Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Flying Ducks

The Flying Ducks is the name of the northern chapter of the Romantic Novelists Association, actually we are the north eastern chapter because there is a north west chapter.We started off as one,I think about fifteen years ago ( anybody know any better, or can remember properly?). There was Angela Dracup, Patricia Fawcett, Wendy Robertson, Una Horne, Helene Wiggin and me. We set up the group in the Boar's Head at Ripley and it grew and grew until there were about forty people attending, so many of us that we had to split in two.
We are called The Flying Ducks because we fly south to see our agents, publishers and friends at London parties and meetings.
The Flying Ducks meet eight times a year in the Smiths Arms at Beckwithshaw just outside Harrogate. It is a very comfy hostelry, has wonderful food, patient staff, fires in the winter and they put up with us making a tremendous row in the big back room and crowding around the bar.
Over the years The Flying Ducks has been a tremendous support to many people.

Our latest meeting was on April 1st. We didn't have a speaker, we had a round robin so that everybody gets to talk about their successes, their concerns or new information. This is Helene, looking very nifty. She writes as Leah Fleming.

From left to right Alison McGuire, who is Shirley's daughter and doing PR for her, Patricia Thomas, saga writer, Shirley Heaton whose book, Relative Strangers recently hit the shops and libraries and Val Margerison, saga writer.

This is Bill Spence who writes sagas as Jessica Blair and used to write cowboys. With him is his daughter, Judith who is an artist and also helps Bill with his PR.

Anne Hewland, Moira Morton, Joan Emory and Evelyn Orange. Anne has a very dry sense of humour and makes everybody feel better, she writes romance, Moira writes articles, Joan is writing a regency novel, Evelyn has published fiction and has just published a book on nutrition.

Ken McCoy with Bill. Ken writes sagas and crime novels. He is a brilliant after dinner ( or lunch or anything else!) speaker. Very funny.

Sylvia Brody writes romantic fiction, actually you might call it romance suspense and Frances McNeil who is writing crime fiction as Frances Brody for Piatkus.

June Moore and Angela Dracup, one of the original members of the group. Angela writes crime fiction for Robert Hale. June writes romantic fiction.

From left to right Linda Acaster, who has recently written Torc of Moonlight which is doing very well, Penny Grubb crime writer, Liz Gill, author of Paradise Lane and Val Wood who writes sagas.

Okay folks, I've only put in a little about everybody so if you want to add on more about your writing, a book that's coming out or has come out recently please help yourselves.


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  2. Looks like a fab gathering, Liz! Good wheeze to Name-That-Author. I'll have to do the same for the next Cambridge Chapter meeting.

  3. What a great memento for what was an excellent meeting. And what a feat of memory to manage all those names. I couldn't have done that at a family gathering.

  4. When we started out most of us were just published or pre- published. So many of the faces on the photos have become published since and others have gone from strength to strength: Trisha Ashley, Benita Brown, Patricia Fawcett June Francis, Freda Lightfoot, Val Wood to name but a few who found support and encouragement within this group or have moved area.

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