This week's Intro to Author is: Kate Walker, her latest release Olivero's Outrageous Proposal and there's a giveaway!
Intro- I'm the author of...
I’m Kate Walker. I write for Harlequin Presents and my latest title - Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal is out this month.
My Life- (short bio)
I’m from the UK where I live in Lincolnshire with my husband who is also a writer and two cats who think they rule my life (they do!). I met my husband at university when we both went to the beautiful Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth and we’ve been together ever since. I have one grown up son who’s living his own happily ever vafter with his lovely fiancée. I’ve been writing since 1984 when I had my very first romance published by Mills and Boon - that was The Chalk Line. So this year I’m celebrating being published for 30 years! (I was writing as a baby obviously!). OLivero’s Outrageous Proposal is my 63rd romance published and I’m currently working on the 64th title - doing revisions on it now. This one is a book that’s linked to my last release A Question of Honour and is (hopefully) planned for December this year. I’ve also written the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance which is a book that I created because I got so many letters from people who can’t manage to get to the Writing Romance courses I run here in the UK. So I put into the 12 Point Guide the advice and workshops that I run on those courses in a handy workbook that people can get hold of, no matter where they live. This year, I revised it and updated some sections and now I’ve put it out on Kindle or in a new paperback edition.
I grew up in a house full of books so I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. One of the major discoveries I found on my mother’s bookshelves were the novels of the Bronte sisters. specially Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I’ve read that book over and over again and wrote my MA thesis on it . I’ve even written a Mills & Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents version of the story in The Return of The Stranger which came out in 2011.
A major influence on my romance writing was Mary Stewart with her books like The Moonspinners and My Brother Michael. I’d read lots of Georgette Heyer too but when I read The Moonspinners, I fell in love with Mary Stewart's dark and possibly dangerous heroes. Reading her books I became addicted to the sort of ambiguous heroes she creates, men who you might start off hating (or at least disliking initially) but then come to love as you - and the heroine - learn more of their story. I love the historical novels of Dorothy Dunnett for the same reason.
In romance writing when I was a child a friend of my mother wrote for Mills & Boon. Her name was Marguerite Lees and so hers were the first M&B books I ever read. I’d not read them for years while I was at university and in my first job as a librarian, but then I picked up an Anne Mather novel on an impulse and I was hooked again. I also love the romances of Michelle Reid and Anne McAllister, Liz Fielding . . too many to count. I’m so happy that this job of writing let me meet these wonderful writers and call them friends.
How I write-
I sometimes say that I should make myself a sign to hang round my neck saying - ‘I’m working - do not disturb’! Because thinking time is such an important part of writing. That’s possibly why so many ideas come to me when were travelling somewhere - perhaps to one of those courses I teach. Luckily my husband does the driving so I can daydream a bit and think up a new story. When I have a character then the important question to ask is WHY. (I mention this in my courses a lot and in the 12 Point Guide) . Why did this happen? Why does the hero feel this way? Why does the heroine not trust him? Answering those questions gives me a lot more information about my characters and I can sketch out the ‘bones’ of the story. I don’t really plan a book but I start out ‘into the mist’ with that skeleton of an idea and work on it. I have a notebook by my keyboard to scribble down ideas as I go. And my husband is used to finding pieces of paper with cryptic notes on them all round the house where I’ve had to note down some inspiration as it hit me!
Motivation- (why you write?)
Simple answer - because I have to! Otherwise those characters in my head would drive me mad! Once I’ve thought of a hero and heroine and their situation I have to tell their story or it will go round and round in my head until I do! The other reason is I love stories - telling them, reading them, watching them (in dramas, on TV or films) Telling stories is such a wonderful gift and I love the way that readers write to me to tell me they’ve enjoyed a book and they’ve got really involved with and come to care for the characters. That’s why I write!
Your Book- (blurb)
Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal
For Dario Olivero, Alyse Gregory was supposed to be a way to wreak revenge against his estranged half brother. But Alyse carries the key to the family acceptance he's always craved and, realizing just how much trouble she's in, he can't turn away.
A marriage proposal is not what Alyse was expecting. But this deliciously sexy Italian will resolve her family's debts if she becomes his convenient wife... Her head says no but her body begs her to say yes.