Come to lunch with my ladies

I have a wonderful friend called Shirley. She’s here in the photo, wearing purple. Shirley lives in Auckland these days – eight hours’ drive away, so I don’t see her too often. She has an enormous garden and a home orchard which provides fruits for an amazing collection of jams and jellies, pickles and chutneys. I wish I could show you a photo of her pantry, shelves groaning with goodies.

She also happens to be a very funny writer. I’m itching for the day when she finally finishes her novel about Reggie the renegade vicar. Shirley and her husband drove down to Wellington last week so they came to dinner and we had a very cheerful night.

A couple of days later I rounded up some of her other local friends and we had a most enjoyable lunch together a little way up the coast. (Not too far from where I’m imagining Scarlet Bay – the setting for my current novel.)

Next we have Giovanna, who probably knows more romance authors than the rest of us put together. For many years she has travelled to the Romance Writers of America conference, and is a wonderful source of information about people and writing trends. She’s the only person I know who has met Nora Roberts.

Sitting in the front, with all her glorious hair, is Diana Fraser. She’s the author of an Italian series, lots of passionate sheikhs in her Desert Kings series, and the MacKenzies series. She’s now writing the New Zealand Brides. You can find her at

It was Diana who persuaded me to indie-publish my books. She’d just dipped a toe in the water, so we gave each other courage, applied for our US tax certificates together, and helped each other by putting excerpts of our books at the end of each other’s novels. It worked!

Then we have me – talking as usual. Full of ravioli and great coffee. You don’t need to know any more about me…

Next is Ellie – a true comedy writer and a long-distance swimmer. She has us in gales of laughter at many of our local meetings. Grandchildren have somewhat distracted her lately, but she’s on track to finish her novel about a naughty time-travelling angel sometime very soon. (No pressure Ellie!)

On the end is the incredible Leeanna Morgan, author of contemporary romances set in Montana. She’s written the Montana Brides series, The Bridesmaids Club, the Emerald Lake Billionaires series, and is currently working on The Protectors. She is the most disciplined person in the world, and took her fireman husband to Las Vegas last year to renew their vows with an Elvis lookalike. How’s that for romantic? Look her up at

So that’s us – responsible for way over fifty novels amongst us all. I dare not count quite how many, and there are certainly more to follow.

Tags: Kris Pearson's blog