Since Valerie Parv started calling Young home in 2011, we’ve claimed her as one of our own. And for good reason too.
The international best selling romance novelist has now joined the ranks of acclaimed Australian authors such as Tim Winton and Inga Clendinned after being awarded an Australian Society of Authors (ASA) Medal.
Valerie travelled to Melbourne on Saturday morning to accept the medal, presented only every two years, along with award-winning Sydney writer Nadia Wheatley.
The ASA Medal was established in 2003 to recognise outstanding contribution to the Australian writing community.
It also recognises authors’ support for other writers and the writing community.
“Anything awarded by your peers, that’s the greatest honour,” Valerie said, very surprised and thrilled at the announcement.
“It’s special because [ASA] services to writing and Australian culture and that means a lot to me,” she said.
Past winners of the award include Robert Pullan (2012), Hazel Edwards (2009), Glenda Adams (2007), Inga Clendinnen (2005), 2003 Tim Winton and Anita Heiss (under 35).
The medal is fashioned from mother of pearl (guan) and silver, designed by indigenous designer Darrell Sibosado and crafted by Garry Sibosado.
The design represents Mirrloord “the olive python” from the stories of the Bard people of Lombadina on the Dampier Peninsula in the West Kimberleys, 300 kms north of Broome.
It’s hardly surprising Valerie has been anointed Australia’s “Queen of Romance” with more than 70 romance fiction novels to her name and 29 million copies sold worldwide.
She is the first Australian writer to receive a Pioneer Award from RT Book Reviews, New York, for her contributions to the field of romance writing.
She also proudly serves as an Australia Day ambassador.
Valerie’s practical guide to the genre, The Art of Romance Writing (Allen & Unwin 1993, 2004) was voted the most useful book on writing in a poll of members of Romance Writers of Australia.
She held Australia’s first romance writing workshop in 1988, which led to the founding of Romance Writers of Australia, and she has been a member ever since.
In 1999 Romance Writers of Australia established the Valerie Parv Award in her honour.
Valerie mentors the winner during the year of their award, and nearly all past winners have been successfully published.
Last year marked a year of firsts for the prolific author who celebrated the 30th anniversary of the publication of her first novel, began writing on her first screenplay for a movie and released her latest title Birthright as an e-book.
Valerie is currently finishing her Beacon trilogy, which includes Birthright, book two Earthbound to be published this year and book three Homeworld.
She’s also writing an original romantic suspense screenplay in three parts at the request of Sydney producer, Richard Bradley.