Tag Archives: Festival of Romance

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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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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‘We like your book’

I’m doing a happy dance (mainly the cha-cha with a tiny bit of jive thrown in) because yesterday I  learned that Is This Love? has been shortlisted for the Readers Best Romantic Read Award at the Festival of Romance.

The paperback isn’t even out until the 7th of November and Is This Love? has already received a nomination. That is truly a reason to dance and be happy. In fact ‘happy’ isn’t strong enough a word – I feel as if a giant balloon has swooped me up into the sky.

As I was already going to the Festival Ball on Saturday 9th November, where the award ceremony takes place, I have bought a dress (purple, on theme with the cover, although I didn’t think of it at the time) so I’m all sorted.

The shortlist is strong (Scarlett Bailey, Miranda Dickinson, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, me and Hazel Osmond) and congratulations to them all, and to all the authors shortlisted for the Romance Reader Awards, the Industry Awards and the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance.

The Romance Reader Awards are judged by a reader panel and so this nomination says to me ‘We like your book’. No commercial considerations weigh with a reader panel – each reader must read one dozen books and every book gets at least three reads – it’s simply that  Is This Love? is in the top six of the books they liked best of all those they read for the award. There can be only one winner for each award, of course, but actually, winning doesn’t matter to me as much as you might think. Last year I received four different nominations and didn’t win a sausage (in fact, had I won and the prize turned out to be a sausage, I would have been disappointed) but I thoroughly enjoyed those nominations, the validation, the happy feelings, and the awards events.L&F with Award

Nominations are fabulous.

But I have to admit that in 2011, when I did win, it was … incredible. That’s when Love & Freedom won the very same award for which Is This Love? has received its nomination.

The moment when the announcement was made is etched on my heart forever as one of those rare instants of pure joy. And I didn’t win a sausage, I won a beautiful crystal trophy. Then a waiter bought me chocolate cake and my evening was complete.

 

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Win tickets to the Festival of Romance, with Novelicious

 

The Festival of Romance organisers are delighted to announce the chance to WIN A PAIR of WEEKEND ROVER TICKETS to the Festival of Romance next month in association with Novelicious. The lucky winner and a friend will win £60 worth of tickets to ALL THE PARTIES at the Festival:

– Meet the Authors Coffee and Cake Morning
Meet the Authors Rock Star Party – authors Jane Lovering, Sue Moorcroft, Katherine Garbera, Fiona Harper, Mandy Baggot, Lucy Felthouse, Berni Stevens, Nicky Wells, Natalie Nicole Bates, Emma Calin, Sarah Tranter and Oscar Sparrow.
– Meet the Authors Historical Afternoon Tea
– Total-E-Bound Erotic Romance Party
As well tickets to:
– Pitch Your Novel – for a chance to pitch your novel live to publishers!
To enter the competition all you need to do is leave a comment on Novelicious:
Good luck!

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