The truth, the whole truth…more or less.

This week has been a fun week. On Monday I went to the Romantic Novelist Association Romantic Novel of The Year Award. Now as we all know by now, mainly because I have harped on about it at some length, I was longlisted but not shortlisted for this award. A fact which I am absolutely fine and not bitter about in the least little bit, in fact my support group leader (Longlisted But Not Shortlisted Romantic Novelists Annonymous) says I’ll be over the rejection and dissapointment in plenty of time for next year. And actually when I got there I was partly glad that I wasn’t shortlisted, because at least I didn’t have the nerve wracking wait to find out who had won. It was a lovely event, Helen Lederer was head jusge and an extremely funny speaker and eventually the award went to Freya North, who is a very talented and deserving winner and donated her prize money to a cancer charity in memory of a friend, which was touching and admirable.

One thing you may not know about Romantic Novelists is that they party hard. In fact because I so rarely get to hang out with a group of them (Is there a collective noun for a group of Romantic Novelists? A small prize for anyone who can think of one.) I didn’t know that they party hard. But no, the largely female company was very, very keen to get to the pub and I was sad that my commitment to the writing class I teach meant I could staying drinking long into the night with them. In fact one very famous and important RN left me a message the next day to say that her hangover was really, really awful. I shall not name names.

Later this week I went to Harper Collins to film an interview that will go on the new Ruby Parker website when it is launched. That was fun too, although the questions were hard and sometimes I had to think of interesting and child friendly answers rather than the flat out honest ones that first came to mind. If I’d have gone with my first impulse this is what the interview would have run like:

THEM ‘What is your biggest regret?
ME ‘My inability to wear a hipster jean.’
THEM ‘What do you lay awake thinking about at night?’
ME ‘Cheese’
THEM ‘What is your idea of perfect happiness?’
ME ‘Cheese on Toast’
THEM ‘What was your most embarassing moment?’
ME ‘Walking through Leicester Square in a wrap dress that had come undone and wondering why I was getting so many admiring glances (or looks of horror, depending on your POV)
THEM ‘If you had a super power what would it be.’
ME ‘Shopping. Oh no, wait – I have that super power already.’

If you want to see the answers I actually gave you will be able to see the interview on the new website up in March sometime I hope. I’ll post a line when I have one. They don’t involve cheese.

Comments 13

  1. OOooh Noooo to the wrap dress embarrassing moment! They may be wonderfully flattering but that’s something I’ve always feared. All it would take is one ‘joker’ untying the ties and “Hello World!”

    People in London seem to stare a lot more than people in Brighton and I constantly check what I’m wearing just in case my skirt is up around my hips or my top has slipped down. They never have, but I really don’t understand the staring thing.

  2. It was great to meet you in person. I will confess to waking up still a bit intoxicated which fortunately meant I missed the hangover but the day definately had wavy moments – wouldn’t have missed it for the world though 🙂

  3. Hi Rowan,

    When I was on a phone-in thing with another romantic novelist a couple of years ago, that very question was posed. It was sprung on us that we would have to choose a winner from the audience’s answers.

    I went for a ‘relationship’ of Romantic Novelists. My fellow judge (male) thought a ‘consummation’ was better. Which just goes to show how men and women view romance, really…

  4. The wrap dress sounds as tricky as halter necks though I think you are too young to remember them. Mine was undone by a group of boys on a train – without me feeling a thing. I stepped down from the 8.36 from Woking – embossed on my brain forever – onto a platform full of london commuters. Not one of them looking at my face.

  5. Cally, I think people may stare at you because, judging by your photo, you are rather beautiful. Liz it was lovely to meet you too! Sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye properly to you, had to rush off to teach my writers! Janey I like a Manolo, and that gets my small prize which I have decided it a cameo in the next installement of Brief Encounter. Jan you are so right – that comment encapsulates the differences between men and women, if only John Gray had been listening we’d have been spared years of rubbish and patronising books about men needing caves. WHATEVER. Fiona!!!! I am still wincing on your behalf. Good lord, you poor love – that makes me unwittingly flashing my grey bra seem rather tame.

  6. Hi Rowan,
    Just wanted to say I finished The Accidental Mother last night and ohhh, I just loved it. So well-written, I thought it was a real heart-warmer. And Izzy and Bella were just word-perfect, really fantastic characters. The ending is great too – exactly what I hoped would happen.
    Cheers for a great read. Can’t wait for The Accidental Wife now!

  7. Romantic Novelists party hard? Ohhhhh! I need to attend one of those things! Not that I’m a party person, but the idea of partying with novelists is so compelling.

    I like the candid responses. If only we could always say exactly what we feel.

    Manolo! I love that collective! And cleavage makes me giggle. Speaking of clothing coming undone, I once lost my bikini top – back when I could wear such a thing. Took a dive and grabbed it, but not before I made the day for a couple oglers.

  8. I gotta admit, nothing makes me happier than a slice of old nippy cheddar on flax toast. I am stunned that the Romantic Novelists party like fiends. You would think they’d all be tucked into bed with some rippled, long-haired hunka burnin’ love well before the party got underway:)

  9. I would have said a heave of RNs, which covers both bossoms (I realise I’m digging a deep hole here – and re-reading that, not doing well on the ambiguous front either – oh blimey, there I go again) and the propensity to down more than the odd half of lager and lime.

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