Friday 31 May 2013

Attending Crimefest in Bristol

I will be in Bristol for Crimefest this weekend, and appearing on a panel on crossing genres on Saturday morning.

If you have a ticket - I'll see you there!

Wednesday 29 May 2013

RT Booklovers Convention - Journey and pre-convention

It's a well documented fact that I hate to fly. So getting myself to the RT Booklovers Convention, involving not one but two planes, was an extreme test of willpower. I had the lot - travel pills, acupressure bands, crystals. Something worked, as the flights were not too bad - but then I do tend to settle down when I finally get on the plane. This may be related to 'Abandon hope all ye ...'
I was cheered up before that by finding a copy of Out of Sight Out of Mind in Smith's Travel in Heathrow. The shop assistant was very patient with my excited author ramblings. I believe I may have pressed one of my stash of book marks into her hand.

Those key cards!
Aeroplanes, and the fact of being awake, more or less, for 36 hours, had me hallucinating once I finally arrived at the hotel in Kansas City. It least I thought I was hallucinating, until I realised that the key card for the room did have a picture of a partially clothed man on it. My room was on the 29th floor - OK if I looked out, not so good looking down. I didn't do much looking at anything, just fell into bed.

Having flown all that way I was determined to get the most from the trip, so had signed on for the pre-convention tour. On Sunday morning the group had breakfast in the suite of RT founder and CEO Kathryn Falk, including delicious eggs from her own hens, followed by an orientation ramble around the hotel and conference centre and the surrounding mall, led by NY Times best selling author Cathy Maxwell supported by Cindy Nord - who will be assisting Kathryn in hosting a forthcoming tour of Austria - and a fabulous job they did. Some intrepid souls went on to see Tom Cruise on a very big cinema screen - I was too sleepy for that, or for dinner afterwards.

The whole 3 day tour was notable for some of the memorable sights of Kansas City and its surroundings. I most enjoyed, if that is the correct word, the Liberty Memorial/Museum to the troops of the First World War - with its
The WWI Memorial 
poignant glass bridge over a field of poppies, followed by the Truman Library - interesting to me as his term as President covered the period immediately after the one I am currently researching - World War II - except that I am looking at events from the perspective of Wales. The best thing about the tour though was the company - a group of ladies, and one stalwart gentleman. many of whom were celebrating milestones in their lives by attending the convention. Ladies, you know who you are. And you rock!

Dog eared books - plus cat. 
The very last stop on the tour was Dogeared books, a light and airy space with new and pre-owned books, and despite the name, a number of resident cats. They made us welcome with a reception and a signing by local authors.


Wednesday 22 May 2013

In the final of the Golden Quill

I've been doing my share of jet-setting lately. Kansas City for the RT Convention, New Jersey to visit family, London to hand over the Joan Hessayon trophy to this years winner - Liesel Schwartz. I'll be talking about the convention and posting my photos next week. I had a fabulous time and I plan an extended post to share the fun - but before that I am thrilled to say that my debut novel Never Coming Home has made the final of the Golden Quill award, presented by the Desert Rose Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, in the romantic suspense category. It was a wonderful welcome home and I am delighted to be able to display the finalists' logo here on my blog. 

Many thanks to the Chapter, the organisers and the judges. 

Friday 17 May 2013

Back in the UK - and welcoming new friends from the USA

Well, I am back in wet Wales after my short tour of the United States - I'm still on New Jersey time at the moment, but I'm sure I'll get back to normal soon - or what passes for normal, given that I am a writer, and as you know, writers talk to people no one else can see. I did some fabulous things, saw some fabulous sights and, above all, met some fabulous people, during my working holiday in the US. If you were one of them, taking a look at my blog for the first time - you're very welcome. I blog once a week - on a Wednesday. (How cool is that!) And sometimes on other days too, if I have special news, or something that won't wait. I talk about what is going on in my world, my books, places I have been ...

In the next few weeks I'll be catching up on posts from the RT Booklovers' Convention in Kansas City, on visiting New York, on my very first US bookstore signing for Barnes and Noble and on the RNA summer party, where I have to relinquish the Joan Hessayon trophy.
If they can find me ...

I hope you'll join me to read about all these things. And if this is your first visit - once again, WELCOME.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Giving the trophy back ...

It's a rather sad time for me this week. My reign as winner of the Joan Hessayon Award is coming to an end and I have to return the trophy at the Romantic Novelists' Association  Summer Party, so that it can be passed on to this year's winner.

The trophy
Now where did that year go?

Admittedly I didn't get to take the prize home until the RNA conference in July, after it had been engraved, but it seems to have been a very short space since then. I've enjoyed it so much. I don't really want to give the trophy back, but needs must. There are nine potential winners this time, it's a strong field and if I have to hand the silverware back, I wish it could be to all of them. There can only be one named winner, but they are all winners as they have achieved the coveted status of being a published author.

At the party last year, with my mum and author Anna Jacobs.

So (sigh) if I must part with my favourite toy, I know it will be going to a good home, where it will be cherished and admired as much as it has during its stay with me.

I do get to make a speech, before I part with it.

And it will always have my name on it, among the winners ...

Saturday 11 May 2013

Signing today!

At Barnes and Noble bookstore in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Starting a noon - if you're in the vicinity, hope to meet you there.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Signing books at Barnes and Noble

I'm excited to be doing my first US book store signing. Thanks to my cousin, Bernice, I will be signing copies of both my romantic suspense novels at Barnes and Noble in Bridgewater, New Jersey this Saturday, from noon until 2 pm. If you are in New Jersey and would like to try British romantic suspense, or would just like to say hello, please come along.

Book Signing


I will be signing copies of Never Coming Home and Out of Sight Out of Mind at Barnes and Noble Bridgewater New Jersey on Saturday. If you just happen to be anwhere in the vicinity, please come and say hello.

And buy a book?

Wednesday 8 May 2013

When a Writer takes a walk ...

Whenever anyone asks me about my typical writing day - or my perfect writing day - my answers always have one thing in common - a walk by the sea. I don't actually get to walk as often as I'd like, but when I do, the Coastal Path always beckons. As you can see ...

Wednesday 1 May 2013

RT Book Lovers Convention

The convention starts today in Kansas City and I will be there, with a team of my fellow Choc Lit authors - lots of panels, quizzes, Q&A sessions - and, of course, the PARTIES. It will be fun, I know it will.

Great to be going as an RT Book Review Reviewers' Choice nominee, for Never Coming Home. and with Out of Sight Out of Mind getting a 4 star review in the latest edition.

If you're around in Kansas City I'll see you there. The Choc-lit authors will be signing at the Grand Book fair on Saturday 4th May and putting on an event that day too. With Chocolate!

Books - and more books.

The week before last I made my first visit to the London Book Fair.
1)I was curious.
2) My publishers, Choc Lit, would be there.
3) I knew that a number of friends would be there too.

So I treated myself to a short trip to London and spent Monday at the Fair. I enjoyed it - as I said, I was curious, and it was in the nature of a fact finding mission - I had no particular plans of what to do or see.

Overall impressions? That there are an awful lot of books out there - so many stands, each with a colourful display. It was fun to find that many of those dedicated to romance were being staffed by friends. I got used to being hailed as I wandered along, gawping. I was disappointed that I couldn't find one presenting books from Wales, as Scotland and Ireland were attractively represented. I didn't find any Welsh publishers, either, among the displays, or on the lists of exhibitors. If they were there I missed them, although Aberystwyth University had a presence and were very busy at Literature Without Frontiers. It was exciting to see best sellers from people I know featuring on the revolving photo displays on the biggest stands. Trisha Ashley's Good Husband Material  looked particularly pretty as it hove periodically into view. I picked up a small amount of swag - mostly pens. I failed to get into any of the seminars in the Authors' Lounge, which looked to be heavily over subscribed. And, of course I admired the Choc Lit presentation, especially as there were two book of mine on display. Also chocolate truffles from House of Dorchester. I had lunch with my publisher and fellow authors and chatted to all sorts of interesting people. It was fun, and I shall definitely go again. Now that I know what is on offer I'll organise myself a little more next time, to take advantage of the chance to listen to speakers and maybe imitate the real movers and shakers and arrange appointments with a few influential people - although at this stage who they might be I have no idea!

The next day it was books in a different kind of display. The British Library's small but beautifully curated and researched A to Z of crime writing. Some interesting and memory provoking choices, from the Golden Age to the Mean Streets. It seems that the idea of a celebrity penning a novel is not as new as you might think. I certainly didn't know that the footballer Pele had his name on a crime novel! I also discovered Ronald Knox's Decalogue - ten golden rules for writing crime, which were prominently displayed. I've broken at least two and a half of them.

I also managed to take a few more pictures for the location tour for Out of Sight Out of Mind. And a whole cache of research material, in and around Trafalgar Square, for the (maybe) new book. Having looked at the site, I'm going to have to re-model the perimeter of the Square quite a bit. D'you think anyone will mind?