I’m not a party person. I’ve got the social skills to start a conversation with strangers, but it never really works out as I hope. If I approach a group, I always get the sinking feeling that they resent me for interrupting them just as they were going to talk about something really confidential. If I try someone on their own, I’ve never outgrown that conviction that they’re only talking to me until someone more interesting appears.
To make matters worse, I don’t hear very well, so tend to stare at their faces when they’re talking. This can make me seem a bit intense (read: scary) so I’m never in the least surprised when they start to back away muttering about just having spotted someone they must have a word with …
Perhaps it’s just as well nobody seems to have parties any more. I’ve always assumed it’s a sign of middle age but it’s always possible that there are loads of parties out there that I’m just not invited to (paranoid? Moi?)
But now I am going to a party. Liz Fielding is having a blog party next week to celebrate 20 years since the signing of her first contract with Mills & Boon, and I will be there, not caring about my deaf ear or able to see if any of the other guests are frantically searching for an escape route over my shoulder. Phew.
Not only am I going, I’ll be ‘taking along’ the hero of The Secret Princess (out this August in North America, September in the UK) I confess I had some trouble finding a suitable picture of my date. Corran McKenna is so not the hero on this cover, who looks about twelve. In the end, I picked an actor who I think has just the right sort of creased-at-the-edges eyes, and who has Corran’s edge of toughness and those lean, faintly battered good looks that are so much more attractive than merely pretty or handsome.
Now I just need to check out his availability for next week … if you want to find out who he is, you’ll have to come along to Liz’s party too. See you there!