Yesterday I travelled to Harlequin’s UK head office in London, to meet my editor, Julia Williams, and colleagues. It was a big day for me – though I assumed it would be a fairly routine thing for them – so I wore my favourite blue dress.
Finding the place was trickier than I’d anticipated – even with google maps. I walked the long way round after coming out of the Tube – if you’re ever going there, it’s right next to the Shard – don’t even bother with maps! [That’s it on the left, with the columns]
The lobby was really impressive/fairly intimidating, depending on how you’re feeling. I felt both. A huge space, serious security, and lots of Words on the wall. Julia came down to meet me, and we went for a coffee first. That was lovely, as we had the chance for a wee chat before going upstairs.
I say ‘upstairs’ but I mean ‘up-lift’. Harper Collins, of which Harlequin is a part, holds the 15th and 16th floors. The lifts are in the centre, with the whole team working round the bright, glass-walled sides. There are meeting rooms and kitchens dotted about, and everywhere, books and quotes from books. If you can tear your eyes away, then – oh my goodness, what a view!
Julia brought me to the Harlequin Mills & Boon area, where I met lots of smiling, friendly, warm women. Not only that, they were waiting for me! Apparently, meeting a new author for the first time is a proper Thing!
I had an interview with Bronagh McDermott, from Dublin, who does the social media work for Harlequin, then went through for my Reception. A Reception!!
The lovely Sarah had done this –
There was prosecco, and a lovely welcoming speech from Jo Grant, the Senior Executive Editor at Harlequin UK. Then Julia and Linda Fildew, the Senior Editor for Historical Romance, both said lovely things about my book. Finally I talked a bit about me, and how delighted I was, and the importance of Storytelling in the human psyche! I hope I didn’t go on too long !
We then had a nice chat which included, among other things, Rupert Murdoch, Nigel Slater, and Flo Nicoll’s Christmas email.
Nothing further will be said on these subjects 😉
Finally, the photos –
Me, Jo, Linda and Julia
The Historicals team, led by Linda
The whole team! Aren’t they lovely!