Celebrating: The RNA’s Fantasy Romantic Novel shortlist!

RNA fantasy

Fantasy Romantic Novel

Every author has their own unique story to tell about how and why they came to be a novelist. Read on to find out the stories behind the talented authors shortlisted for the prestigious award, as they reveal them, and the inspiration behind their lovely novels.

ECHOES OF THE RUNES – Christina Courtenay

Headline Review

The story was inspired by a Viking style ring I own, an exact replica of one displayed at the Historical Museum in Stockholm. When I went to the museum to compare the two, I was struck by the germ of an idea for this book. My agent just happens to be Swedish as well and she encouraged me to explore our mutual heritage, so it seemed like it was meant to be – serendipity!

The Start of Us – Hannah Emery

One More Chapter, HarperCollins

The Start of Us was inspired by the idea that small moments can change everything. The main character Erica is able to see another version of her life and decide which one she wants to live. This huge choice prompts her to explore something else that fascinates me: how love and grief often go hand in hand. Is it better to never experience pain, if you also have to forfeit love?

The Reluctant Witch – Amelia Hopegood

Independently Published

I come from a working – class background and not only read but scribbled stories throughout my childhood. I’ve still got the manuscript I wrote when I was sixteen – full of teenage angst and funny for all the wrong reasons! I concentrated on my career, but a hospital admittance made me reassess. I write Regency Romance and Paranormal Cozy Mystery and by indie-publishing I’ve been able to write full-time which overwhelmingly readers seem to enjoy!

The Cornish Connection – Amanda James

Independently Published

My inspiration came from reading, I think. But I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write, I suppose it’s in my blood. I was a voracious reader as a child – first Enid Blyton and Marguerite Henry, then in my teens, I became lost in the world of Tolkien. I loved words, stories and going off on virtual adventures. I asked for a typewriter for Christmas when I was eight, and never looked back!

Someday in Paris – Olivia Lara

Aria, Head of Zeus

The Someday in Paris manuscript was a wedding anniversary gift for my husband: a magical love story inspired by our own, set in Paris and Colmar—our favourite French towns— and centered around art, which we both love. While I hoped he’d like it, I didn’t expect his immediate, powerful, and emotional reaction while reading it, which ultimately emboldened me to follow my lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

The winner will be announced on the 8th March 2021.

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Sharing Places – Part 1

Whilst researching social history for my stories I visit some fascinating places. Here are some of the places that have triggered plots, created characters or inspired a mood or a desire to return to the keyboard and write.

 1. Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire, England.

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Twenty one miles north of the beautiful city of York is the historic estate of Nunnington Hall. Its history stretches back from Tudor times through the family’s sympathies with the Jacobite’s cause to modern day.

Built on the banks of the river Rye, it is a beautiful location to explore where peacocks roam free. I loved exploring the period rooms and also the old servant’s rooms and attic where the hall houses a fine miniature collection. The views are magnificent. It feels as if the hustle of modern day life has been left behind as you explore this beautifully preserved walk through history.