Thursday 4 September 2008

A romantic lunch

Yesterday was very busy, but I just about managed to squeeze in the giving of a short talk at a lunch in Southport, organised by the Romantic Novelists' Association.

Southport has happy literary associations for me. In the autumn of 1990, I attended the annual writers' seminar there. Robert Barnard was the guest speaker. I entered a short story for a competition judged by the fiction editor of 'Bella' magazine - and to my delight, it won. 'Bella' published the story - my first published fiction. Bob Barnard kindly recommended the editor of 'Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine' to print it in the States, and a few weeks later my first novel was accpeted. A heady time.

So it was good to go back to this very pleasant (though today, very wet) resort and meet some most companionable people. They included Judith Saxton, who is now better known as the best-seller Katie Flynn. The last time I saw her was more than ten years ago, at a CWA Awards Dinner - she had contributed a story to an anthology I edited, and it was short-listed for the short story dagger. I was glad to catch up with her again after so long.

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