Here's what happened at The Riff Raff March meet up
It felt like we had been away for ages by the time we reconvened for March, but wowzer – it was worth the wait.
Not only was Amy back from Austraila, complete with sun-bleached highlights and a goddess tan, we had an awesome, all-female fivesome of authors in honour of International Women’s Day.
“It wasn’t the book I wanted it to be.”
Our first author of the night was the marvellous Nicola Mostyn, who like Riff Raff favourite Emily Morris had travelled down from Manchester to join us. She described her debut The Gods of Love as "Sex in the City meet Clash of the Titans", which made us hoot (it’s pretty accurate, too.)
Not only was Nicola beautifully articulate about the writing process, she was informative: did you know the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus is actually his brother, Anteros? Yeah, us neither...
Like many authors, Nicola had a couple of false starts with her first book, acquiring an agent only to put her manuscript in a drawer for five years and re-write it twice, amassing a whopping 660,000 words before finding success.
“It wasn’t the book I wanted it to be,” she said of abandoning that first draft. “I’d lost the connection and the joy.”
She talked about staying true to yourself and taking the time to write the book you want, not the book the industry is pushing for. We were in awe: it takes a courageous soul to walk away from potential publication and wait for the “magical, meant-to-be quality” as Nicola astutely put it.
When the time was finally right, Nicola wrote The Gods of Love in six months and the published book is barely unchanged.