Last Friday, I spent the entire day in London with Harlequin Mills & Boon editors and authors. Looking back, I realize I talked pretty much non-stop from 9.30 a.m until 7.30 p.m!
The day kicked off with coffee and croissants with both my Mills & Boon editors in a charming café near Trafalgar Square. I’m privileged to work with the most delightful, talented editors and time passed only too quickly.
Next was the annual lunch of the Association of Mills & Boon Authors. How fortunate I was to be in London at that time and able to attend! A delicious meal—and, of course, more chatting! I loved catching up with both my fellow Harlequin Romance (Mills & Boon Cherish; Australian Forever Romance) and authors from other lines too.
|From left: Kate Hardy, Christy McKellan, Liz Fielding, Nina Milne, Fiona Harper, Kandy Shepherd and Scarlet Wilson|
Then we moved on to the UK Author Party at the new Harlequin Mills & Boon offices in London Bridge. All the editors and staff were there and it was fabulous to meet people I knew only by email. What a view of London from the seventeenth floor!
“You’re living the dream,” said one non-writer friend. Of course I am!
London is a special place for me. My late father and stepmother lived there and my daughter was born there. I spent time remembering some very happy occasions.
I also remembered how encouraging my adored stepmother and father were in my dream to be a romance writer many years ago.
My stepmother was Swiss and loved literary fiction. But to help me she subscribed to Mills & Boon and had a box of “little books” delivered to their London flat each month. She manfully read through every one and gave me her opinions. (Her favourite author became Janet Dailey, BTW.)
My father even bravely read my early manuscripts. “Why don’t you put all the passion and drama and emotion of your love life into these stories?” he asked. (I was single then!) Of course he pinpointed exactly what was missing those early attempts!
Yesterday, walking around where they used to live (location for a new book!) I missed them so much and wished they could be sharing the thrill of me achieving my dream of being a romance writer.
Has anyone special encouraged you to achieve an ambition of some kind? I’d love to hear about it. I’ll be in the air heading back to Australia but will reply as soon as I can.
WOW what a great trip you have had and thank you for all of the wonderful photos they have been beautiful. I loved those memories and I am sure everyone has someone like that in their past mine was my Mum she taught me that If I wanted something I should aim for it work hard and you will get there I am happy with what I have achieved with my life 4 children 7 grandchildren and lots of love and fun :)
Lots of love and fun and a wonderful family- what more could we want from life, Helen! So lovely to hear how your mum inspired you. Glad you enjoyed the photos.Delete
Oh London, how I love thee! Very jealous Kandy but super excited to be going back there next year again!ReplyDelete
Thank you Amy! Nice to hear you are going to London next year. I think all my travelling is done for some time to come!Delete
London is my favourite place in the world, Kandy, and it looks as if you've had the most wonderful time on your trip.ReplyDelete
How lovely to go and walk around where your beloved father and stepmother lived. I bet it brought back a lot of wonderful memories. As for the person who has been my main source of encouragement, that would be Mr Douglas. I call him my patron. :-)
London is wonderful isn't it Michelle--I love it. Two very close friends live there--my bridesmaids from 26 years ago, in fact--and I love spending time with them. Going to AMBA and spending time with our wonderful fellow authors and the lovely editors was the icing on the cake for this trip!Delete
How nice that Mr Douglas is your patron and is so encouraging!
Kandy, what a fabulous experience. Especially with those special memories of your family.ReplyDelete
My dad encouraged my writing from a very early age. I was six when he read my first story and gave me some suggestions. He continued to do so until he died, and I know he'd be proud of my achievements too.
Hi Sue, your dad sounds wonderful--that early encouragement from someone so important must really build confidence.Delete
Kandy, your London stay sounds marvellous. I'm so pleased you fitted it in between books! I'd love to go to AMBA one year.ReplyDelete
As for encouragement, my whole family does that, especially Mr West, who's incredibly supportive. How lucky we are to have that response to our writing from the ones we love.
Hi Annie, that was my second AMBA and it was so lovely to be there. I'm sure you would love it and be made so welcome!ReplyDelete
So nice to read about the encouragement you get from your family and Mr West.
Wow, what a view from their offices!! Looks like you had a fun time and how nice to catch up with the UK authors :)ReplyDelete
You know, I've been so lucky with people encouraging me towards becoming a writer, including the lovely Annie West and author, Anna Campbell. They were at the first writer's retreat I ever attended shortly after I'd received an R&R from Harlequin for my first Kiss book. Since I was naive as anything, I thought revisions were very common but both Annie and Anna talked to me during the retreat and told me what a unique opportunity it was and how I they saw something in my writing from the exercises we had done. That helped me to tackle the revisions with more confidence that I would have otherwise had!
Stefanie, I so remember that. It was such a great couple of days and so much talent burning up the air. Not surprised there's been so much success since then for the participants. I remember just loving your voice - I wasn't at all surprised that you sold not long after and you've gone on to hit the heights. Hey, and not just that - you went to the ballet! That's the important thing. LOL!Delete
Kandy, happy travels. Haven't you had a wonderful trip? I adored the photos you put on Facebook of the Greek Islands swim trek. Made me want to dive in with you. And what a wonderful day in London to finish up with. You really are living the dream! But of course, I know how much hard work and courage and talent you've put into it. So enjoy it, my friend! xxxReplyDelete
One day Id love to write , I have many wonderful authors around me but no one really to encourage. I love it that I can read what I like when I like no pressure haha. It looks like you had lots of fun, and adventures . Great pics Kandy.ReplyDelete
I loved all your pics you posted on your trip just delightful !