Entertainment & Arts

Jackie Collins wins outstanding achievement book award

Jackie Collins
Image caption Collins has sold more than 400 million books in 40 countries across the world.

Jackie Collins has picked up the outstanding achievement prize at this year's Galaxy National Book Awards.

The author's career spans four decades and she has sold more than 400 million books in 40 countries across the world.

"It is always nice to have your work recognised," she said.

Dawn French won the fiction book of the year at the London ceremony for A Tiny Bit Marvellous while Caitlin Moran won the non-fiction prize for How To Be A Woman.

Collins' most recent novel, Goddess of Vengeance, debuted at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list in April.

"I am a storyteller who is passionate about what I do, so thank you to everyone and keep reading," she said.

Dawn French, whose book tells the story of of a modern family "lurching towards meltdown", said she was "equally gobsmacked and delighted".

"Not too shabby considering I'm still not 100% sure where the apostrophe should go," she added.

Times columnist Caitlin Moran's "part memoir, part rant" beat Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe, which dominated the bestseller lists all summer, to the non-fiction award.

"Brian Cox may have the Wonders of the Universe to play with, I had the contents of my bra and pants and, ultimately, they were obviously the more mysterious and awesome," she said.

Veteran author Alan Hollinghurst was named UK author of the year for country house novel The Stranger's Child.

He beat Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and this year's Booker winner Julian Barnes to the prize.

Public vote

Emma Donoghue's novel Room was named paperback of the year.

Image caption Dan Stevens narrated winning audio book My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, by Louisa Young

And newcomer SJ Watson beat competition from crime fiction heavyweights including Martina Cole to win crime and thriller of the year for Before I Go To Sleep.

There were also prizes for Claire Tomalin's acclaimed biography of Charles Dickens while Jennifer Egan won international author of the year for A Visit From the Goon Squad.

Simon Hopkinson's The Good Cook won the food and drink award, Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls won the children's book prize and Sarah Winman was named new writer of the year, for When God was a Rabbit.

For the first time this year an audio book category was included.

The accolade went to Louisa Young for her World War I novel, My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, narrated by Dan Stevens from ITV's Downton Abbey.

All the award recipients will now compete for the Galaxy Book of the Year award.

Members of the public can vote for their favourite and the winner will be announced on 21 December.

Last year's winner was David Nicholls for his novel One Day.

It went to become the biggest selling paperback of 2011.

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