As a follow-up to last weekend’s blog on the virtual ceremony for the RNA Awards 2021, this week we’re delighted to be able to welcome Kate Hardy, the winner of the LIbertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award 2021 for A Will, A Wish and A Wedding.
Kate is an old mate of the Libertà hive. She was one of the very kind authors who welcomed the then unpublished newbie, Joanna Maitland, to her very first RNA meeting. That was well over 20 years ago and Kate says she doesn’t remember. But Joanna does and is still grateful.
Kate comes—be warned—with hairy hangers-on. So this is partly a writer’s pet blog too. It’s about time we did another of those, don’t you think?
Kate’s hangers-on, Archie (the big one) and Dexter, rejoice in the title of Edit-paw-ial Assistants.
More from them later.
Keep reading, as Kate tells us about how she became a published author and how she came to write the lovely butterfly-filled book that won our award.
Kate Hardy writes…
I’m thrilled to be here, as the winner of the 2021 Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award. It’s a glorious collision of numbers: for my 90th M&B, in my 20th year of being a M&B author and my 25th year of being a member of the RNA. And it’s also the third time I’ve won the award. As the photo below shows, I really wasn’t expecting it — and I’m so delighted!
Today, we’re delighted to welcome much-loved author Elizabeth Bailey as a guest on our blog.
She is what is usually called a hybrid author these days, though Elizabeth prefers to term herself an “authorpreneur”. [Not sure Dame Isadora would approve but, with luck, she won’t notice.]
Elizabeth produces all sorts of terrific books. Sapere Books publishes her Lady Fan Mystery series and her Brides by Chance Regency Adventures. Her self–published list includes Regencies, short stories, a couple of edgy paranormal tales, a romantic suspense novella and a two writing-related help books which come much recommended. Phew! Quite a catalogue.
Elizabeth admits she really doesn’t know how to fit it all in and says she is beginning to wonder if retirement and old age are actually a thing. But she managed to find time to write a blog for us.
Many thanks, Liz. And over to you.
What does Elizabeth Bailey want in her Survival Kit?
Ask any writer for the most needed tool in their survival kit and they will say persistence. More years down the line than I care to think about, I agree. I’m still here, still writing. That says it all.
Okay, there have been solid gaps in actual putting words down. We’ve all had those, for whatever reason. Life has a tendency to throw itself at you and there’s nowt to do about that except suffer on through.
This month, we’re delighted to welcome a new guest, the winner of the Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award, Jane Godman. Jane writes thrillers and paranormals for Harlequin Mills & Boon and St Martin’s Press and self-publishes historical and gothic stories as well! Quite a range and certainly enough to keep her very busy.
Jane Godman is much travelled too. Born in Scotland, she’s lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England. Jane says she still gets the urge to travel, but these days she prefers to head for a Spanish beach, or a European city that is steeped in history.
When she isn’t reading or writing romance, Jane likes cooking, spending time with her family, and enjoying the antics of her dogs, Gravy and Vera. For more about them, read on…
Puppy love — Vera’s Story
He was unlike anyone she’d ever met before. A darkly handsome Highlander, with perfect features and melting brown eyes.
She wasn’t even going to try to pronounce his name, but it was intensely attractive to her.
Aloof and distant, he ignored her efforts to be friendly, turning away when she approached, and sometimes even leaving the room when she walked in. Continue reading →
Our latest guest blog comes from multi-published author Catherine Jones, who also writes as Kate Lace and Fiona Field. Like many writers, she has domestic pets but she’s writing about something different here. Catherine’s “pets” are wild and wacky. Not as wacky as Joanna’s pet troll.
Catherine’s excuse is that she’s always been interested in wildlife. Even when she was in the army (a long time ago) she would spend her time on battlefield tours searching for the local flora and fauna rather than paying attention to the details of the tactics used to give Johnny-Foreigner “a damn good thrashing”. [Her words, not ours!]
Catherine’s “pets”, as she explains below, are… Continue reading →
This month, we welcome another Libertà friend and much-loved author, Judy Astley, to the blog.
Like so many of our guest bloggers, Judy has a fascinating portfolio of skills. She spent several years as a dressmaker, painter and illustrator before writing her first book, Just For The Summer. She’s since written nineteen more. Phew! And now, after a two-year rest to refill the creative well, she’s working on book number twenty-one. Her many fans will be delighted.
Like many other writers, Judy has a furry friend — Veronica. And Veronica sounds to be quite a character, as Judy explains…
Veronica has her own ideas about what to wear…
Veronica the crafty Burmese cat (+ friend)
My cat’s collar was starting to look like a charm bracelet. From it dangled her metal tag with her address and phone number, a magnetic gadget that opened her catflap and then this new addition: a soft blue disc that held a new device — a tracker.
“I’m sorry, but you’ve brought it on yourself,” I told Veronica (a blue Burmese, sweet but crafty).
She gave me a look that clearly said, “You expect me to go out in this?” Continue reading →
Today, we welcome our first guest blogger of 2017, Alison Morton, author of the acclaimed Roma Nova series. Her novels are set in the alternate reality of a breakaway Roman state that survived the fall of the rest of the Empire — and it’s run by women! There are six novels in the series, all edge-of-the-seat thrillers, but all involving at least one love story as well. So Alison is well qualified to blog here on the subject of…
Love among the Thrillers
Love. Ah, love! Nothing like a breathless heroine falling into the arms of her strong, yet conquered hero.
Yes, heroes are conquered by that heart-pounding, visceral but tender feeling as much as heroines are. But that’s just in romances, isn’t it? The classic “happy ever after” ending?
Sadly, today is the last of our series on research. But we’re finishing with a bang!
In delectable medieval York.
Today, we welcome Pamela Hartshorne, a York specialist. Her credentials are beyond doubt — she has a PhD in medieval studies — but she manages to wear her research very lightly. She has written dozens of books for Mills & Boon, a publisher that definitely doesn’t want dry background material to get in the way of the love story between hero and heroine.
Every time someone asked whether she’d use her research in a book, her answer was always no.
Until, one day …
One day, no finally became yes. Pamela turned to writing historical novels set in her beloved York, where she’d done her academic research. Was she taking a risk? Could she make the jump from Mills & Boon romance to mainstream timeslip? Here’s her story . . .
Research may be useful … or not
John Speed’s late 16th century map of York
By the time I sat down to write a historical novel, I was feeling pretty confident. I’d already written over 50 books for Mills & Boon, so I figured I knew something about storytelling. Continue reading →
Two weeks ago, we had Katie Fforde digging in the dirt — with and without Ray Mears! — in order to write about life in the here-and-now. This week, we welcome Jean Fullerton who writes award-winning historical sagas about the not-so-very-long-ago.
It can seem worlds away from where we are now, even though some readers will have lived through the periods of Jean’s stories and experienced exactly the kind of gritty reality she describes. And if you enjoy Call the Midwife, you’ll love Jean Fullerton’s books.
Read on to find out more about the lengths an author goes to in order to get it right…
Jean Fullerton, East London Author
District nurse Jean wasn’t quite like this!
I was born in East London where my family have lived since the 1820s.
I’ve written ten novels set in East London (published by Orion) and am just putting the finishing touches to my eleventh. This one is set during the Second World War, and also in East London. I’m now a full-time writer but I was a District Nurse in East London for over 25 years. These days, I live with my hero just outside London. Continue reading →
It’s useful, when researching, to be able to consult people who were there. But go back more than a century or so — to the Regency in Britain, for example — and there are no living witnesses to consult. Regency novelists — like today’s guest, Elizabeth Rolls — have to rely on other sources.
You may imagine that “other sources” means dusty history books and written materials. But there’s much more than that.
And getting to grips with the non-written stuff can present the odd challenge if the author in question lives 12,000 miles away, in Australia.
As Elizabeth Rolls does…
Elizabeth Rolls loves her research
To research or not to research?
For me, research is a must. I’ve had a book kick off in my mind over a snippet about the crossroads burial of suicides in the early 19th century. The past is very much a foreign country, but add 12 000 miles into the equation and you have a real challenge. Continue reading →