The Romaniacs hit the town!

Yes, that’s right! Us Romaniacs were allowed to take the cuffs off, step away from our desks and glam it up in London for the RNA Summer Party yesterday. And boy what a day it was! Here’s the lowdown on how my day went.

Some of The Romaniacs at the hotel before the party with Lorriaine Hossington
Dinner with the Romaniacs and Lorraine before the party

I arrived at Liverpool Street station around 1pm to meet fellow Romaniac, Sue. I had previously expressed my concern to the other Romaniacs about travelling alone in and around London – I could quite easily get lost going to bed at night if I don’t concentrate – and so in true, supportive Romaniac style, Sue took a slight de-tour on her route and came to meet me at Liverpool St. After a little incident with her ticket being voided because she came outside the barriers to meet me (ooops!) we made our way to the hotel, where we met up with more Romaniac buddies; Debbie, Celia, Laura, Vanessa, Catherine and honorary Romaniac for the day, Lorraine.

Unfortunately we were still one short in the form of lovely Liz, as she was still en route home from Cuba, but 8/9 is the most we have managed to get together thus far, so this was a big event for us. Our next event like this is the RNA conference in July, where there will be 7/9 of us again!

So after many hugs, kisses and random shout’s of ‘oi oi!’, we made our way to Bella Italia to have some dinner. Very wise to eat before attending an RNA party. All that socialising, networking and cheering does make you ever so thirsty so the beverages do tend to slip down quite easily. Yes, I know you could opt for a soft drink but, well, you know…

Debbie, Sue and myself in the cab on the way to the party.

Then came the time for the party. I have to say, I was a little nervous before going in. I’m not even sure why because I have not yet come across a person who has made me feel anything other than welcome at the RNA events. But it had been a long time since I had seen many of my friends but within a few minutes of walking in, I felt completely at home. Mingling, catching up with old friends, making new friends, congratulating award winners – this is just a snippet of what goes on at an RNA event. I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic organisation like the RNA, and similarly, I am absolutely honoured to be part of a fantastic, supportive, encouraging group of people who have become lifelong friends of mine, my fellow Romaniac buddies.

I would like to say, on behalf of us all, a massive CONGRATULATIONS to Evonne Wareham, winner of the Joan Hessayon Award with ‘Never Coming Home’, and also Jane Lovering, winner of the RoNa award with ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’. Both fantastic books and deserved winners. And a clean sweep for ChocLit so congratulations to the ChocLit team, also! And of course a huge well done to all those shortlisted in both awards – that is a big achievement in itself.

The party was thoroughly enjoyable with many, many laughs. I hope to see some of you at the Conference in July to resume the fun!

I shall now leave you with just a few of the photo’s that I took last night. More will be uploaded to my Facebook later on. Apologies for any that are a little blurry.

Lots of Love!

Lucie x

Evonne Wareham accepting the Joan Hessayon award. (Apologies for the side picture)
Lovely ladies, Pia (Christina Courtenay) and Giselle

Beautiful poses by the equally beautiful Lisa and Kate

Charlotte Betts, winner of last year’s Hessayon Award, giving a speech and passing on the cup.

Jane Lovering accepting her RoNa Award. (Apologies for the side picture)