I'll stop saying 'busy week' 'cos they always are! So, this week –
- Relight MY fire! Off to Wembley to see Take That!
- And the Romantic Novelists' Association conference
- With my very first meeting with publisher Mills & Boon!
- TiFFT's galore!
Take That and partay!
Come on, come on, come on, take that (take that) and party! OK so they didn't play many of their earliest songs, but what a concert!
Cool to see them back together again. Just like with my like for Peter Andre's music, being a bit of a middle of the road girl myself, I did used to get all the Take That albums, old and new, and was thrilled to see their first reunion concert five years ago.
Rotten venue though – had to watch much of it on the big screens, as the seats were in the gods, but the atmosphere was electric! First time I'd been in a proper, bona fide 'Mexican wave' too! (there's one of many TiFFT's for July!). Brilliant how the atmosphere lit up as the wave reached your section, then continued on round! Robbie instigated one that worked really well. Otherwise, how the hell do they start? Group consciousness and all that, I'm sure! Fascinating!
Got to tell you Robbie was a real highlight – never having been to one of his shows myself, but my sister said he's always that fun and personality-packed. He hit the headlines again – for the wrong reasons – but I have to say that Robbie was just funny rather than offensive, in my opinion – to be honest, even though some people objected to his swearing, you get used to it in the media, so it wasn't a problem for me. And many people with kids just laughed too.
And I have to point out that I was using my fab 30x zoom Fuji camera from the previous TSV to get these shots – at least I managed to get photos a bit closer to the action, even if I didn't get there myself!
Romantic novelists galore
How lovely to meet so many like-minded people at the annual Romantic Novelists' Association conference in Caerleon in Wales at the weekend. It's a fun shin-dig attended by successful published novelists and wannabes like me, alike.
Met some great new friends – including Penny and AJ as well as lovely Lisa who was at the Cornerstones course I blogged about last summer. We had a fabulous Gala Ball too – where I wore my Kim and Co maxi dress and my Joseph Esposito jewellery!
The ladies were commenting on my good skin when we were having a conversation about the ages of our kids – theirs are mostly under ten and of course mine are 24 and nearly 22! Anyway – so Penny says 'wow! Forget the novel writing, talk to me about skincare!' Lisa laughed – she knows where I work!
And Penny went away with a little sample of Melatogenine from me! Hehe! The wrong person to ask that question eh! Seriously tho, was so pleased for some of the girls – Penny's just got a fabulous coup – her own agent – the biggest stumbling block to getting to a publisher nowadays – for most people. Unless you write for Mills and Boon…
Anna Boatman, pictured, was the lovely lady editor from Mills & Boon who did my one-to-one, having read my first chapter. She liked it, on the whole, and gave me some revisions to do, and her card to get back directly to her once I've done them. I'm giving myself a month now to get them to her – now or never eh?!
And I felt very encouraged coming away from the meeting as apparently she wasn't giving her card out to everybody, some of the others were asked just to submit to the normal submissions address. If you've ever wondered about their submissions process incidentally, follow this link to their submissions information page.
Anyway, it was a great weekend – lots of learning and enlightening info. Some of the info included some fascinating facts about successful authors Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde and Elizabeth Chadwick, who all attended the conference. Did you know, they all had written 6 – 8 novels that were never published, before getting their first deals many years ago. Just shows you, eh?
All those hours and then they had honed their craft enough to launch a great career. So I won't get too downhearted that I haven't managed to crack my FIRST novel yet! For those that told me on Facebook tha t they love Jill Mansell novels (I showed her the texts btw and she was thrilled!), take a look at this little clip of the coffee queue and see if you can spot Jill lining up for her cuppa!
Another final bit of intriguing info to come out of the weekend was – again – the prevalence of self-publishing on Kindle. One really successful author, previously published, was Linda Gillard – who has sold over 9000 copies of just one novel by posting it to Kindle, and that's mainly in the UK. Big business eh?
Maybe I should rethink my strategy! Or just get a soft copy of my old book 'Till The Fat Lady Slims' and put that up! Remember Freedom Eating back in 2000? Made me smile recently when I spotted a copy going for £19.99 on Amazon! Lol.
Anyway a good time was had by all.
And for July – there will be so many! Including the Mexican wave, meeting Mills & Boon, going to Lauren's graduation on 22nd, (with Nigel – I'll be doubly proud!) and next weekend – boot camp! God what am I letting myself in for… Come back next week to find out!