Monday, 12 September 2005

Well, we didn't win University Challenge - The Professionals. We were beaten by a Privy Council Office team who were that little bit quicker to the buzzer. Nonetheless we had enormous fun taking part. In putting up a team, the Romantic Novelists' Association was hoping to demonstrate that we romantic novelists are not the feather-boaed ladies of leisure that are so frequently portrayed in the media. I think that we achieved that quite convincingly.

Two million people watched our first round match. I don't know how many were watching this evening, but it may well have been boosted by team captain Catherine Jones' appearance on the Dermot O'Leary Show on Saturday on Radio 2. If you click on the "listen again" link, Catherine's bit is from about 15 to about 25 minutes into the show.

16 comments:

Alex Bordessa said...

Commiserations, Beau Bowden! I rather suspect at some point, both you and/or the RNA will have another bash at the title at some point.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was disappointed you didn't quite make it, especially as it meant we got only the most fleeting glimpse of your legs as you made your exit. I was counting on a good look when you got the trophy. I hadn't realised the coat was green; it looked very fine.

I'm trying to work out what it means that nearly all of your wrong guesses coincided with mine.

Still, the Ashes must be some compensation!

Anonymous said...

Sod it, blogger let me register as Harriet did not bat in the preview, then stripped it out when it published. But it was me.

Stephen said...

Thanks Alex - we are going to be taking part in the PEN Media-Biz Quiz in November, supplementing the quiz team with a few well-known names from among our membership, so this is not the last time we get to exercise our grey cells.

I guessed it was you, Harriet, before the explanation came in. If I had been offered a Faustian choice, between our winning the final and England winning the Ashes, the outcome would have been what happened today. This was great fun, and we had a good night on the town with the New Scientist team (we were wondering about getting in contact with the Hay Festival team and forming a "beaten by the Privy Council" club), but in the end the cricket is far more important.

Nell Dixon said...

I was on the edge of my seat and very impressed with you answering the maths question.

Harriet did not bat said...

Paxo was pretty impressed, too!

Harriet did not bat said...

Hm, worked that time.

By the way, a friend is wondering where the RNA stands on (a) ebooks, and (b) erotica?

Stephen said...

In the context of deciding whether you are a published author, and thus eligible to be a full member rather than a New Writer like me, the RNA doesn't count e-publication. The market for e-books in the UK is tiny, but it is growing, so at some point things may change. The RNA has nothing against e-publication, and quite a few of our members are e-published as well as traditionally published.

Quite a few RNA members write erotica - indeed the RNA's webmistress, Wendy Wootton, is a big seller in erotica.

Saskia said...

You did a fabulous job though, very proud of you all! The maths wizard question had us in total awe, and the Russ Meyer question will have us ribbing you for years. Teehee. ;-)

Harriet did not bat said...

Thanks, I'll pass that on to her.

Nell Dixon said...

The RNA does count e publishing. But to be a full member it has to be a novel or novella over 30K and work the same as any other reputable publisher i.e they pay you, you don't pay them. I sold to an e pub for my first sale and was given full membership on that although I've subsequently sold to a print publisher. Jenny and Nicola checked out the rules for me and checked up on my publisher. Hope that helps!

Stephen said...

Thank you for that correction Nell - I should have been more thorough in my checking.

As for Russ Meyer, Saskia, I'm sure I can come up with a perfectly respectable reason for having a thorough knowledge of his oeuvre. Just give me a few days to think one up...

Saskia said...

Ha! Have fun trying to find that perfectly respectable reason. ;-)

Anonymous said...

A reader comments: There is a gentleman of Stephen's acquaintance who, while at Cambridge, was particularly enthusiastic when any film with the word "Vixens" in it appeared at the Arts Cinema. I blame him (I got that question right too).

Stephen said...

Anselm, is that you? "Gentleman" is probably stretching a point, but it is good to see you visiting this corner of the Blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Why no, 'tis not Anselm, though you have correctly identified the "gentleman" !