Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 16 Ann Wesley Hardin

Today's blogger has a special claim to fame in that she appeared in one of my books - under a pseudonym that she used on the eharlequin message boards. And on those message boards is where I met the lovely and witty Ann Wesley Hardin.

At some point in those online chats, Ann set up the BatCave thread on eHarlequin, where everyone who posted could moan and whinge to their heart's content - but they had to learn the language - Batspeak meant that you could never be nice to anyone or about anyone and so in this introduction I really should introduce you to the unlovely and totally unlively Ann WH.

But that would be to talk about her in her persona as the Bat Dame - which is how she appeared in Chapter 11 of The Twelve Month Mistress - as Dame Bat or Senora MurciƩlago! The real Ann is great company and always makes me laugh - so it came as no surprise that when she was published it was as a writer of romantic comedy - but romantic comedy with an erotic twist. Her signature line reads " Do The World With Ann Wesley Hardin!" So if you do visit her site you should be aware of the fact that its content is aimed at a mature 18+ audience.

After a meeting at RWA national conference in Denver, Ann and her family then came on a visit to York and the BM and I arranged to meet her and Anna Louise Lucia in Bettys Tea Rooms in the city. I have wonderful memories of that afternoon ( Ann I still have the Bee tile you gave me) and it seems that Ann does too as it's that meeting that she's talking about in her blog.

So - here are Ann's memories of:

A Royal Tea Party in York, England

For Christmas 2003, I took my husband and kids to London for a week. At that point, I'd known Kate online for a couple of years, through the eHarlequin message boards, and had already met her once at RWA Denver. I also knew Anna Lucia through the message boards and couldn't imagine a trip to the UK without meeting them for tea.

We decided on Betty's Teahouse in York--a wonderfully picturesque town in the dales, about two hours from London. Anna and I would meet first, underneath the rose window of the York Minster. Can you imagine a more romantic place to meet someone? Especially a romance writer? The kids, husband and I got there early and watched for Anna...

From there we walked to Betty's. We stood outside, scanning the crowd, when all at once a regal woman in black appeared on the sidewalk. Accompanied by her dashing footman, she embraced us and warned my children they'd better behave themselves or risk a beheading. I almost swooned from her queenly vapors. So did my kids.
We feasted on Fat Rascals and tea, laughed uproariously, and listened to Kate's sage advice on romance writing--emotion, emotion, emotion! Now, four years later, both Anna Lucia and I are published. I think we'd both agree Kate's wisdom is worth fifty times its weight in gold!
Here's to Queen Kate's Golden Jubilee. Long may she reign!
I will give the winner her choice of an e-book or print book from my backlist.
If you could take tea with anyone - modern or historical, who would you choose and why?
Short bio: What could be better than laughter and romance? If those are two of your favorite topics also, welcome to my world!


Anna Louise Lucia said...

I think we'd both agree Kate's wisdom is worth fifty times its weight in gold!

Absolutely, Ann! I wouldn't be published if it weren't for Kate, in so many ways.

Lovely to remember our tea outing in York. Great days. :-D

Ann said...

Hi Anna! There's no doubt in my mind that Kate's friendship, support and advice was crucial. The Fat Rascals might've helped too ;)

The tea party in York, and you and my fam walking the wall beforehand is one of my most cherished memories. I'll always thank the Internet for bringing us all together!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Kate on 50 books! All wonderful stories. :)

Christina Hollis said...

Can I be totally UN-romantic and nominate the English King Henry II?
I have a terrible weakness for clever men. In addition, he had a brilliant theory that if he ate standing up, he wouldn't put on any weight. I reckon that's a small price to pay for indulgence - so bring on those cakes, cookies and double-choc muffins!

Sierra Dafoe said...

OMG, Ann! The Bat Cave was you? I had no idea! It's been a while, but I was once known as Rusty over there. And Kate, HUGE congrats on such an impressive milestone!

Hmmm... Who would I choose to take tea with? I don't know -- I can't think yet, I need tea! :p

-- Sierra


Donna Alward said...

There are so many but I'd like to pick someone who wouldn't intimidate me and I could actually ENJOY tea with.

I'd love to meet LaVyrle Spencer, since she's the writer that got me hooked on Romance in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Well, for tea, I'd like a group meeting with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and the rest of that crowd.

But for red wine, I'll take the Bat Dame. Any day! But don't expect me to admit it afterwards....

Congrats on your Golden Book, Kate!

Heather Rae Scott said...

This feels like old home week. '-)

NY is still my favorite RWA because you were ALL there. =)

Congratulations over and over to the three of you. To Kate on her fab fifty and Anna and Ann for having their dreams come true.


Kate Walker said...

Oh yes - memories - that afternoon in York was special. And I'm so happy that you both have made it to being published authors since then. Hugs to both Ann and Anna

Thank you Christine

Christina - interesting choice - but I always thought that the eating standing up having no calories should have worked - wouldn't it be wonderful if it did?

Hi Sierra - so I've 'outed' the BD for you? You really didn't know? I still remember my editor's face when I explained that 'Dame Bat' was "real" ;-)

Hi Donna - you picked a great writer - can I come along to tea with you?

Hi Theresa - what a fantastic tea party that would be. I'd love to sit in on that one too.

And RAE! - it is like old home week- how great to see you here (your blog is coming soon) Oh RWA NY was fabulous wasn't it? I miss you - keep you fingers crossed for 2008. In the meantime cyber hugs till I can send real ones


Kate Walker said...

PS Theresa - I should have said, I believe I've shared a little wine with the Bat Dame too - I just don't remember it too well! ;-)


Liz Wolfe said...

Congratulations on the 50th, Kate!
Ann, I won't even attempt to answer the tea question because it would just take too long. There are too many people to list. But, meet me in the bat next year at RT.
Liz Wolfe
aka lizard

Anonymous said...

If I could take tea with anyone, I think I'd like to choose Jane Austen. I love her books... and I'd like to chat with her and ask her so many questions :)

Michele L. said...

Oh gosh I would have loved to take tea with Victoria Holt or Phyllis A. Whitney. I developed my love of romance books reading them as a teenager.

As for a modern person it would have to be Kate Walker and J.K. Rowling! I can just imagine what wonderful stories and memories of their books they could tell.


Knitterary said...

Oh, I remember my wine-a-thon with Ann. I just won't admit to all of the details. ;D

I'm wondering how many old bats are going to pop in today. Several are already here!

Theresa S. a/k/a blunder

Ann said...

Christina--Henry II is my favorite Henry! What a great choice.

Sierra! Yes, c'est moi. I miss those days but it's great to relive them with the old bats. The Dame is still alive and well, it's just her focus has changed. Now instead of torturing bats, she tortures her characters!

Hi Donna! LaVyrle is a fantastic choice! I hear ya on the intimidation part. I used to shake in my widdle bat boots when Queen Kate approached ;)

Hey T! Wine it is, or was...heeheehee.

Rae--NY was WONDERFUL! It remains my fav convention ever. This party is great! I'm watching the door to see who else fwaps in.

Kate, if I remember correctly you and the BM had reserved seating at the bar in NY. Of course, I could be wrong...

Liz--it's a date!

Ali--can I tag along in your pocket for your tea with Jane? I'll be quiet and let you do all the talking. I promise! I won't eat anything either. I'll just pick...

Deseng--I'll vouch for Kate as a good tea companion IF you like razor-sharp wit, keen intelligence and mesmerizing eyes. Other than that, she's a complete bore.

Hey again T--I hope alot!

Heather Redmond said...

Congratulations, Kate!

I'd like to have tea with Charlotte Bronte. Maybe she can dialogue with Jane! (I've been listening to a Plato lecture too long I think...)

Kate Johnson said...

Sierra, you were a bat?? Not that I'm surprised. Small world!

As for taking tea...oh, it's so genteel. A different list than my Fantasy Dinner Party invites! I think I'd choose the Queen, and see if she's really as gracious and warm as all the reports!

Anonymous said...

I would take tea with Stephen Hawkins. I admire both his never give up attitude and the brain behind his books. I would love to ask him how he can keep going with so much adversity in his life.

juliemt said...

Ann, I'd love to have taken tea with Jane Austen. I've loved her books ever since I were a girl and I'd just love to ask her who has the inspiration for Darcy and Wentworth.


Maureen said...

What a nice story of friendship.

Cherie J said...

From the past, tea would have to be Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. I just love their books. As for modern, it would have to be Shel Silverstein for hooking me into reading with the classic "The Giving Tree" and Phyllis Whitney for hooking me into romance as a preteen.

ChristyJan said...

If I could have tea with anyone I would choose L.M. MONTGOMERY who wrote Anne of Green Gables, which was one of my favorite books when I was young.

Unknown said...

If I could take tea with anyone it would have to be Constance O'Banyon. She was the author that got me started reading romance novels. I wasn't much of a reader until I read one of her books back in the early 80's then I was hooked, have been reading ever since. Love to read now!

Lois said...

Well, among the people who are no longer around I would definitely go for Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. :)

As for today, I'd like to borrow the backyard of Buckingham Palace and meet with Steven Hawking and Sean Connery :) Yep, I dream high. LOL

And sadly, if ilona hasn't mentioned his name, I wouldn't have thought of Steven Hawking, and I so would very love to meet him too! :)


Ann said...

Hi Heather! Great choice with Charlotte. Can't go wrong there. Although she can't hold a candle to our Kate for productivity ;)

Hey there Cat/Kate *gg* -- I'd like to know how the Queen really takes her tea, when she's all alone, away from prying eyes.

Fascinating choice, Ilona! My family and extended families have both MS and ALS sufferers and it would certainly be an honor to meet Stephen Hawkins.

Juliemt -- Oh I'd especially love to know if Darcy was inspired by a real man. What a cool question to ask her. I'd never have thought of that--then again, I'm supposed to be quietly sitting in Ali's pocket!

Thank you, Maureen! I cherish all my writing friends, but especially the ones who've been beside me the whole journey.

Cherie -- Shel Silverstein! Excellent choice. Just a mountain of creativity.

Christyjan -- Can you believe I've never read Ann of Green Gables? I want to though because when I took a Meyers-Briggs personality test, she was one of my fictional counterparts!

Virginia - hate to say it but I've never read Constance O'Banyon either! My education is sorely lacking! But those early romance pioneers were awesome.

Lois - I'd go for William Shakespeare too (or, as my daughter calls him, Billy Shakes. LOL) I have a feeling he'd make me laugh my head off.

Wonderful choices ladies. Keep 'em coming. I'll have my daughter choose a random winner tomorrow, to give everyone the time they need to think!

lidia said...

For a historical person, I'd have tea with Georgette Heyer.

As for today, I'd love to have tea with Kate Walker, Michelle Reid and Lucy Monroe. I can't even imagine being in the same room with the three of them.

I live in the U.S. In my town we have a lovely tea house called: Sally Lunns Tea Room & Antqs. There are lace tablecloths, real tea in teapots, scones, etc.....People from all over come to have tea there. I haven't been there in awhile -- time for me to go again.

tetewa said...

A couple of different people I would love to have tea with would be as follows: J.K.Rowling, Sherrilyn Kenyon or Nora Roberts!

Anonymous said...

Well, my first thought was 'with the Bat Dame,' but then I quickly decided that it should be cocktails with her. (And I'd say lots and lots of cocktails, except that I wouldn't remember anything after the first one :-) )

(I don't suppose you can make a last minute dash down to Dallas??)

As for proper English tea, I'd love to fly my mother and my aunt business class to London, and have afternoon tea at the Dorchester - my mother did that once when she was there in the early 1950s. I'd invite romance authors that Mum has read to join is for tea.

However, since I can't afford business class fares to London for 1 let alone 3 at the moment, maybe I'll aim for Melbourne next year, if the next RWAus conference is there. My mother can catch the train down, and my aunt lives there, so we could perhaps do afternoon tea and invite some Australian romance authors :-)

Super congrats to Kate on publishing so many great books!

robynl said...

I would love to have tea with L.M. MONTGOMERY who wrote Anne of Green Gables; I believe it would be an awesome encounter and a delightful afternoon.

Ann said...

Lidia - Hie thee there! I wish my town had a teahouse. Hmmm. Maybe I'll open one.

Tetewa - I wouldn't mind tea with JK Rowling either. Think she'd notice if I stuck her with the tab?

Bron, Bron, Bron. Silly girl. Drinks help you remember! Don't they? At least that's what I heard. Your Dorchester idea is a winner. I love it!

Robynl - let's you, me and christyjan set something up. Anyone got a spare time machine? Anyone? Bueller?

Anonymous said...

lol, Ann :) Yes, if I ever got to tea with Jane you could definitely tag along... and eat anything you want, :)

Anonymous said...

There are so many people I'd like to have tea with! ... but I will say that my best (and poshest) cups of tea have involved M&B authors, including our Kate. We made it to the Ritz one year, and Fortnum's last year - and very civilised it was, too.

Ann said...

Ali, I'm there!

Kate, why not join Bron at the Dorchester? A trifecta of class!

Okay everyone, I guess the contest is officially closed to new entries. I'm collecting names and will return with the winner later today!

Anonymous said...

I would love to have tea with Linda Howard. She was the one who got me hooked on Romance and I would like to thank her.


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