Long before I even knew of the world of book blogging I have always been a massive reader and booklover but never really had much of a chance to meet or speak to any of my favourite authors. But since setting up the blog I have had the chance to interview authors via email and chat to them interactively via social media but it is just that virtual interaction.
So when I received an email invite to the book launch for Jill Mansell's 27th book You and Me, Always I immediately bought my ticket to the event as I couldn't turn down the chance to finally meet Jill having read all of her books since her first book Fast Friends was published back in 1991 (which ages us both!).
Despite having been laid up in bed most of the week with a sinus infection I was determined I was going to go to the event and fortunately I was feeling a lot better so yesterday afternoon saw me catching the train up to London. The launch was being held on the top floor of Jill's publishers office on Victoria Embankment, the views from the Rooftop Terrace at night are spectacular but sadly none of my photos came out that well.
The start of the evening was a formal sit down affair with Jill being interviewed by Claire Frost, journalist from the Sun Fabulous magazine, who asked Jill to tell us a little bit about You and Me, Always which Jill admitted she's not very good at giving elevator pitches (I have to admit I've never really thought about how hard it must be for authors to describe their books in condense form as this is one of the questions I ALWAYS ask authors!), about her writing process (Jill writes all of her novels by hand and her daughter Lydia then types them all up for her), and which of her books is her favourite which I always think is cruel to ask an author but I have been known to ask it too ;) It was then over to the audience to ask Jill a few questions.
Next up was a chance to meet Jill and get our books signed by her, I'm very self-conscious so hate having my photo taken but I couldn't not have my photo taken with Jill.
The rest of the evening was a very relaxed affair with the chance to enjoy a drink or two and chat to the many guests there, despite blogging for over 4 years now I still get awestruck when meeting new people at these types of events and last night's was certainly the Who's Who of Women's Fiction with so many fabulous authors there including Katie Fforde, Jenny Colgan, JoJo Moyes, Liz Fenwick, Carole Matthews, Rowan Coleman, Julie Cohen, Holly Hepburn, Lucy Robinson, Miranda Dickinson, Jo Thomas, Cathy Bramley to name but a few. I'm gutted that I never plucked up the courage to go and speak to Katie Fforde as have read all of her books and am part of her blog tour for A Summer at Sea next month, or JoJo Moyes as Me Before You is still one of my favourite books, but I'm so pleased that I finally had the chance to meet Carole Matthews and Miranda Dickinson in person as I'm a fan of both of them and have read most of their books over the years (still have Carole's recent Chocolate Lovers books to read).
Thank you Headline Books for organising a fantastic evening, it was so worth getting home just after midnight and not being quite with it today...