Tag Archives: Sue Fortin

My Romantic Novelists’ Association Party Debut

The life of a romantic novelists appears to be one ongoing party.” Or so a friend commented when I confessed I was off to my winter ‘works do’ in London last Wednesday. (Yes, I mean the Romantic Novelists’ Association Winter Party held at the IMECE in London on 21 November 2012!!)

We have our moments,” I replied. Swallowing thoughts of long hours spent chained to my desk, typing away in my cold office, battling my way through edits and proofs, concepts, first drafts, second drafts, hundred-and-thirteenth drafts and so on. Of course, battling is an overstatement but… you know what I mean!

Anyway, a writer’s life can be lonely and overwhelming so occasions like the RNA Winter Party are merely a just equalizer, a chance to meet friends and let your hair down. Too right!

Here are a few photos of my debut RNA outing!

Glamming up and getting in the mood ~ with Mandy Baggot and Sheryl Browne!

Oh, looking a bit whited-out. Try again (said the photo-taker) and go in the middle, Nicky.

Happy to oblige! (With Anna Bell, Jan Bridgen and Mandy Baggot but having lost Sue Fortin somehow!)

Apparently, authors say ‘Whiskey’, not cheese. See, I learned something!

Meet the crew: Mandy, Sue and Sheryl!

Circle of pain. Whose feet hurt the most? Whose shoes are the worst torture instruments? I reckon mine, but Mandy did go barefoot for longest. Clockwise from 12 o’clock: Sue Fortin, Jan Bridgen, Mandy Baggot, myself and Sheryl Browne.

Ok, ladies, you can take them off now…

Mandy: “Where’s my phone?”
Sheryl: “Where are my keys?”
Mandy: “Are you hungry?”
Nicky (from the sideline): “We are taking a taxi, right?”
Sheryl: “Shall we get some dinner?”
Mandy: “I’m not walking.”
Sheryl: “Is it time go go?”
Mandy: “Where’s my phone?”
(We took a taxi back to the hotel, and we had a lovely snack-cum-dinner in the bar until almost midnight, and no more walking was done!)

The company was excellent. The canapes were delicious. Conversation sparkled. Time flew by. Until next time, my friends!

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered… and I Sang: Rocking the Festival of Romance

What can I say? It was AWESOME. I have a million photos of the amazing Festival of Romance last weekend. Not all of them came out too well owing to some very pink lighting… but here are the highlights. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard/seen: I sang. Yup, my friends, I sang a bit of a favourite rock song to introduce my reading of Sophie’s Turn. And to prove it… there’s videographic evidence!

Friday night:
Romance and Award Gala

Getting ready to party with my room-mate, Sheryl Browne

Carol Wyer, Linn Halton, me and Kim Maya Sutton waiting for our dinner

The Romaniacs!!!

C’mon, shake a leg!

Give it up for Lady B and her amazing award!!

Ole! Photo courtesy of the lovely Sheryl Browne ~ thank you!

Me and my writing buddy, the lovely Sue Fortin! (And yes, those are magic hands!)

The Romance Fair

Loveahappyending.com ~ we’re here, for sure!

Ooooh, and look at our romance shelf! AWESOME!

UK Sapphire Star Publishing Sisters ~ having a fantabulous time!

…and there were random skits, of the Regency persuasion. Fantastic! They kissed!

Delighted to finally meet my Twitter and FB friend, Joanne Phillips….

… as well as fabulous reviewer and blogger friend, Dizzy (aka Carol Wright)…

…and the wonderful Talli Roland!

The Rock Star Party!!

Mandy, Sheryl and I ~ ready to rock!

Hooray! Connecting with outstanding blogger and super-strategic writer, the one and only Morgen Bailey.

Kate Allan, Festival organiser extraordinaire, reading at the Rock Star party

And finally… I couldn’t help myself. I had to sing!

I didn’t know I would burst into song when I picked up the mic at the afternoon reading. Honest! It just… happened.

…and here’s me, doing the same thing again at the Rock Star party at Rock City Art. Oh yeah! Photo courtesy of Linn Halton ~ thank you, sweetie!

Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Video clip courtesy of Morgen Bailey: thank you for recording, uploading and sharing. You rock!

So here’s to next year: let’s do it again, baby!

CentreStage with Sue Fortin: Photographic walk around Arundel

And another double-whammy week here on CentreStage:
we are a-rockin’ and a-rollin over here. Welcome!

CentreStage showcases amazing authors from around the world. These authors might tell you about their writing, their books, their lives or anything else that takes their fancy. Today, my fellow loveahappyending.com author and writing buddy, Sue Fortin, takes the stage with a wonderful journey around the countryside… Take it away, Sue!

Hi Nicky, thanks so much for inviting me here on CentreStage to chat about why I chose to set my book, United State of Love, in Arundel, West Sussex.

You’re so welcome! And ever since reading United State of Love, I’ve wondered what it looks like over there. Your descriptions are beautiful and intriguing… but I interrupt, already! Sorry.

I live just a few miles from Arundel and have always loved the place. It’s a beautiful historic town and attracts many visitors throughout the year, especially in the summer. Anyone visiting Arundel by train is greeted by the fabulous view of the Arundel Castle shouldering one side of the town and the majestic cathedral standing proudly at the top of the hill on the other side.

I had the pleasure of working there for 18 months when I was younger and spent many a lunch hour with my boss trying out the various tea shops and restaurants. When it came to deciding on a setting for the restaurant in United State of Love, Arundel was the obvious choice. An old church building in Tarrant Street was perfect for my character, Tex, to convert for his business. This is where Anna experiences her infamous ‘eargasm’.

I remember the ‘eargasm.’ A fantastic moment, loved, loved, loved it. I’ve pictured the place many times… now let’s see the real thing. Here goes:

I can also credit my boss for helping me decide on the job of tour guide for my character Anna.  One day, when he was preparing for a big court case, he sent me off for the afternoon on a guided tour of Arundel. I really enjoyed the tour, even though the town is built on a steep hill and I wasn’t exactly wearing the right footwear.

The river Arun, well known for being one for the fastest flowing tidal rivers in the UK, cuts through the town and again I used this as a reference point in the book.  Tex’s apartment looks out over the river.

I can’t possibly talk about Arundel and not mention Swanbourne Lake, surrounded by chalk hills and trees, marking the beginning of the 1000 acre Arundel Park. A great place for a 45 minute stroll around the lake or longer hikes through the park.  I used this in a scene where Tex and Anna have a scare, which initially pushes them apart but then ultimately brings them back together again.

So this is the lake… I like it. It looks romantic, a really nice setting for Tex and Anna.

I like using real places that I am familiar with or have visited. Having said that, I must confess although I have several scenes set in Brenham, Texas, I have never actually been there.  Nor have I stayed at any working-holiday ranches like ‘Moonshadow Meadows’, the home of Tex. However, I did research these and will be forever grateful for Google Earth and Street View!

STOP PRESS!! To celebrate being here on CentreStage, United State of Love is available for download at a special offer price of £0.98/$1.50 – see links  below. Happy Reading!

Why, thanks, Sue: this is an amazing offer. You are a rock star!! Tell us a litte more about United State of Love

Since splitting from her husband, single mum Anna Barnes is enjoying her new found freedom and independence. Now she can concentrate on looking after her teenage son and building up her career. However, she didn’t bank on working for Tex Garcia.

The gorgeous American chef is getting the locals hot under the collar and not just because of his culinary prowess! Beneath that handsome exterior, however, lies a man haunted by his past. Tex can’t commit and women pass through his life like dishes going out to service. So what is it about Anna that’s different?

Can Tex break her self-imposed rule of never mixing business with pleasure and add some spice into the mix? Or is Anna’s ex set to spoil the recipe altogether?

United State of Love is available in paperback from FeedARead. For the Celebration Offer on Kindle copies, visit amazon.co.uk  or amazon.com. It’s a great read, go grab it now!

Finally, you can visit Sue on her blog, love reading love books; on Facebook and on Twitter. Sue is a featured author at loveahappyending.com, and is also busy blogging in an authorly capacity with The Romaniacs and Famous Five Plus. She’s one busy lady!

So, are you inspired to visit Arundel? Have you got a photo diary of your favourite settings and book locations? Feel free to share, if you can, and pop by and say ‘hello’ at any rate…