Monday, September 20, 2010

London, part 1

Current work: Capri medical romance
Listening to: Daughtry
Reading: (next on TBR)

Friday, had a good journey down (aka worked on the train) and arrived at the Charing Cross Hotel

where I met my fabulous friend Liz Fielding for coffee (and also met her gorgeous, gorgeous granddaughter). Then it was time for lunch. Lovely to see so many old friends and meet some new ones.

First, of course (because this is my blog and you know I'm a foodie), you'll expect to see pics of the scrumptious food: so here we go.

Marinated salmon, chicken wrapped in Parma ham with asparagus bundle and leek and rosemary compote, then lime cheesecake with raspberry coulis. All scrummy (particularly the potato - must ask how they did it as it was much nicer than any of the rare potatoes I've eaten in the last year).

It was lovely catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Sorry, I didn't get pics of everyone (probably because I was talking too much - and I might point out here that Natalie Rivers and Claire Thornton are bad influences because I went clothes-shopping yesterday afternoon, following their recommendations).

Excuse the shameless namedropping (I still find it hard to believe that I actually know these people and they're friends), but:

Sara Craven and India Grey:

Jennie Lucas and Lynn Raye Harris, all the way from the other side of the Atlantic:

Lynn and me:

Caroline Anderson and me: [this is one that would strike fear into our editor's heart because she'd be wondering just what we're planning, with wicked smiles like this - relax, O lovely ed, we're planning lunch and nagging each other on towards deadline. Really, really.]

Nina Harrington and Fiona Harper:

We had a talk from our MD, Mandy Ferguson (and I so owe her a pic of Richard Armitage, though sadly I didn't manage to persuade her that Antonio Banderas should be the cover model for my next book - I did try, dear readers, I did try).

Then I went for a cup of tea with my mate Caroline Anderson (discussing books and what have you, plus showing her the iPad) and then it was time for the author toast with our editorial director, Karin Stoecker. Three milestones to celebrate this year: Maggie Cox's 25th book; Sarah Morgan's 50th, and Catherine George's 75th.

After the do, I met Fi and Liz at Russell Square; sadly, Strada was being refurbished and was closed, so we went to Pizza Express instead. Although we weren't reminiscing about our student days, it was very like being students again, talking for ages about all kinds of subjects over pizza and wine. And (much as I adore my children and I do actually like my job) it was really nice to have a day when I wasn't chained to my desk or being Mummy.


Lacey Devlin said...

It looks like everyone had a fabulous time! Congrats to Maggie, Sarah and Catherine on their milestones! Thanks for the pictures Kate :)

susanwilson44 said...

I want to come! It looks fab and sounds like you had a brilliant time. Go on, tell us what you bought while clothes shopping - we won't tell your DH honest!
By the way have you read Caroline Storer's roman entry on the New Voices contest, it's fab.

Judy Jarvie said...

Fabulous. I love to live vicariously and your posts are terrific. So glad you had a brilliant time.

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Oh,Kate, I'm soooo jealous!

If I'd been within a metre of Sara Craven and India Grey *simultaneously* I think I might just have passed out.

Brilliant pics as always and so glad you had a wonderful time.

Lots of love,


Kate Hardy said...

Lacey - it's so nice to celebrate successes and give people much-needed hugs in person. And Natalie Rivers did a fab job of organising the do. It was great!

Kate Hardy said...

Susan - we all had SUCH a good time. It's like an RNA do, except I think M&B authors talk more *g*

DH was, cough, with me when I went clothes shopping. New skirt (is one of those crinkle-effect ones, black and white) and an unstructured fuschia-coloured jacket (matches my shiny pink shoes, so that'll be fun for next month's RNA lunch... and I reckon I can get away with wearing them next year at the RNA awards lunch, too. AND the skirt was in the sale).

Not been reading NV entries as last week was so pressured, but I will try to head over this week :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Judy - these glam moments are quite rare (on average 1 M&B do and 1 RNA lunch a year, plus the conf every other year when it's within a 4-hour drive of me) but it's lovely to be able to chat with fellow authors - I know there's email and the phone, but it's not the same thing at all. Definitely a highlight of the year :)

Kate Hardy said...

Rach - LOL! Honestly, India's a sweetheart and so is Sara. (And, given that she's incredibly bright, the last PROPER Mastermind champ - she's really approachable and not at all scary.)

The best thing is when you're sitting next to a really big name (especially if you don't realise it) and you discover they're utterly normal and lovely (well, as normal as writers get *g*). And then you get a bit star-struck and babble something along those lines, and the person you're talking to thinks it's utterly hilarious. (Caroline Anderson is never going to let me live down the 'what, THE Caroline Anderson' squeak from me on the phone. And I still tease India about what she said to me when I emailed her for the first time re a social event we were both going to *g*)

Romy said...

I so get wanting to be a grown up and not just a mommy! I've almost convinced myself that moments like those aren't selfish at all, but essential to our mental health.

Caroline said...

So glad you had a fab time! Caroline x

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Kate, thanks so much or sharing but I don't see your new shoes!

Also, my dreams have been of France and food, wine and love thanks to your incredible Chateau Lefevre series. xx