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Comment from the book world in February 2013

February 2013

New writers and the Romantic Novelists’ Association 

25 February 2013

 'No longer was I the only mad woman in the attic. I went to an RNA weekend in Bournemouth. I had to get the train and I arrived late, and I knew no one, apart from the main speaker. And I only knew her because she'd been on television. But it was so wonderful meeting other people with the same obsession. Because when you're a writer, it's very difficult to explain what you do to those who have no concept of what it's like...

I think basically a romantic novel is a romantic novel. But I do have to think about how I can make things different. You can't just have unattached girl meets unattached boy, because life isn't like that, and most people have a past of some kind. Ultimately, though, it's about the falling in love, and wondering if the other person loves you. Which is why I tend to hate books which give the man's point of view. Once I've been told that he fancies her, I lose interest. It's the not knowing. Because in real life, there's always a bit of doubt and uncertainty about whether someone really likes you. And it's that uncertainty which keeps the reader hooked.'

Katie Fforde, author of A French Affair and President of the UK Romantic Novelists' Association, who has just set up the Katie Fforde Bursary for new writers, in the ALCS newsletter

A prizewinning first novel

18 February 2013

'When I heard I was on the shortlist for my category I thought, "This is enough."  It surpasses anything I have ever dreamed of. To have won it is such an extraordinary feeling and I can't imagine winning overall.

The unique gift of a first novel is you write the whole thing before anyone sees it.  You have the tremendous privilege of no one watching - but with that also comes the terror.

You are also completely alone with the project and the idea it might one day have readers is the most incredibly exhilarating but terrifying concept.'

Francesca Segal, winner of the 2012 Costa First Novel Category with The Innocents in the Evening Standard

'After each book I get panicky.'

11 February 2013

'After each book I get panicky. I don't love the reviews. I don't like going through all that, and you would think that, after almost 40 years of writing, I'd have got the hang of it. You can never grow complacent about it because it's always new, it's always exciting, and it's always like the first time.'

Judy Blume in the Sunday Telegraph's Seven