Category Archives: Adrienne Vaughan

Adrienne’s – Fairy Tale of New York

Batman in New York

My favourite superhero Batman was there to greet me – a fairy tale come true!

Summer holidays exist to be savoured long after the local wine has been drunk (why does it never taste the same?) and the freckles have faded and it’s true, memories of happy times in sunnier climes keep us going through the January gloom.

Christopher Columbus - and a blue, blue sky!

Christopher Columbus – and a blue, blue sky!

I enjoyed many special times during the summer of 2015 ‒ precious family memories to treasure forever ‒ but I also did something ridiculously, extravagantly splurging and, yes I have to admit, totally self-indulgent! I took myself off to New York to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference and spent an entire week being something I’ve always wanted to be, an author in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Now seriously, what’s not to like?

I’d barely mentioned the Romance Writers of America 35th anniversary conference in New York when a couple of lovely author chums, Katherine Garbera (US Today best seller) and Eloisa James (New York Times best seller) asked their mutual friend, Erin Fry, publications editor for the RWA, if I could tag along.

Erin did better than that, she organised a special press pass, so in the blink of an eye, having raided my ‘author’ piggy bank, I booked flights, hotel and was on my way!

Times Square - the energy is palpable!

Times Square- the energy is palpable!

The fabulous Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square was base camp for nearly 2000 delegates primed and eager to make the most of nearly 200 events/workshops/signings and 1-2-1s and of course, the fabulous RITAs and Golden Hearts Awards Ceremony. Delegates could start the day at 6.30am with Pilates and/or Romance Fit Club, followed by a networking breakfast and then straight into the action.

Some of my favourites included: ‘Bollywood Basics: Romance Tips from the World’s Largest Film Industry’; ‘How to Write Sexual Tension that will Knock Their Socks Off’; ‘Dead On, Writing ‘Killer’ Romantic Suspense’; ‘Staying Fit While You’re Writing’; and ‘Oops, the Publishing World Just Changed Again’.

I squeezed into Nora Roberts’ talk, acknowledged as the bestselling author on the planet, her ‘chat’ to a packed house was refreshing, honest and hilarious. Nora has written over 200 romance novels – thirty-four Nora Roberts’ titles are sold EVERY minute – she also writes suspense under the pen name J D Robbs, these titles sell pretty well too! Awesome.

During my trip I breakfasted at Simon & Schuster and had cocktails with the team at Hachette Book Group – mixing with writers, editors and agents, all asking lots of questions about the UK and how the market is here.

St Patricks Cathedral - made it to mass and found St Anthony hidden in a corner.

St Patrick’s Cathedral – made it to mass and found St Anthony in a corner

With the sun shining and so much to see, I took time to walk, New York is easy to navigate, the natives hospitable and happy to chat. Highlights included sunbathing in Central Park with pastrami salad and iced tea whilst reading Steven King’s On Writing; Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral where the celebrant’s singing was akin to Pavarotti and enjoying the movie The Longest Ride over brunch.

Fast forward to the conference finale, the glittering RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony – and I was delighted to see Jo Beverley – a member of the RWA Hall of Fame – present the Golden Heart for Historical to Sara Leyton for her novel The Reunion. I was also delighted and very proud when our own Carole Mortimer received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She has written over 200 books, yet spoke so generously and warmly, she was just delightful.

As the evening came to a close, a gorgeous girl sitting next to me asked if I would take a picture of her and her English chum – turns out the best buddies were also bestsellers, Tasmina Perry and Bella Andre. A quick snap and Bella was whisked on stage to do her presentation, talk about hanging out with the VIPs!

The RWA conference was a real eye opener, a fascinating insight into the business of being an author and what it takes to succeed and New York itself, such a special, fairy tale kind of place for me, it really was an experience to savour. You never know, one day I may return but in the meantime I can dream … after all that’s what gloomy January days are for.

The View from my 'desk' in Central Park

The view from my ‘desk’ in Central Park

 

Happy Christmas from New Romantics Press

What Christmas means to us . . . 

click on each photo to put a face to a name !

First up – June

My grandma would make 100 mince pies and 100 lemon curd and jam tarts every year at this time, before giving the house a thorough bottoming! Here the toaster has just exploded and I already have hurricane hair.

2014-03-26 10.02.35Soon though, every room will be full, every bed occupied, and like most of us, shutting myself away to write won’t be an option. I’m bound to be inspired enough by chat and conversation though, to keep scribbling notes on scraps of paper. (Must remember to keep them safe – not risk finding one stuck to the bottom of a Piccalilli jar in February, like last year.) One son recently met a person who studied photography as I did, in the ‘60s, then worked for BBC (and on Evita) as a make-up artist in ‘70s and ‘80s. Great background for my novel, so there’ll be some surreptitious scribbling about that!

Take it away – Adrienne

 

I love Christmas, always have. Luckily we live in a village with a church and a pub so we make the most of it. And with two cocker spaniels, there’s always a great excuse to trudge off excesses across fields, rewarding ourselves with a nice glass of mulled wine and mince pies in front of a roaring log fire. I do all of it! We’re going to visit family in Dublin too, which will be really special, the lights in the city are fabulous and we’ll head to the coast and then into the mountains for lunch, wonderful.

I’m completing the edits of my new novel Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel currently which will take me through to New Year, when we will be in sunny South Devon. I always start a new novel, fresh notebook, coloured pens at the ready while I’m there. The walks on the beach, steaming seafood chowder and local cider help get the brain cells working again – it’s all rather inspirational, so Christmas and New Year is a time of thanksgiving for me, I know how lucky we are.

How about you, Mags?

Mags is working on her third novel which features ‘heroine in jeopardy’ as its central theme. She will be spending  Christmas at the beck and call of her cat, Tina – no change there – who deserves to have a novel written just about her.

And, finally, Lizzie 

I’m dreaming about hitting the road in 2016 with our caravan, computer, parrot and husband to research number four. Highlands of Scotland, here I come. For me, Christmas is all about being with friends and family and taking time to do those things which the madness of modern life seems to push to the back of the queue – loving, laughter and sharing experiences. I’m very enthused about #4 which I’m currently writing and which features a wayward laird who is at odds with his son, an eccentric family of cousins and a missing ‘treasure.’ Hopefully you’ll be able to download it by the end of 2016.

 

It simply remains for us to thank you all for your continued support – whether it be downloading our novels, reviewing them, subscribing to newsletters or just chatting to us on Facebook. Have a great Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. Soon the shortest day will have passed and we will start journeying towards the light.

 

Fireplace FINAL 550

Here are the links to our amazon pages if you would like to download one of our novels . . .

June , Adrienne, Mags and Lizzie

 

Happy Birthday to New Romantics Press!!

Three years ago this month New Romantics Press was born, huddled together in the backroom of a village pub in the wilds of rural Leicestershire. Trembling with fear and trepidation, four fledgling authors launched themselves on the world …

Our Books !!

Dozens of book launches, blogs, reviews, newspaper reports, radio interviews and videos later, we’ve embraced each and every element of what being an author in today’s multi-media environment entails; standing shoulder to shoulder, through drafts, edits, rewrites and great big gaping holes of self-confidence…

 

Yet at the very essence our passion, our need to tell our stories our way, remains. The highlight of our journey so far? Holding a book launch in Waterstones, Kensington. That’s Kensington, London  -in case you’re wondering. We were hoping that Dustin Hoffman (who regularly shops there) was going to turn up, but alas he was otherwise engaged.

Ten acclaimed novels later … the dream is a reality and the greatest reward? Every single time a reader says: “I loved your book, when is the next one coming out?”

Happy birthday sisters, fairy Godmothers one and all. Cue music: ‘Sisters Doing it For Themselves’, and exit stage left.

So what are we up to ATM?

Here’s our news, hot off the press . . .

Adrienne“I’m currently working on my fourth novel, Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel, a contemporary Irish American romantic suspense, steeped in mystery from World War II.”

 

Lizzie? “I’ve started novel number four – working title: THIS HIGHLAND MAGIC. I hope to publish it on our fourth anniversary November 2016. No pressure, then. I have a heroine with a secret and gorgeous new hero who has his own demons to confront. I’m keeping him all to myself until then, ladies.”

 

Mags? “I’m currently working on novel number three (as yet, untitled). Here’s the blurb so far – After her mother’s fatal car accident, Lexie Neave receives four threatening anonymous letters. Private investigator Forbes’s brief is to identify the writer and discover what it is Lexie has that’s “valuable, very valuable; which by rights is mine”. Lexie hasn’t a clue. Forbes’s preliminary investigations convince him Lexie is in danger.”

 

June? “Until October this year, I’d been playing out scenes, progressing the story in my historical romance set in 1960’s London and San Francisco, (all going pretty well, I thought!) Then, I went back to SF, imagination took over and the story just went whizzing off in directions I hadn’t expected! So now, here I am – hanging on, getting it all down!”

 

So, it’s happy birthday to us and a big thank you to everyone who’s helped us on our way. Christmas is just around the corner and what could be better than to find a copy of one of our books in your Christmas stocking? Diamonds, you say? OK – we’re on the case.

2014-11-05 14.12.13

Happy Birthday to us !

 

 

A MOST DEADLY AFFAIR – LONGLISTED FOR COVETED AWARD

Adrienne Vaughan Author at RNA Conference

Picture by John Jackson

Adrienne’s first historical novel, A Most Deadly Affair, set in the 1950’s, was longlisted for the coveted Elizabeth Goudge Trophy at the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) conference held at the Queen Mary University in London, recently.

The annual competition, which is judged on the first chapter of a so far unpublished novel, received a record number of entries this year and Adrienne was bowled over when it was announced A Most Deadly Affair had made it into the top six.

Award-winning author and current RNA Chairman, Eileen Ramsay, commented that the standard this year was extremely high, and A Most Deadly Affair’s premise of a heroine with exactly the same birthday as the Queen was fascinating; especially as she inherits the family business – a funeral parlour – at the same time as the Queen ascends the throne.

Adrienne is adding this achievement to a growing list of accolades. Debut novel, The Hollow Heart and follow-up, A Change of Heart were both shortlisted for awards at the Festival of Romantic Fiction 2013 and 2014 respectively whilst the conclusion of the trilogy, Secrets of the Heart will be submitted later this year.

Currently working on her new novel, Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel, Adrienne is taking a break to attend the Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) conference in New York next week.

“I am thrilled to have my work recognised, especially as many of the writers who entered are long-established, best sellers who I have always admired. It goes some way to demonstrate my writing career is moving in the right direction, keeping everything crossed – even my eyes – when I say that, of course.” She commented.                              

The Elizabeth Goudge trophy was donated by the English author and distinguished former Vice President of the Association, Elizabeth Goudge. Since 2000 it has been associated with—and presented at—the RNA‘s Annual Conference. The award is open to all RNA members attending the conference, published or unpublished. The theme of the competition is set by the chairman and varies from year to year; this year’s theme was Family Values.

Adrienne Vaughan was interviewed recently by Rosie Amber, blogger and book reviewer, read what she had to say.