Annie Charme and Lucy Score London
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London SPS Live 2024

London Baby…

Living in the heart of Sherwood Forest in the UK, I rarely get to visit London. But when I do, it’s the highlight of my year and this latest trip was no exception.

The SPS Live is the biggest writing conference in Britain, with authors travelling from as far as New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada.

I got to meet up with so many great author friends and finally met my sponsor Lucy Score. I may have got a little teary when I was thanking her in person for her sponsorship last year, telling her how it’s changed my life and given me the confidence I desperately needed.

Last January in 2023, I was a struggling author with five books. My part time day job as a graphic designer and my husband’s bus driving job covered our bills, but left little extra cash. Like most people in the UK, times were tough. I was driving a 2005 Ford Fusion that broke down four times in January 2023. Each time my husband had to come and tow me home from work. One of those very cold, wet and dark evenings while I was waiting on the side of the road for my husband to rescue me, I said a prayer, wishing I could afford to buy myself a better car. One that wouldn’t break down all the time.

Three days later, I received an email from the Self Publishing Foundation saying I had won a scholarship sponsored by Lucy Score. I think I screamed, then cried, then screamed again. It was surreal that out of hundreds of applicants I had been chosen. People had read my work and believed in me.

Having people back me was a huge boost in confidence and it gave me the motivation to really push myself. I got a lovely PA, Haley and set to work making tons of tiktoks and social media posts to promote my books as well as set up a street team and Facebook Group, growing my readership.

After a few months of hard work and self belief, I was able to buy a better car and sold the Ford Fusion for £250. It was a great day and a pivotal moment in my authoring career.

As well as thanking Lucy Score and the SPF team, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers. Without you, I wouldn’t be writing today.

FYI Lucy is the sweetest person I’ve ever met and was so gracious with her time. I hope one day I can pay it forward and sponsor an aspiring writer like she has.

Other news from London

EL James took the stage with Lucy to talk about how they started out. I loved the banter between the two of them and how EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey started out as fan fiction and now it has fan fiction of its own. The series definitely paved the way for spicy romance to become more mainstream and sought after. I loved how laid back she was. When asked if she was to write fan fiction now, what would it be, she replied with her own book, Fifty Shades of Grey. Pure class.

More pics from this week.

Top left to right: Olivia Spring, Me, Fiona Lucas, Carrie Elks, Reece Barden, Gwenyth Chambers, Susie Tate, Rosalee, Evelyn Flood. Bottom left to right: Holly June Smith, Sara Madderson/Elodie Hart and Blake Blessing.

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