July flew past – I can’t believe its August already!
At the beginning of July, I went back to the writing class run by Sue Johnson which I attended for many years, but this time as a speaker. It felt a little surreal and almost like a graduation for me as a published author.
I attended the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference. This year it was in Leeds and started with a road trip with Janice Preston and Lynn Forth – always a treat. The conference, as usual, was superbly organised by Jan Jones and her helpers. I arrived on Thursday and so was able to help with greeting new arrivals on Friday morning. It is always interesting to put real life faces to the names you follow on Facebook and Twitter.
The most memorable workshops I attended were:-
- Sue Moorcroft talking with her agent about becoming a bestselling author
- Alison May giving invaluable tips about editing your manuscript
- Nicola Cornick in conversation with one of my author heroines, Barbara Erskine
- Liam Livings and Virginia Heath in a hilarious, but very useful look at writing sex scenes.
The social time at conference is fun and I was particularly happy to socialise with the Choc Lit and Ruby girls and to meet for the first time, Caroline James, Carol Thomas, Angela Barton and Marie Laval. In another first – I was able to see one of my books on the conference book sales table.
I’d hardly caught up on sleep when I was speaking at Coombs Wood Book Club in Old Hill, Staffordshire about my debut novel “The Girl on the Beach” which, in a first for me, they had kindly set for one of their monthly reads.
The book club leader had made contact from my Facebook author page and in a spooky turn of fate, they meet in the same road where my three times great grandfather was living when he died in 1870. A unique opener to the talk!
I will admit to being a little apprehensive, but they all appeared to have enjoyed the book, some even surprised to have done so and were interested in why I wrote it, how it got to be published and what I am doing in the future. The question that touched my heart was when one gentleman asked if I would be writing any more about Nick Crossten, one of my teenage characters, an artist in “The Girl on the Beach”. I was happy to report that Nick is one of the main characters in Book 4 which I’m just finishing.
Also in July, I did a talk and book signing at The Chocolate Deli in Worcester. Thank you to owner Lisa, who has been a great supporter of my writing. Little son came along to carry the bags and help me which was much appreciated.
Maybe this is an appropriate time to mention that my third book, currently titled “Christmas in Borteen Bay” will be published in November 2018. I’m working on the publisher edits for this novella right now.