Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Eclipse Day

As I write this, here in the UK the eclipse of the sun is just beginning.  Luckily the sky was clear and bright and the sun vivid in the sky when I woke up so  the growing silence and a slight lessening of that brilliance is  already creeping over the world outside. And the birds are growing quieter too, after singing a wild dawn chorus earlier.

I remember that when there last was an eclipse of the sun,  I was up early because I was writing and I really wanted to get my book finished before the eclipse happened. I managed it -  just!  That book was the one that ended up being titled  Rafael’s Love-Child.
Yesterday I had a delivery of a box of books  - always a happy event  - but this one was something slightly different. For some time  now, since I  revised and put out the new Kindle ebook edition of  the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance,  I've had people write and ask about a new paperback edition.  Yes, they say, the Kindle version is cheap and easy to get hold of  but  an actual  print copy is something  else.   You can mark it up, scribble in the margins, go to town with a highlighter to show the Important bits for you. And you can easily flip  back and forth to find what you need.

So, by popular request, I’ve  organised a new and updated  paperback edition of the 12 Point Guide  - and this is out now.  Please note, there isn't new material in  this book. It’s brought up to date with the names  and existence of some of the lines, etc by  changing names or removing the  details of the lines altogether but that’s all.   Oh, and I've managed to make sure that this new edition  is  a bit cheaper than the last edition –  so it’s  £9.99 instead of £10.99 – and it should be available more easily in America.   The details are up on  Amazon UK  and Hopefully B&N  and others will follow. And if it’s on the Book Depository it will be delivered free.  

Oh, and this edition has the great new cover – so that’s  the new one, like the Kindle.

As I’ve always said, this book is to help everyone who’s keen to learn about writing romance  but who can’t manage to get to one of my  workshops  here in the UK.  Which, reminds  me, I’ll have some more details about the workshops coming up  for the rest of the year. After the fabulous time I had at the Focus on Writing Romance Writing Retreat I enjoyed  last weekend, I’m really looking forward to those – Coming up,  Wales (Fishguard) Cirencester,  Derbyshire . . .  And some of those are already at least half booked up!

But for now I’m going to watch the eclipse – but without looking straight at it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Just back from a wonderful enjoyable and productive Focus on Writing Romance retreat at Weetwood  Hall with Relax and Write.  Such a great weekend  - I enjoyed every minute and  I had a fabulous group of students. It was fabulous to see everyone working together, discussing writing,
problems and sharing possible answers and ideas.  We had so much fun and I'm still aching from laughing.

Thanks so much to everyone who was there!  I had a fabulous productive and stimulating time - so much so that I'm planning on another Writing Retreat at The Hayes in October.

Wishing everyone - especially my Irish friends  - a really happy St Patrick's Day. This is when |I really remember my Irish roots. When I was a child,  aunt always used to send us some shamrock from Dublin for March 17th and I remember going to school with a bit of wilting greenery attached to my uniform dress.

It seems that St Pat has  brought me the luck of the Irish because  I was just checking out the M&B website and discovered that Olivero's Outrageous Proposal is at #1 on  the Mills & Boon  page  there.  Huge thanks to everyone who bought a copy to put it there.

The official publication day isn't until  April 1st but I did see  copies on sale in Tesco yesterday in their 2 in 1 editions  - in the company of the lovely Annie West's great book   ^The Sheikh's Princess Bride - so it is out in some places.

Hope your St Patrick's Day is happy too.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Back to blogging

 . . . Well, sort of
That was a busy week. I knew it was going to be  but there was a lot to get through!
A lovely visit with my sister - catching up on things and taking her out to see the lovely Lincolnshire town of Beverly

Finishing the book (Yipee!) and getting it to my editor - now waiting for revisions to land but as the saying goes you can always edit a bad page you can't edit an empty one./

Then to Harrogate for an overnight stay and afternoon tea at Bettys  - followed by a trip to the theatre to watch a  spooky production - Edith In The Dark.  I have mentioned before that I do love a good spooky story - and this a good one - with great performances by the small (only 3 ) cast. Really good performances by all of them.

Back home to get sorted out  - away again this weekend, running a Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction writing retreat at Weetwood Hall.  So looking forward to this.  This one is sold out now but there will be more Relax and Write courses coming up later in the year -  next one is in June.

And today is my blogging over on the Tote Bags N Blogs site - so there's a post there as well.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Pink Heart Society Day

My sister arrives  today.  It would have been our mother's  99th birthday so we are having a special meal and  will toast her memory this evening.

My mother is also the subject of my blog over on The Pink Hearts Society.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Another reason to smile

It isn't actually published yet - not on the bookshop shelves that is - but Olivero's Outrageous Proposal is on sale over on the Mills & Boon web site.

But only just.  So I was thrilled to see over  there that it's already at #3 in the top 10 bestsellers  as of this morning!

Another reason to smile! (I just realised that the official publication date is April 1st! I hope this isn't an April Fool.)

My sister is coming to visit for a few days so I might be otherwise occupied for a while   - so in case I forget or don't get to the computer (you know what sisters are like for talking!)  I'll just remind you that tomorrow is my day for posting over on the Pink Heart Society  when I'll be talking about another important member of my family and the important legacy of books and story-telling she left me.

Oh - and if you haven't got hold of a copy of the 3 in 1 By Request Secret Love-Child and you want one - Amazon UK has reduced it  from £5.99 to just £3.85 - and it's in the 3 paperbacks for £10 deal. This is the collection that has my Kept for Her Baby in it.

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. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I'm smiling . . .

Computer struggles have messed up a lot of my writing day, but now that I'm back connected to the internet  and hoping to make up for lost time, a initial  catch up on various sites lead to  something that made me feel a whole lot better.

A friend pointed me in the direction of the Romantic Times   with the reviews for the books out March/April.   I was thrilled to find that my new book  has been given 4 1/2  stars - and a fab review.

In order to get a tenacious suitor off her back, Alyse Gregory cavorts instead with a dark, sexy stranger. She learns the mystery man’s identity after he suggests an outrageous proposal. Dario Olivero plans to use the beautiful woman his half-brother covets as a weapon in their civil war. But after one sizzling kiss, he decides to keep her for himself and reveal to her his brother’s nefarious plans. This couple heats up the pages with their battle-worthy banter and sensual conversations. The first chapter is a seductive awakening, and their initial love scene is a lascivious feast. 

Thanks so much RT - you made a problematic day a lot brighter!  Now I'm busy shaking up my sheikh - and maybe giving him a lascivious feast as well!

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