Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book deliveries

    Sometimes there are no book deliveries to this house - and other times, there are more deliveries than we can cope with! This week has been sort of average - but most of the book boxes have been for the Babe Magnet who seems to have half a dozen new titles publishing in the next couple of months, So we have Write Your Self which arrived this week. I
    love this cover.
    And talking of covers - there's this translation of one of my more recent titles - but it's a little worrying! The Translated title is Mork, Vacker, Mystik. Now in Yorkshire that 'mork' is not a flattering description! In the slang dictionary too, it's defined this way:
    mork n. someone who is completely witless. a low level nincompoop who rarely sees things in perspective.😮🙄
    Not sure that's how I'd describe my hero - if it is the hero they' mean!
    Anyone able to tell me how this title actually translates into English? If you can and you'd like the spare copy of this translation - please post and let me know!






Tuesday, August 08, 2017

One of the best parts of summer.

As you probably already know, I spent a  fabulous week in  July at Writers Holiday in Fishguard. Yes,
I was teaching a course - and so was my husband - but there is so much more to Fishguard than the teaching and the courses, there's the friendship, the laughter, the after-dinner speakers, the food, the massages (yes - we have a lovely lady who gives fabulous back and shoulder massages - just what you need after a day's teaching!) the music - the Cwmbach Male Choir - perhaps a little bit of wine - the conversations, the new friends,. . the husbands.  (yes husbandS)

Sadly, this summer's event was the last on in Fishguard in July - though, thankfully, the February Writing Weekends are still continuing - thank heaven or I'd pine away completely.

One of the unexpected delights of teaching with Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holiday every year is that some years back I unexpectedly acquired another 'husband' !😉😮 (It's a long story - and a case of mistaken identity!) Interestingly both husbands have the initials SW - Stephen Wade and Simon Whaley. Not only is Simon (Husband 2) great company and an inspiring teacher, he's also a very talented photographer and he's responsible for a wonderful assortment of photos of the last night of the last summer holiday at Fishguard (sob!😪 )  - if you can see them on his Facebook page

So many times I'm asked why I travel all that way to Wales for this week in the summer - and again in February - well, take a look at these photos of that last night - the friendship, warmth, affection and sheer family atmosphere of Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holiday shines out of them. More than worth a few (OK - a lot) of hours' driving, and besides that I get to spend a week by the sea with a whole group of friends. I'm only sorry I won't be doing that next summer - but there will be February 2018 (and Husband 2 is teaching a course there.)

Behind every great event there has to be someone who has worked tirelessly and non-stop to make it right. In the case of Writers'Holiday - those people are Gerald  Hobbs and his lovely wife Anne. This photo will be special to so many  Writers' Holiday visitors, past and present. over the 32 years they have been running this lovely event. You arrive as a stranger, not knowing anyone, and leave as a member of a warm and welcoming family. I should know, the Babe Magnet and I have been part of that family for well over half the time it's been in existence. Without Anne and Gerry planning Writers' Holiday and making sure it was one of the most giving and welcoming writers' events in the country, I'd never have enjoyed some of the most special times of my life. (And as I said   it has to be special to make it worth making the l-o-n-g journey from
Lincolnshire to Wales twice a year)


I (and many many others) am so sad that the summer event has now become unworkable - but there are still the February Weekends, and the Babe Magnet and I will be there as long as we can manage it. Caerleon/Fishguard regulars will know that this is a rare photo - getting Gerry centre stage has been a near-impossibility over the years. We managed it once on the 25th anniversary and now, thankfully, managed it again for this special bittersweet evening.
(and thank you Husband2 for the photo)


To Anne and Gerry - from all the Fishguard regulars - so many thanks for all you've done over the years, and thank goodness you're carrying on with the February weekends or I think we'd all pine away without you and all the friends you've helped us make over the year.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A Special Memory

More years ago than I care to reckon up,  as a barely 10 year old,  my mother allowed me to spend Sundays watching TV. This was a rare occurrence because as far as my mother was concerned, Sundays were for going to mass, eating Sunday lunch, going for a long walk,  tea, a bath, washing my hair  - and bed.  TV did not figure in that timetable at all.

But this was different - this was the BBC's production of Shakespeare's history plays  in one long sequence - 15 episodes.  I watched the first  and was lost. For all those 15 episodes, my mother and I shared this experience and I was totally engrossed in the drama, the language, the acting.  It was only years later that I realised how much I had absorbed of Shakespeare's power - and how many of the stage and screen's later great actors I had watched on that rather blurry black and white screen.

One of those actors I have always remembered - have never been able to forget  - was the man who played Henry V - and that was Robert Hardy.   Later he became well known as Siegfried in    James Herriot's  All Creatures Great and Small.  He played  Churchill several times and  was known to a new and wider audience when he appeared as Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.   But to me he was always the very first Prince Hal I'd every seen - dynamic  and powerful and, in spite of a strange 'pudding basin' haircut, mesmerising and unforgettable.

So I was truly sad to learn today that Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91. Such important memories went with him. And he will always be Prince Hal to me.

RIP Robert Hardy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

RNA Conference weekend

So here’s how the statistics for the weekend stack up:

First and foremost  - people to thank for a wonderful, fantastically well organised and stimulating conference once again  - Jan Jones and Roger Sanderson

Hours spent getting lost en route to Telford 2

Minutes left to prepare/change clothing/brush hair before Wellington Library panel 5


People attending Wellington library  panel  30

Wedding anniversary celebrated 1

Old friends met up with again  100- maybe more

New friends made – 30

Talks/workshops attended 20

Quiz won  - 1 (by ½ point!)

Bottles of wine consumed . . . err – lost count

RNA ex-virgins (from when I ran the first-timers group)and writers now published after my courses/12 Point Guide – Janet Gover Rachael Thomas Brigid Cody Iona Garrett Cathy Mansell

Discussions with past course students after one to ones -   10

Books added to my TBR pile – 15 – with special thanks to Janet Gover, Lara Temple (see above)

Person to thank for all the photographs – 1-   John Jackson

Late nights in the kitchen with wonderful friends – 4

Cats to appease after abandoning them for 4 days – surprisingly, none. The wonderful cat-sitter we  asked to look after them did the job so well we actually had no complaints, no sulks, no retribution when we came home. 

Except – number of mice sacrificed to cats’ need to bring presents for cat sitter – 3


Hedgehogs to feed in the evening after we got back – 4  - that’s including one brand-new half-grown Heck who is currently eating his/her way through everything we put out for it.

Bundles of washing to dump in the machine and get dry before we head out to Writers’ Holiday- 4

Days to go before I have to turn round and head out again towards Fishguard and teaching on this summer’s Writers’ Holiday – 3 ….


Eeek – thank heaven I planned the course well in advance and had only to pack my handouts etc.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Conferences and Covers

Heading out today for the RNA Conference and meeting up with lots of friends and fellow writers - so looking forward to this. But I just wanted to share - sometimes my covers seem a bit 'samey' but every now and then I get a new cover design that really stands out. So I was delighted with this from a French collection that I spotted today.

 And I'm in a collection with the wonderful Sara Craven who was one of the special writers who made me love the romance genre and I learned so much from her! So consider my day made with this.

Now I need to finish packing and get one the road - to everyone I'll see at RNA - travel safely - Oh, and yes, I'll be at Wellington Library tonight so if you're coming to that I'll see you there.

PS Perhaps I should say that the title of mine in this collection is Cordero's Forced Bride - which had a rather different cover

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Busy July

July is always a hectic month for me. So the coming week is going to need me to have my head down, nose to the grindstone - in theory this will mean finishing the book I've been wrestling with, for ever it seems.


The there will be the RNA Conference - where I have the appearance on the fantastic panel on Thursday evening 13th July, it's a free event at the local Wellington Library, from 7-8pm, so if you're in the area, and you'd like to come along, everyone's welcome - other fabulous writers on this panel are : Freda Lightfoot, Sarah Morgan, Nicola Cornick, Bernardine Kennedy.


At the RNA - as always - the Babe Magnet and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary of many, many years but as the conference is always so busy and so much fun, we'll have our private, personal celebrations once we're home.


T
hen the next week (we have 3 days to turn around, get clean clothes and head out again we're heading for lovely Fishguard in Wales and the fabulous Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holidays where I'm teaching The Complete Romance Writing course and one Stephen Wade is running a course called 'Make 'em Laugh' - writing humour. (Note to self - must find out if there are any places still availab
le on this year's Writers' Holiday in case anyone's interested.)


So as I know I shall be very busy (understatement ) in the rest of the month - I'm going to be doing something a bit special for the next few days - and introducing you to a new writer. Someone who writes very different sort of books from mine but they're fascinating and great reads - well, I'm partial because I know her! But if you have young readers in your family specially those who love books of fantasy and darkness, magic, menace and a truly terrifying foe - then come along - and there will be a giveaway to enter as well.

So that's coming up soon.  I hope you'll come by and meet this writer.

Friday, June 30, 2017

I haven't mentioned the Hecks for a while

Just been out - in the pouring rain! - to organise the evening's food and water for our family of hedgehogs - affectionately known as the Hecks. We've just realised that since next week will mark the 28th anniversary of moving in to this place, it also marks the 28th anniversary of realising that we had the Hecks in the garden and taking over the responsibility of feeding them from the daughter of the previous family to live here. If we don't remember, they appear at the patio doors to demand their meal!


Not sure how many generations of Hecks we've had since then, but thankfully they do seem to be thriving this year as well. I think that says something about the fact that parts of the garden are definitely left 'wild' for them. They also love the mixture of food left out. Since I'm often asked what to feed them:

A saucer of cat/dog meat – chicken in jelly is a favourite but please no meat in gravy. Not fish
Dried mealworms, crushed peanuts and sunflower hearts.
Cat biscuits
Hedgehog food found in garden centres and pet shops

A bowl of water is really important as many of the hedgehogs that arrive at rescues are dehydrated
Please no bread or milk
-Food and fresh water will encourage hedgehogs to return.

You can find more information at Prickles Hedgehog Rescue   or Hedgehog Friendly Town on Facebook
 

Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts