Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More covers - but not mine this time!

It seems to be the month for new books/cover designs arriving here. As  you know, the Babe Magnet is a writer too. His books are mostly non-fiction.  Past titles have been about local history/ true crime  that sort of thing, but recently he's written  some biography  - and a new venture into fiction.

So the books that have been delivered have some very different sort of covers to the romance novels I've had.  It's always fascinating to see what other publishers' designers come up with.  The newest ones are these:

A Victorian Somebody - 
This is a new biography of the star of Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy Operas when they first took the Victorian theatrical world by storm.
He was also perhaps more famous generally for his writing the classic work of English humour, The Diary of a Nobody.

And that fiction  book is Uncle Albert -

Everyone has an Uncle Albert somewhere in their family tree and he's usually the one having a quick smoke around the back while trying to think up a new get-rich-quick scheme that doesn't actually involve work. The sort of uncle who is wonderful to talk about unless he actually turns up on your doorstep carrying a still-moving sack and wearing a furtive look.

Uncle Albert is a nostalgic look at life in a small Yorkshire village when Tetley's Yorkshire Bitter was still made in Yorkshire and a pie and a pint with ketchup was at least two of your five-a-day.

As  the Babe Magnet says:    These tales are light and entertaining, going back to my Yorkshire roots. 

One thing about Uncle Albert that made me smile is that because  some of the language is is broad Yorkshire dialect,  there had  to be a glossary to make sure that everyone understands some of Albert's  sayings!

It's certainly been a month for special book deliveries  at this house - and I still haven't received the UK copies of  Olivero's Outrageus Proposal so I'll be looking out for them.

But I'm finding it fascinating how different covers can be.

Friday, January 23, 2015

UK Cover

At last I've found a copy of the UK cover for my April book - Olivero's Outrageous Proposal.

 It was up on Amazon today - so I thought I'd share with you -  and here it is:

What do you think? I'm sort of Hmmmm   about this one. 
Tall dark handsome hero - check
Villa in Italy - check  
Not at all sure  that Dario is the type to furnish his home with a  grandfather clock . . . But maybe it's the heroine's parents' house  where it would be more appropriate!

Heroine . .  .  err - "So this was Alyse Gregory. . . .She was tall, blonde, beautiful'"
Oh well!

At least the USA cover gets the colouring right!

So which do you prefer?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book delivery

It's a thrill that never gets old - even after the 63rd new book delivery!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

More courses for 2015

So I've talked about the courses I run for Writers' Holidays  - but perhaps Fishguard  in Pembrokeshire isn't easy for you  to get to.   I love  being there  and the courses are  such fun - but  there are others at different times of the year and different venues - also perhaps a different approach might suit you.

So  for those courses, there's Relax and Write  -  short courses ( covering a weekend)  with again lots of fun  - and lots of learning!

MARCH 2015

Weetwood Hall LeedsFor Relax and Write I run a different sort of event - a Writing Retreat. I just started this  approach for the first time last year  and it was so popular I've been asked to run another one soon. I was happy to say yes as I enjoyed the first retreat experience I had.  So here's the first one - possibly the first of two for this year.

Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction — a Retreat with Kate Walker
  • Date: 13 - 15 March 2015
  • Course & Venue: A Retreat at Weetwood Hall Leeds.
  • Cost: £240 all in
This is for people who are already embarked on writing a romantic novel and would like a weekend of concentrated focus, writing, discussions and one to one advice.

Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction is a guided writing retreat for people who have been on a course before or who need to do exactly as it says on the tin – Focus on their writing. Where you’ll have time and space away from the real world to write and reflect on your novel. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with me to discuss the novel, work through problems, brainstorm new ideas, and get it ready for submission. There will be some relaxed group sessions designed to make you think deeply about your writing, and during the weekend there will be scheduled for one-to-one time where you can ask all the questions that have been bothering you. This retreat is designed for people who have already started work on a novel and who want time to focus on that - and not have to worry about anything else.

On a Focus retreat, all rooms booked are single rooms which gives you comfort and privacy and the time to yourself, with all food provided. To get away from family and home chores – to concentrate on writing – and have professional advice/input/discussion. Meeting like-minded people who love writing/popular fiction/romantic novels is always something my students say they value. So there will be plenty of opportunity to do that.

Places on this retreat are strictly limited – and many are already booked up – so if you’d like a place or further information contact:

Email: Lois Bird-Maddox, ‘Relax & Write’ Course Organiser  

Also on this weekend:
  • 'Write the Past' with Stephen Wade
  • 'Write a Mini-Memoir in a Weekend' with Alison Chisholm
  • 'How to Self-Publish Your Writing' with Malcolm Chisholm

JUNE 2015

In June there's a new course in a new venue. I haven't actually been to this venue, but it looks lovely and I can't wait to  enjoy a weekend there.

The course  in June will be :
Beginning, Middle and End — Planning your Novel

Beginning Middle and End – How to plan your novel for success.
Was your New Year resolution to ‘write that novel’? Did you start out hopefully, wanting to write the story that was burning in your head. . . only to find that now you’ve slowed down, lost the plot, lost your way, become bogged down in a ‘sagging middle’ Could you do with a route map – some guidelines to help you find your way?

This course will teach you how to plan out your novel so that you have a much better idea of where you’re going and how to create the best read possible. It will show you how to:
  • Start well
  • Use opening hooks
  • Use a synopsis to keep yourself - and your characters - on track
  • Avoid the ‘sagging middle’
  • Maintain pace to keep the reader turning pages
  • Create a satisfying end – making the reader want more from you
Also available on this weekend:
Getting into Print - for all Writers. Working Towards Success as a Freelance Writer with Stephen Wade (
For further information Contact Lois Bird-Maddox ‘Relax & Write’ Course Organizer at 

There will also be another course one weekend in October 2015 - details to be finalized. At  the moment,  the suggestion is that I run  another retreat at the beautiful Gladstone's Library near Chester. 
As soon as I have the full details I'll let you know.  I'm so looking forward to these great weekends - I get a lot out of them and I've made so many friends among my students.  I always come home buzzing and looking forward to writing myself.    It's also been wonderful to see so many of my students go on to be published authors. The latest of course was Rachael Thomas who has her 2nd book  Claimed By The Sheikh coming in February.

To book any course, or for or more details check out the web sites Writers’ Holiday and Relax and Write  and of course the details on the Events page on my web site.

PS And don't forget that if you can't make it to any of my courses so I can meet you in person -   there is always  Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance which is on sale on Kindle for just   $4.38  - or   £2,86

Friday, January 16, 2015

One last point . . .

OK so I thought I'd brought you up to date with the Writers' Holiday courses  but then just last night  I got a message asking me to run the Advanced   Romance Writing Course again in  . . . 2016!

So if you want to start saving up for it - or grab a place before everyone  on this years's course rebooks for next year . . .  The dates are:

Friday 19th - Sunday 21st February 2016.

The Advanced Romance Writing course is always different - never a 'one size fits all'  course because I read the  submissions by every student and work to plan this course to fit what  my students really need.  And then of course there's the important - and very special 'family feeling' that I just love about  being at any Writers' Holiday event.

Remember that if you want to come on the Advanced Course you need to have attended one of my  basic Writing Romance Course either at Writer's Holiday in Fishguard or anywhere else I run one.

So that's Writers' Holiday courses till  February next year.  Further details on  the Writers' Holiday web site.

Next up - details of the Relax and Write courses and retreats  in some lovely new venues.

And if you want to now what past students think about the courses they've been on - check out their comments on my Events page

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Courses coming up this year

Well, I promised that I would let people know about the new courses I have coming up this year - but it seems I've delayed  a bit too long and while I did so, one of these courses has already sold out. 

But just to keep you up to date - I'll give that a brief mention as it is one of two courses I run with the wonderful people from Writers' Holiday at Fishguard Bay in Pembrokeshire.

Fishguard Bay HotelFebruary 2015

Fishguard Writer's Weekend
By popular demand I’ll be back in Fishguard  again in 2015 to run the Advanced Romance Writing Course  again -
  • Date:  Friday 13th  February – Sunday 15th February  2015
  • Location: Fishguard Bay Hotel, Fishguard Pembrokeshire
  • Course: ADVANCED Contemporary Romance Workshop
A series of six advanced novel workshop sessions led by Kate Walker. This course is open to previous Fishguard workshop or Caerleon Romance course participants or those who have been on Kate’s basic Romance courses or Kate's workshops elsewhere. It is not for beginners. Designed especially for Fishguard to move you on, the whole weekend will be concentrated on this workshop - without other distractions. Guests are encouraged to complete work with Kate prior to the weekend commencement.
Strictly Limited to first 15 bookings
This course sells out very fast so please enquire about bookings as soon as possible. If the course is already booked up, we will run a waiting list on a first come first served basis.
Further details and booking forms can be found here:

This is the course that it already sold out -   but don't worry, there are some other courses coming up  later in the year.  Basic Writing Romance  course , Writing Retreats,  Planning Your Novel . . .

What I'll do is stick with the Writers' Holiday  courses  in this post and come back to the others in another post.

So - also at Fishguard Bay is the fabulous week-long  Writer's Holiday in the summer.

JULY 2013

In the summer, I’ll be going back to one of my favourite events and taking part in the Writers’ Holiday at Fishguard 2014. This is one of the highlights of my year, with a warm and friendly welcome from Anne and Gerry, fantastic food, lively conversation – and lots of fun.  Every year I look forward to going back again.
Summer Writers' Holiday
  • Dates: Monday 27th July - Saturday 1st Aug 2015
  • Cost: Still only £499
  • Course: A Complete Introduction to Writing Contemporary Romance
  • Website:
  • This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write a popular romance genre novel. It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from creating realistic characters, sustaining pace and conflict, packing emotion
    al punch, writing sex scenes and crafting a satisfying ending. While the focus may be on romance novels, the techniques – dialogue, characters, tension, pacing, settings, hooks etc will also be relevant to all forms of popular fiction.
You can choose to follow ONE course from 1-4 and ONE course from 5-8.
Other Courses:

There are also 'after tea' sessions with different writers, different topis - and on several evenings there's a 'Main Lecture' - always on some fascinating topic on writing or the bookworld. And of course there is the very special evening with the  Cwmbach Male Voice Choir. 
Book through the web site:

Last I heard,  the summer Writers' Holiday had just 10 places left for the whole week this summer - so  if you're interested,  send an inquiry now.

So those are the Writers' Holiday events - coming up, more course - with Relax and Write staring with a Writing Retreat in March.

Further details for all my courses are on my Events page

Monday, January 12, 2015

Life lessons from a cat!

Today is the 12th of January (remind me again how it got to be almost halfway through the first month of 2015!)  And the 12th of the month is the day I post my regular blog over on
Tote Bags 'n'  Blogs.
If you read my blog on the Pink Heart Society, you'll have read how I just don't believe in resolutions - at least not New Year ones. So some people have wondered what do I put in their place?   The answer is one word - what word? Well you'll have to read the blog to find out.

And the cat? Well, I'm taking life lessons from my black and white kitten Ruby and resolving to live life more as she does - she certainly seems very happy on it.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Pink Heart Day

I'm busy with the WIP - focusing on getting my  now grown up sheikh (he was only 19 in A Question of Honour ) and his bride of convenience towards their HEA - they're not feeling it right now!

So the blog's a bit sparse - sorry about that. But today is my day for posting over at  The Pink Heart Society  so that's where you'll find me.

I've been asked to  give details of courses coming up soon so I'll hope to  let you know about those if you're interested - and put the details on my Events page  but basically these are planned so far:

- Fishguard Feb 13-15th (sold out)

- Retreat - Weetwood Hall Leeds March 13-15th  (almost booked up. A couple of places left if you're interested.)

Beginning, Middle and End - Planning your  novel -  Royal Agricultural University Cirencester  19-21 June

Writing Romantic Fiction - Writers’ Holiday at Fishguard July 27th - 1st August 

Oh - and I've just been asked to run another Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction  Retreat at Gladstone's Library   Hawarden  Flintshire  in October 

Fuller details to follow - you can check out  Writers' Holiday   and Relax and Write  web sites for details too. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Belated but meant . .

I feel like the White Rabbit - I'm late . . . I'm late for a very important date! How can I be late to wish everyone a Happy New Year? Well, even if it's a bit late it's no less heartfelt - I hope that the New Year was lovely and that 2015 brings lots of wonderful, happy, loving days to create some truly special memories to look back on when the next new year rolls around.

I know that 2014 has been a tough year for some people so I wish you all a much happier and more peaceful time in 2015. May some dreams come true along the way. Looking forward to sharing this year with you.

Love Kate

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