I could have floated back to Scotland on a cloud of bliss after this weekend at The Festival of Romance instead of taking an Easyjet flight. This event, held annually in Bedford England, was three days of excitement and celebration amongst romance authors, readers, and industry professionals.
It was fantastic to meet up again with those peeps I already know and to finally meet those I feel I already know so well online but hadn’t yet met face to face. It might appear weird to throw yourself into the arms of people you’ve never met in real life and practically hug the life out of them – yet it felt complete appropriate to do so when these are people I already loved!
I was in contact with lovely JB of Brook Cottage Books before and during my journey to Bedford, as I was flying in from Glasgow to London Luton and she was flying in from Belfast. She sent me a photo so I’d recognise her when we finally met – and this is us just mere seconds after we did!
Ditto lovely Carol ‘Dizzy C’ (pic below) of Dizzy C's Little Book Blog, the wonderful Kim the Bookworm and fabulous Heidi of ‘Cosmochicklitian’
On the Friday night, Linn B Halton, Mandy Baggot and Sheryl Browne and I went to a fabulous Bedford Italian Restaurant for fun, wine and pizza!
Then at the Saturday night Gala Dinner, just when I thought the festival was only about being amongst fabulous friends, it also became a celebration of our success - when Linn B Halton, Editor in Chief of the emagazine with which I'm an associate editor - was awarded the 2013 Festival of Romance 'Innovation in Romantic Fiction' Industry award for “evolving the loveahappyending.com author/reader initiative into an interactive lifestyle magazine”.
After receiving her award, Linn said: “Being nominated was a huge honour, but to actually win the award was overwhelming. As organiser of LLm I was thrilled to accept this on behalf of everyone involved. There are thirty-two contributors in total involved with LLm and it is the wide range of articles (including book reviews) that saw our hit counter tip over the 3 million mark a couple of days ago, and we are now at a staggering 3,045,639.”
Huge congratulations to all the winners of all awards at this year's Festival of Romance and thanks to event organiser Kate Allan for all her hard work - what a fabulous weekend!
Innovation in Romantic Fiction Author winner – Linn B Halton with some of the Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine team
Left to right: Carol, Heidi, JB, Linn, Mandy, Sheryl, & myself