Posted by newromantics4
We are happy to ask you to join us in celebrating an exciting and successful year for the New Romantics Press.
When you think about it, our story might not be amazing, show-stopping or world-breaking …but it is interesting. What started as June’s original concept: “Let’s hold a showcase for our work.” Quickly followed by Amanda Grange’s advice: “Publish independently and then you’ll have something to show.” Add Lizzie’s gritty determination to keep us all on track; my PR background and Mag’s literary connections and I must admit, as my third novel sits patiently in the wings (ready to be launched at the end of this month), I feel a tiny smidgen of pride for what we have achieved. Nine novels, each individually penned, and one anthology of short stories, to which Lizzie and I have contributed … in just two years, is not bad going.
Add, excellent reviews, not-to-be-sniffed at sales and some fabulous author-events, topped off with our ‘packed-house’ showcase at Waterstones, Kensington earlier this month and well, it could all be deemed rather dazzling, and perhaps one could take just a second or two to rest on one’s laurels. Ah, what a team!
Not flippin’ likely. Bag about to be packed for the ‘World Premiere’ of Secrets of the Heart, to take place where the story opens, Neary’s Cocktail Bar, Chatham Street, Dublin 2 on Wednesday, December 3rd, 7.30pm – 9pm. See you there? Did I ever tell you, “Don’t Stop Me Now,” by Queen, is my anthem?
Too far out? Too close to the City.
Pub, Club? Bar or Bookshop.
When son Patrick and his partner Tom suggested hosting a launch for us in London, it set them off searching the streets for weeks – (a bit like trying to find a house, but cheaper.)
Tricky stairs, dicky lift. Too blow-all-of-the-budget? Ooh, no buzz. A little bit Rovers Return?
Then Adrienne wrapped it all up with her cracking connection – Waterstones!
And, it was wonderful – a real winner,(see pictures!)
Wine flowed, books were sold, lots of lovely people came to support us,(thank you, all of you!!) and, as you can see from those pics – apart from missing Mags and her fab new book – we all had A Jolly Good Time.
At a Romantic Novelists Association conference I remember a talk by a Literary Agent with a fearsome reputation saying she expected her writers to be healthy, and had no time for sickly ones. How ruthless, how unfeeling, I thought, but as an Indie author-cum-agent-publisher I now understand her. I was gutted not to be able to join my three New Romantics mates, Adrienne, June and Lizzie at our Author Showcase at Waterstones Kensington just 4 weeks after I had a much-needed, total right-knee replacement. Although in my head I believed I could be there, it finally dawned – duhh, no way. To compound my disappointment, my second novel Twins of a Gazelle was ready to be uploaded as a paperback on Create Space, and as an eBook ready for the event. I believed as soon as I was home from hospital I would steam ahead with this. Well, what did I know about how I’d actually feel in the aftermath of surgery?
I published my debut novel Last Bite of the Cherry) in 2012, and my second, Twins of a Gazelle will be available, I hope, in a couple of weeks. I can’t claim either novel is ‘romantic’, though both have a similar theme – clever woman, emotionally naïve, initially makes disastrous choice of man (men) before meeting ‘The One’. Not the conventional Girl-Meets-Boy love stories, but about love in its many guises nevertheless. To quote the latest reviewer of Last Bite of the Cherry, “This wasn’t going to be a straightforward romance. There were darker layers to this story. I was intrigued.” (Sharon Booth, Amazon and Goodreads). I hope readers will be equally intrigued by Twins of a Gazelle.
We little thought when we published Tall, Dark and Kilted, The Hollow Heart, An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy and Last Bite of the Cherry two years ago that we would go on to write second and third novels. Nor did we imagine, even in our wildest dreams, that we would hold an Author Event in a top London Bookshop – yet that’s exactly what we’ve accomplished. How? Through team work, keeping our eye on the ever changing publishing world and having determination by the shedload. For me, the Waterstones evening was a personal and professional milestone. When I set out to become a published author I thought I’d be happy with a few paperbacks to give to friends and rellies at Christmas, and to have the satisfaction of seeing my work in print. Yet, here I am – with readers emailing how much they loved both books; and with an accountant who, when asked what I could do to make his life better, said: “Get another book out there.” No pressure then.
Writing is a bit like trying to climb K9 – just when you think you’ve reached the summit, there’s another hill to climb to break through the clouds and into the sunshine. I couldn’t have got this far without the help of my husband Bongo Man, my many friends and fellow writers. So . . . Thanks to everyone who came to our Waterstones gig, even the Russian gentleman in tracksuit and combat jacket who drank a bottle and a half of red wine, ate all of M&S canapés and then scarpered when asked to buy one of our books. I only hope he wasn’t a famous editor/agent in disguise – or one of Vladimir Putin’s henchmen.
Thank you for helping us have such a terrific year and here’s to a wonderful 2015 for everyone!
(All photographs are the copyright of The New Romantics Press/Carole Matthews)
Tags: Adrienne Vaughan, authors, book launch, book signing, books, Carole Matthews, Eileen Ramsay, Hollow Heart, Janet Brigden, June Kearns, Lizzie Lamb, Lynda Dunwell, Margaret Cullingford, Mary de Lazslo, networking, novels, romance, Romantics Novelists' Association, Sue Moorcroft, Talli Roland, waterstones
Posted by Lizzie Lamb
As Sarah Taylor, awards organiser, says: “With the highest number of entries the awards have had in their four year history, the standard this year was exceptionally high with many highly rated novels not making the shortlists. The breath and depth of quality writing in romantic fiction should be celebrated and that’s what these awards are all about.”.You can read the complete lists for all categories here but this is the line up for Adrienne’s category:
Best Author Published
Mary Bennet by Kate Allan
Sweet Occasions by Linn B Halton
Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson
Fairlights by Jan Jones
Christmas Yves by Nicola May
The award ceremony is at the Festival of Romantic Fiction on the evening of Saturday 13th September 2014 at Leighton Buzzard Theatre. There are many fabulous events happening at the Festival to interest readers and writers alike. . . .the book fair in Leighton Buzzard High Street from 10am to 3pm and the Traditional Afternoon Tea with the Authors at The Green House, Market Square, Leighton Buzzard. Adrienne will be attending all of these but especially the Awards ceremony in the evening, The other members of the New Romantics 4, sadly cannot attend this year – Lizzie is chasing men in kilts in the highlands of Scotland (all in the interests of research, of course). June is packing up thirty years of her life in boxes prior to moving house and Mags is putting the finishing touches to her second novel. But we all say to our darling Ade – break a leg, sweetie, you have worked so hard to complete your ‘HEART’ trilogy and deserve all the accolades you can win.
Here we are at last years Festival of Romance held in Bedford with all our gorgeous books on display. Hopefully, we’ll all be there next year with our third novels in tow.
Posted by newromantics4
…diary of a virgin book clubber!
As a fledgling novelist, I daydream about what it would be like to have readers not only enjoy my book but to overhear them discussing it; talking about characters, themes, the cover – that would make me feel like a real author, I sigh!
Imagine how I felt when the call came through?
February 23: Leicestershire, at my desk researching (ie daydreaming).
“Hi Adrienne, Deirdre here,” says a blast from the past.
“Dee! Haven’t seen you in an age,” says I.
“The thing is, I’m in a couple of book clubs here in Dublin and we want to feature your novel. When we’ve read it, would come and talk to us about it?” says she.
“Would I what?!” says I, booking my flight before we’ve finished talking.
But what had I agreed to? Not only have the Irish produced some of the best examples of English literature in the world, the Irish are very well read. Yikes!
April 11: Getting ready in my childhood bedroom, Inchicore, Dublin 8.
To say I am nervous is a heart-stopping understatement, I’m petrified. Much of The Hollow Heart is set in Ireland; I haven’t lived here for over thirty years. What if these educated, intelligent and opinionated women think my voice is unauthentic, my characters unrealistic, my story…well, hollow? The Irish are lovely, warm and welcoming people, but don’t imagine they won’t tell you what they think, especially if you’re ‘one of our own’.
Deirdre, trying to put me at my ease, chatted away, giving me a profile of my waiting audience, as we drove across the city to a well heeled coastal suburb, where I was welcomed into a stunningly beautiful home by a charming lady called Barbara. Barbara greeted me warmly and I was shown to a chair in the centre of an elegant lounge; eager faces nodded and smiled as we made our introductions – I could barely sip the delicious glass of wine our hostess placed before me. I need not have feared.
An animated discussion ensued. How do I write? Where do I write? Who are my characters based on? Then debates about themes – motherhood, forgiveness and romance as a genre; these ladies take their literature seriously, I was honoured they had taken the trouble to read my book. I left elated and glowing, if I had given them a fraction of what they had given me, the evening had been a success.
April 12: Fidelma winds down the window so I can hear the bells of Christ Church Cathedral as we drive by. My mother Marion and Deirdre’s mother Edna are in the car – it’s Friday night, it already feels like a party.
We arrive as Deirdre opens the doors to her stylish home filled with candles, white roses and laughter. I was introduced and handed a drink as we crowded into the room. Deirdre started the questions and in no time the girls were firing all sorts at me, from how a book is produced, to how to write good sex – Loose Women had nothing on us!
I’d made up a quiz based on the novel, which some of the girls took so seriously they even tried to look up the answers. Sheena, however was a clear winner, and I was delighted to present her with her own Hollow Heart pendant – she knew more about the story than I did!
Saying goodbye, I signed the Harte sisters’ copies, including a comment on Nuala’s favourite page 245 – you’ll need to read it to find out why it’s her favourite – and we headed happily home, ending my very first encounter with book clubs; two different but equally wonderful experiences, so special just recounting them makes me want to cry with joy!
These gorgeous, intelligent women made me feel like a real author, they took me into their homes and my novel into their hearts. If my writing has done anything, it has rekindled old friendships and made new ones – without doubt the best thing about this whole experience.
I’ll certainly be back when the sequel A Change of Heart is published later this year…that’s if they’ll have me.