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Sunday, September 25, 2005

London

On Firday, I w ent to my first Mills and Boon Author day. It was absolutely lovely.
First I was rescued out side the RAF club by Natasha Oakley and Trish Wylie. As we walked into the crowded room full of very famous people, I was very pleased to see Kate Hardy who introduced me to my very lovely editor. Kate is a marvellous person who really encouraged me when I first decided to start being serious about my writing.
At lunch I sat next to the thoroughly lovely Caroline Anderson. They did a shuffle the places and I had my pudding next to Sophie Weston and Lucy Gordon. Both of whom are ever so friendly. I got to chat to fellow historical writers Nicola Cornick and Louise Allen.
Then my editor took me off for a cup of tea before the reception along with Paula Marshall. You must have reservations for the Ritz five weeks in advance! The very nice frock coated gentleman pointed this out. The Ritz now does five sittings for tea starting at 11:30 in the morning. How that consitutes tea, I don't know. So we went to a little tea shop on the corner and had a lovely time talking about the NapoleonicWar and history in general. It was gently pointed out that I did not have to be a sober and diligent author, and therefore should drink champagne. Because of my nervousness, I had not dared touch the wine at lunch. I decided that I was pretty safe following my editor's and Paula's advice.
After getting lost (ever so slightly) we arrived at the reception at the same time as a group of editors from M&B. It was absolutely lovely to be able to put faces to names. I was really pleased to meet the rest of the historical team -- Jo Carr and Maddie Rowe. Jo had shoes to die for on. And Maddie had the most wonderful silver sort of cardigan on. They have all seen the cover of Gladiator's Honour and apparently, it is really good. Emily Rushton among others told me that.
I can't wait to see it.
Gladiator's Honour (Honor) will be in retail in the US -- second half of 2006 (September?) but I had several glasses of champagne at that point. Pictures are on Kate Hardy and Julie Cohen's blog. They were taken rather later in the evening.
There was a lovely toast and a presentation of Jessica Hart's Rita and Lucy Gordon's Reader's Choice award as well as several milestone awards for huge number of books written. The whole team spirit was fantastic. Rather than just a detached author writing a book, I really felt like I was a welcome part of the whole enterprise. A really nice feeling.
I was so pleased to see Julie Cohen who just is wonderful.

After Biddy picked us up, we went to an Italian restaurant and drank more fizzy stuff, plus had a great meal.We then stayed up very late talking which was fun. Luckily I remembered from my mis-spent youth about taking two paracetmol after drinking champagne to avoid a bad head in the morning. And I didn't suffer.
Biddy has a fantastic caff right near her flat. Think Withnail and I. Very old fashioned and popular with cabbies and builders. I had the set breakfast with real fried tomatoes, and thick builder's tea. The man in pink had a fantastic voice. he managed to look good even pouring the tea. And was very polite.
I then travelled back up to Newcastle where my dh and youngest picked me up.

4 comments:

Kate Hardy said...

Michelle, it was lovely to see you too - and I'm so glad I finally got to give you that congratulatory hug for your Gladiator book in person! The first one is always the scary one. I was lucky in that I got sat next to Kate Walker, who took me under her wing. Next time, you'll find you know everyone and suddenly these famous people are your friends... and you're one of them. (It's a weird feeling but rather nice. Especially after the champagne, vbg.)

Julie said...

Champagne always helps. :-D

Nell Dixon said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Just the tonic you needed.

Donna Alward said...

INSANELY JEALOUS.

But living vicariously through you. And so very proud of you for earning that invitation.

I spent the weekend fantasizing about attending one myself someday and getting tipsy on champagne with you and Julie and Biddy. It was a nice fantasy. LOL