This week a very exciting thing happened – I received the draft cover for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Golden Anniversary anthology and I'm sharing it here. The book, called LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT, is a collection of romantic short stories written by the RNA’s members to celebrate the RNA's 50th anniversary. It will be published by MIRA books in hardback in December 2009 with a paperback edition coming out early in 2010, the anniversary year. Contributions cover all the romantic fiction sub-genres, including contemporary and historical romance, regencies, sagas and chick lit with stories from some of the RNA’s finest authors from Joanna Trollope to Adele Parks! The book promises to be a total treat and I am very proud and honoured that my own story, a regency called The Elopement, is to be featured in this volume.
The Romantic Novelists' Association started in 1960, mainly through the efforts of Alex Stuart, with 115 members. Over the years, membership has grown until it now stands at almost 700. Many distinguished writers have been officers of the RNA including Barbara Cartland, Denise Robins, Elizabeth Buchan and Katie Fforde. From the start there were both social and 'business' meetings. A scheme for appraisal of manuscripts – the world famous New Writers’ Scheme - began very quickly and this has been a very important element in helping unpublished writers to achieve first publication. Many of those writers have gone on to become best-selling novelists. I think the NWS is a wonderful opportunity for aspiring authors and cannot recommend it too highly.
Current Chairman, Catherine Jones explains the appeal of the RNA in terms I’m sure many published and aspiring authors will recognise: “For a start I now have a slew of friends, both published and unpublished, who understand about the insecurity of writing; they understand that, just because you have written a couple (or a couple of dozen) books, you still never believe you can do it again; they understand about middle-book sag; they understand the thrill of getting a good review and the irritation of a bad one; and they certainly understand about the vagaries of the publishing industry as a whole.” As a member of both the RNA and it's sister organisation the Romance Writers of America I have to agree that such supportive and encouraging organisations are a real blessing.
I’ll post up more about the RNA anthology nearer to the publication date and will be offering copies of the book as website prizes later in the year to celebrate the anniversary!