News article from 2001

Pilcher Leads Romance Shortlist

Originally from   February 12, 2001

Pilcher, 75, is currently the bookies' favourite after the shortlisted eight books for the £5,000 prize-money was announced on Monday.

Also in the running is former winner Clare Chambers, 35, with Dry Spell and 28-year-old newcomer Vivien Kelly with her debut adventure Take One Young Man.

The winner will be announced on the 26 April at a ceremony at London's Savoy Hotel, hosted by broadcaster and author Alan Titchmarsh.

Alan Titchmarsh will present the award.

Pilcher, who is famous for titles such as The Shell Seekers and Coming Home, is the most experienced writer among the nominees.

Her book Winter Solstice has topped the book charts in the US and the UK.

It tells the story of a young woman who moves to an isolated house in Scotland after a personal tragedy and becomes a magnet for various waifs and strays.

The book's down-to-earth subject matter is typical of of the other shortlisted novels which also steer away from romantic stereotypes of handsome strangers and damsels in distress.