Wednesday, March 07, 2012

RoNA Rose Award - The Winner is.....

Having been a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association for more years than I care to remember, I have attended many of the awards lunches and celebrations, clapped heartily for the winners and had a really good time. This year was different. I was on the shortlist for the RoNA Rose. This was formerly the Love Story of the Year, and the winner gets to look after the beautiful Betty Neels trophy for a year (and please, no more jokes about having to polish it - I will clean it, I will!) as well as a lovely cut glass star to keep.

My Regency Romance, The Dangerous Lord Darrington, was published in North America in September and came out in the UK in January 2012, and when I heard it had been shortlisted I was thrilled, it felt as if I had really arrived as a romance author. Well, let's be honest, Louise Allen was last year's winner, so to have my name on the same trophy is fantastic!

When I looked at the shortlist, I was in company with some great authors, Liz Fielding, Jessica Hart, Kate Hardy, Mary Nichols and Jan Jones (Jan is the only one not writing for Mills & Boon, but she is a good friend and her romantic historical adventures are consistently good).

In such august company I was just happy to be on the list and went along to the Gladstone Library at One Whitehall Place determined to enjoy myself amongst friends - and a chance to catch up with Lucy, who had edited "Darrington". When the announcement was made I was sitting back and preparing to clap the winner - it took me a while to realise that Sarah Mallory was me!

It was a wonderful moment, and everyone was so pleased for me - that is what I love about romantic novelists, they are all such genuinely lovely people. I am getting all emotional just thinking about it.

The champagne is gone, I am sitting at my desk and life is as it was before - but not quite, because I have a lovely star sitting on my desk and that silver rose bowl keeps winking at me.....

So, forgive me if I indulge in one more look at those photos!

Sarah Mallory