Monthly Archives: November 2013

Festival of Romance 2013

I’ve been really lax over putting these pix up but I had a great weekend at the Festival of Romance in Bedford 8-10 November.

It began with me joining Nick Coffer on an outside broadcast for BBC 3 Counties Radio in a coffee shop, The Kiln, to represent the Festival and talk about how to plot a romantic novel. The slot was enlivened by the feed being lost three times so that a few hundred thousand people were left listening to ‘dead air’ and someone in the studio had to hurriedly play music while the link was re-established. I don’t know about Nick but I wasn’t stressed by the experience – every time he put the mic in front of me I talked, and left the techie stuff to others. And I’ve thought of a way I can use the experience in a book, and also in a workshop, so it served me well. Also, I got some cake. I don’t think it could have been chocolate or I would have remembered.

Reading from 'Is This Love?'

Reading from ‘Is This Love?’

Speaking of cake, my author event was at the Coffee & Cake morning on Saturday. Yes, more cake. You’re beginning to see a theme here …?

There were so many great excerpts read from the authors present that I downloaded three books when I got back to my hotel. The rain was putting a dampner on things outside but in the cafe we were warm, toasty and entertained. And the cake was chocolate.

I would have loved to have spent more time at the Romance Fair but my own events were on at the same time – my apologies to the lovely lady who, apparently, turned up to meet me at the Fair after hearing me on the radio. I had a ‘Creating Irresistible Heroes’ workshop to run with Christina Courtenay at Bedford Central Library. We didn’t have cake. (We had Heroes chocolates.)

In the evening, it was a pleasure to meet so many of the New Talent shortlisted authors, as the event was sponsored by the Romantic Novelists’ Association and so I was invited to the reception.

Shortlist for the Readers Best Romantic Read Award 2013 Me, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, Scarlett Bailey, Hazel Osmond

Shortlist for the Readers Best Romantic Read Award 2013 Me, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, Scarlett Bailey, Hazel Osmond. Photo by Ian Cundell (c) 2013

Then it was onto the Ball for the Awards.

The Harpur Suite of the Bedford Corn Exchange is a gorgeous venue, and the evening was suitably glitzy, with a lot of awards to be handed out.

Is This Love? was nominated for the Best Romantic Read Award but the honour fell to lovely Liz Fenwick for A Cornish Affair. Although I had a purple sparkly dress, I didn’t take my jacket off for the pix because I had a huge equally purple bruise on my arm from when the train lurched into my station when I was returning from World Fantasy Con the weekend before! It looked like a tattoo gone wrong. (It isn’t.)

You’ll be pleased to know there was chocolate cake for dessert.

Christina Courtenay, Caroline Bell Foster, Me, Rosemary.

Christina Courtenay, Caroline Bell Foster, Me, Rosemary. Thanks to John Jackson for the pic.

And here’s a lovely ‘off-duty’ pic from the bar.

Roll on Festival of Romance 2014.

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Win a place on a course – worth £150!

New logoOn the 29th of March 2014 I’m going to be running a course for WriteStarsLearn to Write a Romantic Novel in a Day.

To make it more fun, the venue’s a mystery! It’s a gorgeous location in London’s Piccadilly but its identity won’t be revealed until the day. Participants will meet nearby and then be shown to the beautiful place where they’ll spend the day learning about how to choose the kind of hero and heroine to spark deliciously off each other, goals, quests, conflicts and sizzle. We’ll talk about the story arc and how to avoid a saggy middle or unsatisfying ending. It’s a fun interactive workshop and a day that should arm you with everything you need to write a great romantic novel.

My publisher, Choc Lit, has teamed up with WriteStars to run a competition to win a place on this course! Click here to enter.

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Publication day!

ITL?_new packshotToday is publication day for ‘Is This Love?’

I was going to say that a publication day is like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one – but, actually, it’s more fun.

The lovely publicists at Choc Lit have lined me up a lot of online interviews and blogposts to go live today, fantastic friends on Facebook and Twitter are sending me nice messages, and I’m on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this afternoon, after recording a segment for Bookmark at Community 105. And I’m going out with friends this evening to celebrate. (I’ve even been able to arrange for somebody else to drive.)

Publication Day is Publication Day, even though the ebook came out a month ago and the online bookstores shipped the paperback copies last weekend. Mere details! Publication Day is the marker, the day I pause in my usual work to enjoy the moment. It’s also a good excuse for a bit of hoopla.

Happily for me, Publication Day more-or-less coincides with the Festival of Romance, which begins tomorrow, in Bedford, so I have an interview on the Nick Coffer show on BBC 3 Counties Radio at 12.30 and a booksigning at Waterstones 1.30pm till 3.00pm tomorrow (Friday 8th November). Then I can relax and watch other authors do their stuff at the ART AND ROMANCE EVENING, The Higgins Museum & Art Gallery.

Saturday is a chance to be in two places at one time as 10am to 3pm sees the ROMANCE FAIR at the Harpur Suite, Corn Exchange, but I’m appearing and reading 10.30am to 12noon at the COFFEE AND CAKE MORNING at The Lane … and 12.45pm to 3.45pm myself and Christina Courtenay are leading the IRRESISTIBLE HEROES WORKSHOP at the Central Library. Other Choc Lit authors Jane Lovering and Laura James are being so kind as to sell my books at the Romance Fair. Of course, they’re busy with their own events so Jane’s partner has kindly volunteered to take over. I’m not sure if he knows this yet.

Don’t anybody expect any real work from me until Monday! Because today is Publication Day and I’m managing to make it stretch over the weekend.

Even Amazon is celebrating with me – ‘Is This Love?’ is available at a special price for Kindle users because it’s part of the 100 Kindle Books promo.

A few of the first blogposts, interviews etc:

Bookgirl of Mur-y-Castell

Female First

ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association)

Mark West’s Strange Tales

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