Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kate’s 25th party, guest blogger #25 – Fiona Harper

You know I said yesterday that Anne was my last guest? Happily, it wasn’t true! My final guest has just come back from America. She was going to do me a post before she went away, but due to deadlines and going to her first RWA conference (as a double Rita nominee, no less) she ran out of time. However, being a total sweetheart, she emailed me yesterday. ‘I haven’t forgotten your blog post…’ So I do indeed have 25 guests to celebrate 25 books – thanks to Fiona Harper for making it the magic number. (And if you want to know more about her adventures in Dallas, go to her blog.)

And yes, I met Fiona Harper at a party. Actually, the first time I met her, it was at the RNA Awards Lunch last year, and as I was one of the nominees for the Romance Prize I was a bit rabbit-in-headlights and I can’t remember a single conversation I had. I know she was sitting on my table, but that’s all I can tell you about that first meeting! I made up for it on the second – at said party, when we had a cup of tea together before the author lunch and compared PDAs (she’d told me about hers a couple of weeks before and I had a case of instant lust – so it’s all her fault I have this dinky piece of kit in my handbag). Unlike Fiona, I don’t have the flashy fold-out keyboard to go with it, but the PDA is just perfect for library research. And Fiona was also brilliant when I quizzed her about the voice dictation software she’d bought and whether it worked better than it did when I last used a similar system, ten years ago. (It does. I’m sold.) Given that she also shares a love of Suzanne Vega’s music with me, not to mention a love of chocolate (and I didn’t even MENTION the w-word… which has four letters and in my case is preferably New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) I would say she’s a Thoroughly Bad Influence. (And I like her books. A lot.)

So here’s Fiona:

I first met Kate online not long after I’d sold to M&B’s newly revamped ‘Romance’ line. I also was a bit of a fan-girl and sent her an email after reading Her Honourable Playboy. [Edit from Kate: and I was so thrilled to get it. Like most authors, I suffer from Impostor Syndrome.]

There was a bit of a funny story attached to me reading that particular book. I like to read in the tub – probably the only place I get any peace and quiet – and I had sunk into a hot bath just before school pick-up time one afternoon with Kate’s book in my damp little fingers. Anyway, the ending had me engrossed and made me cry hard and, by the time I was finished, I had to clamber into some clothes and sprint to the playground to pick up my girls.

It wasn’t until I got home and glanced in the mirror that I had huge dark circles under my eyes from where I’d cried my mascara off reading the final few chapters of Kate’s book. I hold her entirely responsible for me going out in public with the biggest panda eyes in history.

Anyway, I forgave her. I’m sure I’m not the only one she’s reduced to a snivelling wreck in the 25 books she’s managed to write. So, congratulations, Kate! May you boost waterproof mascara sales the world over!

GIVEAWAY: For my giveaway I’m offering a copy of ‘Break Up to Make Up’, my August release, and a Fiona Harper pen as well.

GIVEAWAY QUESTION: Well, since I seem to be my own Bridget Jones-type disaster area most of the time, I’d like to hear about some of your embarrassing moments. The one that tickles me the most will get the prize!


Becky said...

I was on my way to a very important appointment. One of those get all dressed up in a nice pant suit and high heels kind of thing. I was wearing 6 inch white high heeled shoes and a pearly white pants suit. Well on my way to the appointment I was walking down an alley and stepped on a man-hole cover and my heel got stuck in one of it's holes and I stood there yanking on it to get it free. Meanwhile I have a car coming up the alley and a car coming down the alley straight for me and I still can't get my shoe out. Suddenly I hear foot steps behind me and a guy comes up behind me to help me get my heel unstuck. Just as he was about to bend down to help my heel came out, but it broke. The actual heel of the shoe flew and hit the windshield of the car coming up the alley and the rest of my foot and shoe came back and hit the poor guy below the belt, right where it hurts. He immediately fell to the ground and I check to make sure he's ok. He I turn back to the owner of the car to apologize and he just stares at me like I'm some kind of freak. I ask him what's wrong and he says look at the croch of your pants. I look down and wouldn't you know it, it's red. What an inopportuned time to get my period. I gave the owner my phone # for damages and finally the guy I kicked got up. He looked at me and saw my problem and says "let's go to my office and see if anyone can help you." He ends up leading me to the building that I'm supposed to go to for my appointment only to find out that the guy I kicked is the same guy who supposed to be interviewing me and the CEO of the company I was going to work for. Needs I say anything else?

AA said...

OMG Becky - if that 'aint a good start to a romance novel I dont know what is!!!!

I have something really embarasing that Kate knows about and it involves my first online e-harl party with the med girls. I was having trouble logging on because I'm soooo techno dumb and my DH who is a geek was helping. He typed a VERY inappropriate comment to demonstrate how it worked and I thought I'd deleted it but when I went to check it had been posted. To the ENTIRE world!!!!
I was mortified. I think I got it off before anyone else saw it.
A few of the med authors husbands thought it was hilarious.
I was NOT amused.

Amy Andrews

Kate Hardy said...

Becky, I agree with Amy.

And LOL, Amy - I remember that one. My husband was in hysterics because it was EXACTLY what he would've done... :oD)))

(that's me laughing my chins off)

I'll fess up to one of mine - which actually became part of the opening to The Heart Consultant's Lover. I'm rubbish at parking. And I was doing a series of presentations for the company I worked for (about electronic marketing). The car parking in the hotel where I was speaking was so tight, it was untrue. So either I could get stressed about parking the hire car and worrying that I was going to scrape it, or I could do something really really unfemininst...

So, next guy who drives in, I hop out of my car. 'Would you do me a huge favour and park my car for me, please?' This guy (sadly, no, NOT an M&B hero type - about 30 years too old, 50 lbs too heavy and 6 inches too short) was very sweet and did so. It made him feel wonderful, it got my car parked without being scraped... and guess who was sitting in the front row of my presentation? (I turned it into a joke: said that marketing was a hell of a lot easier than parking a car!)

(And as for my heroine... guess who parked her car for her??)

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Fiona!

I'm just popping in to say hello. I got to meet you in Dallas, but didn't have near enough time to talk or get to know you. Hope we can meet again in the future.

I have so many embarrassing moments to choose from, it's really difficult. I sometimes wonder how I manage to make a fool out of myself so often.

One time, when my kids were still young, I went to the market. We had bought our first Van which was humongous. I still hadn't mastered driving it, and when it was time to leave the parking lot I drove over a curb and managed to get the front wheel stuck. My kids were mortified and hid way in the back of the Van when I went to get some help from a market guy who gave me the "Typical Woman Driver" look.

They didn't show their heads again until we were safely home!

Again, it was so nice to meet you. Wasn't it fun dancing at the Harlequin party?

India said...

I've got lots and lots, but the time I went to a nursery school coffee morning, devoured a particularly wonderful piece of millionaires shortbread and spent ten minutes chatting to the teacher with huge smudge of chocolate across my cheek does stick in my mind...

ChristyJan said...

Several years ago I worked as a teacher's assistant at a local grade school. At the time I wore my hair quite long and straight. One afternoon after school I had it cut to about shoulder length and in lots of layers. It was really cute (I thought), and a whole different look for me...much fuller and bouncier with all the different layers. The next day at school I was in the lunch room and walking from one end to the next to get in line, when I heard a voice yell: "Ms Hawks! Ms Hawks!" At this point everyone quit talking (children and teachers alike) and looked in my direction. Then the same little voice yelled out: "YOU FORGOT TO COMB YOUR HAIR!!!!!"

Fiona Harper said...

Oooh! I've never been a Bad Influence before. How else can I corrupt you, kate?

robynl said...

Me, my friend and her teenage son stopped for gas on the way to the drive-in. When leaving I had to back out of the parking lot and next thing you know I can't proceed forwards. Unable to figure this out the boy gets out and finds out that I have backed over a concrete parking space divider. Go figure!!! We didn't even notice it when it happened so were very unaware of the happening. He picked up the back end of the car and we were on our way with a very embarrassed driver, I might add. We had a good laugh over it.

Ina said...

Embarrassing..well, here’s one..I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women’s type I had been using. After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, “I think I like playing with men’s balls.” and they all just burst out laughing..LOL