There’s always something rather special about going along to hear an author that you’ve met on-line, and liked very much, talk about their book. And it’s even better when the venue where she was doing her session – Wetherby Library – was within walking distance of my house. And when the library lay on a cup of tea AND a cream filled scone… well, I’m really glad I went.
Rachel Dove – the author of The Chic Boutique on Baker Street – was just wonderful. The audience was made up of mainly elderly ladies (OK, OK, I know I’m one too…) and they took her to their hearts from the moment she took the chair. She told us the story about winning the Prima Flirty Fiction competition – first her surprise at reaching the final ten, then her disbelief when she heard she’d won (even asking them to check the name again, just in case they’d got the wrong Rachel). First she had 12 weeks to produce the initial draft: then she described the hard work that then happened to get the book to publication, the fortnightly instalments she sent her editor, the chapter they told her didn’t fit and that she had to delete (but they were right…).
The audience asked loads of questions, and Rachel fielded them all with the skill and ease of a natural who’d been doing talks like this for many years. The varied books published by Mills and Boon, submitting for publication, the books she’d enjoyed reading, erotica (and a lovely story about her gran and mum discussing Fifty Shades while walking round Marks and Spencer), the importance of social media for authors, children’s writing, whether Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter would have made the grade in today’s world, her eight year old son reading Jurassic Park… and she spoke with real passion about her frustration that chick lit and romance is sometimes seen as of lower importance than other genres of writing. Rachel entertained us for over an hour, made everyone laugh and relax, and the audience really loved her.
I’m not sure if she ever actually managed to get her tea and scone – everyone wanted to chat with her, and she needed to dash for the school run. With that reminder of what the life of an author is really like, I’m delighted to report that those of us with nowhere particular to go stayed to chat for a while. Rachel’s infectious enthusiasm for books and reading had rubbed off on everyone – and several people said they planned to step outside their usual reading and try her book because they’d liked her so much. Well done Rachel, you made a lot of friends here in Wetherby… it was a lovely afternoon.
The Chic Boutique on Baker Street by Rachel Dove, published by Mills and Boon in April 2016, is currently available at 99p for kindle as part of the Amazon Summer Sale.
The perfect escape to the country…
Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of Westfield is the perfect place tomake a fresh start.
Local vet Ben is the golden boy of Westfield, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.
When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?