Day two on my month-long Romantic Novelists Association feature. Each day in February I will have a different author on the blog, talking to me about their books. It is to help celebrate the sixtieth birthday of the RNA and to raise awareness of how it might be a great fit for you if you are an author. I hope you enjoy the features over the next few weeks. Be sure to give the authors a follow on social media and add the books you fancy from the selection of great authors to your own TBR.
💫Romantic Novelists Association
The Romantic Novelists’ Association was founded in 1960 to both celebrate, and demand respect for, romantic fiction. Founder members included Denise Robins, Barbara Cartland, Elizabeth Goudge, Netta Muskett, Catherine Cookson and Rosamunde Pilcher. The first President of the Association, Denise Robins, noted that although romantic fiction gave great pleasure to many readers, the writers almost felt they had to apologise for what they did. The RNA was going to put a stop to those apologies and, instead, celebrate and promote romantic authorship.
In 1966, an early Vice President of the association, Elizabeth Goudge, commented that ‘As this world becomes increasingly ugly, callous and materialistic it needs to be reminded that the old fairy stories are rooted in truth, that imagination is of value, that happy endings do, in fact, occur, and that the blue spring mist that makes and ugly street look beautiful is just as real a thing as the street itself.’
Today, the RNA continues to support and champion the authorship of romantic fiction that shows the value of imagination and the possibility of a happy ending and also celebrates the broader spectrum of romantic fiction that explores the more challenging aspects of relationships and human experience.
💫 The Backpacking Housewife, Books
Lorraine Anderson was meant to be making a Sunday roast, not swanning off to Thailand, backpack in hand! But when she finds her husband and her best friend in bed together there’s only one thing to do – grab her passport and never look back!
Now, with each mile travelled Lori sheds the woman she once was and finds the woman she was always meant to be. A woman of passion and spirit who deserves to explore the great unknown…and to indulge in the temptation she encounters along the way!
They say home is really where the heart is…
Lori Anderson should be bursting with happiness. Since leaving behind her life as a housewife to embark on an incredible backpacking adventure she’s met a man she’s fallen head over heels in love with and is living aboard a yacht in the turquoise waters of the sun-drenched Caribbean.
She should be instagramming photos of her swimming with dolphins and sipping cocktails at sunset….and yet Lori finds herself desperately missing her grown-up family, and her normal London life. But when she’s unexpectedly called home, reality hits hard. The urban bustle she used to find exciting is now just exhausting – and why doesn’t it ever stop raining?
If there’s one thing Lori has learnt it’s that you have to fight for what might make you truly happy – so Lori is determined not to let her chance of a little slice of paradise slip through her fingers….
Janice Horton, also known as the backpacking housewife, writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Once her three children had grown up, Janice and her backpacking husband sold their empty nest in Scotland UK along with almost everything they owned and set off to travel the world. Since then they have been travelling full-time and have explored over 50 countries, living out of an apartment, a hut, or wherever they happen to find themselves. Janice is the author of The Backpacking Housewife series of books published by One More Chapter – an imprint of HarperCollins – and she keeps in touch with her readers on social media and from her website at: thebackpackinghousewife.com
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and reading fabulous books and romantic stories has inspired me to want to be a writer of romantic fiction. But I didn’t start writing seriously until the year 2000 (when I was 40 years old) and my first novel took me four years to complete. With a completed manuscript, I began querying publishers and I also I joined the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Over the past twenty years, I’ve been published traditionally and I’ve also self-published and written fourteen books to date. Currently, I’m writing ‘The Backpacking Housewife’ series of romantic adventure novels for One More Chapter which is an imprint of HarperCollins UK.
Can you tell us how you became involved with the Romantic Novelists Association and what it means for you to be part of it?
I joined the Romantic Novelist’s Association in 2004. I’ve attended meetings and conferences and made connections with writing industry professionals. I’ve also made many lovely writer friends through my membership of the RNA. I’ve learned so much. Being a writer can be a solitary business but being a member of the RNA enables an author to keep a finger on the pulse of the writing industry as well as getting writerly support and friendship. I’m still learning in this ever-evolving business and I’m still making new writer friends. In 2020 – it’s The Romantic Novelist’s Association and my own sixtieth birthday year – and I’m still writing and I’m still a proud member of the RNA!
What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
My latest release is The Backpacking Housewife – The Next Adventure. This is the second book in this series published in July 2019 by HarperCollins in London. This is a series of romantic adventure novels inspired by my own world travels. Since selling everything we owned to travel the world six years ago, my husband and I are still wandering nomads and adventurers, and so although my stories are fictional, the locations in the books are real and the adventures are based on actual events and inspired by my own travel experiences.
Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?
I do often find myself wondering what they are doing now – as if they are real people!
What was your favourite read of 2019?
I’ve read many books over the past twelve months in lots of different genres. I love all stories with an element of romance. I also enjoy adventurous stories – both contemporary and historical. I also love a good biography. I would find it really difficult to pick out a favourite!
Do you read other romance authors and who would you recommend?
Of course! I love to read books by other romance authors. I would highly recommend all books written by members of The Romantic Novelists Association as the standard of writing is high.
Was there a point in your life that a book helped you get through, if so which one?
When life gets tough for me, I tend to comfort read my old favourites and so I’m likely to read a Jilly Cooper novel. I own all her books in hardback and paperback (although right now they are in storage) and also as ebooks on my Kindle. Riders, Polo and Rivals are my favourites. Jilly Cooper is one of the best loved and one of the most influential authors of romantic fiction in recent years and she was honoured by The Romantic Novelist’s Association with The Outstanding Achievement Award in 2018.
Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?
I actually have many people to thank for help and support with my writing. But, if I can only mention one person then it has to be my husband, Trav. We’ve been married for thirty-seven years this year. He’s always and continually given me the emotional support and the encouragement that I’ve needed to create and to write my books and I’m eternally grateful to him.
If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?
I’d like to gift every person a copy of my book The Backpacking Housewife (Book One in the series) because I’ve been told it is an inspirational story. Readers have told me they feel empowered to grab life and they feel more knowledgeable about conservation and enthusiastic and confident to travel after reading the book. If I can inspire people to experience life in amazing far flung places and to get involved in global conservation efforts – even from their armchair – then I will be very happy indeed!
What are you working on now? –
Right now, I’m working on the third book in The Backpacking Housewife series. It’s entitled The Backpacking Bride and it will be published Summer 2020 by HarperCollins. It’s available to preorder on Amazon right now!
Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?
I’d love to ask my readers to consider leaving me a review on Amazon if they have enjoyed my books. It doesn’t have to be a long review. Just a star rating and a couple of lines about what you enjoyed most about the story would be wonderful. Reviews are really important to authors and also to readers – as they often make reading choices by first reading reviews. If you’d like to get in touch with me directly then I’d love to hear from you. It’s easy to get in touch with me via my social media. I’m on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and I have a website and contact page at thebackpackinghousewife.com.
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💫 Final Thoughts
Thank you to Janice for taking part in my special feature.
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