Thursday, 22 April 2010

From Notting Hill... with cup cakes :-)


Can you believe it’s been another month since my last blog! I cannot believe how quickly the year is flying by already.

I had a lovely day out in the Notting Hill area of London in March with ‘Team Notting Hill.’ This is the title that Caroline, my editor gave to those of us working on my novel. There’s herself, me obviously and Hannah, my agent. And the three of us spent a lovely morning visiting all the places in the novel that Scarlett (the main character) goes in her quest to live out her fantasy of living her life like a movie.

This was partly for our own amusement, partly so we could sample some of the delicious cup cakes at The HummingBird Bakery on Portobello road, but mainly so I could write a guide to the area for some little added extras that are going at the end of the book...
Of course I’d visited this area to do my research before I’d begun writing my novel, but it was fun to revisit some of the places again, this time knowing that my book was going to be published, and also imagining my characters there for real. Here's just a few of the photos and places we visited. More will revealed later in a book promo video I'm hoping my tecno-minded daughter will assist me in making...

                                               The Coronet Cinema,  Notting Hill

Me outside Hugh Grant's infamous 'Blue Door' now painted black!!

THE Travel Bookshop!

This is the road that Scarlett house sits in, during my novel.

And just the sort of houses she & her neighbour, Sean live in.

The locked gardens of Notting Hill complete with bench...

And Caroline & Hannah smiling contentedly after enjoying delicious cupcakes!
While we stopped for some well earned refreshments at the Hummingbird Bakery Caroline had a little surprise for us – alright a big surprise! It was my new cover.

(Click on it to see a bigger version)

I’m not often lost for words. But to actually see it there in front of me for the first time was wonderful, I couldn’t stop looking at it. In fact none of us could stop looking at it. It was just so fabulous. The designer , Lucy Truman has done a wonderful job. The cinema on the front that couple are standing in front of is the Coronet Cinema in Notting Hill. (The One Hugh Grant wears the diving goggles at in the movie) and we thought that the way the couple are standing in a clinch together with the girls leg kicked up, very much reminded us of the final scene in the Bridget Jones movie where Bridget kisses Mark in her undies. Both movies play a big part in my novel.

Oh there was another Notting Hill link during the day. Guess who I stood next to on the tube train?
Well it was his wife I spotted first – Pam Ferris, who you may know from Gavin & Stacey (Smithy’s Mum) Darling Buds of May, Harry Potter, and Rosemary & Thyme.

 But it was when I was standing next to her I spotted a man that I recognised from the Notting Hill movie (although I’m sure he’s been in many other fine pieces of work since!) It was the annoying customer who comes into the Travel bookshop and asks Hugh Grant the first time if he has the new John Grisham Thriller, and the second, does he have Winnie-the-pooh! – Actor, Roger Frost. Here he is at the beginning of this trailer for Notting Hill

To actually spot someone on the tube from the movie that had inspired my novel... well from that moment on I knew it was going to be a good day.

It was a bit like the first time I went down to London to meet my agent, Hannah. To get to The Marsh agency offices you have to pass by the Ritz hotel. The Ritz hotel is the hotel where Julia Roberts is staying while she’s in London in the Notting Hill movie, and where she takes Hugh Grant after they’ve spent time in the garden after the dinner party. When I walked past that hotel on my way to meet Hannah for the first time with it's link to the movie and to my novel, however nervous I felt, I just knew then that everything was going to be alright.

Signs, you get them all the time. Sometimes they’re obvious like those two, sometimes you just have to know where to look.

So until the next time, keep your eyes peeled...

A x                      
Thought you might like to see these lovely cover proofs I've recently received from my publishers. You can't really see it on the photo, but the title has an embossed font. :-)
(Again for a larger photo just click on the picture.)