Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meet a new author

As many  of you know, every year I go to London for the annual Association of Mills & Boon Authors lunch.  As  well as a chance to meet up with old friends (that's old as in the meaning of - we've been friends for a long time!) there is always the chance to make new ones. 

This year I was thrilled to be able to introduce new author Rachael Thomas to the M&B authors when she had just had her first Modern Romance/Presents published.   Later, I was also delighted to meet brand new Historical author Nicole Locke who was there because her first book had been accepted and scheduled. I can still remember just how it felt to have that very first acceptance - though of course my first book The Chalk Line  was published   30 years ago - way back  before the internet, AMBA or anything like that!  So I love to meet newly accepted authors and often invite them to come along on to my blog to talk about their first book when  the magical day/month comes and it's finally published.

So I  asked Nicole to join me and talk about her  new historical title - The Knight's Broken Promise. One thing Nicole and I share is a love of Medieval times and the history of that period - so I was happy to find out that this is the period in which she's set her book .  But although she's talking about historical novels, I think her declaration of what she's aiming to write is a great summary of what all romantic novelists are aiming for - 

 That one piercing cherished love. The one that cannot cease. 

And that is a great cover!

So - welcome to the blog, Nicole, it's great to see you here.

From Nicole:

It’s thrilling to be here on Kate Walker's blog! I write about the medieval times. So why am I here? I believe when writing contemporary or historical romance, love compels across all centuries. And when it comes to writing about love, Kate’s stories and generous encouragement are an inspiration.

Nicole Locke
The Knight's Broken Promise is my first book with Harlequin and releases February 2015.

Why I Love Medieval Times
I love the medieval times because of the heart of one man, and his love for his wife. When she died, he wrote a letter about his anguished wretchedness. His wife, ‘whom in life we dearly cherished, and whom in death we cannot cease to love.’
That letter was written to the abbot of Cluny in France by Edward I, who ruled England from 1272 to 1307.

Say what you like about this king. It is probably all true. He was politically savage, determined and ruthless. Was it a sign of the times, or did Edward himself forge those times? Books and arguments for centuries have been written on this. So much conniving and betrayal were heaped upon him, but he gave as good as he got. Our modern temperaments can barely comprehend it.
However, it is not the conflicts that compel me to write about this era. It is Edward’s love for his wife, Eleanor of Castile, and their thirty-six years of marriage. Married young, they were truly cherished companions and rarely apart. They shared sixteen pregnancies, travels, campaigns and crusades. Yet strife, injuries and loss were not all that bound them together; play and joy did as well. They loved chess and hunting. While she preferred a bow and dogs, he often used a sword and hawks. After Lent, it became a tradition for Edward to pay Eleanor’s ladies-in-waiting to re-join his wife in their marriage bed.

When Eleanor died in November 1290 at Harby near Lincoln, Edward orchestrated and accompanied an elaborate funeral procession that took over two weeks. For years afterward, Edward honoured his wife with three separate artistic tombs set at Lincoln, Blackfriars and Westminster. Twelve memorial crosses were built to stand where the queen’s body rested on the journey from Lincoln to Westminster. As beautiful and awe inspiring as the funeral, tombs and crosses were, I only envision Edward’s tall form crumpled as he rode behind the procession.
After that first Christmas, Edward wrote to the abbot of Cluny. He wrote that his love for Eleanor could not cease. Could not because he was incapable of stopping it. A noted warrior, and a determined ruler. A king, who began and conquered wars. He was a hammer, a foe, a force, but he loved. He was a man all the same, and he grieved.

So I’m writing a historical series regarding Edward’s reign, about the wars in Wales and Scotland, the betrayals in France and England. The conflict is intriguing and gripping to read and write, but love compels me more. I want to find it in this time, and endeavour to describe it. That one piercing cherished love. The one that cannot cease. 


anne stenhouse said...

Lovely to read about a new Historical author and I bought Nicole's pb when out this morning. Thanks for the notice, Kate. And thanks for an interesting post. anne stenhouse

Nicole said...

Thanks Anne, so lovely to hear from you.

Thanks again, Kate! It's been a fun day talking medieval romance.

Rachael Thomas said...

Congratulations Nicole! I love a good historical read, so guess what's going on my TBR pile. X

Anonymous said...

My congratulations to Nicole! It sounds like wonderful novel!

Nicole said...

Thanks Rachael! The entire whirlwind experience from research to turning sentences around has been wonderful. Still seems like a dream the book is in print.

P.S. Loved how Georgie sealed Santos' fate in A Deal Before the Altar.

Wendy's Writing said...

I love that period in history. Edward's love for Eleanor is a true romance. All the very best, Nicole.

Nicole said...

Thanks Catherine for following here and on Twitter!

I loved writing about Robert and Gaira. Wanted to let you know the second book in the series is in Harlequin's hands and am currently getting to know Bram and Lioslath So far they are not getting along. They, as am I, are finding the path to love can be bumpy.

Nicole said...

Morning Wendy, and thanks for following!

Loved researching this period of time. I now have stacks of books that surround me every day.

Still frustrating not to know more detail. Truly wish I could go back and travel and dine with Edward and Eleanor.


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