Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hazel is shortlisted with the greats

Our local author Hazel Gaynor is a little over the moon at the moment thanks to being short-listed for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards, writes Brian Byrne.

Her novel ‘The Girl from the Savoy’ has been listed among the six contenders in the Popular Fiction Category, sponsored by the Irish Independent, and the winners of each category will be announced at a Gala Dinner on 16 November in the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Dublin.

Hazel is in really strong company in her category — her fellow contenders are Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, Cecelia Ahern, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Emily Hourican, and Graham Norton.

The public can vote in the Awards by going online and registering for their favourite books in each category, and the results of this will be taken into consideration in the final choice by the books industry panel of judges.

The winners of each category will then be in the final for the overall Award which will be announced some weeks later.

“I’m absolutely overwhelmed,” Hazel told the Diary yesterday. “I’ve known for two weeks but there was an embargo on the news until the release came out yesterday. I’m so thrilled and so proud to have my book amongst just six in the category, from all the books that have been published this year.”

‘The Girl from the Savoy’ is Hazel’s third novel, and immediately jumped into the Irish Times best seller lists when it was published here in June. “It’s really flying also in the US, and in the UK where it was released in September, it’s also going very well.”

The story is about a maid in the Savoy Hotel in London whose big ambition is to be a stage star. Apart from any possible movie offers, which would be really exciting, Hazel confided that her secret dream is to see it on the stage as a musical. “Of course, that’s no longer a secret now that I’ve told you,” she laughed.