Earlier this month I attended the Harper Collins summer party and what a glittering event it was. I arrange to meet up with fellow HC authors Michelle Gorman, Katy Regan and Fionnuala Kearney in the hotel opposite the V&A before the party began – partly so we could garner dutch courage but also so we could have a proper chat before we were swept into the party maelstrom. And what a maelstrom it was – the noise hit us the second we walked through the doors!
Fionnuala and I set off trying to look for our mutual agent Madeleine Milburn and must have completed three circuits of the huge crowd before we decided to give up and stop walking long enough to enjoy our drinks (the champagne was free flowing and constantly topped up by the ridiculously young and good looking waiters).
And that’s when I spotted Lucy Clarke. I’m a huge fan of her books ‘The Sea Sisters’ and ‘A Single Breathe’ and, as we’ve chatted on Twitter a little, I thought I’d go and say hello. She was wonderfully friendly and had the neatest baby bump I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately we didn’t get to chat for very long because I was whisked away by a member of HC’s PR team who wanted me to meet Charlie Redmayne (HC CEO).
As we drew nearer the PR lady pointed out that he was already talking to someone so we’d have to wait. Turned out that ‘someone’ was Judith Kerr, the 91 year old author of ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. It took all my self restraint not to rush over and tell her how much my son and I adore her books but somehow I managed to stay still. And then it was my turn to meet Charlie – who was lovely and congratulated me on The Accident’s sales figures (currently 120,000 sales, ebook and paperback sales combined). He said the nicest thing when I mentioned how chuffed I was that The Accident has been in the Kindle top 100 chart for over three months – ‘We can help get your book into the charts but the book has to be good to stay there.’
I spent most of the rest of the evening with Maddy (who managed to find me), my editor Lydia and other HC authors.
The evening went far too quickly and, before I knew it, it was time for me to jump into a cab to catch a late train back to Bristol. I had a wonderful evening and I’m looking forward to next year’s party already.