Being an author is generally a fairly solitary job – 99% of my work involves sitting in a study by myself, trying not to tear my hair out as I work out some plot twist or other. So on those rare occasions when I’m let out for good behaviour, I tend to have a jolly nice time. Yesterday was one such occasion – the Liverpool Echo Mum of the Year event.
It was a wonderful day – full of inspiring stories, such as that of the winner Lyndsey Crowder, who discovered she had cancer when 8 weeks pregnant. Despite doctors telling her she may have to have a termination, she was determined to continue with the pregnancy, during which she endured a bone marrow transplant and radiotherapy. Her daughter was born fit and healthy at 34 weeks and, three years later, Lyndsey is back at work for the Ambulance Service and in remission. As you can imagine, it was a fairly weepy day.
I was sat next to former Atomic Kitten and Masterchef winner Liz McLarnon and the two of us got through several packs of tissues (and nearly lost a set of eyelashes!) during the course of the event.
I’d never met Liz before and, given that lots of people you meet in real life are nothing like they appear on TV, I feel duty bound to report that she’s one of the loveliest people you could meet; extremely down-to-earth, very bright, and with a fabulous sense of humour. She also loves her chick lit – I think she should consider Mastermind with it as her specialist subject next time.
Jane Costello, actress Ann-Marie Davies, Masterchef winner Liz McLarnon and actress Suzanne Collins
If you’re interested in knowing what it’s like to be a romantic comedy author, how I write my books and where I get my ideas from, then you might like to know about a upcoming event I’ll be taking part in.
Shevington Library in Wigan, Lancashire, is holding a special evening on Wednesday July 18th in which you can come along and hear me talk, get your books signed, or simply chat to me about your own writing aspirations.
I’ll be there from 7.30pm until 9.00pm and tickets cost £3.50, which, in the finest book club tradition, includes wine and nibbles. Tel: 01257 252 618 for further details.
How would you like £1,000 to spend on a new wardrobe? Followed by a weekend in London’s super-plush The Cumberland hotel, complete with cocktails and Michelin-starred dinner? Oh, and it wouldn’t just be for you, but your girlfriends as well . . . www.littleblackdress.co.uk are offering just that as the fabulous prize to mark the paperback launch (TODAY!!) of All The Single Ladies. The only downside is that I’ve just been told I can’t enter myself. It’s very easy to enter; just check out this link for details – and good luck! x
All the Single Ladies is out in paperback on Thursday, so I’ll be signing copies at Formby Books next Saturday 9th June, from 12-1pm. I’d love to see you there, but if you live too far away, the shop is happy to send books on (Tel 01704 832 166 to pre-order and leave your name so I can sign the book for you). Hope to see you there! x
I always despise the return from a sunny holiday; my post-holiday blues tend to be virtually purple. And this time was worse than most. After a spectacular Easter break in Florida, I stepped off the plane in my flip-flops only to be battered in the face by rain and experience a rapid loss of feeling in all digits due to the cold.
The situation could’ve been catastrophic for my generally sturdy levels of good-humour … until I received some news from my fairy godmother (aka publicist) Emma Harrow that bowled me over. She emailed to say: ‘I take it you’ve heard you’re nominated for the Melissa Nathan Award?
Melissa Nathan was a hugely talented and brilliantly funny writer of romantic comedies. She died aged just 37 in 2006 and, in her honour, this literary award was established – to recognise novels that ‘combine the magical, life-enhancing elements of humour and love.’
Judges include Jo Brand, Joanna Trollope, Jessica Hynes, Sophie Kinsella, Morwenna Banks, Liza Tarbuck, Gaynor Allen (Head Book Buyer for Tesco), Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director National Express Coaches (the sponsors of the award) and Freya Wright (Book Buyer for Waitrose). So – quite a committee.
I’m up against some fantastic authors, some of whom I count as friends, including the irrepressible Milly Johnson, Jenny Colgan, Allie Spencer, Sarrah Manning and Jane Lovering.
We all find out the result at a glittering awards ceremony (they always glitter, don’t they?) on 12th June . . . so watch this space!