Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Celebrating 25 years - with Anne McAllister Part One

This is a slightly different form of the 'My favourite top five Kate Walker' posts - because it marks the start of a double celebration. I am not the only author celebrating 25 years as a published author.

My first book (The Chalk Line) came out in December 1984 - that's why I'm celebrating now rather than all during 2009, because I wasn't actually published until the very last month of that year.

Two months later, in February 1985, Anne McAllister published her very first book - Starstruck which was published in Harlequin American Romance.

So this month, Anne too is celebrating her 25th publishing anniversary. And to celebrate she is going to be giving away a book a day for a year!

Here's what Anne says:

Some of them will be my books. Some will be books of my friends. Some will be books I've read and enjoyed and want to share with you (and incidentally make room on my bookshelves -- which means that some of them will have been lightly read -- by me).

If you want to find out more, learn how to take part in this fantastic prize drawing but - most importantly - if you want to help Anne celebrate her silver publishing anniversary (and I know I do!) the head over to Anne's web site or her blog and send her your congratulations too.

It's no secret - or it shouldn't be to anyone who reads my blog - that Anne is a very special friend of mine. It started with loving her books. I didn't read the very early ones because Harlequin American weren't available here in the UK much. But when she was published in Presents and the books appeared in the Mills & Boon line-up then I was hooked. The Alexakis Bride grabbed me and when it was followed by Finn's Twins, then I knew I'd found a new favourite. Fletcher's Baby! and The Playboy and The Nanny confirmed that and I've been an Anne McAllister fan in her books and in person ever since.

And of course, I live with one of her greatest fans - Sir Sidney St John Willoughby Eamonn Portly-Lummox, A Cat Of Superior Breeding is Anne's greatest (feline ) fan. They connected from the first moment she came to visit and have been the firmest friends ever since. Sid even puts paws to the keyboard to write to Anne and he asserts that she gives the best ear rubs this side of the pond - and, for all he knows, on her side of it too. He just can't swear to that as he has never ventured over the opcean to test them out. But he knows that Anne understands his passion for ear rubs, from 'greenies' and for a smackeral or two of salmon and that makes her a great friend in his opinion. (And Sid is very opinionated as many of you know.) It was Anne of course who gave Sid his own literary appearances in The Great Montana Cowboy Auction and again later in One-Night Love Child.

And it's not just Sid who claims Anne as a friend - the other cats recognise quality when they see it and they flock to welcome her when she visits. The late and much missed Bob and Spiffy were great fans as are Dylan and even Flora the Floozie - though she still sees Anne as someone to provide an audience while she shows off in front of her.

It was Anne who named the Hecks after seeing them for the first time. And they now regularly appear when she is here, coming to the French doors so that she can see them. It was Anne who shared a wonderful trip to Ireland - and if you can share being huddled round a coal fire when trapped indoors on the coldest, wettest February days as well as the sunshine of July, then you know you really have a friend. I'm hoping that Anne will be able to come and visit again this summer (so is Sid!) when she is planning on speaking at the RNA conference and if the fates are kind I'll be able to introduce her to so many of my favourite people and places when we go to Caerleon Writers' Holiday together. I hope the Hecks will be back to snuffle their greetings too and I know that Sid can't wait.

So Happy Silver Anniversary Anne! Many Congratulations on this very special event - thank you for all the wonderful books you've written so that I and all your thousands of fans can enjoy them! And here's to many more.

But specially thank you for your fabulous friendship , your hospitality and your warmth. (And your greenies - from Sid!) Here's to many many more years of that!
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 when Anne talks about her favourite Kate Walker books.

And look out for the now thoroughly established as 'traditional' Here Come the Grooms contest which Anne and I share with the wonderful Liz Fielding and which, if my memory is correct, is planned to start on Valentine's Day!
PS On a separate but interesting topic, there is an interesting article on Mills & Boon India in Publishing Perspectives here. Particularly interesting to me as of course The Konstantos Marriage Demand is out now in this fast-growing market.

So I'd just like to say a warm Hello and Welcome to all my Indian readers.


Rachael Johns said...

Congrats to the both of you fabulous ladies on such an awesome achievement. We readers are sooooooooo lucky to have you!!!


Caroline Storer said...

I echo Rachael - congratulations to you both! Caroline x

Anne McAllister said...

Many thanks for your anniversary good wishes and same back at you, my dear. It has, I'm sure you'll agree, been a memorable 25. I hope that lots of readers will drop by my contest pages and blog and enter the drawing for the book a day. Micah and Mitch are seriously into this picking winners stuff. I'm sure Sid would be happy to oblige, too. Maybe I'll send a set over for him to judge! Happy year, Kate!

lidia said...

Congratulations to both you and Anne.

I think the oldest book of yours that I have is "Shattered Mirror" and Anne's is "Island Interlude."

I sure loved the old titles so much better than all of the "mistress/virgin/billionaire" titles. LOL


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