Going to the Ball

festivalofromanceAs the Festival of Romance approaches, the thought that seems to be occupying most attendees’ minds is not “who is going to win an award?”, but “OMG, what am I going to wear?!” There have been discussions about shoes, dresses and accessories on Facebook, Twitter and various blogs, with suggestions flying back and forth.

Officially, we’re going to a Ball, which to me would mean long, formal dresses, but these days it’s also acceptable to wear a cocktail dress or very nice short dress. I was a bit hazy as to the term “cocktail dress”, so I looked it up. According to Wikipedia it’s a “woman’s dress worn at cocktail parties or semi-formal occasions” and was originally fairly long, either just above the ankle or ankle-length. But nowadays the length doesn’t matter, only its level of “sumptuousness”.

Hmm … So really, it’s up to the wearer to decide if they think their outfit is sumptuous enough, right? Which is just as well, because judging by past events we have attended, the Choc Lit authors (and everyone else) have wildly differing personal styles and I’m all for that.

chocliteerssmallAs teenagers, most of us follow fashion slavishly, whether it suits us or not (rah-rah skirts anyone? Ye gods …). But with maturity and confidence you develop your own fashion sense and get an eye for what looks good on you and what doesn’t. I think most of us instinctively seek out the colours that suit us best and with practice you realise that some clothes just weren’t made for a shape like yours.

To me, part of the fun of going to an event like the Festival of Romance Ball is seeing what everyone else is wearing and we do scrub up quite well I think. But we all show our personalities through our clothes (see photo on the left for example). We couldn’t be more different if we tried, but this is the true “us” and I love it that we’re not all clones! Our outfits are as different as our books, even though they come under the same heading of “romance”. I guess it would be fun to do an experiment some time, swapping clothes, but I have a feeling it would be a fashion disaster 🙂

myshoessmallSo – if you’re attending the ball, what are you going to wear? And if you’re not, what would you have worn? Me? I’ll be in silver and grey, plus shoes I can’t walk in … nothing new there then!

Kate Johnson is very excited to announce…

…that not one, not two, but THREE Choc-Liteers have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award!

The best part is that they’re all in different categories, so we’re not even in competition with each other. Hussah!

Christina Courtenay has been shortlisted for the Historical RoNA with her wonderfully evocative Highland Storms, sequel to Trade Winds. It’s set in Scotland, with a strong-willed heroine, brave and gorgeous hero, and even a stalwart dog. What more could you want?

Highland Storms

Jane Lovering has been shortlisted for the Romantic Comedy RoNA with her hilarious and touching Please Don’t Stop The Music. Set in York, it features a heroine running from her own past and a rockstar hero with a monumental secret to hide.

Please Don't Stop The Music

And the final nominee is… me! The Untied Kingdom has been shortlisted for the Contemporary RoNA. It’s set in a third world country fighting an endless civil war… called England. Its star is a man who is neither a rockstar nor a laird, but an army major, grumpy and weary and brave. And his heroine, a girl who is haunted by the memory of lime green hotpants.

The Untied Kingdom

While we’re not in direct competition with each other, I’ve seen the shortlists and boy howdy, there are some big names and some fabulous books listed there. So cheer for us Choc-Liteers on Monday, 5th March, when we take on the titans… er, I mean when the winners are announced!

Jane, Christina, and Kate
Jane, Christina, and Kate