Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Workshop and The Return of The Stranger

So looking forward to meeting everyone at my New Voices workskshop at Ashby Library today. The workshop starts at 11am and lasts two hours. The last I heard it was just about full, but if you've only just learned about this or decided you can manage to come after all, I should be able to squeeze and extra person or two in at the last minute - North Lincolnshire Central Library on 01724 860161 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01724 860161 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email
Friday 2nd October is the official publication date for the UK edition of The Return of the Stranger so I'm looking forward to seeing this on the shelves in the bookshops.   This book got a great review over on the Mills & Boon site where one reader said:

"I'm not altogether sure that I agree with the premise of re-working the plot of all time classic novels.

This is the last in the Series and is based on Wuthering Heights. Moreover I never really liked Heathcliffe seeing him as rather cruel.

However Mrs Walker triumphantly produces a powerful and intense novel which involves your emotions from start to finish.

Heath is a super hero full of brooding passion and the delightful Katherine evokes your sympathy.

Not to be missed - as they say they saved the best till last.

Ten out of ten."

Thank you to the reviewer!  And talking of the M&B site - it's 31st Augusr and The Return of The Stranger is still there at #1 on the web site sales list! This means that it's been up there at #1 all month. Thank you so very much to every single one of you who has bought a copy to help me achieve this amazing result - it's so appreciated. I couldn't have done it without you!

Oh - and  if you're in America and want to get your hands on this book, don't forget that the books are on sale early on the Harlequin web site - the eboook is already up there  and the paperback edition  should go on sale as soon as August becomes September.

Right, time to pack up my workshop notes and get ready to talk about New Voices

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Voices Workshop This Week!

Just to remind anyone planning on entering the  Mills & Boon New Voices  contest, that the workshop I'm doing is on Wednesday this week.

If you live anywhere in  Lincolnshire or close enough to travel  then I'd love to see you there.

To celebrate the launch of the Mills & Boon New Voices 2011 writing competition, Mills & Boon are hosting a series of writing workshops for aspiring authors to learn the secrets of writing a successful Mills & Boon story.
I will be leading this writing workshop at:
  • Date: Wednesday, August 31
  • Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Location:
    • Ashby Library and Local Link
      Ashby High Street
      North Lincolnshire, DN16 2RY
  • Cost: Tickets cost £5, including refreshments, and are available in advance from North Lincolnshire Central Library. Places are limited so booking is essential.
For more information, please contact Emma Prideaux at North Lincolnshire Central Library on 01724 860161   or email

Friday, August 26, 2011

Charlie's Choices

Hello again! Charlie here.

Having a birthday is a lot of fun - I had chicken (yum!) and salmon (yum!) and cat crunchies (yum!). I was kind and generous too and I shared them with Flora and Sir Sidney.  I went out in the garden  and chased Flora around. I climbed trees. And I snoozed in the sunshine.

It was ace. And now I have a number. I am one.  Not just months any more. I am a whole year old.

Then today my Mum says that I need to choose prizewinners from the blog. Thank you to everyone who left me birthday messages - they were all great.  Specially the ones that said I am so handsome.  That does happen to be true. Anne McAllister says that Sir Sidney is handsomer - but then she has never met me. And he is A Cat of Superior Breeding and her very Special Friend.

Anyway, Sir Sid has taught me how to pick winners (you can see a pic of him showing how it's done right here) and he says he always pick an extra one  cos that way you get more crunchy treats to eat. So -  my birthday winners are:

Kandy Shepherd

Gillian Wheatley


Marlena  Cassidy

You all win copies of My Mum's novella The Duke's Secret Wife - so please send her your postal address  to kate AT and she'll get your prize in the mail to you. If she can get to the post box in this rain! I don't want to go out in it, I can tell you. 

Oh - and I have to say sorry for the late announcement  but I  was sleeping off all of the excitement  of yesterday  on the bed and I've only just woken up enough to pick the winners.
Oh yes - and  if you think yesterday was  a party - just wait for this one -

To celebrate the publication of   The Return of The Stranger - in September in UK and in October in Australia and Harlequin Presents Extra - my Mum is planning a blog party and a special Virtual Book Tour  with Romance Book Paradise Promotions.

Check out the details here   and get ready to join in the fun.  It's all kicking off in September.

Right - that's enough words, I think I have a bit of chicken left over from yesterday  .. . 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Charlie's Diary - Party Time!

Hello! It's been a while since I wrote my diary - but I've been having too much fun to bother with words. My Mum does the words - I do the  eating, the running, the climbing of trees, the eating, the chasing Flora round the garden,  the pouncing, the purring, the cuddling - oh, and did I mention the eating?   I love eating.

I love living here.   I've been here 8 months and it's great! It's my forever home and I want to stay here for ever.  Sadly we lost Old Dylan since I came, but Flora the Floozie is good fun to play with.  I chase her round the garden. She says she doesn't like it but she still joins in.   Sir Sidney, the Alpha cat is a bit elderly now  and so he just snoozes most of the time(though he likes eating too!)  but he's a great guy and we have long times when we sit together and I learn stuff from him. He's teaching me how to pick the prizewinners  for my Mum's contests - says it's a skill I'll need for the future. I don't mind - it involves cat treats,  so that's OK with me. I love eating!

Today is a special day - it's my birthday! I am ONE!  My Dad says I'm a right one and that's a fact. Anyhoo, today I am one year old.  And I'm celebrating. I've already had a birthday breakfast - I had chicken and so did Flora.  Sir Sid had turkey in sauce cos his mouth's a bit sore these days but he let me lick his plate I know it was good.    The chicken was good.  And the salmon that's for my tea will be good. And the cat treats  and the cat sticks will be good.  I love eating!

I'm having a party with my cousins - the cats who live with The Offspring - and we're going to have good things to eat.  I love . . . Oh, I already said that didn't I?

Anyway, Mum says we should do a round-up - I thought that was herding cows  but what she means is we should post some pics of me so you can see how I've grown and how handsome  I am.  Cos I am handsome and Blackie, Big Daisy and all the other girls in the neighbourhood say I am. So here are some pics of me growing up.  I was cute to start with, but now I'm dead handsome!

So - we're partying and my Mum says that means we can give away  some stuff.  That worried me I thought she meant I had to give away some supermeat with chicken, but she says that you'd all prefer books.  (That is all except Smudge and Jazz  who own  Raven McAllan ( See comments  here )  Big purrs to you  S&J!  So that's OK. We only have a box of a dozen supermeat with chicken and I'll need that for my party! My eating party!

Now my Mum says she'll do the books thing - so that's a relief. I get to choose the winners though - and practice what Big Sid has taught  me about  getting the names right!  We're not saying anything abot  the numbers  - just wait and see how many people join in and then what books are available but I know my Mum said something about The Duke's Secret Wife being around - don't know what she's doing here but if she brings grub then that's OK!

Anyhoo, all you have to do is to post in the comments place today - I'm told that today goes on for all sorts of times in different places in the world - wierd! But anyway 25th August is my birthday, and as long as there's a 25th of August anywhere in the world you get a chance to answer and maybe win.

So just post a birthday message- and maybe tell me how you celebrated your birthday last time or will celebrate the next one coming up, and I'll put what Sid's taught me into practice.

Phew! That was a lot of words! I'm worn out - and starving! I think I need a little smackeral of something to stop my tummy rumbling.  Salmon, anyone?

Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writers' Forum

Out any  day now  -  see page 7

Author interview    -  A life of romance
Mills & Boon’s Kate Walker    talks to Helen M Hunt

Writers' Forum

With thanks to Rachael who alerted me to this - I didn't know it was out now.

Putting a to do list on the to do list . . .

At least that's what it feels like this week - I have about six To Do Lists on the go - and on one of them  is 'Find Diary - and put To Do List in it!'  A couple of months ago I invested ina bran new iphone ( Ok - honest admission - I inadvertently put  my old phone in the washing machine because it got caught up with a bundle of bed lined I'd just stripped off the bed  and shoved in the washer.)   I love my iphone - it has my life in it now, so heavens only  knows what I'd do if I washed this one!  But I  still have a penandpaper To List  as backup and I haven't quite correlated the two yet.

Add in a book dangerously close to its dreadline

Add in major revamping plans on the house - knock through kitchen/build garden room/renew central heating . ..  all going to be fabulous - but all needing time and energy to plan

Add in a  new book coming out  - you know the one - The Return of the  Stranger with that fabulous cover. And  that means lots of blog posts - a Virtual Book Tour  - and one major interview (more of that later) because people want to know about this one  a lot.  (Can I also just sneak in a mention of the fact that it's still at #1  on the Mills and Boon site  - this is the 3rd week it's up there! )

Add in that I said I'd tell you more about it  and I haven't done yet . . .

Add in that there is the New Voices contest coming up - cue Worksop at Ashby Library  on 31st August .. .  You can find the details here - and the wonderful Heather from We Write Romance  who  updates my site for me has reorganised  my Events page so that it's easier for you to find out what's going on when (Thank you Heather!)

You get the idea? But talking of New Voices - don't forget to visit The Pink Heart Society today where Editor Flo Nicholls has given her Top Tips for those of you planning on entering the contest.  Lots of good advice there.

Tomorrow is an important day for one member of this household - clue - its one  of the ones with fur, whiskers and a tail.   There will be celebrations and  a party - with lots of treats  and maybe some give aways  for those of you who don't like supermeat with chicken . . .
So come back tomorrow to join in the celebrations.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sad News - Sandra Hyatt

I heard some very sad news this weekend   that Harlequin Desire author Sandra Hyatt  passed away very suddenly while at the Romance Writers of New Zealand  Conference in Auckland. 

My husband and  were lucky enough to meet Sandra when we attended the RWNZ  conference in 2004 and we were at the RWA Conference in San Francisco when she  got 'the call' to say that she had sold her very first book.  She was a delightful person and   has been taken far too young, when her career was only just beginning to get going. My heart goes out to her family and friends,

Sandra was in my mind only a couple of weeks ago when I read a post which mentioned her over on Jackie Ashenden's blog.   This post had  a wonderful piece of writing advice in  it that I think is valuable to  all writers - but might be particularly useful to those of you who are planning to enter the  New Voices  contest.  Sandra was talking about  a Michael Hague  workshop she had been too  and - well, here's what Jackie said on her blog (Thanks Jackie for permission to quote)

Well, at our most recent chapter group meeting, the very wonderful Sandra Hyatt gave us a talk about the Micheal Hague workshop she did and part of it really resonated with me.

Our characters wear two faces - the face they show to the world, and the face they keep to themselves. The face they show to the world is their identity, the face they keep to themselves is their essence (the people they truly are). Now in the story, the characters should conflict at the level of identity, but they should connect at the level of essence.

I thought that was a very simple way of making sure there is conflict in a story, but also some real romance. Because it's the moments where the two characters connect that show the reader that these two are meant for each other. Of course what it means is that I need to figure out who my characters actually are, as opposed to the face they show to the real world. Tricky. I know the faces they show to the world but working backwards to find their essence is another thing.

It's great advice - and  as Jackie says-
>what it means is that I need to figure out who my characters actually are, as opposed to the face they show to the real world.

Little gems like that renew my spirit to write when  sometimes I'm tired and feel I'd rather watch paint dry. And thoughts of talented, vibrant women like Sandra who were here last week  - and  now are  no  longer with us - also make me remember that if you want to be a writer you need to get on and write no matter what stage you're at in your career.  Otherwise the stories in your head will never come alive on any page.  And no one will ever share them.

The paint will still dry anway, even if you're not watching it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Writers' Book Fayre and Festival

If anyone lives near West Bridgford, Nottingham,   the New Writers' Book Fayre and Festival  is taking place there on the 7th/8th of October.

I'll be talking about Writing Romance and The Babe Magnet (who is looking suitable sepulchral on this poster) will be talking about Writing Non-Fiction.

The full programme can be found here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Date With Kate

It's the third Friday of the month - is it really? How did it get to that date when I wasn't looking?  I meant to blog yesterday. . . and the day before but life has been so hectic and so many things to do that I blinked and found myself ast Friday before I realised it.

So - Friday is Pink Heart Society day and that's where you'll find my main blog.  I'm starting to talk about my next book out - The Return of The Stranger which is out on September 2nd  -  and today I'm adressing one of the, for me, really important points about this book and the whole mini-series it's in.  The Powerful and the Pure.

Now as I've mentioned before, some people have got their knickers in  a twist over the fact that these books have been  created by looking at the plots of four of the great classics of romantic fiction - Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Emma and , in my case Wuthering Heights.  Some readers have screamed  'plagiarism!' or 'stealing!' , but in that case they don't understand what plagiarism is. And these books are not stealing  from but inspired by the wonderful great books. - using that inspiration to create something new and hopefully enjoyable. 

I'm proud of the fact that, as one reviewer said over on the Mills & Boon web site -
 Mrs Walker triumphantly produces a powerful and intense novel which involves your emotions from start to finish.
That means I have done what I set out to do - to create a  book that stands on its own, can be enjoyed on its own - but if you know some of the references in it - references not copies or stealing! - then that can add an extra dimension to your reading.

Anyway - have a read of my full blog for yourself.

One thing  about this book that has thrilled me this week (OK, other than the fact it's been at #1 on the bestseller list on the M&B site for the past two weeks)  I meant to say yesterday, but time ran away with me. And that is that on Wednesday I heard that The Bronte Society  are putting a copy of The Return of The Stranger in their  collection of Bronte-inspired fiction in the research library at the Parsonage Museum. So it will be permanently stored there in the future.

For someone who once spent long day trips to Haworth first with my family, then with my husband, who has read and reread Wuthering Heights more times than I can count  and who studied the book both for my first degree twice! In Year One and then in the 19th century course) and then wrote my MA thesis on Emily and Charlotte Bronte  - to have one of my books acquired by the Parsonage Museum library , well  it doesn't come much better than this!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kate's Corner

It's August 15th - and the 15th of the month is the date when I have my regular post on the blog over at  We Write Romance.

If I'm honest, I didn't know what to write today - until I went our for a long walk with one of my very best friends and her  two dogs . .  .

See you there !

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Writing Help for New Voices

Over on Facebook there is a page for the New Voices Contest  - and it's buzzing. Everyone has questions they want to ask and  they are posting their queries and getting plenty of great answers.

But there are still more and more questions. To help with some of the queries, Nas Dean posted some links to posts I'd done in the past here on this blog - posts on Conflict when I did the Conflict series and Q&A  back in 2010.  That made me think of the other series of posts on writing I've done - All About Alphas for one. And the Writing Q&A  where I answered questions you sent in.

But these are scattered through  my blog, here there and everywhere. So I thought I'd try to make things a bit easier for you and I checked through, collecting up the dates  where I put most of these posts about writing, so that I could list themn for you to go back and find and have a read.

Writing for Presents-   1-4
Basic information about what I think is important if you want to aim for the  Modern Romance/Harlequin Presents line.
All About Alphas  1-22
A long  series of posts on the often vexed topic of  the 'Alpha Male' - love him or hate him, Mills & Boon editorial  have been heard to say that they only ever publish alpha heroes.  But  if you think Alpha means bully and brute, trampling a poor little heroine underfoot, you couldn't be more wrong. Read the contributions from so many successful  published romance writers and find out why there's so much more to this guy than being tal dark and handsome, successful - and snarling!

The link will take you to the first post - after that just scroll further and you'll find all you ever wanted to know about the Alpha hero.
Keep It Simple Dig Deep

Writing Q&A
A series of answers to questions readers sent in

Conflict 1- 21
Another long series of posts following on from the time that I taught a workshop on Conflict at the Romantic Novelists' Association conference  in 2010.  Why conflictr? Well, without conflict you don't have a story - but so many people get themselves in a tangle about internal conflict/external conflict/sustaining conflict/resolving conflict - it's all here. Just  start at post one and read on through.

And over on Sally Quilford's blog, I did a guest post for her  May -  You Write Your Novel  section - you can find that here.
Writing Category Romance

That should keep you quiet for a while - when you've read through all that lot, if you still have questions  - on these topics or anything else, then  come back and post them here and I'll start another Writing Q&A to  post some answers.

And of course, there  is a lot more information and advice in my 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance which is available in paperback or  on KINDLE both in America and the UK.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Workshop confirmed

Yesterday was the Babe Magnet's birthday so we celebrated with a day out at Filey on the North Yorkshire coast with The Offspring and his lovely partner.  We did the full seaside thing with fish and chips, ice cream cones, walking barefoot along the sand, paddling in the not too icy sea, and exploring Filey Brigg looking for fossils. We didn't find any, but a great collection of rocks and shells came back with us. Along with a large amount of sand between the toes.  Lovely.

Just to say that the New Voices workshop has been confirmed and will be going ahead on August  31st
at Ashby Library North Lincolnshire
11am- 1pm

Full details can be found here:

As places are strictly limited please book  to ensure your place.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Great book news

My thanks to the lovely Abby Green who alerted me to the fact that The Return of the Stranger is currently at #1 on the Mills & Boon web site.

Abby's own book - The Sultan's Choice is at #3 this week too - and my dear friend Michelle Reid's new title  The Kanellis Scandal is at #2. Great news about great books!

Oh - and while you're over on the M&B site, if you missed out on getting a copy of any of these:
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride
The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge
The Sicilian's Wife

Then check out this month's special sale - the 3 in 1 collection - Claimed by the Sicilian - is on sale for just £2.99. That's 3 books for less than the price of one -  a real bargain!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Tote Bags 'N' Blogs day

Today is the first Sunday of August so that means it's my day for blogging over on Tote Bag 'N' Blogs. So I hope you'll join me over there.

Todayu I'm talking about the new book I'm working on - and I'm looking for a little help with one part of it. I'm offering prizes too!

And while you're there - take a look at the contest lovely Lee is running for me on  My Tote Bag -  if you enter you could win a copy of  Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and  Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife!   All you have to do is to answer one simple question.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Ashby Workshop

Sorry - I  have been reminded that I didn't give full details for the Ashby  workshop -  it is still being absolutely finalised but as it stands - and will probbaly stay  - it:

Ashby Library
Ashby High Street

Wednesday August 31st 11am - 1pm

Friday, August 05, 2011

New Voices Workshop(s)

Do you live anywhere near North Lincolnshire? 

That's where I'm doing my New Voices writing workshop this time around - at Ashby Library 
Ashby High Street
North Lincolnshire
DN16 2RY

I'll also have copies of my 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance for sale at this - and all events.

Numbers will be limited so Tel: 01724 296832 to enquire about bookings.

Or perhaps West Yorkshire is closer for you -
 I'm also doing a workshop at the Bronte Society Festival of Women's Writing on September 17th

Writing Romance with Kate Walker
10am-12pm, West Lane Baptist Centre
Romantic fiction writing is big business. This workshop, based on Kate Walker’s award winning
12 Point Guide to Writing Romance, is intended to provide information and advice for anyone
who wants to learn how to write in this popular genre. If you’re just starting out, or you’ve
written a manuscript or two but are not yet published and want to hone your skills, this
workshop is for you.
Tickets £15, includes refreshments.
Places are limited so early booking is recommended.

The Return of the Stranger:   Wuthering Heights meets Mills & Boon
2pm, The Old School room, Church Street
‘The Powerful and the Pure’ is a new series for Mills & Boon reworking
classics from romantic literature, including Pride and Prejudice and Jane
Eyre. Kate Walker discusses her newly published contribution to the
series, The Return of The Stranger, a reworking of her favourite novel,
Wuthering Heights.
Kate Walker wrote her first book for Mills & Boon, The Chalk Line, in 1984 and is currently working on her sixtieth title. A huge admirer of the Brontës, she wrote her MA thesis on the work of Charlotte and Emily Brontë and one of her most recent titles, Bedded by the Greek Billionaire, was loosely inspired by Wuthering Heights. She frequently lectures on romance writing.
Tickets £5 and should be booked in advance.
For all bookings and further  information contact the Brontë
Parsonage Museum: 01535 640188

And if you can't get to any workshops - do you have any questiosn that are worrying you? Nigggling at your mind so you can't settle to writing?

In the run up to the New Voices contest, I'll be running a romance writing Q&A  - so now's your chance to ask!

NB - I keep trying to post this up by the Ashby Library workshop but for some weird reason it keeps disappearing  so I'm adding it here:

I'll also have copies of my 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance for sale at this - and all events.
Numbers will be limited so telephone 01724 296832 to enquire about the Ashby Library workshop on August 31st

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

And the good news is . . .

. . . I get to keep my title - that title!   Everyone in editorial agreed on it, America OKed it and so my newest book, out in March 2012 will be called The Devil and  Miss Jones. I am so pleased - it's the first time in ages that a title I've suggested has been used - and it's a long way from the  Billionaire's Revenge on the Vrgin sort of titles which can only be a good thing.  I just checked and the last time a title I suggested was used was with The Antonakos Marriage  and that was back in 2005!

Have you noticed the new banner up on the top of the page now? I think it's great - the lovely Heather from We Write Romance has just done all the updates  on my web site, so the new covers  for Return of the Stranger are up  and all the details of the coming events.

I just heard from the Arts Officer at The Bronte Society about the workshop and the talk I'm doing for their Festival of Women's Writing in September and apparently  both events are booking well - if you're interested - the programme is available to download here.

It's going to be a great weekend in Haworth - other authors Barbara Trapido and Joanna Briscoe will be there and the screenwriter for the new film version of Jane Eyre  Moira Buffini will be speaking too. Sadly I don't think the star of the film Michael Fassbender will be with her!

Oh - and if you're thinking of entering the New Voices contest -  there are some tips Tips on writing romance in this week's  Woman's Weekly Magazine (UK) in an article by Jane Wenham-Jones with advice from Jojo Moyes, Trisha Ashley - and someone called Kate Walker

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Back home

Well I should have known better than to think I might be able to post agaion from Caerleon.  Apart from teaching the final four sections of my course, the last days are always hectic  and rather special with the  last talks -  John Townsend on The Writer's Curse) - the  Thursday night concert with the glorious sound of ther Cwmbach Male  Voice choir , then packing, the last evening with friends and, sadly, the round of goodbyes and 'See you next year.'

My thanks as always to the fabulous Anne and Gerry for making this  anothe really lovely Writers' Holiday, for their  generosity and warm welcome  every year - and for inviting us back again in 2012.  We always love arriving at Caerleon - hate leaving  - and look forward to the next year with  great anticipation.

Thanks too to everyone who came on my course. It was great to meet you all. I know too that some of you have already booked for the Advanced Course in Fishguard in Febrauary - so I'll see you there!
(Special note about February - if you're interested in booking for the Advanced Romance Writing Course, rememeber that the numbers are strictly limited to the  first 15 bookings. I know that some places are already taken and that there were  at least three who booked after this year's Writer's Holiday - so  don't lose out - get your name down now.)

The details of the 2012 Fishguard Course and the line up for Writers' Holiday 2012 can be found on the web site here.

Finally - as August has started, my newest title The Return of The Stranger  with its fabulous cover is now available - a month before it's in the shops - on the Mills & Boon web site. It also has a great review.   I'll be talking more about this book later in the month.

And about the New Voices Competition when I get my thoughts together.

Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts