Sunday, 3 January 2010

And then he kissed her...

Whilst sorting out in the bedroom yesterday, I came across this (very dusty!) cassette from Mills & Boon. Good old amazon have it listed, although well out of stock and never to return - I should think it was long out of production before the internet was even dreamt up.  The issue date on the back of it is 1986, when I would have been the grand old age of 14. I can still remember sending off for it with a stamped addressed envelope, and the excitement of receiving it, along with the long since lost booklet of hints and tips. I don't know quite what I expected to write about back then, as thinking back i'd barely kissed my first boyfriend at that age! I guess I knew a bit about unrequited love though...
It's fair to say the cassette is quite (very) outdated now, but it reminded me of just how long i've dreamt of trying to write for Mills & Boon, and makes me wonder why it's taken me around 23 years to feel able to properly try. I am guessing that it's similar for everyone who wants to write romance, it's been in our blood ever since reading our very first M&B.
Maybe I just didn't know enough about having my heart broken back then - gawd knows I do now.
Or maybe I needed to meet my own real life hero to know how life changing that can be, and thankfully  I can tick that box too now.
Am I older and wiser? Older for sure! The mirror tells me that every day - where did all of these sodding wrinkles come from? I need a soft focus mirror. (Do they even exist? I am going to apply to Dragons Den, this could be the BIG one!) At least being plumper means that my face is filled out a bit though, I hate to think what would happen if any of my attempts at dieting actually worked.
Not that that's likely at the moment, seeing as we are awash with tins of Roses & other christmas chocolates.
I went to bed just after midnight last night, and do you know what I took with me? 6 After Eights, and the last glass of fizzy wine from the bottle we'd just sunk whilst watching Harry Potter and the half blood prince on DVD. I propped myself up on the pillows and happily started the 3rd book in the No.1 ladies detective agency series which Santa thoughtfully provided, sipping vino and nibbling chocolate. It must be the holidays!
We're wringing the last drops of festivities out of today before getting back to the business of normal life tomorrow. We were saying last night that it's been one of the best Christmases we can remember, not that we have been anywhere special or out of the ordinary. It's just felt kind of like being on vacation in our own home, all of our worries were officially suspended whilst we ate, drank and played with the kids.
Plenty of time for reality next week, along with ALOT of clearing up, and the small (huge!) matter of a chat with Kim from Mills & Boon.... just 23 years later than originally planned.


  1. What a gorgeous post Joanne! So lovely to see that this is something you've been passionate about for a very LONG time. Hopefully dreams come true and we're sharing shelf space in the not too distant future :)

  2. OMG - I HAD THAT TAPE. Of course, my copy's long gone, but you really took me back. I first subbed to M&B when I was 16 - thankfully that ms is long gone, too (cringe when I think what it must have been like). But they were so kind and sent me a lovely 3 page rejection.


    PS think you're very restrained to only eat 6 after 8s - I'd have taken the whole box.

  3. Rachael, here's hoping eh? That would be very cool.:o)

    Suzanne - I would SO have taken the whole box upstairs if my husband hadn't been there - I was attempting to look like I had some shred of restraint. He went up to bed about five minutes ago and I am already eating a Wispa from the kids selection box!
    I can't believe you had the same tape - we are obviously sista's!

  4. Back to normal life today eh? Sigh. I'm saving the new Harry Potter DVD and eeking out the Christmas chocs but I can't put off all the stuff I promised myself I'd sort out between Christmas and New Year (but didn't get round to).

  5. I know, me either Lorraine. I have a VILE tax return to do by the end of the month that I have kept putting off because I don't have a clue how to do it, but I can't ostrich about it any longer.
    I'm with you on the chocolates though, because the diet can't start until we've eaten them all. :o)
    You'll enjoy Harry Potter, it's v.good, much darker than the others.

  6. I didn't have a tape, but I did send away for a 'tip' sheet when I was roughly 15/16. I'll never forget the excitement of getting the envelope that I knew was from M&B. And here I am 21 (or so) years later finally doing something about my long held ambition.

    I also agree with Suzanne, very restrained on the After 8s. I love those. I am going to eat my tube of Revels tonight because they are calling out my name :-)

    Best of luck with the telephone call, very exciting!

  7. they do revels in TUBES? How do i not know this????

    How funny that we all dreamed of writing for Mills & Boon at such tender ages, I def think we needed a bit of life under our belts first. Not to mention the padding from all this chocolate!

    Tonight i've started on the humungous bar of turkish delight. I completely blame my other half for buying it, he is totally responsible for the size of my backside.

  8. Hi Joanne,

    it's the morning of the 7th here and I'm grinning like an idiot thinking this is the day you'll get to TALK to Kim. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear how the call goes.


  9. oh god Robyn, I'm scared! I'll def be having a brandy here tomorrow evening.

    Did I remember to say thank you enough to you? xx

  10. Better late than never, eh Joanne? Glad you got there. I sent away for details on how to become a stunt woman (this is v funny considering that my idea of adventure is taking the bin out).
    I didn't get anywhere with that.

  11. I should be thanking you for letting me be the first to read it! Hope the call went well and that your brandy is a celebratory one.


  12. Not quite Robyn...will do a separate blog about it.

    Sally, that made me smile. Writing is fairly tame in comparison!