I’ve been sitting on this news for weeks – Dream a Little Dream has been shortlisted for a ‘RoNA’ in the Contemporary category. I’m so thrilled!
In all my years in the Romantic Novelists’ Association I’ve wanted to be shortlisted for an award but – as you’ll probably appreciate – the competition is fierce. And this, year, finally, it’s happened.
‘RoNA’ stands for ‘Romantic Novel Award’. There’s a glittering awards event at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London, on the 26th of February, when the winner of each category will be announced and receive a beautiful piece of crystal. Then those winners go forward to the Romantic Novel of the Year Award presented at the RNA’s Summer Party in May.
My congratulations go to everyone else on the shortlists and I hope they’re all as excited and pleased as I am.
And my thanks to Choc Lit, without whom there would be no book.
Due out November 2013
I’m thrilled to be able to reveal my new cover.
I think it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Covers are crucial to giving a book a chance of success. Completely contrary to the saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ books are constantly judged in exactly that way. Browsers, particularly, are attracted or otherwise by the visual appeal. We sometimes refer to it as ‘pickupability’ – that elusive image that draws prospective readers to take a book from the shelf.
Choc Lit have given me a fine array of covers and this one is no exception. Berni Stevens is the talented cover artist who created this (and Dream a Little Dream) and I often don’t envy her her job. It’s common for cover artists to submit an array of concepts, have one taken up, work on refining and completing the design with the publisher – only for the buyers from major booksellers to give it the thumbs down. So then the cover artists begins all over again …
Berni was particularly under pressure with this cover because not only were we getting close to deadline for the American market but the lovely people at My Weekly had asked me to write a story for their 2014 Annual, due out in October 2013, and were including an interview with me, partly about Is This Love?, due out a month later. We all wanted the new cover to be included in the feature – and they go to press with the annual first thing this morning. So Berni did a fantastic job getting the cover finalised with a day in hand.
From a writer’s perspective, part of whether a cover ‘works’ for us relies on whether the it correctly interprets our words. It must be irritating to be given a cover depicting a woman with red hair if the story tells us her hair is black or that the hero drives a sportscar but we see him in a family saloon. And I never see how glaring inaccuracies contribute to pickupability. So I’m lucky that Berni reads my books and then creates something that’s truly awesome.
What do you think? Do you like the new cover?
It’s January the 2nd and I’m back at my desk. The only sound is of the birds singing outside. Dawn’s just breaking (dawn’s pretty late in my part of the UK at this time of the year – 8am) and the sky is orange and purple. My lovely Mac computer has just been upgraded and I’m content.
Why? It’s because I don’t like Christmas.
Sorry! I know it’s not a popular point of view but I’m one of Santa’s little elves who make Christmas possible for everybody else. I shop for the presents and wrap them, I shop for the food and cook (and cook and cook) it. Even when someone else is the hostess my conscience won’t allow them to shoulder the burden alone, so I spend the day in their kitchen instead of mine!
Puppy-in-law in a chilled moment on New Year’s Eve
But I’m not completely ‘bah, humbug!’ I love to see my family and it was great that my son, his girlfriend and their puppy were able to come for three weeks ‘home town time’. I enjoyed chats with my brothers and their families, who I don’t get to see all the time. I went to see ‘The Hobbit’, which was absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed every second. I managed to squeeze in two Zumba classes and attendant cuppas with my gym bunny buddies, I found two days where I snatched a few hours to write, I had a day where I refused to cook and sat by the fire reading whilst the rain poured down outside. I enjoyed the several Christmas lunches and dinners I got to earlier in December (ie cooked by restaurant personnel).
I had a pretty chilled New Year and now we’ve crossed that sacred date line I am very happy to be back at my lovely Mac without having totally lost the plot (ho ho) of my book thanks to those two days I managed to write. I’ll be back at yoga at lunchtime, on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with the lovely Sue Dougan tomorrow and meeting a close protection officer for research purposes on Monday. I’m book in for Zumba on Thursday, Friday and Tuesday. Blissful sighhhhhhhhh …. I feel I’m in my own skin again.
Is it just me? Am I just a curmudgeonly moany guts? Did you all have a fantastic time and you’re sorry to get back to normal life? I really really hope so.
And I hope that 2013 is a healthy, happy and prosperous year for you. x
PS Dream a Little Dream came out in Australia yesterday. I’m a bit jealous it’s over there without me because I’ve always wanted to go. Maybe that’s how I ought to spend next Christmas …