Saturday, April 28, 2007


Marrying Max has won the Romance Prize 2007. Typing it still doesn't seem to make it any more real. Yesterday was one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life.
Allison and I met as planned at the station and had a nice journey into London, talking about our books and who we hoped to see at the lunch. We took a taxi to the Savoy and got there just a little early. This turned out to be a good thing as it's a very large place and it took us a while to find our bearings. Fortunately we were spotted by Roger (med author Gill Sanderson) and Jan Jones who rescued us and pointed us in the direction of the cloakroom and the bar.
I was too nervous to risk alcohol and I'm not much of a drinker anyway, so Allison and I stood with our glasses of water in this very large and impressive room trying not to be overwhelmed by the whole thing.
I had a lovely chat with Maddie Rowe about the revisions she'd asked for on Charlie and fortunately we seem to be in complete accord about the improvements. Then we were called through to the luncheon by the toastmist
The River room is beautiful, all cream and gold ornate plasterwork and the tables looked gorgeous with silver candleabra on mirrored plates. Allison and I didn't really know anyone very well on or table but we were fortunate to be seated with some very lovely people and we soon broke the ice.
The lunch was delicious, I mean really wonderful. Then it was time for the awards. The main award - The Romantic Novel of the year was first. This was won by Rosie Thomas for her book Iris and Ruby. She gave a superb speech.
Dame Tani Grey-Thomson presented the award and she was also a very moving speaker and her love of books really shone through.
Then it was the Romance Prize. The books short-listed were all so good as the chair of the judges talked about each one I just thought wow - that one will win. Then she said they had shortlisted them to three and Marrying Max was mentioned.
The lady next to me was smiling at me and I thought, no way do I stand a chance. Then I vaguely remember hearing my name and lots of excitement in the room.
I couldn't move. Allison was urging me to stand up and Michelle Styles came over and pushed me out of my seat to go up to collect the Betty Neels rosebowl.
I don't know how I walked across that room and onto that stage.
Then, horror, I was expected to make a speech -
I have no clue what I said.
I know it was short.
I hope I remembered to thank everyone.
After that it all went a bit crazy. I had the rosebowl on the table and I said to Allison -'how are we going to get this home on the train?'
She was grinning like a cheshire cat and said 'I've got a rucksack.'
The agent, Darley Anderson, came over to give me his card and asked me to send him something.
All my friends at Mills and Boon came over to the table and it was just crazy!
The next few hours just flew by. I had to call my husband and my mother and Jessica, my cp.
It felt so unreal - heaven knows what the photos people took of me will be like as I was still in shock.
It wasn't till Allison and I got out of the taxi back at Euston that it started to sink in and I remember saying to Allison - 'I won, didn't I?'
She just gave me a hug and steered me towards the train.I really do need a keeper when I'm out.


Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Kate Hardy said...

Congratulations, Nell - so pleased for you!

Liz Fielding said...

I've just heard the fabulous news, Nell! Many, many congratulations. Nothing can stop you now!

Love, Liz

Natalie Anderson said...

Marrying Max didn't win - YOU did - with hard work and talent! Congratulations! All the best for those revisions too - I've a feeling it won't be long before there's another party in Subcare...

Best wishes,

Judy Jarvie said...

YOU are a star! So enjoy it!
What a wonderful post Nell and what a wonderful day. Well deserved so believe it, it happened. jx

Phillipa said...

What a fantastic story, Nell. i am so happy for you. Youd eserve this so much. Phillipa xxx

Jennie Adams said...

Huge congrats, Nell. Please post a photo of the rose bowl when you're read, preferably with grinning author beside it. Grin.



Bron said...

Congratulations, Nell!! It's absolutely wonderful news, and I'm very excited for you.

Well done!

And yes, we want photos!

Portia Da Costa said...

Congratulations, Nell! I am so thrilled for you... this is fantastic, fantastic news!

I'm also tickled pink that one of my fellow Divas has won the prize.

Enjoy the glow, and all the wonderful successes that are going to come your way because of your richly deserved win.



Jessica Raymond said...

Am so, so thrilled for you and I couldn't be happier! The Bloke (who was sitting next to me when you called) had to clean his ears after I'd finished shrieking :)

I am so proud of you and Max is such a wonderful book. Here's to the start of a long run of award-winning for romance author Nell Dixon :) :)

And how exciting to hear about the agent and everything! Can't wait to see pics of you holding the rosebowl.

Hurrah, hurrah!!!

Jess x

Julie Cohen said...

I was so very proud of you, and thrilled!

Your acceptance speech was wonderful--it was genuine, generous, and pure Nell. It was obvious that you were surprised and very pleased--and you looked GREAT!

Congratulations again.

Christina Phillips said...

Nell! what fabulous news. Huge congrats on your win!

Biddy said...

YAY!!! I said it yesterday and I'll say it again 'CONGRATULATIONS!!'


Margaret McDonagh said...

Nell, I've just heard!!!! Many, many congratulations! I am so thrilled for you!! Enjoy every moment, you've earned it.


Olga said...

Nell, huge congrats! This is awesome, and you totally deserve it!

Fiona Harper said...

Many congratulations, again! There are photos winging their way to you as I type.

imogen howson said...

Many congratulations! I'm really pleased for you, and beyond delighted that an agent approached you--how often does that happen? Well, obviously if you win major prizes it does happen.

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo! What a great thing to happen to such a nice perrson. I couldn't possibly be more proud. Revel in it because days like that are so incredibly special.

-- Guanna

Susanne said...

CONGRATULATIONS NELL - you deserve it, you have worked so hard.

See you later

Susanne Steven and Family x x x x

liz fenwick said...

Yay, Nell. It was so wonderful- you were so wonderful. There's a picture of you with bowl on my blog.....not brilliant quality as it was taken with my phone but you look radiant! Also though not on blog hace great pic of you and Madde :-)

Adelle said...

I am sooo happy for you Nell. All of your hard work, is paying off in spades. You deserve all the happiness and praise bestowed on you. Kudo's to you from a fellow SRN Author :)

Dayna_Hart said...

aww. All my love to Allison!!

Congratulations, Nell. How wonderful for you!

Dullcie Bat said...

Huge congratulations, Nell! We're not at all thrilled for you in the Cave. ;-)))

Anna Lucia said...

HUGE congratulations, sweetie!

Kate Walker said...

Sorry to be late but I've only just got home. Once again Nell my dear many many congratulations to you. I'm so thrilled for you and to know that another of my Rna 'virgins' has made such a success of her writing.

Wonderful news on Marry Max - I was so happy to be there to see you collect the prize - and now good luck with Charlie - my fingers are so tightly crossed for that for you .



Grace Tyler said...

I nearly cried reading your account. You look so pretty on your pictures (new post) and I'm so excited and proud of you.

Wish we all could have been there.

Love Grace

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Have just caught up with the news - WOW Nell, MEGA CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Congratulations too on the requested revisions for Charlie - M&B success is just around the corner, WELL DONE!!!!!!

Sue :-)

Sage Burnett said...

Congratulations, Nell. What a fabulous surprise and well-deserved honor for you.


Lis said...

Congratulations Nell!!! So so thrilled for you :o) *hugs*

Laura Hamby said...

Congratulations, award winning author Nell Dixon! I'm so tickled for you. And your pictures are just gorgeous. Hooray for you! I hope you're basking.

Lesley Cookman said...

Congratulations, Nell - absolutely delighted. And yes - I can vouch for the fact that you couldn't move - you were just sitting there looking stunned! And it was a lovely speech. Our table, old lags me, Bernardine Kennedy and Judy Astley were thrilled for you.

Lesley x

jenny haddon said...

Many congratulations, Nell, and well deserved. Loved your acceptance speech - 'cor stone the crows,' only more prettily phrasede - and absolutely everyone in the room was delighted for you.


Sheila said...

congratulations Nell, fabulous news. Enjoy. regards Sheila Riley

Anonymous said...

well done mum i am so proud of you keep it up love you lots robyn

Donna Alward said...


I am thrilled to bits for you!


Anne Whitfield - author said...

Congratulations, Helen!

Very happy for you.

Emma Lee-Potter said...

I was sitting next to you when the winner was announced and you looked as though you couldn't believe what you had just heard! It was lovely to meet you and hear about your writing - and I can't wait to read Marrying Max... Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

Major congratulations, Nell!!! Woo hoo!!!!

Keep smiling!
Gail Fuller

Kim Rees / Kim Knox said...

Woo Hoo, congrats Nell!

Anonymous said...

Just popping in (I'm a friend of Phillipa A's and saw your news on her blog) to say, huge congratulations, what wonderful news!

Rosy Thornton x