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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