Kate Kerrigan wins Historical Romantic Novel Award
Sophia Bennett’s Love Song wins Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year 2017
Kate Kerrigan: the Co Mayo author, who also writes as Morag Prunty, received her trophy from cookery writer Prue Leith at the awards ceremony in London
Kate Kerrigan has won the Historical Romantic Novel Award in the RoNAs (the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual Romantic Novel Awards) for It Was Only Ever You, published by Head of Zeus.
The Co Mayo author, who also writes as Morag Prunty, received her trophy from television personality and cookery writer Prue Leith at the awards ceremony in London last night, compered by author and broadcaster Jane Wenham-Jones.
The judges ( Matt Bates, fiction buyer for WHSmith Travel; journalist and novelist Fanny Blake; Ron Johns, bookseller and publisher; and Caroline Sanderson, Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Worcester and associate editor for The Bookseller) called It Was Only Ever You “an extremely well-written romance, in which all the threads of the story come together well, with great characters, particularly strong women and a lovely setting, reflecting the contrasting strands of society. The author has really done her research to bring an interesting period of history to life against the backdrops of Ireland and New York.”
The overall winner of the 2017 Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year, the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s highest accolade, selected from the winners of the seven categories which included Contemporary, Epic, Historical, Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel, RoNA Rose, Romantic Comedy, and Young Adult, was Young Adult Romantic Novel winner Sophia Bennett with Love Song, published by Chicken House.
Love Song was a unanimous choice among the judges, who were impressed by the strength and authenticity of the main character’s voice. They felt the book was well-written with plenty of detail, and great sensitivity in some of the scenes. The judges commented “Love Song is an intelligent and thoughtful read which handles the all-consuming emotion of a first crush rather beautifully.”
Eileen Ramsay, Chairman of the RNA, said, “”This is the second year that a Young Adult novel has won the overall award, demonstrating the growing appeal of YA fiction. This wonderful story celebrates the sensitive treatment of first love. Huge congratulations to a very deserving winner!”
For the first time in the awards’ history the shortlist included both traditionally and independently published authors. In a double first, novelist Kate Johnson was named winner of the first Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel Award for Max Seventeen, and was also the first self-published author in the award’s 57 year history to win one of the prestigious RoNAs.
Romantic Novel of the Year Category Winners
Debbie Johnson, Summer at the Comfort Food Café, HarperImpulse
Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year (for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960)
Janet Gover, Little Girl Lost, Choc Lit
Epic Romantic Novel of the Year (for novels containing serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories)
Kate Kerrigan, It Was Only Ever You, Head of Zeus
Historical Romantic Novel of the Year (for novels set in a period before 1960)
Kate Johnson, Max Seventeen, independently published
Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel (for novels that include elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, whether paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, time slip or worlds that include ghosts, vampires or creatures of legend.)
Penny Parkes, Out of Practice, Simon & Schuster
Romantic Comedy Romantic Novel of the Year (for consistently humorous or amusing novels)
Scarlet Wilson, Christmas in the Boss’s Castle, Mills & Boon Cherish
Winner RoNA Rose Award (for category/series and shorter romance)
Sophia Bennett, Love Song, Chicken House
Winner Young Adult Romantic Novel of the Year (featuring protagonists who are teenagers or young adults)
Outstanding Achievement Awards
Barbara Erskine is the author of 13 bestselling novels and three collections of short stories that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural. It is thirty years since the publication of her first novel, Lady of Hay, which has been in continuous publication since 1986 and sold over three million copies worldwide.
Adele Parks has sold over three million UK edition copies of her novels and her books have been translated into over 26 languages. Every one of her 15 novels has been a bestseller in the UK. Both Barbara and Adele were presented with outstanding achievement awards for their continued championing of the RNA and romantic fiction.