won't get what they want. Whatever it is, there's something unsettling about the scene that's making the characters tense in some way, and the reader unsure (and eager) to know what happens next.

Even in a scene that has no actual action, there are plenty of places you can layer in conflict and keep things tense.
Read this great article on Janice's blog: The Other Side of the Story Ready, Set...Where's the Action? Keeping Informative Scenes Tense

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I received these beautiful flowers from my fiancé for Valentine's Day. Aren't they gorgeous?

Thanks also to Portia Potts Floristry for making such a lovely arrangement. I'm afraid the photo doesn't do justice to the deep magenta of the anemones and gerbera.

I also received this great card. How very apt!

Here's hoping your Valentine's has been everything you wanted and inspired your writing muse.

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