My dear writer friend Vicki Bowles (author of My Unintended Buy here) posted a link to this event and as it was only £5 I thought why not?
So I booked my ticket and arranged to meet Vicki and another writer buddy Natalie Ross at London Bridge Underground Station.
The event was in the News Building and was held by Fabulous magazine (free with the Sun). The building was fantastic, but more about that later.
I left my house at 4pm for a first time drive alone to the O2. I am getting braver! I joined the M25 and sat in traffic for 20 minutes as there had been an accident right before the junction I needed.
I got to the O2 and parked with no problems.
I walked to the North Greenwich Underground and went down the escalator to buy my ticket. I had rung my hubby just to reassure myself more than anything. I got to the ticket machines to find they had closed the booths down and you now had to use the automated ones.
I looked at the prices and saw that a travel card for zones 1 to 4 was now about £12, so I opted for a return to London Bridge ( 4 stops down the line). It was £9.20. I asked one of the Underground staff if this was correct as I had travelled to Chancery Lane a few months ago and had paid less, but I was told yes it was correct.
So ticket in hand and trying to look like a seasoned traveller (with not much luck) I joined the rush and got on the tube. A man knocked into me and actually apologised. When we got on the train there was a seat and the same man asked me if I wanted to sit down! Unheard of usually on the tube. I politely declined as I wanted to stay by the exit. I hate having to battle through crowds to get off the tube.
I reached a very busy London Bridge and made my way through the crowds and found Vicki waiting outside Starbucks. Natalie then joined us and we followed the signs for the News Building. The signs took us into an arcade, but the way to the building was closed off. I knew which building we needed to get to and we could see it, but we set off in completely the wrong direction! Natalie then suggested we went up the escalator next to the magnificent Shard and we finally reached our destination.
We went in, but we were 30 minutes early. So we headed for All Bar One across the road for a glass of wine. Vicki bought a bottle (I was driving unfortunately so only had one glass). We sat down to find Lucy Robinson and her agent Lizzie Kremer were seated beside us! We all had a girl fan moment and chatted for a little while until Lucy & Lizzie had to leave.
We stayed in the bar and had a chat and almost finished the wine.
We made our way over to the News Building and the doorman asked us what event we were here for. He directed us over to some ladies who ticked us off a list. They then directed us to another man who let us through the security gate. Next we had to go to another two men who checked our bags and then finally we got into a lift to Floor 14. The lift moved a little too quickly for my liking and did that "tummy jolt" thing at the top, which was not very pleasant. We got out of the lift and wow, the view that greeted us was amazing. What a fabulous place to work. A view from every window and light, airy offices.
|Walkie talkie Building|
|St Paul's Cathedral|
|From left: Lindsey Kelk, Lucy Robinson, Lucy HollidayLindsey Kelk Twitter Lucy Robinson Twitter Lucy Holliday Twitter|
The questions put to the authors were by Clare Frost (Twitter Handle) and were excellent. We heard how Lindsey Kelk was once a bridesmaid and foiled a make up heist by the string quartet at her friends wedding. She also wore a bridesmaid dress for 5 days straight as a child! Lucy H had chosen her sister to be bridesmaid at her wedding and was told by her now heavily pregnant sister that she didn't feel comfortable, so had to get an emergency dress for her disgruntled friend to take over.
They were asked about writing techniques and Lucy H told us that she types out the reasons that she can't move on with the plot. She tried the coffee shop planning that her favourite author Sophie Kinsella favours and found herself full of coffee and getting fatter on the cakes!
Lucy R filled us in on a Channel 4 documentary made about her where they followed an actress portraying Lucy. She had been present at the auditions for this documentary and as she is quite sweary on her blog, one actress decided to swear throughout the audition. She didn't get the part, instead it went to a young Scottish actress - Lucy is not Scottish!
All 3 ladies were very entertaining and gave good tips on writing and more importantly that you should never give up. They have all suffered rejections through their careers and it was encouraging to hear this.
After checking our goody bags - yes goody bags! we went over to join the queue to get our books signed. We had quick chats with the authors who are all lovely ladies. Lucy Holliday liked my combination of a bunny scarf and fox t-shirt.
|Signed by Lindsey Kelk|
|Signed by Lucy Holliday|
|Goody Bag Contents|
After visiting the toilets (which were bigger than my house) and looking at the excellent wall of books (pictured below) we left the building in the dreaded lifts and started our journeys home. It was lovely to see Vicki and Natalie again and I hope we can meet again soon.
I rode the tube successfully again back to the O2 and then went back to the car. My phone had decided to freeze so I had to take the back off it and restart the thing. I hate sitting in the car alone in a car park so I locked all the doors! Finally the phone worked again (smart phone my arse!!) and I rang hubby to say I was leaving. I went to the barrier and the machine asked for my ticket, then it asked me to turn the ticket over, then it asked me to turn it over again, before opening the barrier without the ticket as it had read my registration number!
Finally I began my journey home. I arrived home safely and went straight to bed absolutely knackered.
I was tired and had to rest the following day, but it was a great night and I really enjoyed it.
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Lindsey Kelk Website and Twitter
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Lucy Holliday Info and Twitter