Yesterday was the Swoon with Boon event at the Stockton Central Library to help celebrate the refurbishment of the library. The library looks wonderful with the books in pride of place. The other speaker was the great Sara Craven. Sara's first book was published in 1976. She had been a journalist in Stockton before that but now lives in the Midlands.
When I was at university, and later when I first came to the UK, Sara was one of my go to authors. There was just something about her heroes. So it was a fantastic opportunity for me to hear her speak and generally chat with her.
Sara Craven is wonderfully witty and the entire evening was a joy.
Given how much I love my editor, I now know to be worried if she takes me out somewhere really and truly posh as according to Sara they tend to do that when you are being shifted to another editor. Although her last lunch with her editor was at the Ivy, just because. She currently adores her editor and was more than a bit apprehensive but her editor soon put her at ease.
I loved hearing about Alan Boon and her first editor, the legendary Frances Whitehead, and the past as well as her extensive reading list as a child. It somewhat mirrored my own. Sara chose her pen name (in those days most M&B authors had pen names plus she was a journalist) in part because of her deep love for The Secret Garden. I happen to love this book and one of the reasons we bought our current house was the garden gave me the feel of a secret garden, waiting to be brought to life again.
Several in the audience said that they had never read a M&B, although their mother in laws were avid readers and because of the talk, they were now tempted to have a go. One lady was very intrigued by my Vikings.
I came back home thoroughly refreshed and ready to really push forward with my current Viking.