Meeting the Authors – Part Deux!

You know that feeling when you’ve read a book and love it, and would really love to talk about it to the author?  I’ve been lucky enough to have that experience a few times, and I thought you might like to hear about it.  Meeting the author of a book you really enjoyed is a bit like meeting a film star – you feel in awe of what they do, because you can’t do it. Well, I certainly can’t, probably some of you authors can!

Last year the lovely June Kearns (here’s a link to her book The 20s Girl ) was signing books in Waterstones in Market Harborough, near to my parents, so off I went.  I’d been privileged to be employed to proofread June’s book, and had enjoyed it enormously.  Not only that, I got 3 for the price of 1, as she was signing with her friends and fellow authors, Lizzie Lamb and Adrienne Vaughan.  It was so lovely to meet June, she’s such a charming lady, as were her companions, whose books I then bought.

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A few months later, the very talented Arran Bhansal visited Norwich, near where I live, and we had lunch together, as he is also a favoured client of mine.  (Here’s his book –Infertility, Infidelity and Insanity ).  Arran’s book is a very personal account which will resonate with many who’ve experienced any of these issues.

Fans will be delighted to hear that Arran’s working on the sequel.


Later in the year I was invited to a book promotion for Mark Edwards and Louise Voss.  If you’ve seen the ubiquitous TV ad for Kindle Fire, you’ll see Mark’s book The Magpies featured prominently!

I had proofread one of his earlier books, and now he and Louise have a publishing contract, which means that they are full-time authors.  Such friendly, nice people (and the champagne and canapés didn’t go amiss either).  This is the only pic I have of me and Mark, so if it’s not one of his favourites, I hope he doesn’t mind me using it!


Talking of book launches, I was at the Icelandic Embassy some months ago with Wildpressed Books and David Kristjansson for the launch of Burning Karma. I don’t think I’ve ever visited an embassy before! DSC_1619

Not all of the authors I’ve met have been those whose books I’ve worked on, of course.

I was on a train a couple of months ago, and turned around to the chap behind me to ask a question about internet access. Only to realise instantly that he was world-renowned, award-winning John Boyne, whose book The Thief of Time I had recently read and absolutely loved. I went all star-struck and asked if I could take my photo with him, and he couldn’t have been nicer about it.  Here’s John being nice about having his photo taken while he’s trying to work on the train!

John Boyne

And last but not least, about 25 years ago I worked for a TV company in London.  When I found out we were holding a reception to launch the video of a book written by Jackie Collins, I grabbed my copy of Hollywood Husbands and went straight there!  Jackie was absolutely lovely and talked to me for about half an hour (I think she liked the fact that, unlike all the other women there, I wasn’t wearing a dress, because she hates dresses!)


I love my job as a proofreader and copy editor, reading books and correcting grammar and spelling, and helping authors out with plot points, factual errors, alternative words etc.  But it can be a solitary life.  The absolute icing on the cake (and a reason to put on something other than sweatpants!) is the opportunity to occasionally meet these wonderful creative souls who have the power to transport us to another world.

So if any of my clients in the English-speaking world, especially those who live in warmer climes, (such as Karen on the Gold Coast or Davide in Hollywood) are having a book-signing soon ………. just drop me a line and I’ll be on my way!

23 thoughts on “Meeting the Authors – Part Deux!

  1. Ah thank you, Julia!
    I was so glad to find you. You were a perfect match for me – sorting out glitches, smoothing punctuation, even correcting my Spanish.
    Lovely meeting you in person, too, at Waterstones!


  2. You’re wearing the same dress in the June/Lizzie pics, the Mark Voss pic and the John Boyne one. Just thought I’d point that out in case anyone else hasn’t noticed. Wear it again soon, you never know who you might meed!!!!!


    • You’re right, I never noticed that! It’s my all-purpose, travelling smart dress. Either I should wear it again in the hope of meeting someone else, or people are going to think I’ve only got the one dress. Think I’ll ring the changes a bit.


  3. I think you should write it in your contract that whenever a writer works with you they have to meet you and invite you on any swishy functions they might be party to. I once saw Harlan Coben but I was too scared to talk to him 😀


    • Nice one! And I have met Armistead Maupin at a signing, but omitted to take my camera, which miffed me to no small extent. I did once write a letter to Elizabeth Jane Howard, and she replied to me, which made me very happy, because the woman was a genius.


    • Oh yes, I got a letter from Jilly Cooper. Gutted I don’t have it any more. I also have a signed theatre programme from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and a little letter from the latter, whom I wrote to when I was 15.


      • Was once rescued by Frank Bough when ‘working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’ in the Kensington Hilton. My bracelet became entangled in a crate of glasses and he untied me. Sat next to Sophie Rayworth on the tube and saw the new L K Bennett dress in a bag she later wore to read the news. My only claims to fame!!!!


      • From what I remember of Frank Bough and his downfall, he would rather have been tied up himself, ha! And how thrilling re Sophie Rayworth and L.K. Bennett, my fave shop – did you point at the telly saying, I saw that dress, I saw it!!?!


  4. I’m clearly not being proactive enough 😀 Although I did once write a letter to Billy Bragg in the 80s and got a lovely one in return. I’ve still got it somewhere.


  5. Lovely post Julia, with these solitary writing/proofreading lives we live I always feel quite daunted if I’m about to meet someone in real life that I’ve only ever been in contact with online before. Nice to read about your experiences 🙂


    • Thank you. I always think that proofreading someone’s novel is a very personal experience – often I’m the first person to read it. But I mostly don’t meet the people! It was so great to meet my clients when I’d only seen them in a little profile pic. I recognised them instantly, though, as they did me! (I was glad I hadn’t used a pic from 25 years ago for my profile!) I felt like saying – oh, you’re real!


  6. I’m very lucky to have met Julia twice (oh and her lovely father, once) and thrilled that she was my editor on my latest novel Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel. She is absolutely lovely and a fabulous editor … I’ve threatened her with my next one A Most Deadly Affair, next year. 🙂


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