The RNA summer party was held at the IMechE London last Thursday, 15th May 2008 and as one of the five finalists for the Joan Hessayon New Writers Scheme award, I was invited along. Champagne and canapes were provided and mucho chatter ensued among the leather bound volumes of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers library (see above). And not once were we told to ‘be quiet’!!
I met my two fellow Hale author finalists (three out of the final five – not bad, eh?!) and ‘networked’ with some of the editors, agents and publishers in attendance. A citation for each finalist’s book was read by Catherine Jones, the RNA chairman. You can see the citation for The Paradise Will on the reviews page of my web-site; I was thrilled to have my writing compared to Georgette Heyer! All the finalists received a cheque and a certificate while the winner was also presented with a small trophy.
Dr. David Hessayon – he of the gardening expert books – sponsors the New Writers Award in memory of his wife Joan, a romantic novelist and long standing member of the RNA. His speech was both humourous and touching, and – as I found out when I chatted to him briefly afterwards – he’s also a lovely man.
All in all, a great evening and for the finalists, a chance to celebrate becoming a published author 🙂