Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RNA Summer Party & Awards

So last week I trekked off down to London for the RNA Summer Party, which is always a highlight of my social calender. (Quiet at the back. I have a social calender. I'm looking at it right now. It says '5th May: Esther's birthday' and '26th May: Eurovision'. And the birthday came with champagne and chocolate cake and two handsome young men chauffeuring us down the Cam. So there).

Right, anyway. What with all the wine and the celebrating (I'll get to that bit) events are a tiny bit fuzzy, but after getting only slightly lost (and why is there no phone signal in Marylebone? Why?) I met up with the always lovely Lisa Bodenham and Alison Maynard and took a cab to Waterstone's Piccadilly, which has a cocktail bar. Yes. A bookshop with a cocktail bar. As Barney Gumble said: "If you didn't close, I'd never leave."

The cocktail bar was followed by the RNA Summer Party, this time in the rather grand Royal Overseas League in St James's, where I found Jane Lovering and her family, even more excited than usual since we were expecting the announcement of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Both Jane and our fellow Choc Lit-eer, Christina Courtenay, had won their categories at the RoNA ceremony in March (it's just yours truly who lost out), and so they were finalists for the overall award. Also being presented that evening was the Joan Hessayon New Writers Scheme Award, which is given to a debut author who has graduated the NWS. Two of this year's finalists, Evonne Wareham and Linda Mitchelmore, have also signed with Choc Lit.

Well, it was a really good night for Choc Lit! Jane and Evonne both won their awards and I'm utterly delighted for them. Choc Lit is still a very small house, up against some of the biggest names in the business, and we've had an amazing year.

Choc Lit-eers l-r: Liz Harris, Kate Johnson, Margaret James, Jane Lovering, Evonne Wareham, Linda Mitchelmore, Sue Moorcroft, Christina Courtenay, Sarah Tranter. Photo by MLR Photography.
Liz Harris and me. Photo by MLR Photography.
Also, we clearly had the best shoes.

My shoes. Yeah, my feet do suffer to be beautiful, thanks for asking.

Photos by MLR Photography (except the shoe one. That's by My iPhone)


  1. What a night! Will treasure the memories of the entire evening (just wish I didn't look as though everyone was holding me up...) Roll on Conference, can't wait for us all to get drunk...I mean to get together again!

    And you're right - you were robbed.

  2. Read a few pages of one of your books on smashwords... you can write.
    I'll delve deeper when I get a chance.