100% Starstruck!!

by Lucy Gilmour, Assistant Editor, Mills & Boon

I mean, what do you say when you’re introduced to the Penny Jordan?!

On the Friday of my very first week working in the U.K. editorial department I was invited to the annual Harlequin Mills & Boon author celebration. I can still remember walking in (dressed in what I hoped was my most professional outfit!), barely able to believe that I was about to meet a room full of fabulously talented authors; authors I had read voraciously since my very early teens…authors of the books I grew up with, and fell in love with … authors that, to this day, I count amongst my all-time favorites!

But there was no time for nerves. And as anyone will tell you, Harlequin authors are just so friendly – you’ll be pleased to hear that they have always taken the time to nod patiently whilst I recited every book they’ve ever written back at them – and to seem very gracious about it! I remember introducing myself (glass of champagne for courage firmly in hand) to Presents author Sara Craven whose books I had long adored. Fast-forward five years on and I now have the privilege of being Sara’s editor (jobs just don’t come better than this!). After meeting Harlequin Presents legend Michelle Reid for the first time I had to nip outside and phone my sister, to whom I’d always passed my favorite books. And as for chatting to Penny Jordan? Well, I can’t tell you how honored I felt – Penny is a true Queen of Romance, and just the most lovely and inspiring woman.

There are still many authors I have loved for years that I haven’t met, but here’s hoping that one day I will. And, should I ever have the fortune to jet off to Australia and bump into superstars such as Helen Bianchin, Emma Darcy and Margaret Way, fingers crossed I’ll remember to behave like a confident twenty-first-century Harlequin heroine, rather than embarrassing myself by stammering and blushing .… Sadly, I’m not sure that I can promise that – I can feel the butterflies of excitement building already!!

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite authors in person? Surely it can’t just be me who dissolves with overexcited awe? Can it..?!

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Comments ( 9 )
  1. Danica/Dream
    November 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    Soooooooooooooooo jealous! I think I’d be starstruck to. I love both of those authors. I still get chills from the time I was on the boards and mentioned how much I loved Sara Craven. My dear friend Kate Walker decided to give me a little thrill. She had Sara come online and say hi to me! WOW!!! I can’t imagine being able to hold a champagne glass. I’d probably spill it.

  2. cheryl
    November 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm
    Reply

    Never. I’m not good on my feet at the best of times, so you’re my heroine! Wrote an email to two of my favorite authors, Regency author Eloisa James, and Intrigue author B.J. Daniels though. It made my day that they both replied. Meeting them, or any of my other favs would make me very nervous. I’d probably try to cover it by pretending to be unfazed and coming off badly.

  3. Chris
    November 4, 2010 at 1:43 am
    Reply

    Last year during the community open house chat I met Olivia Gates. Dr. Olivia Gates. I’m in the western US and it was late evening. She was in Egypt! and it was early morning. Everyone in between must have been in bed, because we had the place to ourselves. I enjoyed our chat very much. We talked about what we saw out our windows in two such different locations. We talked about her books, which always blow me away. She writes with such intense emotion.

  4. Romy Sommer
    November 4, 2010 at 3:28 am
    Reply

    Yay on having a job where you can meet and work with such awesome authors! I’ve worked in the film industry and met some incredible people (Daniel Craig among them!), but I still think that romance writers are amongst the nicest people I’ve ever met.

    South Africa can’t boast the amazing published authors that Australia does (yet!) but if you ever decide to jet off to this bottom most tip of Africa, there are a lot of aspiring writers here who would be totally starstruck to meet you.

  5. Michelle Styles
    November 4, 2010 at 4:49 am
    Reply

    I know what you mean Lucy!
    When I went to my first AMBA lunch, I was late and suddenly had to walk into a room filled with women whose books I’d read for years!
    Luckily HMB authors are wonderfully welcoming! And you know what they all remember what it is to be new (and unpublished)
    My most recent star struck moment happened in Orlando at the Harlequin party when I suddenly realised that I was sharing the dance floor with Nora Roberts. Both fellow historical author Elizabeth Rolls and I were like — but that’s Nora!

  6. Robin Covington
    November 4, 2010 at 10:06 am
    Reply

    I’ve never met any of my favorite HQ authors in person but I have to say that they are the nicest people online. And so generous with their time and advice and insight. Right now I’m thinking of Samantha Hunter, Carol Ericson, Angi Morgan, Michelle Styles, Michelle willingham, Maisey Yates, Hope Tarr . . . .such great people. Can’t wait to meet them in person.

    I read somewhere that the romance writing community was unusual because it was one of the few places where established authors actively help out people who may one day be their “competitors” – I would have to agree.

  7. Maurine
    November 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    Reply

    Never met any Harlequin authors in person. I did meet Valerie Bertinelli at a book signing and she was very very nice and generous.

    Several authors go online at eHarlequin and are really lovely and helpful. When Abby Green posted, I just felt in awe. I love her books. I just think it’s so cool that they go online and you can ‘talk’ to them.

  8. Nicola Marsh
    April 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm
    Reply

    Lucy, I felt exactly the same way when I sold my first M&B book and attended the authors’ lunch in Melbourne.

    I was sitting alongside Marion Lennox and Stephanie Laurens, & had a distinct fan-girl moment!!

    (Lucy is my fabulous editor and I can’t wait to meet her in Melbourne in August!)

  9. So You Think You Can Write: Presents Links | I (Heart) Presents
    April 7, 2013 at 4:30 am
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    […] editor Lucy Gilmour blogs about being 100% Starstruck when meeting some of her favorite authors […]

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