Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One day I'll catch up . . .

'More tomorrow,' huh?

Yes well . . . Someone stole my brain cell. The one that works; the one I use to write my blogs with. And I've had lots of blogs to write

And life just refuses to slow down. Which means I have plenty to tell you - just not enough time to actually sit down and do it. I have news coming up - I can finally let you know of that good news thing - and some other bits & pieces - but first I'd better finish talking about that Lincoln weekend.

So - Saturday May 17th was an up and down sort of day - and up and down Steep Hill sort of day. And believe me Steep Hill doesn't have that name for nothing. So going up and down it provides a good workout - affectionately known in this family as 'good B&L work' - good bum and leg work.
My up and down routine went something like this
1. Down the hill to Pimento's Tea Rooms to meet my lovely friend Kate Hardy who had travelled to Lincoln from Norwich. To get there I had to walk past the farmers market which is always fascinating We had tea and talk - it's been too long since we last met up so we talked each other's heads off.

2. Up the hill back to the hotel to meet with the Magnet and

3. head down into the town to deliver the handouts etc to the Drill Hall ready for the workshop that afternoon. Then on to the station to collect my editor, Suzanne Clarke and Alex from Midas PR who were arriving to be part of the evening event.

4. Back up the hill to deliver Suzanne to the hotel, snatch a sandwich, change into smart workshop-giving outfit

5. Back down the hill to the Drill Hall for the workshop. (Thanks to Kate Hardy for the photo - isn't that face on the wall amazing?)
At this stage I managed to have a breather - sort of - while I did the 2 hour workshop. 15 people is about the right number. Not too many so that you have to give a lecture rather than a workshop. Not too few so that you find it hard to get different responses and answers to questions. We did some concentrated work on Characters and looked at potential for conflict between them. Everyone joined in and I enjoyed the session. Thank you to everyone who came - specially Jane who came a l-o-n-g way!

6 Back up the hill again (this time I chickened out and caught the shuttle bus) for a quick recovery, shower and change before meeting everyone in the hotel foyer and heading . . .

7. Back down the hill again for the evening celebration of Mills & Boon's Centenary.

While we were doing other things, Alex had organised goody bags and glasses of champagne (I almost forgot to get one and only grabbed one of the last ones at the very end of the evening.)

Officially we were a 'panel of authors' but as we all knew each other do well it was really like a gang of friends who had got together to chat about writing and books and of course Mills and Boon. It was all very relaxed and a lot of fun - I think the audience had fun too, certainly the Festival organisers had had good feedback as a result. Suzanne gave a summary of the history of Mills & Boon - after all, that was what we were there to celebrate - and she also arranged a quiz with lots of old M&B covers seeing if the audience could guess the date of publication of each one.

The time just flashed by and before we knew it, it was time to bring things to a halt. But before we did there was one more thing left to do and that was to draw the raffle.

L to R Trish Wylie, Suzanne Clarke, Kate Walker, Natasha Oakley, Kate Hardy
I'm afraid I've forgotten the name of the lovely lady who won but she was a real M&B fan, who bought 18 books every month - and she worked in the libraries so she got brownie points for both of those from me. She was absolutely thrilled when I presented her with the huge box of books. So thrilled that she was actually shaking as a result. Still, it was a fantastic prize with over 85 books from a wide range of authors from all the lines. My sincere thanks to all my author friends who donated their books to this great prize. And of course all the proceeds went to Breast Cancer Research so it was for a great cause.

Eventually the evening broke up and we all headed out to the lovely Italian restaurant where we had booked a table to all of us to enjoy a great meal and celebrate a very successful evening before - you guessed it . . .

8. Heading back up that hill again to the hotel.

As I'm sure you can imagine, I slept very well that night. And woke to the wonderful sound of the Cathedral bells ringing out to announce the morning.

I had a great time. My thanks to Lincoln Book Festival for inviting us to join them, specially to Sara and Karen who put in so much work on the day - and before it. Thanks to the audience - both for the workshop and the evening celebrations and thanks to Alex/Midas for organising goody bags and champagne - always a good way to make an event go well!
And special thanks to Trish, Kate, Natasha and Suzanne for joining me there. It was wonderful to see everyone and I think my voice has just about recovered from all the talking.


Madeline said...

Hi Kate, Thank you for sharing your day with us. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I wish I could have been there. That hill sounds like it gave you quite a workout. I'll bet that you fell asleep as soon as your head found your pillow.

Have a great day, Hugs, Mads:)

mulberry said...

Kate, that was a wonderful day for us as participants as well! I'm already using what I learned in your workshop in my stories, really working on digging into emotional conflict that arises naturally out of who the characters are, rather than relying on "things happening" to drive the plot. Although I can't get this plot out of my mind that involves a caring single mum with a secret life as a sultry nightclub singer and a hunky multi-millionaire who's just out of prison....

The evening session was fabulous, fun and inspirational. And, as an added bonus, Janet and I, who sat next to each other in your workshop, are emailing to talk writing. So a good laugh, great learning about the craft of romance writing, and a new friend, all out of one day. Can't be bad!

I am sooooo glad I went- a big hug to Natasha for encouraging me!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful day wish I could have been there. That's a lovely dress that you're wearing, you look wonderful.



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