Thursday was the annual lunch for the Association of Mills and Boon Authors.
It was brilliantly organised – as always, but for the last time, by Mills and Boon Historical author Michelle Styles, who has written a great summary over at Tote Bags and Blogs.
For many of us authors it is a rare occasion to escape from our normal lives and be ” official authors” talking to our editors and enjoying the company of other writers who share our passion for Category Romance. So I think I have permission to name drop like crazy.
First to greet me at the door was the lovely Liz Fielding, who has welcomed me so warmly to the Romance Line, sitting next to Annie Burrows but we were soon joined by a flood of authors anxious to join the party and I apologise in advance that I was far too busy chatting to list all of their names and take their photos.
Some of those brave enough included:
Fellow Romance author Fiona Harper and Modern author Heidi Rice were pressganged into having their photo taken with me. No, I am not wearing my old Convent School gym slip – the dress is meant to look like that.
As for the daft grin? I am high on one Americano and the excitement and thrill of the moment. Alcohol followed shortly after – and I trust there are no photos to demonstrate how jazzed I can get on creme brulee and champagne.
Heidi shared the limelight with the wonderful and profilic Modern Heat and Medical author Kate Hardy and brand new Modern Author Lucy King who normally lives in sunny Jerez in Spain. I remember how bemused and befuddled I was last year at my first author’s lunch, but Lucy was very calm- just thrilled to be there.
It was totally brilliant to catch up with friends like Kate who I speak to most days in the virtual world of the web, but only see in person at RNA functions when our timetables cross.
And I could not resist being a total fangirl with two of the best known and popular writers of Mills and Boon – Sharon Kendrick and Kate Walker, who lowered themselves [ okay, they were squeezed into a corner and I collared them] to have their pic taken with a newbie come moi.
Both ladies looked tres glam and sophisticated and colourful compared to my black and white combo, but were terrfically kind and welcoming as always.
I must have talked to dozens of friends old and new over lunch and drinks, and I was particularly thrilled to meet Carole Mortimer (150 books) and Margaret Mayo (75 books) who were honoured in a small presentation.
The very idea of having written 150 books makes my head spin!
This is a great occasion to talk to my editor and senior management from Mills and Boon who came to celebrate the global success of the brand.
Several hours later I made my way back to the train station totally hoarse with aching feet and a head full of info, gossip and ideas having had a fab time.
Mills and Boon truly are a family. It is a continual delight to be part of it and occasions like this make me realise just how far I personally have come in the last 12 months since receiving the call and also how humbling it is.
Now. On with the show… 150 books…. Ummm.