Day three 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 Fire House on Honeysuckle Street
Lucy is looking for a fresh start. Sam is in search of his past. But what they both need most might turn out to be each other…
The picturesque village of Westfield is about to welcome some new residents.
Sam has transferred from London to the local Fire Brigade, but his move has more to it than a desire to escape city life. There are answers Sam needs to find and the village is the place to look.
Lucy is at the end of her tether. Between her marriage falling apart and single-handedly dealing with her son’s special needs, Lucy knows something needs to change. Could Westfield be the new beginning she needs?
A heart-warming, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Heidi Swain!
I am a writer and teacher, living in West Yorkshire with my husband, our two sons, and our furry pets.
In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback. The Flower Shop on Foxley Street followed this in 2017 and both books hit the Amazon top 200. Chic Boutique got to #2 in the rural life humour chart and is regularly in the top 100 of that chart. The Wedding Shop on Wexley Street came out in ebook on 10th August and the paperback 1st November 2018.
I am the winner of the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year Award in 2016 and I have had work published in the UK and overseas in various magazines.
My standalone soldier book, The Long Walk Back, came out in January 2018 and I am currently writing the next book in the Westfield series. My first book with Manatee Books, Nice Guys Finish Lonely, came out in April 2018 in ebook and paperback. I love to write romantic fiction, both rom-com and harder hitting women’s fiction.
I am also a post 16 teacher and am undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside University.
Readers love Rachel Dove:
‘such an entertaining and wonderful story!’
‘A fun, heartfelt and well paced story that kept me entertained all the way through.’
‘a happy, bubbly and entertaining read’
‘I adored this book, it was such a lovely story and it had me reminiscing at times about my own wedding day!’
‘Laughter and joy interspersed with disappointment and grief weave together to make a heart warming, engaging story about friendship and love.’
‘A wonderful emotionally charged read…’ Taurus Girl
‘Captured my heart’ – Welsh Annie
I love to chat on twitter so come say hi! @writerdove
I also run a blog (very occasionally these days): email@example.com
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?
I have always written stories, since I was small but my break came when I entered the Prima and Mills & Boon Competition, winning with my entry The Chic Boutique on Baker Street. That changed the game for me, and I haven’t stopped since.
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 was planning to enter the NWS but after I won the competition I joined as a full member, and I love the RNA. They are incredibly supportive, and the writer members are trail blazers, women and men writing the best of romantic fiction in so many different genres, all doing their own thing and helping each other on the way. I sponsor a yearly bursary for one working class writer a year to join the NWS funded, to give back and help someone else get that first yes.
What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
I actually wanted to write about a retirement community, but the book changed in the end. PCOS was my inspiration, many women have it (myself included) and I wanted to highlight this, and having a character going through it really interested me. I went to Cornwall as a girl, and so it seemed natural to set a book there. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I have my favourite characters as usual! You will have to read it to find out which one yours is!
Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?
I don’t really let them go to be honest, they still come and see me from time to time. There are that many in my head now, that I look forward to spending time with the next set, even before I have said adios to the current ones.
What was your favourite read of 2019?
Oh wow, that’s a hard one. So many to choose from. I did love A Question of Us by Mary Jayne Baker (Aria) and the Adam Kay books had me really hooked. I love medical stuff, TV, film, books. I am going through GoT on audiobooks on my daily dog walks, so those too!
Do you read other romance authors and who would you recommend?
Yes I do, not as much as I would like though! So many to recommend too! I do love the Heroes line from Mills & Boon, and the medical one. Any of those authors.
Was there a point in your life that a book helped you get through, if so which one?
There has always been a book to get me through things. I reread comfort reads too. I always feel as though a book can define a time in your life. For example, I remember always reading Roald Dahl as a child, and feeling comforted. Reading it with my kids produces the same nostalgic feelings, and the aura of comfort. If I have a bad time, I reach for a book. I don’t judge people who don’t read, because why would I, but I do feel sad that they miss out on worlds, and thought, and the many things they teach us.
Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?
My writer buds of course, and my editors and lovely agent Lina. More personally, I would like to thank my own little family for living in a house of books with a strange woman who often speaks to imaginary people.
Mills & Boon and Prima will always have my love and thanks, and the one person who made it possible. My mum. She bought me books when we didn’t have money for any, read with me every week, and told my teachers off when they asked her to stop teaching me at home, because my reading age and writing was ‘too advanced’. My mother told them off sternly, and read to me all the more, because now she knew for definite it was paying off. She never censored my reading, she let me loose in libraries and ignored the raised eyebrows at my book choices. I owe her everything, and I taught my kids the same values. So thank you mum, for scrimping and working, and teaching us so much. Books literally shaped my life, with your steady hand.
If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?
Hunger Games. I think the messages in there would well for all ages, and I adore the story. Perhaps the world would change if we all just thought about it.
What are you working on now?
I am currently finishing off edits for a book, and working on book ideas for the next novel. Watch this space….! I have a couple of research trips planned, so I am excited!
Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?
Who would you play in a book if you could be anyone or anything, and why? I think Elizabeth Bennett would be a hoot to be for a day. The mischief opportunities are boundless!
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💫 Final Thoughts
Thank you to Rachel for taking part in my special feature.
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