On the 12th September, Beyond Grace’s Rainbow celebrated it’s first birthday. It’s so hard to believe that it’s only a year since Harper Collins’ digital imprint, Harper Impulse, sprinkled their magic on Grace’s story and published my debut novel.
And so with a little bit of serendipity, I spent Grace’s book birthday in Harper Collins HQ in London! It was so nice to say hello to the team there – who work so tirelessly to get our books published and marketed and ultimately onto bookshelves.
Once my meetings with Kimberley Young, Katie Sadler and my editor Charlotte Ledger (thanks for the beautiful lunch Charlotte and your continued support) were over, I made my way to Leighton Buzzard for the Festival of Romantic Fiction.
It was with great excitement going back to this event, because Beyond Grace’s Rainbow won the Romantic eBook of 2013 at their annual book awards last year. This time, I had the pleasure of introducing the shortlisted nominees in the category this year and saying those wonderful words – ‘And the winner is….’
Opening that enveloped was so exciting and I am so pleased for Jo Thomas, author of the bestselling novel The Oyster Catcher, who is this years winner. As I said on the night, if Jo has half as much fun as I’ve had since I won the award last year, she’s in for one hell of a ride!
Jo’s book incidentally is set in Galway, so maybe there’s something about Ireland that is lucky for this category! The luck of the Irish rings true here I think! Just saying….
The weekend at the festival was a lot of fun. I got to channel my inner ‘Bianca’ and get all east end like, by attending the book fair which was held in the bustling weekly Leighton Buzzard market. I just about managed to curb my desire to scream ‘Ricky!’at the top of my voice and was so thrilled to sell all of my books. A really good feeling!
Carmel on her market stall!
One of the highlights of the weekend for me, was taking part in an event, an author discussion panel with Katie Fforde, Liz Fenwick, Fiona Harper and Tracy Bloom.
Carmel, Katie Fforde, Liz Fenwick, Fiona Harper and Tracy Bloom
All ladies are a source of inspiration to me, and it was an honour to share the stage with them.
I won’t lie, having George Clooney close by – courtesy of Tracy – wasn’t too shabby either!
Watch out Rog…
The past year has surpassed all of my wildest dreams and ambitions and sometimes I must pinch myself when I think about how well Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and now The Life You Left have done and the adventures I’ve been on, courtesy of Grace and Sarah’s stories.
Carmel with Sophie Hedley, Reviewed the Book – who won romance blogger of the year and Louise Hall, shortlisted for New talent author award
Lastly, I need to thank the fans of my books, who have been so warm and supportive. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.
Thank you so much.