Hesketh Bank author Suzanne Snow is shortlisted for the prestigious Joan Hessayon Award

Romantic novelist Suzanne Snow in her garden at Hesketh Bank

Romantic novelist Suzanne Snow in her garden at Hesketh Bank - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

Romantic novelist Suzanne Snow from Hesketh Bank is among the contenders for The Romantic Novelists' Association's (RNA) prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for new writers, for The Cottage of New Beginnings. 
 
The contenders for this award are all authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme.  

She said: ‘I'm very grateful for the opportunities the RNA and its New Writers Scheme provides, and thrilled that my debut novel is eligible to be considered for the Joan Hessayon Award with such brilliant and exciting new authors.’ 
 
And RNA President Katie Fforde added: ‘One of the most exciting times in the RNA year is when the Joan Hessayon candidates are announced. These are the writers who have come through our New Writers’ Scheme and have achieved publication. The standard is always high and these ‘New Writers’ often go on to become best sellers.’ 
 
The winner will be announced on September 18 2021 at an event in York. 

But much of Suzanne’s work is inspired by her life on this side of the Pennines.  

‘Being born in Lancashire and living here still, this Northern landscape has become part of me and my writing in ways I didn’t ever anticipate,’ she said. 

‘I love a beautiful view, whether that be the glimpse of an old building at the end of an overgrown path or the first sight of Pendle Hill from the A59, one of my favourite routes to travel. I believe a sense of place is at the heart of my writing and it is this, along with the delight of following couples falling in love, that I would like to give my readers.’ 

Rural communities are at the heart of Suzanne’s books, and she added: ‘Inspiration for me can be found in a village such as Sawley, with its abandoned abbey, busy river rushing through, and the Beat-Herder festival held nearby. I can find romance in a ruined house as I ponder who lived there and when, what their lives would have been like. Or who might come along now and restore the building, bringing to life its legends and protecting its past. 

‘I haven’t yet set a story in a city, and it will be Lancaster if I do, with its sloping streets, medieval castle community and history hovering around every corner. From the formality of the Judges’ Lodgings at the centre of the city’s past to a view of Victorian times in the tiny Cottage Museum and so much more, Lancaster retains an air of long-ago even as it looks firmly to the future. 

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'I’m thankful to have Lancashire as the backdrop to my inspiration and to search out the heart of new ideas here, where I’ve always been at home. This is my place and it’s part of me.’ 

  • The Summer of Second Chances, the third book in Suzanne’s Welcome to Thorndale series, is out now, priced £8.99.