On Tuesday 17th March I was lucky enough to be invited to a Spring Blogger Event at the Books And The City arm of Simon and Schuster. Last November (2014) as some of you know I attended a Creative Writing Masterclass there and met some wonderful people.
I travelled to the O2 courtesy of my hubby Dylan and then went by Tube on my own! Scary stuff for me, but it was very easy and I think I blended in as a seasoned commuter. I wandered along Grays Inn Road kept company by my friend Heidi Swain texting me.
I arrived at the Books And The City (BATC) Headquarters and signed in - I couldn't find my name at first and had a moment of panic that I had been invited by mistake - got in the lift to be greeted by the fabulous Sara-Jade Virtue (@BookMinxSJV). I told her I needed a wee and to pull my tights up, which I think she was delighted to know. I did indeed visit the loo (too much information) and went through to the room where everyone was gathered. I surreptitiously tried to change from my "bright red walking around London quickly" shoes to my boots that are a little smarter, but was told off by Sara-Jade who was sporting gorgeous green trainers. I decided at nearly 42 comfort is the way to go.
I looked around the room to try and find friends from the Masterclass and luckily Vicki (@Vikbat) found me. We then saw Emma (@FunkyFairy22) and Molly. Heidi was nowhere to be found as she had been whisked away to the VIP room!
We were shown through to the main room and took our seats. We found we all had a goody bag containing a notebook, chocolate, face cream, a voucher for The Two Of Us by Andy Jones on KOBO and various other little goodies.
The panel entered and Editor Clare Hey (@clareaux) introduced them:
Jane Costello - @janecostello
Iona Grey - @Iona_Grey
Milly Johnson - @millyjohnson
Andy Jones - @andyjonesauthor
Heidi Swain - @Heidi_Swain
Each author read out a chosen chapter from their next - yet to be published - book. We were very lucky to be privy to this and found in our goody bags an exclusive chapter sampler with more chapters from each book to wet our appetites.
Jane Costello read from The Love Shack - Published 23rd April on ebook & Paperback
Iona Grey read from Letters To The Lost - Published 23rd April on ebook & Paperback
Milly Johnson read from Afternoon At The Sunflower Cafe - Published 18th June on ebook & Paperback
Andy Jones read from The Two Of Us - Out now on ebook and 7th May on Paperback
Heidi Swain read from The Cherry Tree Cafe - Published on 16th July ebook
I was so proud of Heidi. We met briefly at the Writing Masterclass, but through the power of social media we have become good friends. I have found that writers are generally a good bunch of people. They give you constructive criticism, a hug (virtual or real) when you're doubting yourself and a good kick up the bum when you need it.
After the panel had finished we all had fizz and cakes made by Dawn Burnett (@dawnburnett) Dawn works at BATC as their Marketing Director and also happens to make delicious cakes. We also got the chance to grab free books. Yes you heard correctly free books. I managed to get some Milly Johnson's and Jane Costello's. I also got a copy of The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank, which I had seen on the BATC website. I stepped away from the hardbacks as I had no-one to carry them on the underground for me.
Later on I got to chat with Andy Jones about his novel The Two Of Us and in particular about a particularly poignant scene towards the end of the book. Unfortunately I can't include that conversation on here as some of you won't have read the book, but I wanted to let him know how well he had written the scene. Andy was a lovely guy and made me happy with the words "You're a writer aren't you?" *Fan girl moment* We talked about book cover choices and editing and then I left him to his red wine and sausage rolls.
Next I got to speak to Milly Johnson who remembered me from last time at the writing class and from Twitter *Fan girl moment 2*. We had a quick chat and had photos. I then managed to wave at Iona and Jane *Fan girl moment 3*. Iona is a lovely lady who I have spoken to on Twitter and since the blogger evening I have had more conversations with her and Jane.
The next author I spoke to was Heidi Swain *Final Fan girl moment*. I got the first ever autograph from Heidi which I hope to get again when her book comes out in paperback. Her debut novel The Cherry Tree Cafe is due out on 16th July and is available to Pre-Order on Amazon (see link below). I have pre-ordered via the Kindle App on my phone so I suggest lovers of Women's fiction/Chick Lit do the same! Please :-)
|Heidi Swain & Me|
|Andy Jones & Me|
|Milly Johnson & Me|
|Vicki Bowles & I|
So all in all a great night, old friends and new, books, cake, fizz, authors and five new novels to look forward to.
Thank you again Sara-Jade for my invitation. Thank you Vicki (@Vikbat) for the company, it was fabulous to see you again.
Happy Reading Everyone!!
Pre-order The Cherry Tree Cafe here
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