This week is Cheltenham Literature Festival and if my children hadn't picked up a stomach bug I would have made the journey from Wales to listen to Sharon Kendrick when she talked on Literary Heroes together with Katie Fforde, Stella Duffy and Virginia McKenna.
I first met Sharon, who writes for Mills and Boon, when I attended a writing course in Tuscany where she was the tutor. It was a week of fun, learning how to write romantic fiction, meeting new friends, enjoying good food and exploring the wonderful Tuscan Countryside.
During this week the BBC made a documentary 'How to write a Mills and Boon' which was screened last year to celebrate 100 years of Mills and Boon. Literary novelist Stella Duffy joined us to find out more about writing for Mills and Boon.
The location is perfect for writing and there are many courses on writing and painting held there each year. More information can be found at http://www.watermill.net/
Writers travelled from Britain, France and America to attend the course, some just beginning their journey and some like myself having completed their first book. We were also lucky to have with us Jennie Lucas who was then starting out on her career writing for Mills and Boon.
The course was so good I went back to Italy this year again and as I am now nearing the completion of my fourth book aimed at Mills and Boon it must have done me some good and one day I hope to achieve my dream of publication with them.
To find out more about Sharon or Jennie go to http://www.sharonkendrick.com/ http://www.jennielucas.com/