I always hated parties – the sort of big occasions where people drank too much and talked a lot of rubbish all evening. I was never very good at it. Firstly I didn’t like the feeling of being drunk. I’ve always been a control freak and an introvert, and I hated the feeling of not really being in control of my body and my brain. Secondly, I was NO GOOD at small talk. Seriously. I found being with people I didn’t know a) boring and b) exhausting.
Thankfully, I’ve got better at parties, and now I actually look forward to them. The party I get most excited about is the annual Christmas party thrown by my publishers, Random House. Not only do I get to put faces to names I’ve only known by email (e.g. the designer of the Looking at the Stars jacket cover, Dominica Clement) but also I GET TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS JACQUELINE WILSON. AND SHIRLEY HUGHES. I mean, it doesn’t get more exciting than that for a children’s author.
So last Thursday I got all glammed up and got on a train with my fellow author and good friend Susie Day. This was us in the toilets after we arrived, making sure we looked our best:
We were REALLY impressed with the decorations – there were SWEETS everywhere! Look at this display behind the bar! (The lollipops were on a conveyor belt!)
Susie was very impressed with a giant Gummi Bear under a glass dome
And Steve Cole and I were similarly entranced by a giant Cola Bottle
But it was LOVELY to meet up with my fantastic editor, Ruth (Susie and I share adoration for her)
and similarly brilliant to spend time in the pub afterwards with Penny, my literary agent and the person completely responsible for my career in publishing
I drank far too much (yes, I did feel quite out of control at times and my mouth said things that I’m sure my brain didn’t approve of!) and came home hoarse and exhausted – BUT IT WAS WORTH IT AND I HAD A GREAT TIME!
I’ll just leave you with this pic of Great People
From left to right: Bali Rai (author – read Killing Honour and then see if you look at the world the same way again), Dom Clements (fab designer), Anthony McGowan (author – we sat on a panel earlier in the year and he was very entertaining!), Steve Cole (author – all-round lovely guy and currently working on the Young James Bond novels) and Ruth Knowles, editor extraordinaire.
I’m taking it easy this weekend and trying to go to bed early!