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When: Feb 24, 2022 07:00 PM London
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Meet the panellists.
Virginia Heath, Panel Chair, Bestselling Author and RNA Events Officer
When lifelong insomniac Virginia Heath was a little girl, she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. She did this every night for over forty years until one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Now, to her absolute delight and utter astonishment, her slightly racy Regency Romcoms for Mills & Boon and Headline Eternal are published in many languages all across the globe.
When she isn’t furiously writing romance fuelled on far too much English tea, she likes to travel to far off places, shop for things she doesn’t need and drag her devoted Labrador Trevor on long walks around her native London. And in case you were wondering, three Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations and twenty-four books later, it still takes Virginia forever to fall asleep
Audrey Harrison, Amazon Bestselling Independent Author
Audrey has had the fortune to live a dream. She’s always wanted to write, but life got in the way as it so often does. Then a change in circumstance, enabled her to do what she loved: sit down to write. That dream became a little more surreal when in 2018, she became an Amazon StorytellerUK Finalist with Lord Livesey’s Bluestocking. A Regency Romance in the top five of an all-genre competition! During lockdown she launched a pen name, Amelia Hopegood, venturing into the world of Paranormal Cozy Mystery. The first book under her pen name The Reluctant Witch, was a finalist in the Romantic Novelists Association Fantasy Fiction Award.
She currently has twenty-four historical romances published, three in other genres and six under her pen name. All are independently published. She has had ten books translated into German, again independently and more will be released this year.
Milly Johnson, Sunday Times Bestselling Author
Milly was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. A Sunday Times bestseller, she is one of the Top 10 Female Fiction authors in the UK with millions of copies of her books sold across the world. In 2020, she was honoured with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award and was a featured author in the Reading Agency’s Quick Reads and World Book Night campaigns. A writer who champions women and highlights the importance of friendship and community, Milly’s characters are celebrations of the strength of the human spirit. Her nineteenth novel, The Woman in The Middle, is published in paperback on 3rd March and her 20th, currently untitled, will be published in September.
Charlotte Ledger, Publishing Director of One More Chapter.
Charlotte started in publishing in 2011 at Mills & Boon before moving across to HarperCollins in 2013. Since then, she has worked across commercial fiction from million-copy-bestseller Julie Caplin to Sunday Times bestseller BP Walter. A champion for digital publishing, Charlotte was highly commended at the Futurebook awards and won the Book Marketing Society’s Best Shoestring Campaign for her work on the first online romance festival. She was shortlisted for The Bookseller and SYP’s Trailblazer of the Year award and has won the RNA’s Publisher of the Year award twice.
Caroline Sheldon, Literary Agent
Caroline Sheldon set up her eponymous literary agency over 30 years ago. Prior to doing that she worked as a woman’s fiction editor at Hutchinson. She has a long relationship with the RNA and is a particular fan of the New Writers Scheme which put mentoring in place 40 years before anyone else thought of it. She has worked with many writers in the field and always enjoys reading a good book.
Sara-Jade Virtue, Brand Development Director for Fiction at Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
2022 marks Sara-Jade’s 20th year in the book industry and 15th at Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, one of the UK’s largest publishing houses. For 12 years she was Special Sales Director, and was promoted to the role of Brand Development Director in the Fiction Editorial team in November 2019. Her core responsibility at S&S is to help shape their commercial fiction list and develop strategies for growth for their authors writing in the women’s fiction genre. She runs their women’s fiction community www.booksandthecity.co.uk which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, their #DigitalOriginals eBook publishing programme and their LibraryLink project. She’s a member of the S&S Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council, volunteer at Hanwell Community Library and curates the Popular Fiction titles for subscription box service My Book Moment.
Please email any questions you may have for our panellists to Pressofficer@romanticnovelistsassociation.org