So last night I packed up my workshop crib sheets - which includes this very inspirational montage of Alpha Males (PS: I didn't put it together, so take no responsibility for Simon Cowell & Gordon Ramsey, I'm just saying...) - and headed off down the M40 in my Fiat Panda to Uxbridge Library.
Once there I was pleased to find not just an amazing turn out for 7.30pm on a Tuesday evening (at least 35 people) but a great cross-section of the population, from a couple of elderly gents (who said they were looking forward to reading their first M&B) to a young girl (who looked a little confused at times but sat very politely). There were avid romance readers, aspiring authors who have already submitted a couple of manuscripts, quite a few people who were just interested in hearing what it's like to be a published novelist and even a young male actor who was intrigued enough to 'give my book a go' even though he admitted to not reading much romance as a rule!!
I waffled for a good hour then took questions, and hopefully imparted a small amount of useful information in amongst all the anecdotes on topics such as 'how to get rid of an Elvis impersonator who wants to take over your manuscript' and 'how to keep a straight face while explaining to your Mum that your first published book is going to be called Bedded by a Bad Boy'.
I had a great time, and hope the participants enjoyed it as much as I did (even if most of them are not likely to be submitting to M&B any time soon).
Best question of the night? The woman who asked if she could submit her story in Bulgarian. Bless!
Was really tempted to say yes, as she seemed keen and as she rightly pointed out, women in Bulgaria love romance. But I think my editor would probably have killed me. So I settled for suggesting that she either get a good translator before submitting, wait until she was more confident in written English, or think about investigating Bulgarian romance publishers. I really hope I didn't discourage her.
Next stop Stokey on Thursday night!