Category Archives: Romantic Novelists’ Association

A dream comes true for Sue @RNATweets @BFLAgency @AvonBooksUK @GoldsboroBooks #RNA60

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (@RNATweets) is sixty years old this year. You can read a little of its history here. I’ve been a member for twenty of those years, initially as a member of the New Writers’ Scheme and then graduating to full. During those years I’ve given talks and workshops at various of their meetings and conferences, been minutes secretary, vice-chair and editor of its two anthologies, Loves Me, Loves Me Not and Truly, Madly, Deeply. The Association has been instrumental in my connecting to publishers and agents, making a huge number of friends and developing a can-do attitude.

I’ve attended the annual Romantic Novel Awards just about every year and coveted winning one of those crystal stars so much! Dream a Little Dream and Just for the Holidays were shortlisted and I went along to the awards revelling in being amongst the chosen few. I didn’t think I’d win and I was proved right.

This year, A Summer to Remember reached the shortlist and I plunged into the fun of shortlistee photographs and the champagne reception with utter enjoyment. I’d got into a dress that I hadn’t been able to wriggle into for a while, my shoes were reasonably comfortable and settled in to chat with the other shortlisted authors.

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Shortlistees for the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020. L-R Bella Osborne, Jeevani Chakira, Jules Wake, Sophie Kinsella, Victoria Walters and Carole Matthews. Imogen Clark somehow missed the photos.

Eventually, the reception expanded to encompass the rest of the guests, including my husband, who had waited out the photoshoot in the bar. It was time to claim our name badges, check our table numbers and find our seats at the circular tables dressed with snowy cloths. My agent Juliet Pickering from Blake Friedmann Literary, Film and TV Agency and editor Phoebe Morgan from Avon Books UK joined us, along with authors Dorothy Koomson, Lorna Cook, Jenni Keer and Bella Osborne.

8BC49185-5222-4AB2-B63D-5B18DF5AD1FDThe first excitement on the table was when Lorna Cook won the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award for The Forgotten Village. As this book had also lifted the Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award, Lorna’s obviously written something special! The awards were presented by performer and broadcaster Jenny Eclair and compered by the ever-lovely Jane Wenham-Jones.

I’d backed Jules Wake to win my category, which was seventh in the running order, because Notting Hill in the Snow is such a charming book, but had also suspected it would go to one of the top-selling authors on the list, Carole Matthews or Sophie Kinsella. When Jenny Eclair announced that I had won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020 my jaw must have almost hit the table!

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Jenny Eclair presents the award

I remember very little about the next few minutes apart from chanting ‘Don’t fall up the stairs’ to myself as I made my way through the tables, doing the bump with Jenny Eclair as ‘social distance’ was being (somewhat) observed in view of Coronavirus concerns and grabbing my crystal star with both hands. I know I attempted a speech and choked up and I’m glad I retained enough presence of mind to thank the RNA, my fab agent and wonderful Team Avon and also Goldsboro Books for sponsoring the award.

RNA_Awards_2020_Ceremony_139I made my way back to my table with lots of lovely people shouting congratulations but I was too much in a daze to respond much. Sorry if I just gazed through you. Winning ‘a RoNA’ was such a dream come true for me that I was somewhere between Cloud Nine and Over the Moon. I have seen other winners act with dignity or with cool professionalism. I was just an over-excited mess!

At the end of the other awards, which I was too dazed to really concentrate on – even the wonderful speech given by Milly Johnson who received an outstanding achievement award – I was ushered off for more photographs with all the other winning authors.

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Me, Anstey Harris, Lorna Cook, Samantha Tonge, Milly Johnson, Jenni Fletcher, Natasha Lester, Ruth Hogal, Mary Jayne Baker and Tania Crosse.

Thank you not just to my agent, publishers, the RNA and the sponsors but to the volunteers who run the RNA and make it what it is, including working hard to give awards to authors like me at a glitzy event I’ll remember forever.

RNA_Awards_2020_Sue_Moorcroft_contemporaryThank you to the readers who read A Summer to Remember and loved it enough to put it at the top of the scoresheets.

Thanks to everyone who wrote the hundreds of congratulations I received on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, email, text and WhatsApp. This post is partly the speech I wish I’d had the presence of mind to make at the time.

But being an over-excited mess is what happens when you have a dream … and eventually, it comes true.

Romantic Novel Awards 2020 in The Bookseller

Milly Johnson’s excellent speech in The Bookseller

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Authors, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Dream a Little Dream, Goldsboro Books, Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020, HarperCollins, Jules Wake, Juliet Pickering, Just for the Holidays, Notting Hill in the Snow, Paperback, readers, reading, Romantic Novelists' Association, Writers, writing

‘A Summer to Remember’ shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year award

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Thrilled to be able to announce that A Summer to Remember has been shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year award in the Contemporary category. As you can see from the Romantic Novelists’ Association‘s graphic above, it’s a mega-strong list so I feel absolutely privileged to be on it.

The RNA’s full announcement containing all the shortlists in the various categories can be found here. You’ll see there are some awesome authors listed – and, I’m pleased to say, some of my particular friends – and I congratulate them all.

The winners will be announced on the evening of the 2nd of March 2020 at the Leonardo Royal London City Hotel with Jenny Eclair presenting the awards. It’s the third time a book of mine has been nominated (Dream a Little Dream and Just for the Holidays came before) so I know to expect a lovely, glitzy experience, a reward for the work put in throughout the year. There can be only one winner in each category but to be shortlisted feels like a prize itself!

Top 10 Writing Tips, Sue Moorcroft, A Summer to Remember

A Summer to Remember ebook

A Summer to Remember paperback

A Summer to Remember in audio

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Authors, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Dream a Little Dream, Just for the Holidays, readers, reading, Romantic Novel of the Year award, Romantic Novelists' Association, Summer read, Writers, writing

Announcing a new role and library link #LoveLibrariesWeek #RomanceReadingMonth #RNA60

From today I’ll be a patron of Desborough Library and Community Hub. When better to announce this than the first day of #LoveLibrariesWeek and #RomanceReadingMonth, both part of the celebrations for the sixtieth anniversary year of the Romantic Novelists’ Association?

DLCH will invite me to their events. I’ll share news of their events and they’ll share news of mine.  I’ve indicated my willingness to talk to a reading group and any schools to which they have links.
Desborough is a small town in Northamptonshire a few miles from where I live. Like many others, its library has been taken over by the community and staffed by volunteers to avoid closure.
While I’m horrified that there’s insufficient public funds available to keep such vital community services as libraries open, I respect and acknowledge the stalwarts who are giving their time so generously and I feel the urge to do my bit.
Here’s a mission statement from Desborough Library and Community Hub:
1. To promote for the benefit of the residents of Desborough and surrounding area and communities the provision of a public library which otherwise would have diminished.
2. To provide the community with a hub providing an array of events and groups which might otherwise not be accessible in the immediate vicinity.
3. To provide a place for people from babies to retirees to meet up and participate in activities or even just a cup of tea and a chat.
And one of the first events put on by DLCH is an evening with myself and Louise Jensen from which we’re donating our appearance fees to DLCH fundraising efforts.
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Do go along to this or any library event. We’ve lost many of our libraries and come dangerously close to losing others.

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Filed under Authors, Book bloggers, Book group, Book signing, Desborough, Desborough Library and Community Hub, Library, Library talk, Literary festival, Northamptonshire, readers, reading, Romantic Novelists' Association, Speaker, Writers, writing

Welcome M W Arnold, The Season for Love @rararesources @mick859

The Season For Love Banner (1)

I don’t often invite authors onto my blog but I’ve made an exception for M W Arnold as Mick is a stalwart member of my street team, Team Sue Moorcroft. You might also see the same interview on Rachel’s Random Reads to make the most of our respective audiences.

How does it feel to be joining the ranks of the traditionally published authors? How long have you wanted this?
For a ‘supposed’ author, I’m actually lost for words and until it’s actually released, I guess you could say that I’m still waiting for it to all fall through. I can’t tell you how many of my writing friends have told me not to be so silly when I say that. Actually, it’s really not something I thought would happen so soon. I only joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, New Writer’s Scheme in 2013 after starting to write semi-seriously the previous year, so I’ve only thought about getting published since around that time.
Tell us something about The Season for Love
‘The Season for Love’ is actually the second book I’ve finished and, so far, the only one where the last paragraph was the first thing I’d written. That’s as far as the planning  went. I’m not a ‘Planster’, I’m afraid to say. I’ve tried it since, and for this one too, but it only goes as far as jotting notes on the bottom of the page I’m writing as they come to me, though only about say, 40% of the time do they actually make the story. I expect I could get a sequel out of the notes I have stored away for this book.
What made you choose to write romantic fiction?
I’m a huge fan of the late and very great Terry Pratchett, but my Lady Wife read ‘The Xmas Factor’ by Annie Sanders and she insisted I read it, now. So, and more to humour her I have to admit, I did…in one sitting. Then read again. The morning after that second reading, I felt the need to write. I had no idea what I was going to write, just that I had to write. I was finally pulled from my old laptop late the same evening and I’d the start of what would be my first book. That’s unpubished, and I now know why, though I would like to come back to it as the story is good, but by gum, the writing needs improvement. That was in this genre because of that book I’d read, and since then, this has been my genre of choice. It helps that I really am an old-fashioned romantic. I like to think I’ve found my calling.
Where can readers buy your book?
I’ve been lucky and ‘The Season for Love’ is being released on both sides of the Atlantic on the same day, December 16th. It’s available on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords, Bookstrand and the Passion in Print (the publishing house I’m signed with for this book) website. And seeing as you were so kind to ask, here are the links:
What jobs have you had apart from ‘author’?
For the first fifteen years of my working life, I worked for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. That sounds very impressive, doesn’t it? It’s not quite so much when I elaborate. I was actually in the Royal Air Force, so it counts. Nothing so fancy as a pilot, I was office staff, but I did serve on flying squadrons and saw quite a lot of the world, which was kind of the point as I wanted to travel.
Do you have a day job now?
After leaving the RAF, I started working with computers and that’s what I do now. It pays the bills, so far, though I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I’d love to be able to earn my living writing.
Have you told your day job colleagues about The Season for Love?
Yep. They all know and after getting their heads around the genre I’ve chosen to write it, have all been very supportive. One of them was actually a beta reader for this book and says it’s encouraged them to write (not that they have yet), so that’s good.
Do you have much time for reading? What do you read?
I don’t have as much time for reading now as I did before I started writing, though I do try to read at least during my lunch break, it helps to clear the mind for an afternoons work. When I do read, it’s very much in the Romance genre. It won’t come as a surprise to those of you reading this that I’m a big fan of Sue Moorcroft books and consider her very much a benchmark I’d like to aspire to attaining. Whenever I feel the need for a break from romance though, I always go back to Mr Pratchett, with a sideways trip into the Harry Potters too.
Thank you for the shout out! Is there another M. W. Arnold book coming along any time soon?
Currently, I’m finishing off ‘Knicker Shopper Glory’, which I expect to start sending out in the hope of getting a publishing deal for that in the New Year. So, yes, if anyone’s out there, read’s ‘The Season for Love’ you know where to find me. Whatever happens, I am determined to get that second deal as soon as possible.
Love the new title. I hope both books do really well for you, Mick.

 

The Season for Love – blurb

Believing she was responsible for the death of her husband, Chrissie Stewart retreats from all those who love her. A chance meeting with a mysterious stranger, single-parent Josh Morgan and his bewitching young daughter Lizzy, breathes new life into her and gradually, she feels able to start to let go of the memory of her lost love. Unexpected links are revealed between the two families that strengthen the growing bonds she feels to this man and with the encouragement of her best friend Annie, herself hiding a hidden conflict from Chrissie, she battles with her demons to believe in her ability to trust and love again. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Day; which all goes to show that this is truly The Season for Love.

The Season For Love AuthorBio – Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England, and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force, before putting down roots, and realising how much he missed the travel. This, he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and writing a regular post at the www.NovelKicks.co.uk blog site.

He’s the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, with the forthcoming publication of his debut novel The Season for Love.

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mick859

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MWArnoldAuthor/

The Season For Love Full Tour Banner

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Filed under ebook, Launch, Plotting, publication day, Romantic Novelists' Association, Team Sue Moorcroft, writing

Champagne? Or black gunge on the washing machine?

sues-invite-3-bannerSomebody once told me that being an author meant drinking champagne with your publishers one day and cleaning black gunge out of your washing machine next.

I had my own taste of that this week with my launch party on Thursday and housework today!

Let’s focus on the fun stuff. Thursday’s launch party for The Christmas Promise was amazing. I’m going to use this post mainly to share photos with you.

I was amazed and thrilled how many people turned up to support me, buying ALL the books in stock and leaving orders with the store for more. Members of Team Sue Moorcroft,  bloggers, readers, family, and friends from as far back as my primary school. Authors, mainly from the RNA, came out in force.

Ava from The Christmas Promise is a milliner and Abigail Crampton, who had made the millinery research very easy for me, made my beautiful cocktail hat especially for the evening. Here we go with the pics!

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book-launch-the-christmas-promise-11And for those who are interested in how I cleaned the black gunge from the washing machine, I chose a steam cleaner and and an old toothbrush.

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Filed under Book bloggers, hats, Launch, millinery, Paperback, Romantic Novelists' Association, Team Sue Moorcroft, The Christmas Promise

Ten things about me you may or may not know

It seems like forever since I originated a post for my own blog. I’ve reblogged a couple of things but haven’t managed a new post. Here’s my list of excuses:

  • imageSummer is my busy time as I’ve led courses in Italy (Arte Umbria), Derby (Swanwick) and Devon (Fiction on the Taw). A fact about running courses is that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work, not just preparing the course but being in contact with organisers for admin reasons and perhaps reading work of the participants.
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    Proof copies of The Christmas Promise have arrived!

    The Christmas Promise approached production and I had proofs to check bonus material to write  and promo ideas to talk over. One of the many lovely aspects of being an author.

  • I also took a holiday in my beloved Malta. I had beer to drink and sunshine to enjoy. That took two weeks.
  • I received a lovely invitation to write a two-part story for My Weekly to go in their Christmas issues (3 and 10 December. Look out for that story because you can win a free book!).
  • Throw in the RNA’s conference in the middle of that lot and you begin to get the picture.

Now I’ve realised how much I’ve neglected my blog I can’t really think what to write about! Whenever I’m asked to guest on someone else’s blog I can think of a subject but for my own blog? I’ve come up blank. So, in place of a proper post, here are ten things about me you may or may not know.

  1. My parents were both in the army. My mum originally outranked my dad and he got in trouble for talking to her with his hands in his pockets. He only rose higher than her when she left the army.
  2. I can’t ride a bike no-handed.
  3. I have no tattoos but five piercings.
  4. Chocolate is my favourite food group.
  5. My Saturday job when a teenager was in a butcher’s shop.
  6. I can do the ‘waterfall’ with a pack of cards.
  7. I find it hard to join in conversations about TV because I watch so little.
  8. But I know a lot about Formula 1.
  9. I’m incredibly thankful for good friends.
  10. I try only to read books I love. Life’s too short for those I’m told I ‘should’ read.

Blogpost done! 🙂

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Filed under Arte Umbria, Avon Books UK, Courses, Cover, Fiction on the Taw, Preorder, Romantic Novelists' Association, Swanwick Writers' Summer School, Teaching, The Christmas Promise