Fri, 03 Apr 2020
Tania Crosse at the RNA Awards
MORTIMER author Tania Crosse notched-up a notable success with her novel The Street of Broken Dreams in The Romantic Novelists Association 2020 Romantic Novel Awards.
Writer and comic Jenny Eclair revealed the winners of each category and presented them with crystal trophies at an event in London recently.
The RNA was founded in 1960 to promote romantic fiction and support authors. Tania was named winner of The Romantic Saga Award for the best romantic novel featuring saga elements of characters overcoming social adversity, usually set in the past.
Her works are mostly set in the Victorian times or the 1950s, but her prizewinning story takes place during the summer of 1945 – appropriate as we approach VE Day 75.
She told N2: “I was absolutely overwhelmed to win the award, especially as saga is such a huge genre.
“The Street of Broken Dreams is my 14th published novel, so to receive such a prestigious accolade felt like the pinnacle of my career and I am so grateful to the readers and judges who chose my book as the winner.”
The book is actually the second novel Tania has set in Banbury Street, the little back street in London's Battersea where she lived as a small child not so very long after the war.
“I have strong memories both of the area in general - and of some of the people. We shared a house with an elderly lady we referred to as our Nanny, and Eva, matriarch of the street and linchpin of the story, was inspired by her and some of her elderly friends who frequently came to visit.
“The theme of the book is that the world might be rejoicing as the war draws to a close, but for some, it can never end. The main thread concerns a young dancer. Something my mother once told me when speaking of her wartime experiences gave me the idea for Cissie's story. Dance, and in particular, ballet has been a lifelong passion. My dance mistress, with whom I remained friends until her death, was a great fan of my novels. Her recollections of being a dancer in a repertory company during the war became the inspiration for The Romaine Theatre Company in the book. My father served in submarines in the Far East during the conflict, and this inspired the sub-plot. There are, however, many other themes in the story that grow out of the characters, so as well as being an end of war saga of relationships, family and friends, there are also elements of poignancy, guilt, redemption and suspense, too.”
A prolific writer, Tania isn’t sitting on her literary laurels. “My first ten novels were a series set on west Dartmoor and the surrounding area, from Victorian times up to the 1950s. Some of those are in the process of being prepared for re-release, so at the moment, I'm concentrating on that.
"I have, though, been doing some research into wartime Plymouth, but I'm also thinking that Eva's two youngest children might have a story to tell on Banbury Street as well!”
The RNA’s awards are the only national literary prizes that recognise excellence in the genre of romantic fiction. RNA chair Alison May said: “The quality of the shortlists for the awards this year was breathtaking and the winning novels demonstrate the breadth and strength of romantic fiction.”
The Street of Broken Dreams, is published by Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus and is available in paperback and as an eBook download.