Thursday, November 20, 2008

The C word

OK, I've finally admitted that Christmas is coming . . .soon.
And I need a couple of gifts for the friends who arrive . . .eeek - tomorrow!
So today I'm going shopping.

But I'm blogging over on the Pink Heart Society site today. Talking about those worst moments in a writer's life - the dreaded rejection letter or a bad critique.

So maybe I'll see you over there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting a life

One of the questions I'm often - no - one of the questions I'm always asked is the 'Where do you get your ideas from?' one.

Where do I get my ideas from? I dunno.

Usually I answer with something like 'Ideas are everywhere- all around, newspapers, magazines - TV - you know LIFE.' (I once tried to persuade my accountant that living/life was a viable expense for a novelist because it was after all research - where else did I get information from, experience relationships, learn about clothes, travel . . . Sadly, he wasn't having any of it.

But I'd still say that really life is research for a writer.

One of the most valuable lessons in being a writer was given to a friend of mine a long long time ago. With her first acceptance under her belt, her then editor asked her when she could expect the next book. Well, my friend said, if she missed her tennis club . . .. No, the editor said. You must go to the tennis clunb - do the other things you usually do - a writer needs to do more than write. You have to have a life to give you things to write about. (See Mr Accountant?)

It's true. A writer needs a life. And not just a working life. Because th writing isn't just what a writer does. At least it hasn't been this past year. Don't get me wrong - it's been a wonderful year - but it's been hectic and exhausting. The M&B centenary meant that the demands on authors for publicity, workshops, interviews have been huge. I've actually lost count of how many places I've been, talks or interviews I've given, people I've met. I'll count it all up soon when I put the details into my expenses for that accountant.

And while I've been doing that I've been writing as well - of course.

As you know, I've been busy with revisions. I got them done. Sent them back - then, still with fingers tightly crossed, I contemplated what I needed to do next. Of course one of the things was that I needed a new idea for a book. I didn't have one. I also had to catch up on the ordinary everyday things that get pushed to the side in the pressure of dreadlines, workshops, revsions . . . Things like connecting with the family, cleaning and organising my office (Still haven't done that - the visitors this weekend will have to wade through the piles of papers, but then they're used to that - they're writers too!) And someone started a nasty rumour that Christmas will be on 25th December and no one told me!

And I hadn't sat down, relaxed and read - really read for enjoyment in a l-o-n-g time. Writers should read to 'fill up the well' and feed their imagination.

If I wasn't going to feel like my brain had blown a fuse, something had to give. So that's where I've been. I've not been blogging, not been joining in on anything much on the internet. To be honest, I didn't have any ideas for a blog post anyway. Just for a while all my words seemed to have been written out and I couldn't find any more of them. So if you're one of the people I owe a message to - I apologise and I'll get to it soon.

And how have I spent my well-filling days? Sleeping a lot,doing really exciting things like the laundry and cleaning rooms ready for visitors, reading (not enough but enough to remind me how much I need it). Pottering. Wandering round shops thinking that maybe I should be thinking about Christmas.

And watching a couple of great dramas. Re-watching in one case. So there was the Life on Mars back to back orgy. Wonderful. My heartfelt thanks to The Offspring who loaned me the full set of DVDs

And then there's Spooks - now with added extra 'research' in the form of Richard Armitage as Lucas North. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

And finally - with heartfelt thanks to Anne McAllister who brought the DVD of the complete first series with her on her recent visit - Life . I know it's now running on ITV 3 but thanks to Anne I can watch the whole series back to back and not have to wait till next week. Plus, I get to see the wonderful Damian Lewis over and over . . .
See - I told you it was all research.

So that's what I've been doing. I've been away filling up the well. Doing research. Getting a life. Interesting that two of the dramas I've been glomming have got 'LIFE' in the title - there's a message there.

I'm still not quite sure who my next hero will be. But at least I feel more as if there will be a next hero - an next idea. The dark intensity of Lucas North in Spooks will probably influence my thoughts there somewhere. As will the outward mask hiding the effects of the past of Charlie Crews in Life.

And Life on Mars? Gene Hunt as the Alpha Male anyone? (I'm talking about the original and brilliant UK version of this wonderful show - sorry, not the USA one. That's Philip Glenister not Harvey Keitel)

Actually, there's a lot of food for thought in that one - and I'll probably come back to it. But at least I am thinking . . .

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Reminiscing, Reviews and more Rain

I'm blogging over on the I (heart) Presents blog today -talking about Bedded by The Greek Billionaire, but also chatting over old favourite books that you remember and that are worth re-reading. Why not come by and join in the conversation?

And talking of great books. If you visit here you obviously read and enjoy romance. So would you like to share that enjoyment with others and write about the books too? The Pink Heart Society is looking for regular, enthusiastic reviewers who would like to join them and write about the new releases.

They are looking for reviewers for every line and they would really like to see more of the American lines represented as well as the ones edited from the UK. So if you're interested, why not email the Pink Heart Society, tell them a bit about yourself and maybe you can join the team. You'd get the new books too - that has to be a bonus!

Rain - well that's self-explanatory isn't it? Yes, it's another wet day. Though yesterday did brighten up later in the morning so I shall still hope . . .

Friday, November 07, 2008


It would be nice to wake up one morning without the sound of the rain lashing against the window panes.

I grew up in a house on the side of a hill in West Yorkshire and so I got used to wet, fierce and often cold weather. And the Babe Magnet is a Yorkshireman through and through so he's not a sunworshipper by any stretch of the imagination. But even he is tired of the seemingly endless rain.

The cats hate it. I open the door in the morning and Flora looks at me as if I've ordered the rain as a personal insult to her. 'I'm not going out in that!' The trouble is that with her long fur, if she does go out in it then she comes back soaked through and dripping all over the floor.

And Sid is convinced that there is better weather somewhere - if he can just find it. If it's pouring down at the back door, then perhaps the front one might have a better climate . . . I'm sure he thinks that each door in the house opens on to some other world where the weather is different and the temperatures better.

So it's a relief to escape to my book and to the sunny Italian island where Ricardo and Lucy are dealing with their problems and I (hopefuly) am dealing with the concerns my editor had. It's been slow progress delayed by the migraine but now I hope it's getting there.

But it's no wonder that the fantasy element of the Modern/Presents line so often deals with the Mediterranean or some desert kingdom where the sun always shines. Right now with the rain thudding down on the roof of my office, I know that the temptation to curl up by the fire with a good book is almost irresistible. And I'd have to admit that if I was having a huge row with the love of my life and he walked out of the house in a fury then - even if he was Richard Armitage disgused as an Italian billionaire - I'd take one look at the torrents coming down from the sky and have serious doubts about going after him. I'd be far more likely to leave him to get soaked.

Which reminds me of the book that's just been reprinted in the Latin Lovers duo in Australia. Her Secret Bridegroom. I remember that when that first came out, a friend who lives in Cumbria wrote to me in great delight and commented that'They went to the Lake District - and it rained!" Like me, she has much experience of just how wet it can be there - why do you think they have so many lakes?

So while it's been fun - and warmer - to imagine my characters in the sunshine of the Italian Lakes, I have to admit that there's an itch at the back of my storytellers mind that's making me think of the extra little pressures, the heavy feeling - and the floods tat non stop rain for days can create.
And I think of some Sicilian or Greek used to the sun and the warmth and wonder how he'd cope . . .
Wherever you are I hope you're keeping dry. And if you've bought a copy of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire - or any other of my books - that they bring a little sunshiune into your life whatever the weather.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New beginnings

In the darkness of the night - well, the very early morning - something woke me. I've no idea what it was but what I did, as I usually do when I need to get back to sleep, was switch on the 'snooze' button on my bedside radio to have something to listen to as I tried to drift off again.

And I caught exactly the moment that in the American elections everyone first realised that Barack Obama had won enough votes to become the next President of the United States.

Coming like that, just as the very first faint hints of dawn were starting to appear, it felt rather like an omen of a new beginning. I certainly hope so.

In book news- yesterday I received a copy of the Czech and the Polish translation of The Antonakos Marriage. The Czech translations amuse me as my name becomes 'Kate Walkerova' on the cover. Not quite as funny as the name my friend Elizabeth Rolls ends up with, but it always makes me smile. The Polish editions are the ones that some branches of WH Smith now stock in the UK so I might be able to see that actually on sale.

I was also asked to write a post for the I (heart) Presents blog to mark the publication the month of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire. I'm told that will go up on Friday so if you're interested in reading posts by other Presents authors then don't forget to check out the blog and see who else is posting there.

Just a reminder to Karen and Robynl to send me your postal addresses so I can send you your prizes from the contest.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lost weekend

Wasn't there a film called Lost Weekend? Well , in explanation I'll just say one word - migraine - and add a shudder at the memory. Don't even mention revisions . . . Catching up is not going to be fun either

One of the things I need to catch up on is the contest to celebrate the publication of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire.

At last Sid has managed to pick some winners from the comments. Thank you to everyone who contributed, I have some wonderful additions to my TBR pile (though when I'm going to get to read anything soon is another matter!)

The winners that Sid has picked out are Karen - who tempted me to go and reread Michelle Reid's Arabian Love Child (and that is a real temptation . . WIGTBBD - when I get this b.... book done) - and Robynl who recommended Gunslinger's Bride by Stacey Kayne.

Karen and Robyn please email me kate AT with your postal addresses and I'll put your prizes in the mail. You win a signed copy of the Centenary novella The Duke's Secret Wife together with some other Centenary goodies.

If you didn't win this time, you might like to try your hand at the contest over on My Tote Bag where again I'm celebrating the publication of this new book. The question there is what honour was awarded to Bedded By The Greek Billionaire this month (I'm still smiling!). You need to go over to the My Tote Bag site to find out how to enter this one. The prize is a copy of The Greek Tycoon's Reluctant Wife and Spanish Billionaire Innocent Wife together with a Kate Walker tote bag and some other goodies.

Members of my newsletter group who also entered the special contest I run for them - I'll be announcing the winners today too.

What else? Oh yes - over on I spotted a mystery book which was a reprint of my Her Secret Bridegroom together with Claiming his Wife by Diana Hamilton. I didn't know anything about this - and neither did my editor!

It turns out that this is an Australian reprint and I've managed to find a copy of the cover. So here's the original UK edition (I always liked that cover - it came out in 2001). And here is the new Australian reprint which is on sale in December - but is available now on the Mills & Boon Australia's web site right now.

Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts