I don’t always write about the book-related events I’m so privileged to attend, but last night’s party at Carmelite House was so very special that it would be wrong not to.
It was the launch party for Jill Mansell’s 27th and latest book, You And Me, Always. Jill’s books have always held a very special place in my heart: I’ve mentioned before how her books restored my love for reading, when I happened to pick up Fast Friends while on holiday in Kos. So it was wonderful to hear her talk about how she writes, about her love of eBay and her passion for stationery – a lovely, lovely lady. as well as one of my favourite writers.
But – as if that wasn’t enough – this was a really special night as so many of Jill’s friends and fellow authors turned out to celebrate with her. It was lovely to meet again many I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before, and who now feel like old friends – quite dangerous to try and list them but among many others it was great to talk again with both Rowan Coleman and Carole Matthews. And so exciting to mingle with the likes of Jojo Moyes, Jenny Colgan, Jo Thomas, Miranda Dickinson, Liz Fenwick, Judy Astley, Philippa Ashley, Lucy Robinson… ah, I knew I shouldn’t have tried to list people!
At this point, I really should show you some pictures, shouldn’t I? I do wish I could – my cache for the night is limited to a few blurry shots of Jill, one of her book table and a precious one of her with me after signing the book. I was so busy chatting that my specially charged-up camera remained firmly in my bag.
Just wanted to mention a few more personal highlights.
One was chatting with some of my favourite Choc Lit authors – I had the immense pleasure very recently of reading and reviewing Laura E James’ wonderful What Doesn’t Kill You and it was so lovely to meet her at the party. I was also thrilled to meet Alison May and Janet Gover – and I WILL read one of your books soon Janet, I promise.
And although I’ve been on Sue Moorcroft’s Street Team since it was first set up (read more about it here) and have loved everything she’s ever written, I’ve never actually met her before – and it was so lovely to do so at last, and have a proper natter.
I was also really thrilled to be introduced to Katie Fforde – so easy to chat with, and every bit as warm and lovely as her books. And I think that introduction was made by the Fanny Blake – always one of the loveliest people to talk with, even if dashing for my train meant I couldn’t give her all the detail on my South American holiday…!
I really enjoyed meeting the four lovely ladies from the New Romantics Press – Lizzie Lamb (that’s us in the photo – borrowed, with thanks!), Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford. I really do need to take a look at their books – and I hope to be featuring each of them here on Being Anne in the not-too-distant future.
Also lovely to see so many blogging friends – many of whom I’d met before, but several of them it was such a pleasure to meet for the very first time. Great too to spend some time with Colette Kebbel, author of The Retail Therapist, a really fun companion.
All in all, quite a magical night – and such a lovely one to be part of! And now I’m really looking forward to curling up with my signed copy of You And Me, Always over the weekend – could a blogger’s life get much better?