I’ve been a judge for a famous book award recently. Yes, me!
What’s that? Which one? Oh, right. Have you heard of the Booker Prize?
Well….not that one. It’s the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, run by the Romantic Novelists Association. Don’t be too impressed with my judgery (great word) – anyone can apply to do it, they didn’t seek me out and beg me to take part (not this year anyway).
So, getting on with the story (finally), I applied and got five books to score. I had six weeks to read them, and had to mark each book on all sorts of elements, such as Romance, Plot, Characters, Dialogue etc. Really interesting experience, all in all. It was v exciting getting my five books – I opened up the parcel to find two saga-y type books, two contemporary novels and one… Hmmm. I guess it’s contemporary too but there was something very oddball about the cover that set it on its own.
As I am incredibly professional about this sort of thing (ahem) I’d better not say much else about what I thought of the books themselves apart from this: I quite enjoyed the books I’d never in a million years have bought/borrowed myself. And to my huge surprise, the book I kept putting off reading because I really didn’t fancy the look of it (the oddball book) was the one I enjoyed the most. It just goes to show, you really can’t judge a book by its cover. Which is a shame, as that’s what I asked you to do in my last post. NEVER MIND.
Still, it was quite a useful exercise seeing how the award scoring works, and imagining my own books coming under such scrutiny. Any Way You Want Me would have failed at the first hurdle as it was not exactly romantic – more lust-driven I’d say – but Over You (second novel) is a bit more of your traditional feel-good story, with a splendidly cheese-tastic romantic ending which I am hoping will provoke much teary sniffling and sighing from my more tender readers. (Gawd, rein me in will you, someone, I’m starting to sound like Babs Cartland.)
So there you go…my dalliance with the Romantic Novelists. Now I’m back to reading all my usual gritty cutting-edge fiction which at the moment is…Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford. Oh.
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