When The Things We Never Said, was published last year, it was a long-held dream come true, but I prepared myself for the book to have a relatively short ‘shelf life’, because this is what so often happens to debut novels. However I have been extremely fortunate in that readers are continuing to buy it, partly due to good reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but also, I think, because of the exquisite cover, which I fell in love with the moment I saw it.
Not long after the novel was published, I learned that it had been selected for the Read Regional Campaign, which was wonderful news. The campaign is now well and truly under way, and I’m thoroughly enjoying my role in it, which is to give readings and talks in various libraries across Yorkshire and the North East. And as if that weren’t enough, good things continue to happen!
I was delighted (and more than a little surprised) to hear recently that the novel has been shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in the ‘contemporary’ category. Other categories are: Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Comedy Romantic Novel, and Young Adult Romantic Novel. The shortlisting was a huge surprise because, while there is a strong love story in the book, it’s not what I would call a romantic story in the traditional sense, although maybe what we define as ‘romantic’ is changing?
Anyway, I’m thrilled to bits to be shortlisted, and I’m looking forward to the awards ceremony in London later this month – I get to drink some fizz, wear a new dress and chat with the other shortlisted authors. I‘m up against some fabulous novelists, so I shall make sure I practice my ‘good loser’ face in the mirror.
So, this was all very lovely, and then last week, I discovered that The Things We Never Said has been longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. This prize is awarded by the people of Waverton for the best debut novel published in the last 12 months. As you’ll see from the longlist, I’m in stellar company! A shortlist of five will be announced later in March. I would be ecstatic to be on it, but looking at who I’m up against, I won’t be holding my breath! And anyway, there’s more excitement coming soon as publication day for my second novel, The Secrets We Left Behind approaches.
It’s all very exciting, and I’m absolutely loving my first year as a published novelist. I’m just worried that at some point, I’m going to wake up…