Tag Archives: RoNAs

What happened at the RoNAs

Jane Wenham Jones introduces Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley

Jane Wenham Jones introduces Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley

Well, I had an excellent time!

I didn’t win my category – that honour went to the lovely Katie Fforde – but I had an absolute blast at the party at the RAF Club in London’s Piccadilly. It’s a gorgeous venue and the staff kept the canapes and wine coming all evening.

And almost as Jane Wenham-Jones introduced the guests of honour, Richard & Judy, someone tripped or something and sent me absolutely flying. So I arrived on my bum pretty much at the feet of Richard and Judy to begin the proceedings with a bang. You’d think they’d have given me the RoNA just for that, really, wouldn’t you? But no …

Here’s the full list of winners:

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

And the winners above go forward now to the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in May.

RoNA Rose – Sarah Mallory

Sophie Kinsella presented with Outstanding Achievement Award

Congratulations to them all. You can find photos on the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s website here.

My thanks to everybody concerned in the running of the RoNAs. I know a huge amount of hard work went into it and the event was just amazing, honestly. Slick and controlled (apart from the odd person flying through the air) and joyous.

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Getting ready for the RoNAs – what do you think about my shoes?

DALD_v12.2 reviseJust in case you missed it – Dream a Little Dream is up for a RoNA in the Contemporary Romantic Novel category. What does this mean?

Party!

Tomorrow evening there’s an awards party in London’s Piccadilly where Richard & Judy will be presenting the elegant glass stars to the winners of each category. I like parties. I’m sure I’ll like a party where I’m a nominated author more than any other kind.

I’m going down to London this afternoon to stay with a friend from then till Wednesday. So here’s how my ‘do do’ list is going:

– shower. Yup, done that. In fact, I’ve already had two goes at the hair but it’s not your average ‘do as you’re told’ hair so that’s not uncommon. Wonder whether I ought to have got my hair cut. Decide that if the gods had thought that important they would have given me better hair.

– begin putting miscellaneous items on the bed ready to pack.

– think about packing. Realise I don’t possess the ideal case and need to either squash everything in the small one or let it rattle around in the large one. Will probably do the latter and then curse it when I’m lifting it on and off trains and escalators. I always feel really conspicuous when I’m wheeling a case along the streets, too. It’s one of those that you pull behind you and trip everyone up.

– put the computer on and chat on Twitter and Facebook. Answer a couple of emails from lovely friends who have sent me good luck messages. Answer a good luck text from my mum. (Bet she sends another tomorrow!)

– put my iPad on charge.

– ring for a taxi to the station. Eek! [Pause] Yup, done that.

– wrap birthday presents for birthday meals I’m attending on my return Wednesday and Thursday. (One’s a box of bath bombs and one’s a toy fire engine, so I hope I don’t get them mixed up.)

– examine my nails and wish they hadn’t all broken inexplicably last week.

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Pretty sandals

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Not boring but will they ‘go’?

– feel sorry that I’ve let down the Romantic Novelists’ Association by failing to find purple shoes to match my purple evening purse. I’ll have to wear the boring black ones. Actually, they’re not boring – I love them! But now I’ve looked at them again, I’m not sure they’ll look right with my dress. So should I go for the pretty sandals?

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Slightly bondage

Or the slightly bondage ones?

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Blingy courts

Or the blingy courts?

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Shoe litter

(By this time the bedroom floor’s a little … littered.)

I’ll try and make up for the lack of purple shoes by drinking extra champagne, to show I’m still a good RNA member. Erk. If I’d booked an earlier train I could have shopped in Carnaby Street or somewhere for shoes this afternoon! Thunk.

– try on dress with all shoes (probably hate them all)

– pack

– do make up. Congratulate self on remembering to get eyebrows done. (Sorry, but these things are important.)

– get in taxi

– get on train.

I think that’s everything. (What do you think about the shoes?)

 

 

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Happiness is a warm bottom

I was invited to visit the studios of Monocle24 yesterday and whizzed to Marylebone (just off Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes used to hang out [should I say ‘used to’ or will that upset people?]) to spend half-an-hour on air with the lovely Georgina Godwin, presenter.

As it’s nearly St Valentine’s Day we talked about romance and romantic fiction, whether men read it, who buys it for them, whether it’ll get them chatted up on the Tube if they’re reading a book with a pink cover, what we can all learn from Fifty Shades of Grey (!) Why is romantic fiction such a huge seller? Is that likely to change?

Also, what a splendiferous organisation the Romantic Novelists’ Association is and what a fantastic set of shortlists there are for the RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards) this year. Which is an unsubtle little gloat that I’m on one of them with Dream a Little Dream … Sorry.  Ought to be modest and self-effacing and I do try but fail spectacularly …

I also got to choose four romantic music tracks to play during the programme, which felt deliciously Desert Island Discs-ish. So I chose:

Stardust, by Nat King Cole, in memory of my dad. When we lived in Malta he gained a promotion and bought a record player. Each member of the family was allowed one record to go with it and he picked an Nat King Cole album, with Stardust amongst his favourites.

Substitute, by Frank Turner. His lyrics are just so amazing. Often his songs are political or contemporary-life observations but this song is about how music is his substitute for love and it’s so wistful that it clutches my heart.

Letter to Hermione, David Bowie, because I never fell out of love with his early stuff and this is such a romantic song. All about lost love. Ahhh.

Dream a Little Dream, by the Mamas and the Papas, not just in shameless self-promotion but because it’s a fabulous song and it celebrates a memorable Romaniacs kitchen party at the RNA conference last year – the results of which could be seen on YouTube but the clip seems to have disappeared, now.

It was a great afternoon. And one of the most remarkable things about the Monocle 24 offices? Their loo seat is heated. Seriously! All loo seats ought to be made this way, especially when you come in from a wet winter afternoon. I really want one of my own now. I’m putting it on my Christmas list .

I didn’t try the douche thingy, though. No. Tried it before. Didn’t like it.

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