Archive for May, 2008

OK, it’s a tenuous link but now I’ve got your attention…  

Having recently been to the cinema to see the new Indiana Jones movie, one of the trailer previews was for a film called The Duchess, opening in September 2008.  It’s based on the book by Amanda Foreman about Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and stars Keira Knightley as the duchess. 



Georgiana  was famous for her menage a trois marital arrangements, for her beauty, her political campaigning and also for her love of gambling. I can’t wait to see the film – I was location spotting just watching the trailer!  Kedleston Hall, a favourite National Trust property of mine, features in the production. 

You can view the trailer for The Duchess here

I’m interested to see how the film deals with Georgiana’s unhappy marriage and her romance with Charles, 2nd Earl Grey.



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I love the covers of the latest re-release of Georgette Heyer novels. Here are a couple of examples:





I’m not sure who the artists are, but I think they are lovely. I do know however, that on one of the Heyer books they have used the painting below by Marcus Stone, which I absolutely adore. The picture is called “Love at First Sight”. Click on it and have a closer look!





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Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Birdcage Walk, London

The RNA summer party was held at the IMechE London last Thursday, 15th May 2008 and as one of the five finalists for the Joan Hessayon New Writers Scheme award, I was invited along.  Champagne and canapes were provided and mucho chatter ensued among the leather bound volumes of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers library (see above). And not once were we told to ‘be quiet’!!

I met my two fellow Hale author finalists (three out of the final five – not bad, eh?!) and ‘networked’ with some of the editors, agents and publishers in attendance.  A citation for each finalist’s book was read by Catherine Jones, the RNA chairman.  You can see the citation for The Paradise Will on the reviews page of my web-site; I was thrilled to have my writing compared to Georgette Heyer!  All the finalists received a cheque and a certificate while the winner was also presented with a small trophy.

Dr. David Hessayon – he of the gardening expert books – sponsors the New Writers Award in memory of his wife Joan, a romantic novelist and long standing member of the RNA.  His speech was both humourous and touching, and – as I found out when I chatted to him briefly afterwards – he’s also a lovely man.

All in all, a great evening and for the finalists, a chance to celebrate becoming a published author 🙂 



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Under the Covers

With books, first impressions (no pun intended!) count. If you’re just browsing, as opposed to looking for a favourite author name, it’s the cover that catches your eye first.

What appeals to romance readers? Photos or paintings? Figures or faces? What makes them want to pick a book out and read the blurb, or flick through the pages?

I’ve been slightly put off by some of the portraits used for Jane Austen books because they don’t fit my image of a particular heroine. But that’s because I’ve already read the book and know the characters well – and I’ve still bought the book!

That’s an example of what doesn’t appeal – I find it harder to say what appeals. Some covers are simply more attractive/intriguing than others, or they remind me of favourite places/holidays.

Let’s have your thoughts, ladies (and gentlemen?)!


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You’ve heard of The Wedding Planner, that rom com with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew (8 out of 10 from me – and I don’t usually go for blond men) McConaughey?

Well, I’ve met The Marketing Planner – Kate Allan, the RNA’s very own PR guru.

I spent a very pleasant morning this week with Kate working on the marketing plan for The Importance of Being… Emma. It was really useful to be able to bounce ideas off someone with her knowledge and experience – both online and offline. Thank you, Kate!

These days, marketing is something that all authors need to get involved in, whichever road to publication they’re on. Website, book signings, launch party (offline and online – please don’t make the wine virtual as well!) – these are usually down to the author to organise, unless you’re Geri Halliwell.

It’s yet another distraction when many of us just want to get on and write, but it can make all the difference between success and failure. 

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