Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Friends in Faraway Places

It’s been just over a year since I received The Call and was inducted into the Harlequin family. I not only found myself part of the large welcoming community of this publishing superpower, but also part of a smaller, but non-the-less amazing group of women- Medical Romance authors.

Not a day goes by without some kind of contact, an email, some information, a question, advice… and I soon discovered this diverse group of writers were fast becoming (albeit online) friends.
So it was fabulous to actually meet some of them face-to-face at my first  RWA conference in Anaheim, Orange County. Traveling from tiny New Zealand to a conference with over 2000 women was a bit daunting so it was nice to have a few familiar names I could seek out.
We’d shared so much about our trials and tribulations, lives etc, but knew little about each other. We had formed impressions, shared laughs and a few tears, but really? How would we get on?
No problem. Meeting these lovely ladies was how I imagined meeting a long time penpal would be. After a few minutes in their company I discovered they were all as warm and funny and spirited as their stories.
So just in case you wondered what happens at one of these romance writing conferences here’s a few photos of our adventures!
Heartbeat lunch with Nas Dean (Medical romance trailblazer), Lynne Marshall, Louisa George, Fiona Lowe and Mills and Boon Editor Bryony Green
First up was a Heartbeat lunch on Wednesday. ‘Heartbeat’ is the RWA chapter for Medical Romance enthusiasts.
Wednesday evening was the literacy signing event- where 400 plus authors signed books for readers for charity-we made over $50,000!
Of course editors are huge parts of our lives, so it was great fun to meet three of our Mills and Boon editors from the UK office too- and they took us out for lunch on Thursday!
M&B editor Lucy Gilmour and Lynne Marshall
 As you can see the weather was very kind to us! And the food was divine!
All the food I ate over the week was delicious- but in huge portions! Talk about supersize me! When I first arrived I was embarrassed to be sending half back because I just couldn’t eat it all…but by the end of the week I was asking for seconds!
Melanie Milburne, Fiona Lowe and Tina Beckett
We drank mimosas and ate italian antipasto and talked and talked and talked.
And then we talked some more.
Oh- and throughout all of this we had workshops with esteemed authors and  experts in every field of writing and beyond (I went to one particularly interesting- but very gory- lecture by an ER doctor complete with slides of gunshot wounds and head injuries).
Melanie Milburne, Connie Cox and Susan Carlisle
Friday evening was the Harlequin Ball (aka disco) where your trusty medical romance authors danced the evening away- and I mean ALL EVENING! (Those american women sure can dance!!)  I have blisters on my blisters!!!
And finally the RITA awards. Think Oscars for romance writers. The highlight of the week!
We had two medical authors nominated for awards (not for their medical books, though)…Sarah Morgan and Fiona Lowe. And they both won! The cheers almost brought down the roof! We are all so proud of their wonderful achievement.
Fiona and RITA!!
Sadly I don’t seem to have photos of either Fiona McArthur or Carol Marinelli but they were with us too- gorgeous as ever!
So I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the Aussie, Kiwi and US medical authors,  next stop- Britain (I wish!)…
Louisa x
Have you ever met up with someone you met online? How did that work for you?

21 thoughts on “Friends in Faraway Places”

  1. Thanks for posting the pics! I’ve loved all the pics I’ve seen whilst being jealous as hell at the same time! Are you coming to GC Louisa?

  2. I’d already had the pleasure of meeting Louisa last year and I agree with everything she said. Meeting many of the US Medical romance authors was such a buzz. We all got along and in a crowd of 2500, it was wonderful to know I had a ‘tribe’ to hang with when things got daunting. Oh, and they can dance!
    Here is a photo of Fiona McArthur

    And a lovely one of Louisa and Susan Carlisle http://fionalowe.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/p7270098.jpg?w=296&h=224
    And Connie Cox, Lynne Marshall and Louisa George

    Fiona x

  3. It was such fun to meet the medical authors who were at the convention! I’d don’t think I’ve ever danced as hard as I did at the Harlequin party. When I emailed my hubby and kids afterward, he said my kids were trying to figure out what types of dance moves I could possibly have done (while crossing their fingers that I didn’t embarrass them)! I have to admit, my feet hurt the next day. But it was wonderful! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  4. I am so envious. I would give a great deal to have been there.
    And, hand on heart, I have to agree with Louisa, the med authors are as fine a group of women as anyone could hope to ‘meet’. We talk a lot on line and I was thrilled to meet Scarlet (again) and Jennifer Taylor at the recent RNA conference in Penrith. Also Fiona Harper, Natalie Rivers and India Grey (who very generously sent me some of her books when I told her I was about to order some, as well as a huge bar of chocolate!)
    It was also great meeting writers who hadn’t been published the last time we’d met, but who’d since been published, as well as one or two who were still waiting for the call.
    There is something special about being with fellow writers- we never run out of stuff to talk about.
    I would love to have huge party where we could all hang out together. I bet that would be a giggle.
    Anne xxx

  5. Hi Louisa!
    the beauty of having our Medical Author loop is when we meet in person we already feel like we know each other. It was a joy to meet you (and dance with you!) and to share some very special times with you and the other Medical Authors. I was happy to meet Tina for the first time this year. I’ve been fortunate to meet almost everyone else (except for the British authors) in our Medical line up. What do you say we invade the UK next year?
    hugs, and though it’s great to be home – I really do miss you ladies!

  6. Louisa,
    It was so wonderful to meet all the med authors from downunder. We did become family. I guess you guys are the first people I’ve ever spoken to online that I’ve met in person. It went so well this time I may do it more often. Do you think if I tweet Matthew McConaughey that he would meet me?

    Susan Carlisle

  7. Fabulous pictures of you all, Louisa! It sounds like you had an amazing time. I’d have loved to be there to see Fiona and Sarah win their RITAs!

    I have met a couple of people after cyber-meeting them first and we’ve turned into firm friends which is wonderful. Email is a great way to keep in touch with friends who live in other countries too because you don’t have to worry about working out the timezone… I’ve got that wrong a couple of times and dragged my poor friend in Wales out of bed to answer the phone!

    1. Oh Sharon, it would have been lovely if you’d been with us all! Another time??? I hear you on time zone phone calls- my family live on the other side of the world and my mum sometimes gets the time thing seriously wrong!

  8. It was lovely to meet all the medical authors and editors from UK. Thanks to Lynne Marshall who invited me and introduced me around! This is the warmest community there is!

    Thank you Louisa for making me feel so welcome as well! I had already met Fiona ion Fiji so she was the only person I knew beforehand.

    Sorry I was out of Wifi for a while hence the delay in my comment!

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