Monday, 16 December 2013

London, here I come!

I'm off to London this week. And, apart from a one-night stopover in a hotel near Gatwick airport before we flew out to Lapland back in 1998, I haven't been to the capital for almost twenty years, and even that was a ridiculously quick day-trip down from Newcastle to Earls Court for a Pink Floyd gig. We did there and back in a matter of hours and were back at college the next morning after an hour and a half's sleep ready for rehearsals for a play we were doing. Never been so tired, but I was younger then. It was all an adventure. If I tried that now I'd probably need two weeks in Benidorm to get over it...

Fortnum & Mason - blimey! I'm going in there???
Anyway, yes, I'm off to London. Why? Well, for those of you who don't know yet, the little Christmas novella I released last year, Christmas Without Icing, was one of the winners of the Harper Impulse Winter Wonderland competition! And now it's been re-edited, got a fabulous new title - The First Christmas Without You - and a simply gorgeous new cover, and it's out on Thursday December 19th! But, the prize for winning that competition was also afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason, or a hamper if you couldn't make it down to London. But I decided to throw caution to the wind and make the trip down south because I think it's about time I had another adventure. And it's Christmas, and I wanted to meet the Harper Impulse team in person to tell them how grateful I am to them for making this author's dream come true. Well, one of them, anyway, because I doubt there's much they can do about the one concerning Timothy Olyphant and a box of Ferrero Rocher... 

Am I excited? Hell, yes! My book's out this week, I get the chance to "scrub up" and attempt to look just a little bit glamorous, and I'm actually starting to feel like an author! Even though I've been doing this for a few years. It just hasn't felt real, until now. I was always proud to be an indie author, and I had some quite incredible success in those early days (getting to #53 in the Amazon Kindle Chart with Bon Voyage was a pretty big achievement, believe me), but it was always, always my dream to have a publisher sit up and take notice of something I'd written. And now that that has happened, I can't tell you how much that's spurred me on to keep working even harder. I may be knocking on for the wrong side of 45 now, but it's never too late to follow your dreams. Never. As the lovely Sam Bailey proved in last night's X Factor Final, but that's a whole different blog post, that is...

Have I got an outfit sorted? I think so. But everything is subject to change. Am I confident my hair will behave on the day? No, not really. Not if the weather forecast is anything to go by. Am I nervous? Yes! I have a tendancy to witter on when the nerves kick in, and we Geordies can talk quite fast at times, believe me. Am I looking forward to it? Oh, you better believe it! I am long overdue a couple of days away from this desk. And I really can't wait to meet the wonderful Charlotte Ledger and the fantastic Harper Impulse team. So, I'll kick those nerves into touch, relax, and enjoy my little adventure as one of the busiest weeks of this year for me kicks off. And hopefully, come the end of the week, I'll have a few pictures to post and a story to tell of the day I met my publishers... and you have no idea how good it feels to say that...

Now, what was I saying about Timothy Olyphant and a box of Ferrero Rocher...?

The First Christmas Without You is released on December 19th, but you can pre-order it now HERE!


  1. Congratulations, have a wonderful time.

    1. Thank you!! :) So nervous, though... I'm really shy in reality, so I'm trying desperately to channel some of my stronger female characters and be more like them!! lol!!

    2. You don't need to be anything but yourself.

  2. I agree with Airam, be yourself and everyone will ADORE you! And bring your camera, take lots of pics, in particular in front of the famous tree in the lobby of HarperCollins. And eat loads! Oh and say a big hi from MrsH to all the gang in HI xxx