There are days when I like being part of Team Novelicious, but there are other days when I blummin' love it and thank the book gods for my excellent fortune. Today was a latter sort of day and I am writing this blog post tipsy as a tipsy thing in a cafe in Soho, where the tea in front of me is cold, but I couldn't drink it anyway because I have just consumed my body weight in amazing food at the fabulous Ivy Club in London. I imagine they won't be signing me up as a member as I made the cardinal sin of taking a photo of the lift, which by the by smacked me in the face as it opens like a door. A see-thought lift that opens like a door? Just part of my journey.
So, the team got a fabulous invite from the folks over at Pan Macmillan, who look after our own Kirsty Greenwood and also publish the fabulous Joanna Rees, aka Jo Rees aka Josie Lloyd aka Mr. and Mrs. Rees of Come Together fame aka One of the Top Ten Cesca Crushes. Yes. An invite to The Ivy Club. We were in a room with a picture that I thought was butterfly wallpaper in a frame; it was cool. I was all like, "That would look great in my kitchen!" and then found out it was by Damien Hirst. Yes, I know – I do have amazing taste in kitchen art.
I arrived late because – being an out-of-towner – I don't understand that at High St Kensington tubes sometimes never arrive. Being a bit of a prat, I turned up to the wrong entrance for The Ivy; the restaurant entrance, not the members’ entrance. Silly me, how did I get that wrong? I am *clears throat* such a regular visitor. Then I had the whole lift faux pas (see above) before realising I was late. Feeling all flustered, I practically fell on Jo (I call her Jo now) because I was so excited to meet her in the flesh and then they gave me wine which, as my husband could have warned them, is not wise at lunchtime. I mean, it's not wise at the best of times, but it can be particularly dangerous at lunch; it brings out my babbling storyteller and I start over-sharing.
Of course, the food was amazing and the company was great. It was a gathering of such interesting women and Jo's lovely editor, Wayne, who was hilarious and full of stories about TV shows involving women's prisons and his love of books about dark family sagas and soap opera cliffhangers. And then there was Jo, who was highly entertaining, very warm and so funny (I have already deleted a lot of gushing, but she really was wonderful).
She talked about her next book The Key to It All, which has a fascinating premise – a key that allows the owner to access a whole world of luxury and opportunity. It features a brilliantly exciting back story too involving a robbery, diamonds and murder. I am super excited to read it. As a writer, I thought, "WOW – five present day stories, a back story and everything tied up neatly at the end. I love/hate this woman."
Jo also talked about lots of cool stuff like sitting next to a certain pop singer at a recent school concert, and the writing process, and working in a toy store in the 90's by a table of those flowers that used to bob to music. It was interesting to hear about the joint projects she is undertaking with Emlyn too (husband and co-author), which are parodies of popular kids stories. Wonderful.
So, a truly laugh out loud lunchtime in a gorgeous, luxurious place. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan for the invite. It was incredibly inspiring and great, great fun.
Happy *hic* Christmas all!