Roving Romaniac – Lucie’s loose in London!

s-l1000                         always-with-love                            we-were-on-a-break

Last month when my friend, Leanne, tweeted me  saying ‘this looks good, we can go after uni!’, it was the start of a very exciting conversation. She is fantastic and is sometimes an extra pair of eyes on Twitter for things exactly like this event. Because I spend a lot of my time either writing books, writing university papers or reading textbooks, my time on social media comes about in fits and starts, so I sometimes miss these great announcements of events and by the time I see them, they are sold out! This is where it is handy, as a lover of books and writing, to have a friend like Leanne to scout these events and tweet me about them! She did the same about the Paige Toon event I went to last month which I shall blog about next week as I totally forgot to at the time! (I blame university/book brain!)

Arriving at the News Building, ready to join the queue!

So fast forward to yesterday, the day had finally come. We were off to London to the offices of Fabulous Magazine for their author event. Not one, not two, but THREE fantastic authors were there to chat to everyone and sign books. A-MAZ-ING, right?

Lindsey Kelk

So, we had the very lovely and VERY funny Lindsey Kelk, author of the ‘I heart’ series alongside other novels. Her latest book, ‘We Were on a Break’ is OUT NOW and promises to be another incredibly funny and witty read.


Next we have the amazing Giovanna Fletcher, super talented author of books such as ‘Billy and Me’, ‘Dream a Little Dream’ and her most recent novel, ‘Always with Love’ is a great read. Mum to Buzz and Buddy and wife to Tom, Giovanna amazes me with how she manages to fit everything in and still manage to meet fans and

Giovanna Fletcher

enjoy an evening out.


And last, but by no means least, the incredibly talented and super friendly Mhairi Mcfarlane. Mhairi is one of the nicest people I have met; easy to chat with, identifiable and  a total word wizard! Mhairi’s latest book ‘Who’s that Girl’ is OUT NOW. I am about a

Mhairi Mcfarlane

third of the way through it and LOVING IT!


So, what do you get if you add three FABULOUS writers and a FABULOUS magazine – you got it, a FABULOUS evening! A free glass of wine – tick – a free book – BIG tick and a stunning view – phenomenal tick! The ladies chatted about their books, how they write, what they write, why they write. The topic went from cats with urine infections (don’t ask) to Tom Mcfly killing off Giovanna’s characters and using the lives of friends to help create the most craziest stories. There was laughter, lots of it, and great questions from audience members. The interview was filmed for a short while on Facebook Live which added a great dimension to the evening and the room in which the event took place was kitted out amazingly with lights, music from a DJ and a wonderful buzz of excitement that flew around and into every nook and cranny of the space. 14708104_517561595109091_4382367823175074922_n

I had the chance to meet all three wonderful ladies and have my books signed. We did have to queue for quite sometime (they are popular women) but when each and every person arrived at the front desk, it didn’t feel rushed or awkward and each person was given adequate time to chat and enjoy the company of their idols. I had some lovely conversations with each of the ladies, I almost wish I could have pulled up a pew and indulged in conversation all evening.

But unfortunately, as all good things, the evening had to come to an end. My friend and I left – with another friend of mine from back in high school who I recently have started to bump into at these book events (Hi Hannah!) – and we strolled back to London Liverpool Street station ready to embark on our journey back home.

But not before a quick snap on London Bridge to add to our souvenirs from another very enjoyable event.

Selfie on London Bridge!
Bumping into school friend, Hannah







Thanks to Fabulous Magazine for hosting a great event.

Click for link


Thanks to Lindsey, Giovanna and Mhairi for providing many laughs and incredible books.


And thanks to my friend, Leanne, for finding the event, accompanying me and providing yet more laughs on the journey home at the expense of her jacket!



Roving Romaniacs – Life Cycle of a Writer goes to Chichester

The Life Cycle of A Writer has been a popular feature here on the blog for over a year now where we all take it in turns to update what’s been going on in our writerly worlds. Last week saw the first live date, when The Life Cycle of a Writer went to Chichester library. It went really well and we are hoping to book some further dates at other libraries along the south coast. Here are a few photos and words from Catherine, Laura and Sue to sum up the evening.

sue laura catherine chi library

Sue: It was a great evening and although I was nervous to start with, once we got chatting I felt much more relaxed. It was good to see some familiar faces in the audience and we received some really positive feedback. Thank you to Chichester Library who were fantastic hosts.

sue laura chi library

Laura: I agree with Sue. It was a great evening. The audience was attentive and engaged and asked interesting questions, the library was a superb venue with lovely staff, and going on tour with Sue and Catherine was fun. I was chairing the panel, although that involved little input from me as the discussion flowed naturally and all three Romaniacs kept the conversation moving forward. I was in my element. I was ‘on stage’, and chatting about writing and books. I’m very much looking forward to taking the talk to more venues, and would love to return to Chichester library. So pleased we were able to encourage and help new writers.


Catherine: I’m the one that talks with my hands. As I waved through my parts of our talk, it was great to have an audience to engage with (us writers normally have to chat to ourselves) and the Q&A session provided some excellent questions. Thanks to everyone who joined us and hopefully they’ll be another one soon. 


Talking the Talk

Right, taking a deep breath, and….

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
There I go again, verbal diarrhoea taking over, talking for Britain and boring everyone silly. But is that necessarily a bad thing? (Unless you’re either married to me or we’re stuck in a lift together, of course.)
Last week I spent an entire day at the Leicester Tigers’ rugby ground – no, not doing research into my next testosterone-filled, massive-thighed, rippling-muscled hero, but on a training course called ‘Talk for Writing’. It was presented by Pie Corbett, children’s poet and ex-teacher – and anyone who has the word ‘Pie’ in their name is going to be a winner in my book. Or ‘Cake’, obviously.

Anyway, Pie said, amongst other things, that the way that we talk and the quality of our dialogue with each other underpins all our writing. The art of conversation is dying a horrible death, apparently. I won’t bore you with all the child-based stuff, fascinating as it is, as I’m sure the ones of you bothering to read this are the ones who chat away endlessly to their children and don’t shut them away in a dungeon for hours with only a PS2 for company. What it boils down to is that the hours we spend talking to each other about anything and everything add much of the spice, the fizz, the ooomph, whatever you want to call it, to our writing. I know from experience that the time I spend chatting on-line, especially with the like-minded Romaniacs, makes my writing much more three dimensional and gives me masses of ideas. It also means I eat more Walkers’ Lite crisps and don’t do the cleaning, but that’s another issue.

The other presenter on the course was Anne Fine – one of my all-time favourite authors. I mention this because she talked for one and a half hours without stopping and no-one fidgeted. This was not because someone had thoughtfully drugged the coffee, but because the quality of her talk was so amazing that we were riveted from start to finish. Now, I’m very much aware that listening to me for that long would cause you all to fall on your swords, but the point is that even the everyday burbling and thinking aloud-type talk we do is valuable. We can’t all orate like Ms Fine, but we can use our talk time to bounce ideas off each other, explore new avenues and generally fire up our brains.

Even if you sometimes feel, as with Liz’s ‘writing like a butterfly’, that your talk is butterflying around, getting nowhere – think for a minute. It’s no bad thing to cover a wide range of ideas all in one conversation and eventually some of those ideas will stick and become stories. And listening to other people’s flitting and waffling conversations is one of my greatest pleasures in life – trains, buses, queues; bliss!

So, who are  your favourite talking partners? My message of the day is don’t feel guilty about wasting time – get out there,  find them, and get talking!

Celia x

P.S. And if you happen to see me at the RNA Summer party next week,  I’ll be the one either sitting in a corner  earwigging, or surrounded by a group of people with very glazed expressions.

Very sad extra postscript: Since drafting out this blog, my all time favourite talking partner, my lovely 90 year old Dad, has taken himself off to the great chat room in the sky. Dad talked to me from the moment I was born, and always, always listened. Talking about the funny and poignant memories he left behind with my friends and family is getting us all through these sad days, and one day soon I’ll write these precious memories down. The picture below shows him victorious after a hard-fought croquet tournament. Please feel free to imagine your own speech bubbles…