Sunday, September 23, 2012

50th party blog guest - Anna Cleary

I met Anna Cleary through an author loop. Although we haven’t actually met in person (because she’s in Aus and I’m here in the UK), when we do, the world will have to look out because we will so be putting it to rights! Actually, I can think of our ideal itinerary. Breakfast in Venice. Lunch in Rome (or maybe Paris?). Dinner in Vienna (followed by a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh). There will be ice cream. There will be chocolate. There will be lots of talking and laughing – and definitely music, because Anna understands my nerdy classical music side. Actually, I’m going to out her, because she’s done one of the nicest things ever for me: when my hearing loss got a bit worse, last year, and I was whining post-appointment about needing a second hearing aid and I might never hear Beethoven properly again, this box arrived. I was expecting a delivery for something else, so I just signed for the box… and then I realized said box was from Fortnum & Mason. I opened it to discover the nicest dark chocolates I’ve ever, ever, ever had. That was Anna sending me a hug from the other side of the world, with a card telling me that once I was used to the new hearing aids I’d really enjoy Beethoven again. (And only a writer would quite get why Beethoven’s important to my work.)

Anyway. Over to Anna:

Thanks for the invite, Kate. (Waving, and big grin from Australia)

Congratulations Kate on reaching your amazing milestone of FIFTY books for Mills &Boon in such an astonishingly short time.

I first met Kate online when I joined the Modern Extra girls, who morphed with dizzying speed into the Modern Heat girls and then whirled into the Riva girls.

Some of us were green. Well, let’s be honest. I was green. Green, naive, and wet behind the ears. And I may not have been the only one.

From the first Kate was our friend and often our auntie. Always helpful to newbies bamboozled by the twists and turns of the publishing world, she shared all she had to give. So warm and wise, so generous.
I appreciated all this about her then as now, but it’s her ability to laugh until she’s helpless and her stomach hurts that really draws me to her. I love a good deep laugh myself!

So much about Kate strikes a chord with me. Apart from the fact that she’s brilliant, witty and erudite; loves history, Shakespeare and music; adores dogs; makes scintillating little visits to Europe from time to time and writes half a dozen wonderful books a year, she raises amazing kids, takes her gorgeous hubby ballroom dancing, and can cook like an angel!

I haven’t met her in the actual flesh yet, but I’m hoping to. Look out Norwich. I’m on my way.

Since I’m here, I may as well mention a small Modern publication of mine that adorned the bookshelves for a fleeting time in the summer. It has a bit of everything in it— music, romance and passion, with a soupçon of heartbreak thrown in.

They called it Keeping Her Up All Night. It kept me up more than one night writing it, let me assure you!

I have a couple of copies to give away for anyone who’d care to risk it, so if you’d like to leave a comment I’ll be delighted to pop them in the mail!

You can find out more about Anna at her website or talk to her on Facebook at


marybelle said...

It's more than wonderful when established writers extend a welcoming hand. As a reader it makes my heart glad. I don't know how else to say it.

Caroline said...

"I have a couple of copies to give away for anyone who’d care to risk it." Funny! I'll "risk it" for a Presents any day ;o) Caroline x

anna cleary said...

Marybelle, you've said it very well! Kate makes my heart glad on many and many a day!

Caroline,let me know where to send it and I'll pop one in the mail!


Robyn Grady said...

Anna, you can't imagine how envious I feel studying those gorgeous pictures! I must meet you daughter one day =)
Congrats on your latest release

anna cleary said...

Thank you Robbie. You can tell I'm a bit of an Italophile, can't you? I think it's the music as much as anything that thrills me about that country. And the drama, the passion and the romance, of course!
The history, the art, the people... Risotto a la Milanese... Italiano heroes...Pinot grigio...

You'll be going there yourself soon, Robbie, and posting your own lovely pics. I'm looking forward to seeing them!


Desere said...

It makes my heart much more than glad,I am totally delighted at the thought is is simply wonderful! As for risking it ..Anna for your books any day any time any place no matter the risk your books rule !

Thank you very very very much for the fabulous opportunity to win your book!

bn100 said...

Very sweet post.

Sharon Archer said...

Lovely post, Anna! I hope you get to meet Kate... actually I hope we both do! It'd be awesome, wouldn't it!

anna cleary said...

Desere,you're a winner! All you lovely winners, please go to my website, click the contacts page where you'll be able to write to me privately with your address details so I can wth great pleasure send you a book!


anna cleary said...

Sharon,I can imagine that fabulous day. How about we both go! WE'll take Kate to Carluccio's for lunch!

PS I'm being pretty well tested here by captcha. Its a miracle I made it through the last post!

Eli Yanti said...

isn't it a completely great thing between music, romance and passion :)

Hope you and Kate can meet soon and trustly i'm so excited about your reunion :)

Desere said...

Oh my gosh thank you sooooo much this is incredible ! I have sent the email with my details thank you again so much!

anna cleary said...

Eli, it absolutely is! And I'm sure hoping to meet Kate in the flesh one day soon. Maybe in Rome, Paris or Vienna as she suggests. (Soon after we win the lottery) Meanwhile, I'll keep meeting her online!

Thanks for dropping by!

aretha zhen said...

woww your book sounds great!thx for the giveaway:)

Natalija said...

Greetings from Italy, Anna!
It's a pity your books aren't available in Italy. I have heard great things about "Keeping Her Up All Night".

P.S. Loved the Spanish kindle cover for "The Italian Next Door".

Natalija said...

Greetings from Italy, Anna!
It's a pity your books aren't available in Italy. I have heard great things about "Keeping Her Up All Night".

P.S. Loved the Spanish kindle cover for "The Italian Next Door".

Kate Hardy said...

Winners chosen for ‘Keeping Her Up All Night’ – Desere and Caroline (Anna, bless her, has sorted this out for me…) Thanks for taking part!