Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Well, several actually, which you can now get for 99p for a limited time only!
Last night the Romantic Novelist’s Association held their glittering annual award ceremony for the RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards) 2016, in the prestigious and rather apt literary surroundings of the Gladstone Library in Whitehall Place, London.
The Mills & Boon team were lucky enough to be there in their glitzy best to experience the tremendous buzz in the room. Everyone – authors, editors, agents, publishers, partners and press – gathered in anticipation for drinks, much schmoozing and even more gossip, before taking their seats at champagne and canape laden tables.
Chair of the RNA Eileen Ramsay introduced the evening, and the lovely Fern Britton, HarperCollins author and TV Presenter, presented the awards.
For those who don’t know, there are six categories to the RoNAs – Contemporary Romantic Novel, Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy Novel, the RoNA Rose Award (for shorter and category romance) and Young Adult Romantic Novel – with five authors shortlisted for each one.
EXCITEMENT AND TEARS
There was huge excitement (and many tears) when Annie O’Neil walked off with the RoNA Rose Award with her fabulous Mills & Boon Medical Romance DOCTOR . . . TO DUCHESS? edited by Charlotte Mursell. Luckily, Charlotte, Annie’s current editor Megan Haslam, amongst many other Harlequin staff were on hand to mop those tears and help her celebrate!
“To say I wasn’t expecting to win the RoNA Rose Award would be putting it extremely mildly. I was in some impressive company, including my fabulous companion in arms in Medicals, Scarlet Wilson (looking ridiculously fabulous in a beautiful red frock). Scarlet, in fact, was a brilliant “tour guide” to the RoNAs. She introduced me to a talented array of writers and, of course, the editorial team from Mills and Boon were there in force (including my fabbo Editress, Megan Haslam and Charlotte Mursell who worked with me on From Doctor…to Duchess?)
As one by one, the awards were handed out, thanks given, trophies held aloft… I became more and more aware I had prepared absolutely nothing to say so grinned away madly at the other nominees when all of our names were called out because they were, no doubt, all prepared and going to win. When the rather marvellous Fern Britton called out my name….I think I gave Megan a double take.
“Somehow I remembered I was supposed to go stand up and accept the award and anyone there will tell you I was so flabbergasted both elegance and graceful wordsmithery eluded me!”
It was an absolutely amazing moment – not least because the book, to me, embodied the full Harlequin/M&B experience. The editorial guidance, the help of my fellow Medical authors, and of course, the hero’s eyes which are mysteriously a lot like my husband’s. Medical Romances are an absolute dream to write and to get to wave the flag for our incredibly talented pool of authors is an honour and an incredibly delightful privilege.”
Iona Grey (who started her writing career with Mills & Boon Modern) won both the Historical Romance novel of the Year, and the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year for LETTERS TO THE LOST. Huge congrats!
Another highlight was the Outstanding Achievement awards which went to Anita Burgh, the author of 23 novels, all published after she reached 50, and Claire Lorrimer, who has written more than 100 novels, and is the daughter of the RNA’s first President, best-selling novelist Denise Robins. Both Anita and Claire were presented with outstanding achievement awards for their continued championing of the RNA and romantic fiction, and made both funny and heartwarming speeches which celebrated the romantic fiction genre.
It truly was a night full of celebration and accolades for the romantic novel.. the press were clicking, and the champagne glasses were clinking well into the night. Roll on next year, we say!
The RoNa Rose shortlisted and winning books are just 99p here so why not treat yourself to a reading-spree today?