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Who will be the bestselling UK romantic fiction authors of tomorrow? Romantic Fiction Online's unique list of ten of the upcoming stars of UK romantic fiction and gives you the low down on who they are, where they come from and what makes them tick... er, write.
List in alphabetical order, by surname.
A previously self-published author Mandy was signed by Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Self-confessed loves include white wine, Bruce Willis, The Hoff, Bryan Adams, Neighbours, watching ice dancing, horse racing, rock and country music, Lady Gaga, World's Strongest Man and mashed potato. She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1's Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. Mandy was previously a paralegal in a busy Wills and Probate department in a solicitor’s office and left in July 2010 to pursue her writing career. She has been writing since her school days where she wrote for her friends an ongoing soap-type story with daily updates.
Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen. Her first novel with Sapphire Star is entitled Taking Charge and is released in May 2012. She is currently working on her sixth novel.
Jenny Barden grew up in the beer fumes of Burton upon Trent which she says might have fueled her overactive imagination, unless it was the encounter she had in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a solicitor in the City, did little to help displace an early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery and travels in South and Central America combined to inspire her debut novel, Mistress of the Sea which will be published in September 2012 by Ebury Press. Having overseen the Get Writing conferences hosted by Verulam Writers' Circle for three years and moderated the Reader Awards for the UK’s inaugural Festival of Romance, she recently accepted the challenge of coordinating the Historical Novel Society’s London Conference 2012. Jenny lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, a loving Labrador and a deadly Bengal cat. Jenny is currently working on the sequel to Mistress of the Sea.
Sheryl grew up in Birmingham where she studied Art and Design. She wears many hats: a partner in her own financial services business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs. She writes romantic comedy and has been previously published in the US but her first novel from a UK publisher came out in February 2012. Recipes for Disaster combines recipes with romantic comedy and the publisher, Safkhet Publishing have offered Sheryl a further three book contract. Sheryl has been writing for 20 years and has always had a passion for the written word. She helps children with their essays at a local school and is planning to undertake a Masters degree in Creative Writing.
After studying English at Lancaster University and King’s College, London Juliet worked in a variety of jobs, from running a craft stall at Covent Garden Market to working as an office temp and teaching English. She now lives in the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales just across the water from Prince William when he is stationed on Anglesey and works with several local charities. Juliet began writing seriously about ten years ago after a severe viral illness which left her having to rethink her life and her priorities. She began with short stories for magazines and has also had six pocket novels published under the pen name Heather Pardoe. Juliet had one short romantic comedy, Elissa’s Castle, published by Transita in 2005. Her new novel, a timeshift romance, Eden’s Garden was published by Honno Press in March 2012 and has been chosen as Welsh Book of the Month for May. Juliet is now working on her next novel.
Liz was born in Massachusetts, and after nine international moves now lives in Dubai with her husband and two mad cats. She describes herself as a “trailing spouse” and formerly worked in commercial insurance before having a family. She took up writing again after a 20 year break in 2004 which was a steep learning curve and she finally found her voice in her third completed novel. Although she lives in Dubai, she says her heart is forever in Cornwall where she owns a home.
Liz's debut novel The Cornish House will be published by Orion in May 2012. Aside from writing she is part of the PR team for the Romantic Novelists Association. Liz is currently working on her next book, August Rock.
Henriette grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after graduating from University of Copenhagen with an BA in Modern Languages. She wrote her first book aged ten. Since then she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. She used to translate books for Mills and Boon into Danish. She's an enthusiastic member of the RNA, assisting with the organisation of the annual RoNA Awards, and she's also an active member of the Historical Novel Society.
Henriette has won two prizes, the RNA's Katie Fforde Bursary in 2008 and the 2011 Festival of Romance New Talent Award. In addition to this, she has been short-listed and long-listed in various writing competitions, including the Yeovil Literary Prize, Cinnamon Press First Novel competition, the CWA Debut Dagger and Winchester Writers' Conference.
Her first novel Up Close is a dark, romantic suspense story and will be published by Choc Lit in December 2012. Henriette is currently working on her second novel in the same genre, due out in 2013.
Born and raised in northwest London, Liz has since lived in the USA, Berkshire, Cheshire and Oxfordshire. She read Law at Southampton University and English at London University. Between degrees, she spent six years in California, living in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, where she did a variety of jobs - from looking after children to returning hired cars to distant locations; from waitress in a top restaurant to cocktail waitress on Sunset Strip; from secretary to the top dog in a large Japanese trading company to resident starlet in MGM. Real life eventually intervened, and she returned to England, where she taught for a number of years.
She has been seriously writing for seven years and has written several novels. Her debut , The Road Back, will be published by Choc Lit in September, 2012 and her first pocket novel, A Dangerous Heart, was published by People’s Friend in March.
For seven years she has run the Oxford Chapter of the RNA, and she ran the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2011.
She has two sons, who live in London, and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband where she is working on a new novel, A Bargain Struck, set in 19th century America.
8. Sophie Pembroke, 32, Hertfordshire A former events and conferences executive, Sophie Pembroke confesses she has been writing romance ever since she stayed up all night reading Mills and Boon novels as part of her English degree at Lancaster University. She was born in U.A.E. and mostly brought up in Wales but now makes her home in Hertfordshire with her husband and daughter. She writes her love stories in her little spare room office and her debut novel, Room For Love, is published in May 2012 by Lyrical Press and will be followed up by her second novel, An A to Z of Love, published in July. Room for Love is the story of Carrie Archer, who inherits the crumbling Avalon Inn where she spent her childhood holidays. Except Carrie’s also inherited its occupants, including three senior citizens, a single father chef with childcare issues, a panicky receptionist, and one very gorgeous gardener.
Former PR executive Sarah Tranter was brought up north of Bristol and also worked for a time in Yorkshire as a political researcher for an MP and as a entrepreneur running an specialist gifts website. She now lives in Wiltshire with her family which includes a supportive husband, two boys, Rufus the dog, two cats, five chickens, countless pet spiders and bugs (courtesy of her youngest son) and some sea monkeys.
She has been writing for four years and her debut novel No Such Things As... Immortality? is the first in a paranormal romance trilogy involving a community of vampires in Derbyshire. It will be published by Choc Lit in 2013.
Born and raised in Germany, Nicky Wells moved to the UK in 1993. Having received two degrees, Nicky spent six years working as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm. Although she has been writing since the age of ten, Nicky left work in November 2004 to start writing in a serious capacity and spent three months writing her debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, before the birth of her first baby in April 2005. Since then, Nicky has had another child and qualified as a teaching assistant. She volunteers in her local primary school on a part-time basis and is also an editor with with interactive reader/author project, Loveahappyending.com. Nicky currently lives in Bristol with her husband and her two boys, and is working on her third novel. When she is not writing, she loves listening to rock music, reading books and eating lobsters or pizza.
Sophie’s Turn is the first part in her Rock Star Romance Trilogy featuring a legendary rock star… and the girl next door. Originally self-published, the novel will be relaunched by Sapphire Star in September 2012.