Girls’ Night In and Let’s Talk About Love

The Choc Lit authors Girls’ Night In at Waterstone’s, Bury St Edmunds on Thursday was a great success. Thanks to everybody in the audience – it was a sell out!

You can see me, here, doing my bit. Chris Stovell’s lovely husband was kind enough to do the photograph (thanks, Tom!) and they sent me several photos of me in full flood. I hadn’t realised what extraordinary faces I pull when talking.

You can read more about the whole event  at the Choc Lit Authors blog.

Last night, for the second time, I joined the Let’s Talk About Love group, this time at Gants Hill Library, Essex. I love panel events because you can chat amongst yourselves and make the audience laugh and it ends up being more of a ‘cuppa and a chat’ event than a ‘oh no! I’ve got to speak!’ event. The audience were initially shy with their questions but then made up for it with questions such as ‘Don’t you miss your characters when you’ve finished a book?’ (‘Yes!’) And, ‘Would you like your books made into films?’ (‘Yes!’)

Jean Fullerton ably chaired, and fellow panellists were Sheila Norton/Olivia Ryan, Heidi Rice and fellow Choc Lit author, Juliet Archer.

Thanks to Nick and the Gants Hill Library staff for making us welcome.

BUT, here comes the whinge  – nothing to do with the library or event – is the new parking arrangements at my home town railway station. The  car park used to have the system where you paid for your ticket when you left your car. Now they’ve changed it to paying on foot when you return, at the end of your travel. In some ways, it’s a good idea because I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been worried about missing my train yet had to queue for a ticket before I could leave. But when I got back to the station last night at nearly midnight, one machine wasn’t working at all and the other had decided to decline credit cards. So I was messing around with this thing, late at night, on my own, the station no longer manned – and I couldn’t get my car out!
It was horrid.  At first I didn’t realise that it was only the credit card aspect that wasn’t working,  until a guy came gasping up. He’d gone back to his car to scrabble around for change because of the machine declining cards and had still come up 20p short. I gave him 20p and he showed me that the cash part was still functional, so I was able to get the car out eventually. Phew.
And where they’ve placed the machines that take your ticket, ie at the barriers as you drive in and out, they’re on the inside of a curve, which means it’s really difficult to get close enough to reach through the window without kerbing your alloys. (An offence punishable by divorce, in my family.)
In fact, leaving – me being short and having a sore shoulder – I had to open the car door a bit to reach. This can’t be a safe situation for a woman travelling alone late at night!
So I came home muttering and cussing.
And I really feel like writing to East Midlands Trains about it.
But I have work to do. 🙂


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4 responses to “Girls’ Night In and Let’s Talk About Love

  1. My sympathies, Sue, the long stay car park at York station has the same system, (although the station is permanently manned) and I always wonder about the wisdom of solo women wandering around late at night trying to get their cars out. I’ve made up my mind that if I get trapped, I shall crash the barriers and worry about the consequences later, when I’m home and safe.

    But then I drive horrible old cars and the barriers would probably come off worst. Glad you’re home safely and the event went well.


  2. Jeez! Your car park experience sounds really horrible, Sue. That’s the last thing you should be worrying about at the end of a good evening.

    I liked the question from the Gants Hill Library event about missing your characters at the end of the book – I’m glad I’m not the only one who misses her characters!

    No extraordinary faces from where I was sitting, Sue – you looked and sounded completely professional.

    Hope that car park gets sorted out.


  3. And who would you like to star as your heroine and hero in the film? (Sorry couldn’t resist!)

    As for the car park, you should write… sometimes these people who’ve designed these things need to be told!


    • Hi Teresa,
      For All That Mullarkey’s Justin, it would have to be Bryan Brown and for Ratty in Starting Over it would be Kevin Kline – but both of them would have to regress a few years!


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