Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Writerly Lunch at Brown's

Six Macmillan New Writers met for lunch at Brown's in Covent Garden last week. It was lovely to see Frances, Tim, Alis, Aliya and Len. It strikes me that the expression "New" probably doesn't apply to us any more as all of us are entrenched in the writing life, and most of our books have been out for a while.

What was really nice, and proves beyond a doubt that we are all balanced people, was that the conversation was not all about writing. We also managed to cover the ins and outs of Downton Abbey, French condolence letters, and the trials of ageing dogs - all this in amongst ordering our bargain lunch, courtesy of vouchers from Eliza.

We had a great waiter who exemplified service with a smile, he would have fitted nicely into the kitchens of Downton Abbey and helped the miniscule staff of six to run that enormous stately pile.

Here's what I gleaned about fellow MNWer's. Out of the six of us, four of us are writing historicals - me, Len, Alis and Tim. Tim had even brought his research with him and seemed totally fired up with excitement. Len and I have been exploring the same ground, so it was interesting to hear that our visions of 17th century England mostly coincide. Alis is embracing historical crime in between her playwriting. Frances is writing a non-fiction and Aliya is writing speculative fiction/fantasy. I have avoided saying too much about these projects because I don't know how much of it they want made public!

Folks, if you're out there please add more in the comments to tell people what you are working on.

It was great to see everyone. I have tried to do the social network thing via facebook and twitter, and although this breeds contacts, it is definitely not the same as a proper social when you can actually pass someone their drink and see their body language as they talk. Brown's lunch was very good and it would be really nice to see more Macmillan New Writers next time we do this. Just to remind you, here are all our books, now available on Kindle and in print!


Sonia said...

These all look so good!

Aliya Whiteley said...

It was a great lunch, even if there was no bread and butter pudding. Brown's, take note! We want B&B pudding back!

Frances Garrood said...

Aliya, you never said you wanted B&B pudding too?

It was great (and excellent value), and I do hope more people can come next time. (Sonia, the books are great! Read them!)

Thanks very much for posting this, Dee.

Aliya Whiteley said...

Actually, I don't like bread and butter pudding. I was just mentioning it on your behalf, Frances.

Ann Weisgarber said...

Dee, thanks so much for posting this. It's great to see the blog back in business. Clearly lunch at Brown's was inspiration on all levels. Any chance Brown's will adopt MNW writers and allow it to be the official meeting place? Maybe line the walls with framed copies of MNW book jackets?

Frances, it's exciting to hear that you're writing non-fiction. Whenever you're ready, it'd be fun to hear about the challenge of shifting from fiction to a new genre.

Frances Garrood said...

Thank you, Aliya. How very kind.

Good idea, Ann (about Browns being our official venue). As to the non-fiction, I'm not sure "fun" quite goes with "challenge", but watch this space...

Ann Weisgarber said...

Frances, I don't know what I was thinking when I combined "fun" and "challenge" in the same sentence. Maybe, as I stare at the blank screen, I was trying to convince myself that the two go together.