A local author says it was a dream come true to find out she had made it on to the shortlist of a prestigious national novel prize.
Sue Moorcroft, of Pytchley Road, Kettering, has has been nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) top award, the Romantic Novel of the Year 2013.
Her novel, Dream a Little Dream, is one of six to have been put forward in the contemporary romantic novel category, for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960.
The category includes genres such as chick-lit, paranormal and romantic suspense.
There are five categories, and former This Morning hosts Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley will announce the winner of each from the shortlist at a glittering reception being held in London on Tuesday, February 26.
“I am really, really pleased,” said Sue, who is on the committee of the RNA and who is set to take over as vice-chairman of the association later this year.
She is also the editor of the RNA’s current and previous anthology.
Sue said: “Being shortlisted for a RNA is the satisfaction of a long-held ambition.
“I’ve been dreaming of it ever since I joined the RNA in 2000.
“And I get to meet Richard and Judy!”
She added: “When I received the notification that I’d been shortlisted in the contemporary category, I was stunned, but euphoric.”
She said she had received the letter which contained the list of nominees but thought it had only been sent to her because of her position on the RNA committee.
And she said she could barely believe it when she realised she had been nominated herself.
The main protagonist of Dream a Little Dream, Dominic, suffers from narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.
And Sue has admitted she was unaware of how complex the condition could be – and might not have chosen to focus on it if she had known.
But after consulting one man – coincidentally, also named Dominic – who suffers from the condition in order to try to get to grips with it, Sue has now been asked by charity Narcolepsy UK to speak at its conference in Cambridge later this year.
Each novel submitted was awarded a mark by a panel of three independent readers drawn from a list of about 100 volunteers. The readers, who are not members of the RNA, come from a variety of backgrounds and range in age from 20 to 85.
In previous years winners have included celebrated authors like Joanna Trollope and Rosamunde Pilcher.
For the past 50 years the RNA has helped set the benchmark in romantic fiction. Its current chairman, Annie Ashurst, who writes as Sara Craven, said: “We’re delighted that so many publishers took the opportunity to put forward their authors for these prestigious awards.
“We are extraordinarily proud of all our shortlisted authors.”