This time last year, I was nervously preparing for the 2012 Festival of Romance in Bedford. It was my very first major writers event, my first time reading my work in public, my first time showing up and chatting to real authors as if I almost belonged there. The first two e-books in my Love from Wales series had been released from Lyrical Press that summer, and I had some lovely new business cards, but that was about it.
To make it even more nerve-wracking I’d just had an email from Charlotte Ledger, then an editor at Mills and Boon, saying that she wanted to meet with me at the Festival to discuss revisions to the book I had on submission from her. So basically, I was terrified constantly for about a week and a half.
Fast forward to today, this moment, right now.
Right now, I’m making plans for this year’s Festival of Romance, booking tickets and hotels and figuring out where on earth I’m going to park. And I’m every bit as nervous as last year, but for rather different reasons.
This year, I have actual books to take with me. I have new releases to promote, I have a book to finish and get to my editor, I have contracts for another couple after that. Charlotte has moved onto the fantastically inspiring Harper Impulse, but not before she made the call and signed me as a Mills and Boon author. I have a wonderful new editor there in the incredible Pippa Roscoe, who drives me to write deeper, better stories, and lends me DVDs so we can share our almost identical love of TV drama.
And that book? The one I met with Charlotte about, less than a year ago? It was released this autumn as Stranded with the Tycoon.
And I just found out it has been shortlisted in the Best Short Romantic Novel category of the Festival of Romance Readers Awards.
So, yeah. A little nervous. And also wondering if I need to buy a new dress…
(Check out all the nominees – I’m in very illustrious company!)