Sometimes you get to meet up for lunch with fellow authors, and you make a bit of an effort (unless you’re having lunch at their place and they have dogs/cats, in which case… well, if you have a dog or cat who’s affectionate and likes to sit on people’s laps – and, yes, my springer spaniel does do that if he thinks he can get away with it – you know what I mean). You basically go somewhere with good food, and talk and talk and talk. (Lizzie Lamb, Kate Jackson and Caroline Anderson, take a bow.)
But sometimes you get to REALLY dress up. It doesn’t happen that often. Lunch with editor, publisher party, conference (well, the gala dinner – the rest of the time I’m a scruff), awards ceremonies. (And I have to admit, the best bit for me is getting to see people in real life that I don’t see as often as I’d like to see.)
When it comes to glamour for romantic novelists, it’s all about the shoes. I have a confession: I let the side down. Badly. I possess five pairs of shoes, a good pair of running shoes, and some awesome purple spotty wellies. Authors like Shirley Jump have shoe wardrobes, all colour-coordinated (really – I was just so in awe!). Authors like Donna Alward and Jessica Hart have lots of sparkly shoes. (I’ll just link here to the HR authors’ shoe blog post so you can see what I mean.)
I do have two Pandora bracelets (one bead for every book sold or career milestone – that started when I won the RNA’s Romance Prize with my 25th M&B, Breakfast at Giovanni’s), and I have several Radley handbags, and that’ll do me on the glamour front :o)
It feels a bit like boasting, but it’s not meant to be – it’s a celebration of some of the (glamorous) high points of my career, and thank you to everyone who’s shared it with me – my family, my friends, and the readers I haven’t met but would be friends with if I did. (And thank you, too, to those who were there in the low points – this is real life as well as my dream, so there have been some fairly tough times as well as the high points.)
The launch of my first M&B at Ottaker’s in November 2002.
Winning the RNA Romance Prize in February 2008. (Photo courtesy of RNA.)
Being presented with my pin by Karin Stoecker for my 25th book in September 2007.
Being shortlisted for the RoNA Rose (formerly the Romance Prize) for the fourth time in February this year. (Here with the M&B authors - left to right Liz Fielding, Mary Nichol, Sarah Mallory, Fiona Harper, Caro Townend, Karin Stoecker (in red), Sharon Kendrick, me.)
In September, there’s another M&B party, and I’ll be presented with the pin for my 50th book. So there may be more pictures then…