I went, I saw, I ogled, I gushed.
The venue for the Mills and Boon author’s lunch was at Browns Brasserie on St Martins Lane, just around the corner from Leicester Square tube station. I arrived in London early, and since this area was new to me, spent a brilliant 20 mins wandering around China town and the excellent book shops and antiquarian shops on Charing Cross Road and the lanes in the area.
When I walked through the door at Browns, I truly felt that I was with friends. Lots of hugs and congrats from Michelle Styles, Kate Hardy, India Grey, Kate Walker, Fiona Harper, Natalie Rivers, Natasha Oakley, Sarah Morgan, Roger Sanderson and so many others I will be guilty of name dropping.
AND Best of all, these gals then introduced me as the latest member of the gang to the established authors whose work I admire, including Michelle Reid, Sharon Kendrick, Natalie Anderson [ who had come from New Zealand], Trish Morey [from Australia] and Heidi Rice, but there were so many to chat to, the time flew.
I ogled and tried not to be a fangirl – and failed miserably.
It was fantastic to meet ladies who up to this point I knew by name and website/blog. Virtual friends became real people who were only too happy to share tips and ideas and enthusiasm.
The lunch was held in the old Courthouse at Browns, and they had kept the judge’s chair and bar! I was lucky enough to chat to Sophie Weston and Mills and Boon executive Sarah Ritherdon during the meal, which was followed by presentations from Senior Management at Mills and Boon, Richmond. The work this team gets through is amazing! I was full of admiration for the 100th anniversary media and event success. One theme emerged very clearly – this is not a company who relies on past success. Developments in digital technology and e-book downloads are right on trend. Sarah even allowed me to stroke her Sony E-book reader!
I am totally with the team on this one – I have used the E-Harlequin E-book service to download books onto my pc using Adobe Digital, and it is excellent – and I paid 7 dollars for 2 of Ally Blake’s books, which is brilliant value at the current exchange rate. I know that not everyone likes reading books on the screen, but it works for me. I will keep checking back on the Mills and Boon site to see when the system launches in the UK.
After a brief fresh air walk in the weak sunshine I was back to meet Julie Cohen, Jan Jones and an extra contingent of writers for the Mills and Boon editors’ Toast to the Authors which began at 4.30.
Fantastic! I finally got to meet in person the lady who read my manuscript, loved it – even though she was a bit teary at the end- and who I have been working with to make it happen – it was great to meet you in person Carly! The enthusiasm of Carly and the other editors for the genre, the stories and their committment to the readers is not something you can fake.
And I got to drink champagne with the editors in the process.
I had a great time.
Sorry about the gushing, but it was one of those ‘first time’ days which you can never repeat.
Now- back to the next book and work on Hero Archetypes. I think my next handsome boy is going to be a Professor-Warrior character who has his world turned upside down by a Free spirit nurturer. Kewl!
One last thing – I tip my hat to Nell Dixon who has introduced me to Sebastian. If you need a smile today – go to this site. Worth the time.