Archive for the ‘RNA’ Category




party and blog

Filed under: friends, RNA

On Wednesday I celebrated the publication of my friend Nina Harrington‘s first Mills & Boon Romance, Always The Bridesmaid. We convened in a suitably bookish place and Nina looked very glamorous in her fascinator, surrounded by balloons and brand-new sparkling copies of her book:

Nina Harrington

We drank fizz, ate cakes, and generally had a brilliant time. Congratulations, Nina!

In other news, the Romantic Novelists’ Association has started up its own blog, with details of the latest books, and glimpses into favourite authors’ lives. A great resource for any reader or writer.






Filed under: about me, friends, RNA

Because I wrote 10,000 words this week (!!!!I rule!!!!) I’m rewarding myself by having today off, while the husband looks after the Fecklet. Providentially, it’s also the day of a Romantic Novelists’ Association meeting in London, so I am going to spend the day being A Lady Novelist with lots of my Lady Novelist mates. I’m meeting my friend Claire at the station to travel to London. It’s her first time at the New Cavendish Club and I know she will love it, being in a room with so many like-minded people. It’s such a pleasure to look forward to introducing your friends to your other friends.

The topic for this afternoon is “Getting the Most Out of Your Publicist” and I will be storing up information like crazy.

And Biddy reminded me that she and I met at a spring RNA meeting at the New Cav, six years ago! It’s hard to believe it was that long ago, and that short a time ago, too. Since then we’ve spoken to each other in some way nearly every day. She reads all my books before I send them to my editor and she is thanked at the beginning of every one. And all of that started by her getting me horrendously, droolingly drunk on white wine, six years ago!

Joining the RNA was really one of the best things I have ever done. I’m feeling all misty-eyed about it.

I might have a glass or two of white wine with Biddy this afternoon to celebrate. In fact, I predict that by 6 pm I will be hugging everyone in sight, saying, “I love you, man.”





RNA awards lunch

Filed under: RNA, social life?

Oh, man, do I love the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Not only have they given me some of my best friends, and helped me hugely in my writing career, but they also really know how to throw a party.

After a frantic wardrobe consultation in the Starbucks across the street, Biddy and I strolled over the red carpet into the Kensington Garden Hotel yesterday morning to attend the RNA awards lunch. Because it was absolutely freezing, Biddy and I had to duck into the mirrored labyrinth of the ladies’ room to shed some layers and change into more suitable tights and shoes. Of course half the RNA, resourceful ladies that they are, were doing exactly the same thing. Mary Z, for example, turned up in perfectly ordinary clothes and then proceeded to pull the most gorgeous blue satin outfit out of her bag. I half-expected her to pull out a coat rack, a la Mary Poppins.

Then it was champagne all round in the foyer, meeting old friends and new ones, chatting with editors and my agent, and then we were called in to lunch. The tables were decorated with black candlabras and red and black ostrich feathers, but more impressive was the sight of a couple hundred romantic novelists dressed in their finest. This being the year of the Credit Crunch, conversations focused around the topic of how cheaply we got our outfits…two novelists, who shall remain nameless, found their fabulousness at Asda and Primark, a certain RVA VIP had picked up the most gorgeously sophisticated red shoes at M&S, and I personally was wearing a gold linen sale bargain.

Fortunately my agent was wearing an ivory silk blouse that probably cost millions and I believe my editor had just stepped off the catwalk in Milan.

The wine flowed and the food was delicious, and talking to other authors, I found to my great relief that a) every writer has lots of doubts and struggles, even if they are mega-bestsellers, and b) novelists will always admit that their spouses have a rough deal.

Then the awards were announced. The Romance Prize shortlist were all friends, and I was happy when the lovely India Grey was the winner (go read her speech on her blog). I have to admit that I hadn’t read the shortlist for the Romantic Novel award, but I was intrigued by all of them and I’m going to the library this weekend to pick up or order the lot of them, including East of the Sun by Julia Gregson, which won.

After the lunch, we made our way to the pub across the street where we took over the front room like a flock of beautifully-plumed wine-swilling exotic birds, and thence to dinner with Vicky, Gemma, Pia and a very nice Canadian woman who I realised very late on was Susanna Kearsley, one of the authors shortlisted for the main award. Caught the late train home and a taxi and poured myself into bed.

I might be a tiny little wee bit hungover today. Just a little bit. But it was worth it.


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