Wednesday, 24 September 2008

S'not fair!

Time and events have rather run away with me, so I’m amazed to discover that it’s been two weeks since I last posted. (Why must it always be time and events that run away with me, and not Henry Cavill or James D’Arcy??) Last week I was down in London at the lovely AMBA lunch and Mills & Boon Toast to the Authors-- eagerly awaited as an oasis of civilisation in the squalor and chaos my usual life. As we are in the midst of renovating our bathroom things here are more chaotic than usual-- and considerably dustier-- so I was particularly glad to find myself sitting in the relative calm and comfort of the Virgin Express to Euston last Wednesday, my mini laptop balanced on the tiny fold out table in front of me, and a cardboard cup of surprisingly OK tea in my hand to soothe the ominous scratchiness in the back of my throat.

A trip to London wouldn’t be a fraction of the fun if I didn’t share a room with gorgeous Abby Green, and we had a great couple of days regressing to about the age of 17, and meeting up with friends old and new. Amongst the latter for me were Trish Morey and Jennie Lucas, both of whom proved as delightful as their books, and fresh, sparkly (and beautiful) new Presents signing Sabrina Phillips, whose first book is coming out next year.

At this point I'd better confess that I forgot to pack my camera, but in view of the fact that the moment I stepped off the train the scratching in my throat blossomed into the most spectacularly revolting cold that probably isn't such a bad thing. Spent the day of the AMBA lunch walking around with a scarlet nose and huge black circles under my eyes, and generally looking like an extra in some grim Channel 4 drama about the dangers of hard drugs. It is a tribute to the kindness of romance writers that people did still talk to me, however I'm horribly afraid that many of them might subsequently have regretted it. (If you're one of these people please let me know and I’ll send chocolate and lemsip by way of apology.)

Back in the north, the cold vanished as suddenly as it appeared, leaving nothing but a sore, raw nose and a lingering sense of injustice.


Michelle Styles said...

As I sat next to you at lunch, can I assure that I did not get a cold?
It was lovely to see you as always...

India said...

Michelle, I'm so glad and thank you for the reassurance! It was such a treat to sit next to you and have the chance to chat in person instead of by email, but I was thinking on the way home that there were so many topics we didn't have a chance to cover... Hope we don't have to wait until next year before we get another chance!

The event was lovely, so huge credit to you for organising and hosting it. And huge thanks too!

Trenda said...

Hope you feel much better soon, India!



Kate Hardy said...

I talked to you, and I didn't get a cold either :o)

Was lovely to see you; sorry we didn't get the chance to chat longer.

Jennie Lucas said...

India, you crack me up!! What a funny post (and so elegantly written, too...grrr). That bit about you "generally looking like an extra in some grim Channel 4 drama about the dangers of hard drugs" was hilarious. You are one of those dreadful girls who look absolutely stunning without trying, like you roll out of bed ready for a cover shoot. Speaking of a "lingering sense of injustice" I find it vastly unfair that you could be sick and look like that. (Wondering where I can send my complaint letter?)

I have photographic evidence of how fab you actually looked which I'll be posting soon--you and Abby prancing down Charing Cross Road with a wicked, teenager-y gleam in your eyes.

It was so great to have such fun with you both, particularly the night we went out for drinks and curry and more drinks with Julie Cohen, Fiona Harper, Biddy Coady...but there was one more with us. Who am I forgetting?!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

I saw some of the pics where the event was held plus some of you and Daisy, Kate and all. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

A new Presents author? Please tell us about her, what's she's writing and does she have a website yet?

Natasha Oakley said...

Sabrina Philips is the new Presents author. She's sold two books and is putting a website together but it's not up and running yet.

There's a new Romance author, too, and that hasn't happened for the longest time. I'm pretty sure she's the first since the relaunch of the line. I'm struggling to remember her name, which is awful. In my excuse I haven't had my first coffee of the day. I'm thinking ... Nina Harrington. (But, of course, that maybe just a great name for a heroine!)

And, India, I posted a photo of you at the AMBA lunch on the Pink Heart Society blog. Proof positive you simply can't 'take' a bad photo. Soooooooooooo annoying!

India said...

Trenda, I'm absolutely fine now that I'm shut away back in my little office. How annoying is that?!

It was so lovely to see you too, Kate, there's never enough time to chat properly is there? I always travel down with such high hopes of catching up with friends, and travel back feeling that we barely scratched the surface! Next time...

Jennie, it was such a blast to spend time with you, and so frustrating that you weren't well either. The cocktail night was fun wasn't it? (though rather than a Margarita or a Cosmopolitan, I indulged in a cocktail of wine, water and paracetamol... Don't try this at home...) and there was something really special about us all being out and about in London without children! Wicked and funny Heidi Rice was the other member of our party-- she's fabulous.

Marilyn, Natasha's absolutely right-- Sabrina Philips (I spelled it wrongly in my post, sorry Sabrina) is our new girl. She's ridiculously young and lovely, and I think her website is now up at It's such a cooool website-- you have to check it out. I think her first book is out in the UK February.

Natasha, thanks for supplying the name of our other new girl, Nina. I was so excited to meet her after chatting to her in cyberspace that I quite forgot to get grown up details like what her writing name was going to be and when her book is coming out. It was great to see you too (we're having our own minor flooring trauma here this week, so I'm thinking of you with renewed and heartfelt sympathy)though we didn't get the chance to say goodbye!

(Hmmm... sounds like a great line for a book. Which reminds me, I think I'm supposed to be writing one...)

Sabrina Philips said...

Hi India! Thank you for being so complimentary, all untrue of course but lovely of you to say :) Was great to meet you and so many others who I've met virtually and whose books inspire me. Daunting being the new girl at the bottom of such a long line of brilliance but very exciting!

Yep, website is all up as you say -hubby who made it is very pleased with the approval :) Am just waiting for my first visit from the cover fairy, will hopefully see how she treats me next month!

Jennie can't wait to see your pics!

Anonymous said...

Hi India
Nina Harrington here - VERY excited about being the new girl for the Romance Line. And yes, we were so busy enjoying ourselves we never got around to the business bit.
My first book is going to be called 'Always the Bridesmaid' and will be on the shelves in the US and online in the UK in July 09.
WOW those gals in HMB work fast - I only got the call 1st September and here I am on the 26th with the copy edits complete.
And I didn't catch the cold!

Hope to catch up again soon, take care, Nina [ still trying to get used to my new name]

Jennie Lucas said...

Of course, Heidi Rice!! How could I forget?! She was cracking me up through much of the evening with her snarky, funny remarks while sitting next to me at that bar in the National Portrait Gallery. (A nice posh place for a Cosmopolitan.) Obviously I'd had one bellini too many, to forget her--so sorry Heidi!!

Hi Marilyn, Kate and Trenda!

Michelle, thanks again for throwing such a great "do"!"

And I'm nodding my head in agreement with Natasha--soooo annoying that India always looks so good. And we can't even hate her for it, because she's soooo nice. Dangit! :)

Nina Harrington--love the name. Sounds like the heroine of a 1940s movie--my favorite film era. Congrats on your sale!

Hi again Sabrina! I have pics of you, Natasha, India and Kate that will all be appearing on I Heart Presents in about a week. :)

India said...

Hello new girls! Thanks for the info Nina. Can't wait to see both your covers (and read the books, of course!)

Jennie I'm looking forward to seeing those pics on iheartpresents (Um... I think... How much chocolate do I have to send for the chance to vet them first?!)