Saturday, September 23, 2006

Planes, Trains & Aching Feet

Due to blogger difficulties beyond my control (and range of associated swear words.... trust me!) I thought I'd take a day or three and tell you about my trip to London... Then I will take up where I left off in the workshop...

Due to the fact that we writers can be such an insular bunch, it's really nice to get together and chat with people who just *get* what we go through on a daily writing basis. So I have to say I always look forwards to this trip. It's my third now - the first one was really scary - who, me, with all those writers??? OMG! The second year was a little easier, cos I knew a few people and Natasha and I bunked in a hotel together, which was fun... This year - I knew I was coming to stay with Natasha, so I knew it would be fun from the get-go!

So, off I flew. New baggage restrictions caused me a tad of anxiety - and the body search was, erm, well, a little intrusive.... But at the end of the day if it's a choice of a moment or twos embarrassment and a bit of a delay versus falling from 30,000 feet then I'll take the former... So, made it through - found Natasha/Natasha found me... and off we headed. It's very flat in her part of the world. Very flat. Very brown in places and very... well... flat. I miss hills and valleys... And I'm only off the plane twenty minutes. It's sad really that I'm such a homebird. (read as hermit) But Natasha's lovely family make up for the lack of hills... there are billions of them - in fact, i still don't think I could win a prize if the competition was to match the child to the name...though in another day or two I might. We had a jolly good natter and then it was hanging curtains time (oh how we laughed!!!! Lemme tell you - it's as well that gal can WRITE - Cos she's never making it as an interior designer... for anyone that doesn't know - the header tape of curtains has string at BOTH ends... and if you don't make a knot in one end.....uh-huh... needle and thread time...) So, then off to bed for our early start the next day...

We were going to Richmond to the office. I've never been before and was really looking forward to it... I asked my *friend* how much of a walk there would be... *a bit of a walk* she replied.... So, I wore HEELS.... Yes, HEELS... Bit of a walk my sweet ***....

We took a train - then got on the tube... not much walking - all good so far... had coffee en route... still all good... (I'm rapidly becoming an iced coffee addict btw) - there was a bit *more* of a walk than I was ready for in the changeover at Kings Cross (down a large hamster tunnel kinda thing) and then we got to Richmond - which is lovely - AND THE WALKING BEGAN....

Now, I'm a country gal. I know when you're going hiking any great distance that the correct footwear is an essential. *When warned* I can dress accordingly. The office was a *bit of a walk* - which was fine....ish... But there was one heck of a lot more walking to go... And in case I haven't mentioned it - IT WAS H-O-T.... And I was in HEELS....

The office was pretty much what I expected it to be (Modern office building outside... lots of books inside)- The receptionist knew who I was which was lovely 'cos that doesn't happen to me - like ever... and she didn't know Natasha cos silly Natasha gave her real name and not her pen name. (score one to the benefits of real name vs pen name debate....) - so we later decided that from now on Natasha would always be Natasha when in *writer mode* - which is great - cos I keep forgetting and calling her that anyways...

We met all the editors in all their little sections - chatted briefly with the very lovely Karin Stroeker who is Canadian and knows pretty much everything and has the nicest office! Met the head of the Romance line Kim Young (too young and pretty....) and of course were escorted around by our own lovely editor Jenny Hutton (also disgustingly young and pretty....oh and tanned cos she just came back from holiday...AND she had FLAT SHOES). All along the walls of the office there are blown up covers from through the years - names I read growing up - names that inspired me to get into this game - cover designs I recognized and some I didn't... and from booth to booth and office to office there was a photocopy of a rather nice cowboy book cover (for *decoration* - *cough*) We got to see all the magazine ads for the launch of the new Romance line and were told that it's doing very well and all concerned are very pleased and excited - which is fantastic!!!!! And then off we went to lunch...

WHICH WAS A LONG WAY AWAY. Now, don't get me wrong. To get to this STUNNING place on the Thames for lunch was one of the most gorgeous, 'made me feel like a real author' moments that I've had since I started all this four and a half years ago. The location was beautiful, we walked past the little rows of houses that the likes of Richard E Grant and Mick Jagger have been known to live in - and every one of them overlooking the river which was a gorgeous deep blue on the sunny indian summer day. When we got to the Hotel it was as stunning on the inside as it was outside. And we were treated to silver service - the kind where they whisk the linen napkin onto your lap and don't so much as let you pour your own water. The food was to die for - the wine was so smooth you barely had to swallow it - the dessert was so artistic it seemed a shame to ruin it (but it was white chocolate cheescake - it HAD to be done...) - the scenery was gorgeous - the authors/editor chat was informative & inspiring & encouraging. I found out one of my books did *very* well in the States this year (not telling which one....) and that BOTH my Modern Extra's will be released as Promotional Presents next year... HOORAY!!!! It was truly the nicest lunch I've had, like, ever... And you know, pathetic as this may sound, for the first time I felt like I had earned my place on the roll of authors...!

AND to make it all the better...we got a taxi back to the train station.... Where we did our temporary goodbyes and headed off to Piccadilly Circus to buy FLAT SHOES....

More tomorrow....

8 comments:

Carol Hutchens said...

Ohhhh....Trish, It sounds wonderful! [except for the sore feet]

Carol

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Trish, you're one of the most down-to-earth people I've ever known!
GREAT news about how well your book did in the States, and FANTASTIC news about your ModXs!!!
It sounds like you had a brilliant time - and you deserve every minute of it!

Looking forward to hearing more...

Sue :-)

Sharon J said...

Did you get blisters? I hope not.

Congrats on having the ModXs released as Presents whatevers.

Marcy said...

Trish, your trip sounds heavenly (but tiring). Congrats on the news about your book in the US. BTW, I'm really enjoying your blog re: your book writing process. I've already had a *light-bulb* moment. Thanks for the inspiration. Can't wait to read the rest!

Marcy

Donna Alward said...

I admit to snorting when you said Natasha said it was a bit of a walk. I've read your next book, remember. HE HE HE HE!
You almost asked for it!

You all sound as though you had a fabulous time. Just...magical.

Looking forward to more news and the next installment...and btw my magical date is Oct. 20...and I'm not quite at 25 k yet....I know, I know, welcome to my world.

Get back already. I miss you.

Trish said...

Blisters installment on its way gals!!!!

Have to say - have been loving the trip this year.... and am loving it more now that Natasha has guilted me into doing some writing... If you know me then you'll know that a little competition is a sure fire way to make me put words into word doc....

(here's hoping they make sense when I get back!!!)
Am missing my online friends too I have to say... But fear not - cave time approacheth rapidly...

Am back Wednesday so will do a new Workshop then Marcy - Lovely to have you here!!!! I'm very lucky with my blog visitors! They're like family now....

JENNA said...

Congrats on coming out as PP!! Which WHITE HOT title will they use?

Trish W said...

Jenna both books will get brand new titles to fit inside two themes they are running - so don't quote me but I *think* White-Hot! is something about being ready for marriage and Breathless has to do with Rory being a Master Of the Bedroom... soon as I have the offical nods and dates I'll fire them up!

Very exciting!!!

And Donna - no pressure - 8 & a half k in TWO DAYS.... lol....