Sunday, March 15, 2009

Final Days in London

I can't believe that tomorrow I will be back in New York. I've had such a lovely time here in London on this trip that I hate to see it end. Leaving our lovely little flat in Earl's Court, while the sun is shining and people are out talking on their cell phones on their little balconies. I must stop or I'll cry a little.

Yesterday, I attempted to go to Leighton House which is the home of Frederick, Lord Leighton, a Victorian painter whose most famous painting is probably Flaming June. Well, after going the wrong way, I finally found the house only to discover that it closed for renovations until the end of 2009. Boo-Hoo. The notice suggested that one could check out the Linley Sambourne house instead but unfortunately due to time constraints I couldn't do that. The house is only available for viewing on a private guided tour and I had just missed one and the other didn't start until 2:00 by which time Hope and I needed to get going to attend the Romance Novelists Association meeting at The New Cavendish Club.

We arrived for the meeting just as it was starting. The New Cavendish Club is a private members only club which has several meeting rooms downstairs. The speakers for the RNA meeting were author Carole Matthews, and editor from Little Black Dress books, and a publicist for a literary PR firm who does the publicity for Mills & Boons for their centenary celebration. The topic was what could you, the author, do to help out your publicist. The general consensus was that authors, due to budget constraints at publishing houses, largely need to do their own publicity as much as possible, or come up with angles that might make them marketable.

It's important that a debut novelist have a web-site in place, and that they have a presence on facebook and myspace, as well as think about putting out a newsletter. That all seems like commonsense, but it's amazing how many authors out there don't have a web-site or who don't know about facebook etc. Carole Matthews talked about twitter but all three agreed that whatever publicity you do shouldn't keep you away from what is most important, sitting your butt in a chair and writing.

Afterwards, Hope and I went out to the pub with Julie Cohen, and several other members of the RNA for copious amounts of wine. We then went on to have dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant in Pimlico where we enjoyed more wine. Needless to say that I'm feeling a tad fragile today. I did manage to do some laundry and start packing for my trip home tomorrow.

Since it is so lovely out, I might head up to Camden market and to see the view from Primrose Hill.

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