Wednesday 16 November 2022

With my Tribe

 Up to London last Friday to the Romantic Novelists Winter Party and Industry Awards Presentation. 

An 'excellence' of romantic novelists, collecting their badges.*

Having had to pass on the annual conference in July for boring medical reasons I was looking forward to seeing friends and generally having a good time. 

I wasn't disappointed. 

First of course was the decision what to wear. As most of my evening outfits shrunk in the pandemic I had a rummage in the wardrobe and found one that is quite venerable but still fitted! I don't wear black very often these days, but I was quite pleased about how it looked.  Then there was the train journey and a magical mystery tour to find my chosen hotel in the depths of the new skyscraper city behind Paddington station - which proved to be a good choice, although I didn't foresee at the time of booking that the tubes would be on strike. I just wish it had been easier to find!

I had a ramble down Oxford Street and the rarified atmosphere of Bond Street. Coveted shoes and jewels there. I saw Selfridges Christmas windows and the Christmas lights, including a spectacular angel flying over one of the streets just off Oxford Circus.  

I love London, having lived there for a couple of decades in the 70s and 80s. It's changed, but I still enjoy visiting. When you can combine that with a stellar night out - that's icing on the cake. I saw a lot of long term friends, had a good gossip, did a bit of networking, the results of which may become apparent next year, applauded the award winners - for a host of categories from librarians to editors. For more on the finalists and winners, take a look at the RNA Web pages and social media feeds. There was even a celebrity guest in the shape of the Duchess of York, now a best selling member of the Mills and Boon family with her historical debut Her Heart for a Compass. There was glamour, friendship and excitement. I'm looking forward to doing it again, but that probably won't be until the conference in 2023!

Thanks to author/photographer John Jackson for the pictures.  

*I looked up the collective noun for authors. Excellence was my favourite suggestion, but there was also quill, conjugation and a close runner up  - procrastination, which of course has nothing to do with the edits for Riviera 4 currently sitting in my in box. 


  1. You looked very smart and sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  2. Hi Angela - yes, it was a lovely evening.