Thursday, June 09, 2011

My very first Greek hero

It seems amazing now,  but back in 1999 I had an editor who suggested the I might like to have a Mediterranean hero - for a change! Back then it didn't seem like every single hero you read in a Modern Romance/ Presents novel was  a sheikh, Italian, Spaniard, Greek . . .   My heroes had been Englishmen,  or Irish.  But the Mediterranean hero was really becoming popular and more and more of them were appearing in the novels.

Just after my editor made this suggestion I was in a small hotel in a West Yorkshire town. The Babe Magnet and I were having breakfast in a tiny dinind room - it was in the basement I remember!  Suddenly a couple of men appeared in the doorway, making me look up - as a writer, I'm always curious  - nosey!  These two guys were both  striking but the younger one was absolutely gorgeous.  I later found out that he was  Spanish and his name was Javier something.   My husband had to work that day and I was happily settled in a coffee shop with a notebook and pen - and inspiration for a whole new idea.

Along the way, Javier the Spaniard changed nationality and became Constantine the Greek - and so my very first ever Greek hero - or Mediterranean hero  - was born.  The book was Constantine's Revenge.

I've never know quite what it is abot Constantine but he seemed to grab the imagaination of my readers and never let go. I have had more letters, emails about this one hero than any other. The book has been frequently reprinted, some years ago when I ran a poll of my readers' top ten favourite Kate Walker novels, Constantine's Revenge topped the voting right from the start - and stayed there.

Perhaps it has something to do with the cover art - one of the best covers I've ever had. I loved it so much that I used the cover on my business cards for a time.   Whatever it is,  I'm always grateful for the fact that one unknown man walked into a room over twelve years ago!

And I was thrilled to discover this week that as part of their programme of reissuing my backlist in ebook form,  Harlequin have reissued Constantine's Revenge as a brand-new ebook out this month.

His plan was to make her his mistress...
When Constantine Kiriazis reappeared after two years, Grace thought he'd finally forgiven her for her lack of trust in him - and for canceling their wedding. Certainly Constantine's desire for her had not waned. But neither had his desire for revenge...
He fully intended to seduce Grace, but vowed she'd only be his mistress - never his wife. It was only when she melted in his arms that Constantine began to wonder who was exacting the revenge and who was paying the price!

Another backlist book is also coming out in ebook form in June  this one has an Irish hero - not that that gets mentioned much! Ronan Guerin appears in Wife For A Day - and this is a book that I always remember with a blend of horror and relief. I had such a struggle to get this one accepted! But since it came out I've had a lot or response from  readers and again it often appears in Top Ten Favourite Kate Walker booklists. So I'm glad to see that Wife For  Day  reissued as well.

What about you? Do you have a favourite of my books?  And in heroes - do you prefer the Mediterranean hero? Or would you like more  Englishmen, Irishmen . . ?


gaelikaa said...

I'd love to read 'Wife for a Day' and check out the Irishman. Heidi Rice's recent M&B Riva book 'The Walk of Fame' had an Irish hero and he was spot on. I'm Irish myself but my spouse is an Indian. Your hero's name - Ronan Guerin - is perfect. Ronan's a Celtic name and the surname, though French, is present in Ireland. I even had friends with that name.

Nas Dean said...

I love Mediterranean heros. There's something exotic about them. But on the other hand all Kate Walker hero's are delicous, no matter the nationality!

Margaret Midwood said...

Hi Kate,

Is it sad to admit that I still have an original copy of Constantine's Revenge it was a keeper and fantastic the it's being released again! You writer fantastic emotion packed stories and I love the Mediterranean heroes and the Sheiks too.

Kate Walker said...

Gaelikaa - I have to admit that I don't think my Irishman was particularly drawn as an Irishman. My family - Father and Mother both came from Ireland and I just wrote Ronan as one of my family! Also, this book had aterrible time being accepted and so much of it was edited out - by an editor who is no longer at M&B - so so much of his original character ended up in the bin and not on the page!

Kate Walker said...

Nas - there is always the appeal of the exotic in a Mediterranean hero, but for myself I also love the 'stiff upper lip' of an Englishman and, as I said above, my roots are in Ireland so I fell in love with Irishmen very early on. And thank you for that lovely comment about my heroes - that's just how I hope it will be whenever I write a new book.

Kate Walker said...

Margaret - I don't think that's sad at all! I think that knowing you have kept a book that you first read back in 2000 is such a wonderful compliment to me and that story that I'm glowing at the thought of it. You've really made my day! Thank you

gaelikaa said...

Kate! You are Irish! Oh, I see! Mx


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