When I signed my second contract my editor Julia invited me to visit the Harlequin office and go out for lunch which I was really looking forward to (despite being a gibbering wreck about meeting real people). I’ll freely own up to being ridiculously nervous about being unmasked as a complete fraud in front of adults, especially when they have a lot more experience about the subject of romance and books than I do, but I was dying to see where everything happened and meet the team.
It’s the school holidays and by some machinations and a bit of good fortune I managed to get down to London so I arranged a visit to the office in Richmond. On the Friday term ended I checked my emails and discovered a request to video me talking for the SYTYCW Sold! blog, thus proving the old adage*…
Despite the fact that in The Day Job I perform in front of an audience every day they’re five year olds and not too discerning. Throw on a wolf mask to blow their structures down, do a silly voice when reading a story and feign utter amazement when they beat me in the number bond challenge and they’re over the moon. Since the start of this amazingly fun journey I’ve found myself on I’ve done newspaper interviews via the telephone and even spoken on BBC Radio Manchester but the prospect of being filmed terrified me.
I got through it thanks to the encouragement of Flo who expertly put me at my ease. I only took a few takes and I managed to talk without going ‘umm’ too many times, though I did get the year I was in SYTYCW mixed up with the year Falling for Her Captor came out.
The video is here
In the event, I had a wonderful day. I dispatched the husband and children to go find a view of St Paul’s and eat supermarket sandwiches while I went visiting.
The staff were lovely. Everyone was welcoming and friendly and came over to say hello. It was a fantastic opportunity to put faces to names and get to meet the people I’ve been in touch with for a year and a half now. The enthusiasm for what they do is obvious and it made me appreciate how lucky I am to be a small part of such a wonderful team.
I shall definitely go back if they invite me. Apart from anything else, Julia and I didn’t manage pudding and we need to put that right!
*not really. It was entirely voluntary and I enjoyed doing it, despite having a meltdown beforehand when husband said my dress and top clashed.