An author has been shortlisted for a romance novel award for his latest effort, Her Wartime Secret.
Bolton’s Emma Hornby has been shortlisted for the award as part of the Romantic Novelists Association’s annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2022.
The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
Emma, a mother of three, lives on a close-knit working-class estate in Bolton.
Before pursuing a career as a novelist, she worked in a variety of jobs, ranging from carer for the elderly to working in a rock factory in Blackpool.
Emma’s books are gritty ‘stories’ set in Victorian and wartime Bolton and Manchester, which she started writing after researching her family history.
The colorful folk she unearthed gave her a lot of inspiration; like the characters in his novels, many generations of his family lived in the squalor and poverty of the Lancashire slums.
Speaking of being shortlisted, Emma said she was relieved that people liked her work.
She said: “I’m in shock, this is the last thing I expected. The fact that this is also for my very first WWII book makes it even more exciting.
“I’ve been writing Victorian novels for a number of years now, and stepping into another era was a bit daunting, but I’m so glad I took the leap and people appreciate my efforts. It’s such a relief.
Sharon Ibbotson, the association’s awards coordinator, said: “In a difficult year, people needed escape and romance more than ever. Our shortlisted authors, chosen by our readers, delivered both.
“The Association of Romantic Novelists is proud to celebrate them and their achievement.”
Since their inception in 1960, the awards have honored outstanding romantic fiction and previous winners include Phillipa Gregory, Joanna Trollope and Rosamunde Pilcher.
The winners of the awards will be announced at the association’s awards ceremony, which will be held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City on Monday 7 March at 6.30pm.