Friday, July 24, 2015

So you think you can write.


I mentioned the new So You Think You Can Write contest yesterday. This is up and running now -  but this time it’s running  through Wattpad

All the details you need are on the Wattpad site here:

There's a Facebook page  here    and lots more information on the SYTYCW site here

The grand prize is a two book contract with Harlequin.  So what are you waiting for  - get writing - and posting!

Several people have asked if I have any courses that might help you learn about writing romance - well, yes I do, but the problem is that the  Complete Romance Writing course is on next week in Fishguard and  Writers' Holiday at Fishguard is already full.    Sorry!

I  do have another course coming up -with Relax and Write -  but that's actually a Writing Retreat - it's at  a 3 in 1 event in Swanwick in Derbyshire. Here are the details:

 9 - 11 October at The Hayes Conference Centre Swanwick Derbyshire - all inclusive fee £245 -

On this weekend we are organising three different courses.  'Writing for Children' with Anita Loughrey - such a specialist genre - come and join us and find out about how to write for different age groups. How to illustrate your story for the very young. How to inspire the older children to read.
'Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction' - a Retreat with Kate Walker.  This course has a limited number of places, so if you have not booked, please hurry.  Retreats are popular with those writing a novel.  They can receive feedback during the year, as Retreats are twice yearly, they will help you progress chapter by chapter!
'Write About your Uncle Joe' with Stephen Wade links you to not only writing short stories about the past, but putting into words the Family anecdotes that are more personal to each of us, whether for your memoirs or for fiction.

This Retreat is almost booked up and you will have to submit some chapters and a synopsis to work on - but if you're interested contact  Relax and Write for details.

After that, the next course is Advanced Romance Writing back in Fishguard in February 2016 - that's  just about booked up too, with, I think just two places left.
So that's taking me into 2016. After that, there will be more Relax and Write   events - like the course at Royal Agricultural College Cirencester. ..  April 15th - 17th

And another retreat (details to follow)
Which brings us right round to . . . Writers' Holiday Fishguard 2016! They will be accepting day visitors  so that might help. 
Details of all Writers' Holiday events can be found on  their web site here. 

Which reminds me - I need to update my own web site with the new events that are planned.  (Note to self - when I get back from Writers' Holiday at Fishguard)

I know so many of you can't get to any opf the courses but there is always the Kindle edition of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance  and the new paperback editions which is available on Amazon UK and USA etc  - Barnes and Noble or here

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Preparing for Fishguard

It’s been one of those weeks. Well, it’s that time of year for a start. We’re coming up to the week in  the summer where I – and the Babe Magnet – head south and west and cross the border in to Wales. It’s time for the wonderful, special time  that is Writers’ Holiday. The one that used to be at Caerleon but is now held at Fishguard right on the Welsh Coast.

I can’t wait – this is a very special event, shared with some very special people and every year I look forward to it so much. But planning the course I’ll be teaching and getting organised for the journey and the week in Wales always takes some doing. (Yes, I know I’ve taught the course before – perhaps a dozen times,  and it is always based on my  12 Point Guide To Writing Romance -  but I’m always looking for new ways of making it interesting and  enjoyable.)  Then there’s the cats to plan for. We have been training up new ‘cat sitters’, two lovely girls who will be sharing the duties between them. It’s great to know that Charlie and Ruby are able to stay in their own home  and be looked after  every day. But that was another thing to organise.

So everything was going fine until, as well as hair and doctor appointments,  there was a sudden dental emergency which resulted in a struggle to the death with a tooth that didn’t want to be extracted.  It was got rid of in the end,  thank heaven as it seems it’s been poisoning me for an age
 but it was not a pleasant struggle and something I didn’t need as an extra!

So I’m doubly looking forward to Fishguard and meeting up with old friends and making new ones.  The Babe Magnet and I always have such a wonderful time and Anne and Gerry who run Writers’ Holidays make sure that everyone is  happy  and enjoying themselves. All they can control is the weather but  if it’s even half as lovely as it was last year,  I’ll be happy.

I’ll be happy anyway – I always am. Writers’ Holiday has that effect- relaxation, conversation, good food, good friends  and some fantastic course. I’m hoping to do one of the other courses myself, when my teaching is finished.

Fishguard is full for this year  but as the smaller venue is filling up rapidly since the move, plans have been made to admit day visitors, people who are able to travel each day, or maybe holidaying nearby and want to taste a course. Details can be found on the Writers’ Holiday web site here.


So, I’m going back to planning and packing  - but I’ll hope to write another post very soon to give you the details of this year’s So You Think You Can Write -  and other courses I have coming up  very soon. 

And everyone who's coming to Fishguard - I'm so looking forward to seeing you.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tote Bags blog




Yesterday really got away from me -  and there were the wildest storms in the evening so that I  had to switch my computer off and leave it off.

So I didn't get around to saying that, yesterday being the 12th of the month, it was my day for blogging over on the Tote Bags 'n' Blogs site.   

So that's where my latest post is. I'm talking about the books I've been reading lately - some great novels to  recommend. It's vital as an author to 'refill the well'[ of your creativity - and that's what these books have helped me do.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Specially for Australian readers

Following this lovely review on the Australian Romance Readers Association site – and the fact that they posted it as a Featured book on their Facebook Convention page, I’ve had people asking me when Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal will appear on the bookshop shelves in Australia. Usually the Australian publication is pretty much simultaneous with the UK and  USA editions, but this time  the books have been changed around rather – so the news is that Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal will not be out in Australia until December.

So  I’m sorry to everyone who is waiting to read it. It is coming – promise!  - but there will be a little wait before it does.

But if it helps  you get through the weeks before that release date – I do have news of two other  releases in Australia coming up in the next few months.

Firstly there will be a reprint of a 2001 book  - Her Secret Bridegroom.  This will be in a special  Latin Lovers collection together with books by Miranda Lee and Lynne Graham.   I'm calling  cover of this book ‘the Chest’ – I’m sure you can see why.

Secondly, there will be a reprint collection of
the three linked Alcolar Family stories –

Which tell the stories of Joaquin, Ramon and Mercedes Alcolar – Proud modern day Spanish aristocrats – passion is their birthright!


I don’t have a copy of the cover to show you yet but the trilogy will be released under the title The Notorious Alcolars, and this should be out in September.



And just in case you wanted to  remind yourself of the story that started this all off – before you read/reread the trilogy  then don’t forget that the story of Alex Alcolar – Wife For Real – is available on the eHarlequin web site  here.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Czeching in

Well I gave away all the foreign translations I had.  If you haven't received yours yet it's on its way. And Diana and Lois, I'm watching the postman waiting for those Spanish editions. You already have first claim on those . . .

Anyway, I'm emptied the 'foreign editions' box and as soon as I did, new translations started to appear!

Not that I mind because it means that my books are going out  to so many different countries where I hope readers will love them. This also means that older books come round again, years after they were first published.

This one is  The Married Mistress -  a book that was published  2003, then  2006. Great to see it back again - and I love the fact that in the Czech edition  my name becomes Kate Walkerova.  Not quite as good as historical novelist  Elizabeth Rollsova   but it always makes me smile.

Anyone want  a Czech translation?  I have a spare copy.

Have a great weekend - the sun is burning high in the sky here but we are promised severe storms later tonight - I do hope so.  I love a wild, fierce storm. The cats won't be happy so they will be under the bed!


Thursday, July 02, 2015

Pink Heart Day

Today's my day for blogging over on the Pink Heart Society site - so that's where you'll find me.

I'm marking a special (and sad ) date for me - and talking about the importance of friends. If you've read the dedication to Olivero's Outrageous Proposal  this  is what lies behind that.

And if you'd like to win a copy of Olivero's Outrageous Proposal for one of your friends - just tell me about her and  her name will go into the prize draw.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back from the Book Launch Tour

I’ve finally caught up with my own writing after the five day trip we had to the Isle of Man.  That was a lot of fun  - if  a bit hectic.  I spent the time there wearing my other ‘hat’  -  that belonging to the Babe Magnet’s PA as he set about launching his new book of Yorkshire based  short stories -  Uncle Albert  - and the ‘one man show’ that goes with it.

We started off at the Henry Bloom Library in Douglas  where there was a warm and  enthusiastic crowd  in spite of the rather chilly and damp evening.  As well as Uncle Albert stories there was selection of ‘good bad poetry’ as requested by the publisher of Uncle Albert,  Linda  Mann.  The lovelorn  black ‘widower’ spider’s lament  reduced Linda to tears – of laughter.

The next day was spent doing radio interviews  - after we had found the Manx Radio Broadcasting House high on Douglas Head above the town. It was still cool and blustery  so this exposed headland was rather wild –  I dread to think what it would be like getting up there in the depths of winter!  During this trip  was the only time we actually saw any cat – in spite of the reputation the island has for breeding the famed Manx(tailless) cat. This one had a fine fluffy tail so we missed out on the Manx breed.

On Saturday morning  there  was coffee and croissants at the  Port Erin Arts Centre where Uncle Albert once again regaled his audience with tales of Yorkshire,  carol-singing, betting   . . . and the ‘good bad poetry ‘ again – with the Spider  poem  back 
'Uncle Albert' is introduced bt John Bethell,
Director of the Port Erin Arts Centre
by popular request.  There are rumours of the  bad poems  appearing in  a new volume of Uncle Albert’s stories which is being planned for  hopefully future publication.

  This performance was in the lovely  Harry’s Bar in the Arts Centre as part of the Manannan Festival.  The event had a special – and unexpected – extra zest to it  with the discovery that two members of the audience had actually grown up in the village of Churwell  where so many of the stories are set.  So many of the references had a particular emphasis for them.

Port Erin was where the Babe Magnet and I  - together with the Offspring when young – stayed back in 1987 so this was a nostalgic trip for us as well as a very successful launch for the book.

Finally, reluctantly, we had to leave the island – just as the weather was warming and the sun coming out -  and all the new friends we made there and come back home.   But we now know that Uncle Albert  and his stories (and very possibly the bad poems too) will be appearing at some festivals here
'Uncle Albert' spots some fellow 'Yorkies'
from Churwell in the audience.
in the UK later this year.

So far, the list of venues is : Morley Lit Festival (Morley in its fictional form being another of the places Albert’s stories are set ) on October 29th and Ilkley Festival Fringe on October 3rd. There’s also the possibility of Wakefield Festival  - and the Babe Magnet is running two courses  on the ‘Writing Local’ theme/Writing about Your Uncle Joe – at AlstonHall in September and at Swanwick with Relax And Write in October.   ‘Uncle Albert’ won’t actually  be there in person  but there might be some bad poetry of some sort!


So now I’m  taking off the PA’s hat  and settling down to my own work  - the ‘To Do’ list is l-o-n-g and needs tackling. There’s my own Complete Romance Writing Course for Writer’s Holidayat Fishguard in July  and  I’ll be joining Uncle Albert at Swanwick to run another of the popular Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction Writing Retreats.(If you’re interested you’ll need to make inquiries/book soon as the last I heard this was almost full already.)

Incidentally, if you are a writer yourself – specially if you write short stories -  the Priory Press are looking for  new stories to publish:
We are aiming to publish a new collection of short stories on the lines of our previous Manx collections, in particular 'A Tail for All Seasons volume 4'. The stories we are looking for should have their own 'voice' and evoke the spirit of a Yorkshire past or present. They should have a beginning, middle and end, be well written, easily readable and just plain memorable!
Further details are on the Priory Press web site.  (Where you can also get your own copy of Uncle Albert.)


And that’s enough of the PA stuff – back to my own latest novel . . . . planning those courses . . .
 

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