Saturday, March 24, 2012

That Book - for Fiona

Over on my post on The Pink Heart Society, Fiona spotted an old M&B book on my desk  and wanted to know what it was. After a bit of hunting, I find that it's this book -  Call Up the Storn by Jane Donnelly - and I once mentioned it in  a discussion of covers. I thought then - and still do that the  alpha hero on this book looked more like Julian Clary than a modern day alpha!

Anyway, Fiona - this is the book you spotted.

My Writing Space

It's been a crazy week - again! This time the builders were working on both the kitchen and the bathroom . . . no water. no shower, no loo . . .   Not funny.
And there were men everywhere -  joiners building units, electricians putting in lights,  plumbers plumbing, tilers  tiling . . . so I rarely got a chance to get to my office, never mind blog.

But talking about my office - today I have an extra post over at the Pink Heart Society Blog  where I'm blogging about my home again - but about a very different  room this time - the place where I write - my workspace.

So if you want a change from the building site I've been living in- I know I do!  - if you visit the Pink Heart blog today you can see where I'm sitting as I write this and what my surroundings are like.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Margaret McDonagh

It was  truly saddened to learn  last week that Medical author Margaret McDonagh had passed away. She was only 51 which is far to young to die. And she was such a lovely, lively minded person, with a real talent for writing - and a special talent for friendship - so she will be greatly missed. I know I will miss her lively and interesting emails, her special cards,  and our shared interest in caring for animals .

I first got to know Mags  in 2006 when I was  running that years Christmas Stocking contest and she had just had her very first Medical - The Italian Doctor's Bride - published. I was delighted when she agreed to let me include 2 copies of this book in the two prize stockings and we kept in touch ever since.  She was kind enough to give my 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance credit for some of the  success she had when she tried writing for Mills & Boon again after giving up once.

She also took part in my Great Big Blog partty for the publication of my 50th book  in 2007 and her post then  is so very typical of Mags herself and her personality.  I remember how we shared  a special interest in sponsoring a guide dog for the blind - and laughed   when my sponsored puppy  failed his 'exams'  and her passed with flying colours.

Mags was working on her 19th Medical Romance when she died and sadly that book will now not be finished.   Her latest  - her 18th - Brought Together By Baby  - is on the shelves this  month, and it's so sad that this will be her last one ever.

Rest in peace  Mags - you'll be missed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kate's Corner

It's the 15th of the month so that means that I'm blogging over at We Write Romance today. So that's where you'll find me.

What am I talking about? What else is there to talk about - but the total chaos in my home at themmoment as the renovations enter their (hopefully) final stage!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Courses Coming up . . . The Watermill

The joiner is building more kitchen units - there is even a  space for a cooker and a hob now!  Lots of noise - too much noise - but at least it means progress.

Anyway, people have been asking, and I promised that I would give details of the workshops/courses etc coming up in case anyone wants to  come along to any of them.  I've already mentioned the five session course at Caerleon.  This hasn't been posted on the web site yet, but I've asked the organisers to get on to that.

The course I want to talk about today  doesn't start until October, but I thought you'd want some advance notice of this -it's not the cheapest of courses so yo0u might want to save up for it. 

But it is a course set in one of the most beautiful places I've ever taught - and everyone I've ever heard speak about The Watermill says how wonderful it, and the hospitality offered, can be.

So - here's the info from the official flyer
“Writing Romantic Fiction:
Beyond the hearts and the flowers”
A special week-long creative writing course with best-selling Harlequin, Mills & Boon author
Kate Walker
Saturday 6 October to Saturday 13 October 2012

Your tutor - Kate Walker
Kate Walker has been writing for Harlequin, Mills & Boon since 1984. During that time she has had almost 60 novels published all over the world.

Her recent titles have all been on the Booktrack Top 100 list in America, they have also been on Borders’ Top Ten list for at least two weeks. Her 2010 title The Konstantos Marriage Demand recently won the Best Presents Extra 2010 Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Time magazine.

Kate is also the author of the award-winning 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance (Aber Publishing) which gives an introduction to the essential skills needed to succeed as a romance writer.

During the week Kate will pass on the benefits of her intimate knowledge of what publishers are looking for in a romantic novel. And as well as group presentations and discussions, there will be writing exercises and she will also discuss some of your work with you on a one-to-one basis.

Your creative writing course
Courses at the watermill are designed to help both enthusiastic beginners and more experienced writers. Kate’s course will undoubtedly help you to become a better writer: you will have opportunities to experiment with new techniques and fresh ways to express your thoughts and ideas.

The ethos of the course is creativity and enjoyment, but if one of your aims is to sell your work, you will also learn how to provide manuscripts that are more likely to be accepted by literary agents and publishers. This service and the critique of your work are worth more than the cost of the course!

Prices start at £GBP 1,149 per person per week (based on two people sharing), with a generous discount of £200 for a non-writing partner. Single rooms are £GBP 1,230, or £GBP 1,316 if you want an en suite bathroom.

Everything is included in the course: tuition, accommodation, all meals (including lunches and dinner at nearby restaurants, with local specialities and wine), pick-up and drop-off at Pisa airport and transport to all locations.
“You get to Pisa -- we do the rest!”

There’s more about the watermill and all our courses
or you can email us at
or call (UK number) 020 7193 6246

For more details and the format of the  course check out the special page on the Watermill site here

I was just about to post this when something happened in the work in the kitchen - and all the electricity blew. I'd better post this fast now while I have the power to do so!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Progress . . .

Having the house revamped can swallow up your life!  I've had a week filled with plumbers, plasterers, electricians, joiners . . . cleaning up brick dust,
trying to survive on meals microwaved in the living room!  From being too cold, without any heating, I now have heat - lots of it and it's a real irony that as soon as we turned it on the weather went to really mild - 13 - 16 degrees! So now it's TOO warm!  One extreme to another.

But it's better than when it was way too cold! And at least we can now see that progress is being made.

<------  For example  this

Now looks like this        ----->

Which looks rather more civilised!  I'm told it will be almost completed by the end of the week  . . .. can't wait!

Of course there's still the bathroom to do!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Things to celebrate . . .

Today's a day for celebrating -  several things  worth mentioning.
First of all, there's the UK publication of The Devil and Miss Jones.
Of course the official publication date was March 2nd - Friday - but I was blogging elsewhere then so I'm making today the special publication day to celebrate.  A new book is always worth celebrating and this one is one of those special number books -  my 60th title!  I find it hard to believe I've written that many - but as I always say, I wrote them one word at a time.

Another thing well worth celebrating is the fact that over on the Mills & Boon websiteThe Devil and Miss Jones is currently atr #3 in the top ten sales on that site. So thank you so very much to everyone who bought a copy to  put it there.
Finally, today is the day when the Romantic Novelists' Association presented their awards - the RONA. Sadly I wasn't able to  get to London to be at the ceremony -  I would have loved to be at such a celbration of romantic fiction in all its variety. There are awards for contemporary novels, historical novels, sagas, romantic comedies, young adult romances, and shorter-length romances. There’s also the Harry Bowling prize for unpublished novels.  You can see the full shortlists here
And the winners were _
Summer of Love    By Katie Fforde
The Kashmir Shawl   By Rosie Thomas
 Highland Storms     By Christina Courtenay
Please Don’t Stop the Music      By Jane Lovering
Dark Ride  By Caroline Green
The Dangerous Lord Darrington   By Sarah Mallory

A Dark Flowering by Natalie Lloyd-Evans

Congratulations to all the winners - and to everyone on the shortlist. There's a rfeal treasure trove of romantic reading there.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Over on Tote Bags

Today is the first Sunday of the month so that means it's my day to blog over on Tote Bags 'n' Blogs so that where you'll find me.

I'm blogging about the mess and chaos in my life since the builders moved in - and what it sort of reminds me of the story in a romance novel! (Sort of!)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Winners and blogging elsewhere

We have winners for the Here Come The Grooms Contest -
My winner is  - Natalija Shkomare
Anne McAllister's winner is  Colleen Conklin
Liz Fielding's winner is - Carol Woodruff

Each of these winners will receive a copy of all three books -
The Devil and Miss Jones by Kate Walker
Savas's Wildcat - By Anne McAllister
Flirting with Italian - By  Liz Fielding

Congratulations ladies!

Today is the first Friday of the month so I'm blogging at one of my regular spots - today it's over on The Pink Heart Society blog.  I'm talking about why this Sunday is special for me - and  about one of the ways I learned about writing at a very early age. 

See you there?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Happy Saint David's Day!

The Here Come the Grooms Contest has closed now -  Charlie has picked my winner, but I need to wait until Liz Fielding and Anne McAllister have  selected their winners too. Just as soon as they give me the details, I'll announce them here and the books will be on their way to the lucky winners of these three books:

The Devil and Miss Jones by Kate Walker
Flirting With Italian by Liz Fielding
Savas's Wildcat by Anne McAllister

It's March 1st - St David's Day - and of course St David is the patron saint of Wales.  So what  better way to celebrate his day with the details that I promised of my return to Wales and the wonderful Caerleon Writers' Holiday in July.

There was a  bit of a mix up with the arrangements this year - and the courses have been changing as so often happens, as speakers find they can't  be at the event etc.  But after talking to Anne and Gerry at Fishguard, we've planned for me to teach at this years' Writers' Holiday - and link this course again to the Advanced Romance Writing in Fishguard next year.  So for everyone who's asked about it - here are the details . . .

Caerleon Writers' Holiday -
I will be taking course 2...replacing  what is currently listed  as Mitzi Sereto's erotica. 
As with all courses at Caerleon this will be a 5 session course working through the basics of writing romance  and giving students a grounding in all the skills needed to  create characters, build plots, create pace . . .

My course will only be one of 14 courses on offer - you can choose to do Writing Romance  and one other in the week. And of course there wil be lots of special guest, main speakers, after tea sessions. Oh, and the trip out on the  Wednesday afternoon when you can visit Cardiff,  the 'book town' of Hay on Wye, or even go down a Welsh coal mine. And then of course the whole event is rounded off  by a wonderful evening of music with the Cwmbach Male Choir

Fishguard Writers' and Artists' Weekend
And of course this will prepare anyone who's interested for the  the advanced followup at Fishguard next year.  I don't have the dates for the Writers and Artists' Weekend  confirmed - though I expect it will be 15th/16th/17th February 2013. The venue will, as usual, be at the  Fishguard Bay Hotel, Fishguard, Wales  Pembrokeshire

If you book online for either of these events you will save £10 off the cost.

Maybe I'll see you there.  Or at one of the other courses that I'll be posting details  soon.

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