Ready for the 2000s? Today it’s the fifth in my series of articles where RNA authors look back at their favourite romance reads through the decades to celebrate 60 years of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. It’s a real pleasure to welcome Miranda Dickinson choosing her favourites…
As the Romantic Novelists’ Association turns a sensational 60 this year, I’m so happy to share two of my favourite romantic reads. The decade I’ve chosen is the Noughties (which looks so much more fun than the ‘00s’!).
This was the decade that saw me get serious about my writing, firstly by sharing my book on a website for unpublished authors and then by getting my first three-book deal. And it was the decade I fell in love with romantic comedy books.
My first favourite is Only in America by Dominic Holland. Nowadays you’ll probably know him as the actor Tom Holland’s dad, but back in 2002, he released this as his debut novel. I loved it – so much so that I read it several times over the following years and still go back now and again to hang out with struggling screenwriter Milly and handsome LA movie executive Mitch, who comes to England trying to find her to commission her script. It’s the best kind of laugh-out-loud funny, blissfully romantic chase story, all against the clock, with characters you fall in love with and cheer for.
My second favourite is The Waitress by Melissa Nathan. We tragically lost Melissa to breast cancer in 2006, aged just 37, two years after this book was published – devastating the romantic fiction community. I adore this book for its huge heart, tea-snorting humour and a cast of characters you could imagine walking off the page to meet you. Katie is a fantastic lead you can’t help but adore. It’s full of love, hope, dreams, second chances and is a book you hug like a best friend when it ends.
These books made me want to write and forged my love of romantic comedy. I love them and I think you will, too!
Thank you Miranda – do you know, both those books passed me by – but I do remember reading for the awards set up in Melissa Nathan’s honour for the best in comedy romance. (And thanks to Jill Mansell for mentioning that Dominic Holland’s Only in America is currently free for kindle – and yes, of course I’ve downloaded it!).
So, did you remember to vote in Wednesday’s poll on the RNA twitter feed for your favourite romance of the noughties? I see that the winner was PS, I Love You by Cecilia Ahern – and yes, it was rather heartbreaking and gorgeous, wasn’t it? Let me share the other contenders. There was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, which I’ll admit I didn’t love quite as much as others did (but I really enjoyed the film!): then there was The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which I really did love but I know there were many who didn’t! The fourth contender was The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory – which I rather shamefully have never read (although I really enjoy historical romance, I will confess to an aversion to books about kings and queens!).
The 2000s really were the romance reading years, weren’t they? All those wonderful authors who’d begun to emerge in the late 90s really hit their stride, and romantic comedy and chick lit – whether you like the term or not – took over the world. I was never really a massive fan of sex and shopping – perhaps because I was a little older – but Sophie Kinsella certainly played her part in starting something that brought many people reading joy. I can remember the thrill of discovering Jojo Moyes, Lisa Jewell, Lucy Diamond, Veronica Henry, Milly Johnson, Lucy Dillon, Jenny Colgan, and so many more – and enjoying them alongside the thrillers, the historicals and the literary fiction I loved reading too.
Join me again tomorrow – Julie Cohen will be my guest, looking at romance writing in the 2010s…
About Miranda Dickinson
Miranda Dickinson has always had a head full of stories. Born in Wolverhampton, in The Black Country, West Midlands, she grew up in Kingswinford and dreamed of one day writing a book that would reach the heady heights of Kingswinford Library…
Her first novel, Fairytale of New York (2009) was discovered on Authonomy.com – HarperCollins’ site for unpublished authors. Within three weeks of its release, Fairytale of New York had entered the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers List, where it remained for five weeks – making it the world’s first crowd-sourced bestseller. The novel was also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2010 at the Pure Passion Awards.
Miranda is a six-times Sunday Times Bestseller, with Fairytale of New York, Welcome to My World, It Started With a Kiss, When I Fall in Love, Take a Look at Me Now, I’ll Take New York, A Parcel for Anna Browne and Searching for a Silver Lining, a Christmas novella, Christmas in St Ives, is a festive treat and prequel to her ninth novel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea. The Day We Meet Again has won critical acclaim and is much loved by readers, most recently publishing in the US and Canada, taking her words Stateside for the first time.
Miranda is an international bestseller in four countries and her books have been translated into sixteen languages. To date, she has sold one million books worldwide. Her latest book, Our Story, is out now.
Miranda is the founder of WriteFoxy – resources, vlogs and inspiration writing days for writers of all ages and abilities. Her popular vlogs feature her own publishing journey for each new novel, together with advice for authors and lots and lots of hats!
Miranda lives in Dudley with her husband, Bob and daughter, Flo. She is also a singer-songwriter and recently released her first solo album, About Time.