Last month, I went over to the UK for the annual Association of Mills & Boon Authors' luncheon. I can't tell you how excited I was to get a peek into the M&B offices and see where everything happens. Fellow Presents author Jennie Lucas and I met up in London and shared a flat for an entire week. Our first appointment, the day after we arrived, was in Richmond. Here's a random street view in Richmond:
Finally, after emerging from the train station and walking up a hill, we arrived at the M&B offices. It's a pretty non-descript building for Romance HQ, isn't it?
Once inside, we were treated like visiting royalty -- or rock stars. ;) Everyone came out to see us, and we were ushered to a bright conference room where they'd set up some snacks and drinks. It was so fabulous to meet all the editors, and everyone who works so hard to bring us the books we love every month. I honestly can't remember everyone's name, or their positions, but I know we met people in sales and marketing, etc. And they seemed so happy to meet us, which was very exciting. I know we write the books, but writing is such a lonely and unglamorous profession that I never expect people to think I'm all that interesting. :) When they do, I'm amazed.
After our lovely time spent visiting with everyone, Jennie and I were whisked away to lunch by our editor, Sally Williamson, and another editor, Carly Corcoran. They took us to the most amazing place, where we had food that was prepared by a Michelin starred chef. You can't see it, but Jennie and I were facing the most gorgeous view of green trees overlooking the Thames. It was a wonderful lunch, and by the time we finished and headed back to the train station, it was after 5. Yes, it was a very long lunch, apparently!
Finally, one of the coolest things for me was this plaque on a building right across the street from Romance HQ. I did my master's thesis on Virginia Woolf, and so I found this very exciting. There's a picture of me holding one of my books in front of this sign, but I was looking windblown by then and didn't want to share that one with you. :)
My trip to Romance HQ was great. Everyone there is so enthused about what they do, and it really shows. Writers work hard all alone in front of their computers, but without all the great people at M&B, we wouldn't get to share our stories with readers the way we do. It takes a lot to package and market a book, and I'm so glad I got to see where it all happens.
Lynn Raye Harris is a USA Today bestselling author of glamorous, sexy
romances for Harlequin Presents/Mills & Boon Modern. Her next release, Chosen by the Sheikh, will be available November 1st. You can visit her at www.LynnRayeHarris.com for more information.