Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Favourite Kate Walker - Lynne Raye Harris

As I promised, today is a post in that irregular series - My Favourite Kate Walker. I have rather neglected this as a result of pressure of work/life/everything else but I'm still keeping an eye on it for the celebration of 25 years since my first book ever was published. If you have an absolute favourite of my books, feel free to let me know about it and you might see your post on this blog.

Today's author is someone else who has had a difficult week with a husband in hospital and then back home - so I'm sending her a hug and a smile (and a gentler one for her husband!) So let me introduce you to Lynn Raye Harris.

Many of you will recall that Lynn won the very first Presents Instant Seduction contest back in 2008 and when I first met her at the RWA conference in San Francisco she was halfway towards being convinced that her book just wasn't going to make it as she dealt with the revisions asked of her.

She says I gave her the advice she needed- well, that was simply that revisions are a fact of life for all authors from first book to 100th and beyond. I'm surprised that she gave any credit to what I said as I believe I was dressed in my pajamas at the time - this was at the eHarlequin PJ party after all. I liked Lynn from the start and we bonded even more the following year when we shared a wonderful dish of fries and garlic sauce in a Washington restaurant. I'm only sorry that I won't make it to RWA this year so we can meet up again .

Here's Lynn:

As a new author for Harlequin Presents/Mills & Boon Modern, I have to tell you all that I was a bit apprehensive about joining this illustrious family of writers. What would they think of me? Could I possibly talk to any of them without descending into fangirl stuttering? Would my stories live up to the promise of the line?

Kate Walker was the second Presents/Modern author I met in person, and the first I talked to when I was on the verge of selling. I will never forget her kindness or her bubbly personality. She treated me like I was already a member of the fold. And she gave me exactly the right advice at exactly the right moment. I went home and got to work – and then sold my first book shortly thereafter.

So when Kate asked if I could talk about my favorite Kate Walker book for her 25th anniversary, I said yes! Except that I can’t talk about my favorite Kate Walker book because I enjoy them all so much that I can’t pick a favorite. I really can’t! Whether Kate is writing sheikhs or Greeks or Sicilians or (pick your favorite hero), I love them all.

(In fact, I’m currently rereading AT THE SHEIKH’S COMMAND – oh yum!)

But I can talk about one of Kate’s stories that gave me an aha moment as a writer: SPANISH BILLIONAIRE, INNOCENT WIFE. Alannah and Raul’s story is so intense that you just can’t stop turning the pages. What did I learn from this book? I learned how finely one can spin out the emotions of a character, how intense the suspense can be when one character needs to tell the other a dark secret and doesn’t want to do so. I learned about the deep ache of thwarted love, and how two people can want each other so much and still not think it will ever work out.

That book was intense, y’all! Steamy and dark and so emotional that I was biting my lip as I kept turning those pages. But you know how it turns out, even if you haven’t yet read it. Alannah and Raul get their happy ever after, though it’s an emotional trip to the end. It was the kind of book where you close it and can’t immediately begin another because you need to think for a while.

I hope I put half that emotion into my books! And if I do, I surely learned how by studying Kate’s work. Many congratulations, Kate, on twenty-five years of excellent storytelling. I hope you keep telling stories for another twenty-five years!

Thank you Lynn! I 'd love to think I have another 25 years' writing ahead of me!

Lynn has a couple of books out this month - so look out for them. The Prince's Royal Concubine - which uses one of my favourite themes in a romance, the way that the weather (in this case a huge storm) traps the hero and heroine together so that they are forced to face up to their conflict because there is literally nowhere to go. It makes for an intense and claustrophobic atmosphere - is out in Presents in America and The Devil's Heart is on the shelves now in the UK. I know it is because I bought my own copy yesterday. Just need a little time to read it.

You can find out more about Lynn and her books here


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Kate! LOL, you remembered everything! Yes, it was the revisions and yes, you were in pajamas. But I definitely needed to hear that advice. It gave me the confidence I needed to get the work done, so thank you a million times over. :)

And thanks for the hugs. Hubby and I are doing pretty good now! He's so much better than a week ago!

Looking forward to the next time we can share garlic fries!

Laurie London said...

Hi Kate, congratulations on hitting the 25 year mark! Wow!

Howdy Lynne! When you told me not to worry about revisions, were you passing on what Kate had told you? If so, how wonderful! I feel like I'm in the same frame of mind now as you were when you talked to her. Thanks for your pep talk to me! Can't wait to read The Prince's Royal Concubine. It's sitting on my nightstand.

As a fairly new Presents reader, I'll definitely look for your books, Kate!

I, too, am inspired to explore the emotion in a scene more deeply when I read Presents. In fact, there's a particularly sticky one I'm working on right now and I need some serious inspiration!

Best of luck to both of you!

Sarah Morgan said...

Well if we're talking favourite Kate Walker books I have to shout out about Kept for her Baby which I loved to pieces (er - literally -note to self, must stop reading in bath....), but there are so many others too - congratulations on your 25 years Kate :) Looking forward to raising a glass with you at some point this year...

Lynn I really enjoyed Prince's Royal Concubine and that storm scene was incredible. Fantastic book

Jean Hovey said...

You just have to love Sheikh. They're so....chic!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Laurie! Yep, Kate told me not to worry and I passed it on to you. :) She was right, btw!

Glad you are a new Presents reader! They have everything, I think, but then I'm biased. ;) I do hope you enjoy TPRC!

Good luck with your sticky scene!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Sarah, I loved Kept for Her Baby too! So emotional! But then they always are. :)

Thank you for the comments on TPRC! I'm so thrilled you enjoyed it. :)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Jean! Yep, sheikhs are divine!


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