Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

On My Summer Holiday I….

….Got to Meet a Writing Heroine

One day last autumn, I was standing in the Boston Airport and looking at the New York Times top ten list and one woman had three – THREE – books on there – including one all snuggling, happy at Number One: Debbie Macomber. That’s right. A romantic novelist was whooping the charts silly.

imagesA woman who has over 140 million (yes – MILLION) books in print has my respect. I wished, on that day, that I could meet her  and….I don’t know….bask in the glow of someone who had that creative mojo charged to full pelt. And then a very groovy thing happened.

It turns out – my parents live about 45 minutes down the road (about next door in American terms – at least in the Pacific Northwest) from Debbie. I wrote to her a few months ago – knowing I was going to be visiting my family and asked if she would, perchance, fancy a visit with someone she’d never met, may never see again but was a brand new start up writer enjoying looking up at the towering majesty of the sheer expanse of books she has written.

images-1 (These are just some in an entire room filled with a single edition of each of her books.)

She said yes. And then it got better
.
We schUnknowneduled to meet at her Victorian Rose Tea Rooms where I sat and waited, and nearly bolted when I got the jitters. Then one of the waitresses said Debbie was actually waiting for me at her office across the parking lot (above her knitting shop). I scuttled over and ascended the central stairway of the Victorian-style building. Her office is the turret. As well it should be. (I am aiming for a treehouse office one day). I gave her my little offering (an English teaspoon engraved with ’50 Shades of Earl Grey’ and some Earl Grey tea – then exhaled when she laughed.
The long and short of it? Absolutely fabulous. She is a wonderful woman. Generous with her time. Her thoughts. Her insights. She loves hot sauce. Works with her family and friends. Has super trendy fingernails and has promised to look me up next time she is in England so we can rectify an unfortunate fish and chips incident. Did I forgot to get our picture? You bet I did. Did I forget to ask just about every single question I thought would have been useful when meeting a romance selling behemoth? Yup! But it was worth every gob-smacked second of it. So go on…I dare you. If there’s someone out there you would like to meet – just go for it.

Have you ever met anyone and been tongue-tied? Or tongue-unleashed? Or is there someone you would dye your hair blue to meet? Do tell!

(PS – I don’t have a book out until January – but thanks to EVERYONE who has read Doctor…to Duchess? You have all made my summer very grin-filled. Just a few autumnal months until One Night…With Her Boss hits the stands!

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15 thoughts on “On My Summer Holiday I….”

  1. Fantastic! Love the fact that you were so overwhelmed, you forgot to get a picture! Oh, Annie!
    However, who would I want to meet? Not sure writing a letter to Tom Hiddleston would work…especially if I dyed my hair blue. Unless…I offered to do it for a charity he supports….hmmm…..(rushes off to do even more research on Tom, but gets waylaid by his gorgeous pics in Pinterest)

    1. Louisa – He strikes me as a guy who would go for coffee with a blue-haired romance novelist. Keep on researching! I was definitely a dork when I met Debbie. Ah well – maybe I’ll be classy and more interesting when we have fish and chips one of these days! x

  2. I love that story, Annie!
    I met Debbie when she was out here for a conference a few years back and she was wonderfully warm and giving. It doesn’t surprise me in the last that she was so welcoming! What a wonderful memory to treasure.

    I already had a real fangirl moment a few years ago when I met Carole Mortimer for the first time. She was my intro to romance novels when I was 12 and I couldn’t believe she was smiling at me and shaking me hand. And now we email and chat on social media too. My head still spins thinking about it!

    1. That’s fabbaroo! It is immensely rewarding to discover a heroine is also a human you have things in common with. Even Barbara Cartland and Jackie Collins had to eat mortal’s food. Dee-lighted you aren Carole Mortimer are pals. Very cool. Very cool.

    1. I know! They give me a little trip home when I’m feeling homesick. And now that I know she loves jalapeños and waking up early as much as I do I feel my ability to write four ga-billion books has just increased! (Ha!) Aim high. Aim high. xx

  3. Yes, Debbie is a lovely woman, and seems to have all the time in the world to talk to other writers. I like your challenge. Just need to get in the same country as one or two people I’d love to talk to.

    1. This is the trick, isn’t it? I’ve started become a bit obsessed about signing up for writers seminars and things. Two weeks ago – I did a How To Write a Comic Novel session with Howard Jacobson (he won the Booker Prize a few years back). He is super academic and very brainy and it was with great relief to hear him talk through the same insecurities/nerves that I have. Now…to increase my vocabulary and win the Booker…..

  4. Great, great story. I’ve met a few famous people in my time through work. I generally have not been tongue tied – probably because it was work for me – but I wouldn’t say I was starstruck either. Except once, on my own time, when I saw Kathleen Eagle after I’d finished reading the marvellous This Time Forever just the night before, and I practically assaulted her with an overabundance of enthusiasm! I was also pretty happy to meet Fabio once.

    1. Holy crow! Did you ask if you could comb his hair? Or climb up it? Or just pretend it was yours for a second (not that yours isn’t fabulous). I’ve met a few famous folk through my olden days work as well and the only one I was a complete idiot in front of was Julie Andrews. Now…if only I’d met Fabio…..

      1. He had some sex appeal sizzling, I can tell you! There is a photo – but I look so vile in an ‘I can’t believe Fabio has his arm around me’ kind of way that it will never see the light of day.

  5. What fun. I heard that Debbie was wonderful. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit. I have met or spoken to so many people that I admire since I started writing. I still can’t believe that I get to be around them. I always wanted to have tea with the Queen of England. I’m sure it won’t happen because I’m not English but a girl has to dream. I wouldn’t be going with blue hair though.

    1. I don’t think the Queen sups her tea exclusively with British people so you’re still in with a chance. One of my neighbours was awarded an OBE a couple of years ago and says she is very nice. So I feel, by proxy, she and I are terrifically close (and I’m American). I think you should keep hope alive!

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