What I learnt this week: RNA summer party

Twice a year the Romantic Novelists’ Association hold a party in London. The first time I went I was terrified – hundreds of people I didn’t know, all staring at me as if I didn’t belong when I walked into the room. Okay, of course they didn’t stare. In fact they didn’t notice me at all, far too busy talking and laughing amongst themselves, oh and drinking wine and nibbling on canap├ęs! But that’s what I felt would happen.

In reality, you couldn’t meet a friendlier, more welcoming group. I know so many names from social media, and from reading their books, but these were real faces, not book covers – and it was so hard to spot anyone I recognised.

Last night was my sixth party, and though most faces still weren’t familiar, there are some that feel like old friends – and I use the term old as in people I’ve known a few years now, not as in age, because we’re all young in our romantic hearts.

The Choc Lit authors are always the ones I head towards, because they’re the people I know best. We support each other on line and it’s so lovely to meet those people in person. Writing can be a lonely business, but with these guys I feel like I’m part of a team.

From left to right: Henri Gyland, Me (!) AnneMarie Brear, Debbie Flint, Janet Gover

From left to right: Henri Gyland, Me (!) AnneMarie Brear, Debbie Flint, Janet Gover

From left to right: Berni Stevens (author and cover designer), Sarah Waights, AnneMarie Brear, Alison May, Kate Johnson, Laura James

From left to right: Berni Stevens (author and cover designer), Sarah Waights, AnneMarie Brear, Alison May, Kate Johnson, Laura James

As the evening progressed some might have thought they’d had rather too much alcohol when they looked around and saw me standing next to Lynne Shelby. Snap! We both agreed we had excellent taste..

Lynne S and me snap

 

The next party is in November – the Winter party – and Lynne and I will be talking beforehand to agree what to wear. I hope she’ll go for pink again :-)