A writer who started her career as a production secretary on The Archers has won the Romantic Novel of the Year award in London.
Veronica Henry’s 11th book A Night on the Orient Express was described by the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) award judges as a page turner of a “feel good romantic book with very natural dialogue”.
Henry turned her hand to novel writing in 2000 after working as a script editor on shows such as Heartbeat and Holby City. The mother-of-three from North Devon picked up her STG5000 ($A9,216.59) top prize from former ballerina Darcey Bussell at a ceremony in central London.
The novel won the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Category before then being considered for the top prize of the Romantic Novel of the Year alongside the winners in the Epic, Historical, Romantic Comedy and Young Adult categories.
Henry beat off Jennifer McVeigh for The Fever Tree, which won the Epic category, Christina Courtenay who won the Historical prize for The Gilded Fan, Milly Johnson for It’s Raining Men who won the Romantic Comedy prize and Imogen Howson, who won the Young Adult category with her book called Linked.
RNA president Katie Fforde said: “Our congratulations go to Veronica Henry, who is thoroughly deserving of her win and provided the judges with an intriguing plot with some twisty turns that delivered what can only be described as a page-turning novel. All in all a very well-earned win.”
Helen Fielding, author of the popular Bridget Jones novels, and Dr David Hessayon, a long-time RNA supporter, both received outstanding achievement awards.
Kate Hardy also collected STG1000 as winner of the Rona Rose award for shorter category/series fiction for her book Bound By A Baby.