Join Romance Giveaways for all Giveaway Information

Let's get to meet Harlequin Author Kate Hardy and a Giveaway!

WINNERS first!

Before starting today's festivities, I'd like to announce the winners of Author Edie Ramer's three eBooks....drumroll....Nancy R Williams, Talli Roland and Kerri Cuevas! Congratulations! Get in touch with Edie Ramer via her website.  Now without further delay I give you....

Today I’m honored to be hosting Award-winning author for Harlequin Mills & Boon (Riva/Presents and Medical Romance) Kate Hardy.
Kate, thanks for agreeing to be under the spotlight today. It's great to have you here!
Thank you so much for having me, Nas – and how lovely to be here in such a romantic setting as Fiji.
Once Kate got comfortable on a beach chair on the sandy beach under a large beach umbrella with a coconut in her hands inserted with colorful straws to drink, I started the questions and found out her views ...
On Writing and Reading…
So, when did you start to write and how long did it take you to be published?
I started writing well before I started school – the earliest stories were about ponies and ghosts, but I veered over to romance in my teens. I had some novels published in my 20s, but my first M&B came about when I was 34 and pregnant with my daughter. I was a freelance health journalist at the time, and my husband suggested that as I loved medicine and romance, I ought to try writing a Medical Romance. I read a few, got completely hooked – and then Chloe spent her first Christmas in hospital, aged 7 weeks. The only way I could cope was to start writing my first Medical Romance. My agent loved the outline and first three chapters; so did Mills and Boon, and they wanted to see the full. It was accepted on Chloe’s first birthday and published on her second birthday.
What do you love most about being a writer?
Being able to tell stories that put a bit of sparkle into people’s lives. The best thing of all is getting an email from a reader saying that she’s had a lousy day, read one of my books, and it made her day a whole lot brighter. There aren’t many jobs where you get to do that!
What do you like least about being a writer?
 Revisions. (They’re a necessary evil because authors are always too close to their books to see what needs fixing. But I still hate doing them!)
Where were you five years before?
I’d been writing for Medical Romances for 5 years , and I’d just moved to being a two-line author – my very first Modern Extra, The Cinderella Project, came out in April 2006.
Where do you envision yourself five years from now?
Still writing – and heading towards writing my 75th M&B, I hope! 
What is your favorite recent title by another author?
 Ooh, that’s a toughie. In the Harlequin lines, Liz Fielding, India Grey, Kelly Hunter and Sarah Morgan are all autobuy authors for me. But the book I know I’m going to wish I’d written (and I’m about to start reading it tonight) is Sophie Page’s “To Marry a Prince” – I always loved her Harlequin books, and a longer book is going to be a real joy!
What are your five all-time favorite books (with authors)?
 Diana Norman’s “The Vizard Mask”; George Eliot’s “The Mill on the Floss”; Liz Fielding’s “Gentlemen Prefer… Brunettes” (but there are half a dozen more of hers that have almost equal billing with that one!); Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca”; and Sharon Penman’s “The Sunne in Splendour”.
What one specific piece of advice would you give a would-be writer trying to kick-start a career?
Particularly for romance, you really need to care about your hero and heroine and make them “real people” (because then your reader will care about them, too, and want them to have a happy ending – so they’ll keep turning the pages to find out if you’ll give them that happy ending).
On Romance...

What does a romantic meal means to you?

Bearing in mind that I always read menus backwards (because if I’m having a seriously naughty pudding, I will choose my main course and/or starter sensibly), my ultimate meal would finish with crème brûlée and strawberries :o) I’d probably choose salmon as a main (especially if asparagus was also involved) and maybe stuffed mushrooms as a starter. But the most important thing would be sharing it with my husband.
What is your all-time favorite romantic movie?
 For years, it was “When Harry Met Sally” (the dialogue is SO good), but it might just have been superseded by “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (fantastic structure as well as superb dialogue).
How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship?
 Making time for each other – it’s getting a little easier now the children are older and wanting a bit of independence. i.e. being allowed to stay home if we take the dog out for a walk. And the next step will no doubt be going into the city and meeting their friends while we have a romantic coffee together!
Where is the most romantic place you’ve ever traveled?
Venice – we went there in the Easter holidays last year, and it was just so special. There’s nowhere else like it in the world. I’d dearly love to go back in the winter, when it’s all misty and romantic.

All About her...
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes – I even persuaded my parents to buy me a proper typewriter for my 6th birthday!
Besides writing, what other talent would you most like to have?
 I’d love to be able to draw – I can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler!
What quality do you most admire in a man?
 Patience. (My husband has this. And he really needs it, as half the time I’m in the world of my book when I’m not supposed to be!)
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I couldn’t be anything else! If pushed, I’d maybe have a café as I love, love, LOVE cooking. I did once think of opening a café-bookshop if I couldn’t make it as a writer, and my family fell about laughing, saying that I’d never be able to let a single book go out of the shop…
What quote or personal saying do you live by? Who said it?
"Life’s like a marmalade sandwich – you only get out of it what you put in.” (Paddington Bear. And it’s SO true.)
To finish up, do you have any advice/handy tips/craft skills you'd like to share with unpublished authors?
·        Read, read, read, read, read. If you’re targeting Harlequin, read the latest books in the line to give you an idea of the direction the line’s taking, as things do change over the years.
·        If you get stuck in a scene, talk to your characters – you might be taking them off in a direction they don’t want to go in. Go with the story they want you to tell. (This sounds a bit crazy, but I know I’m far from alone in doing this. If they’re real people to you, they’ll be real people to your readers as well; it gives your book more depth.)
·        “What if?” is a very useful question when you’re plotting. No matter how crazy the idea, keep a note of it, because it might lead you on to the right idea for your characters.
THE FIREMAN AND NURSE LOVEDAY is part of the St Piran’s series, which takes place in a Cornish hospital and a village nearby. Flora’s a very shy nurse, but she comes out of her shell when she helps gorgeous fireman Tom Nicholson learn to be a stand-in dad to his orphaned nephew Joey. I guess it’s a kind of Cinderella type tale, in that Flora blossoms over the course of the book and then ends up with her prince at the ball.
It’s a continuity book, which means that I needed to keep talking to the other seven authors in the series about where I was taking the characters in the other love story in the book (Megan and Josh, whose story is told over all eight books), and we all needed to make sure that the story moved smoothly between one book and the next. It was great fun doing that – and I’m so glad we have email, because it makes it much easier to talk to people in different time zones!

Thanks for sharing your insights about writing and some fun facts about your life, Kate, it's been a honor having you here. Please do visit Kate's Website for more news and recipes, Yum! Her Blog is also an awesome place to hang out on!
Thank you very much for having me – it’s been lovely.
The goodness doesn't end there though, folks. Kate has generously donated a signed copy of The Fireman and Nurse Loveday to one lucky person.
All you have to do is “Like” her Facebook page and leave a comment or question for Kate and you'll go into the draw for this book.}


  1. Another great interview, Nas!

    Kate-I've always wanted to go to Venice! What was your favorite place in Venice?

  2. I'm impressed that Kate knew she wanted to be a writer so early. Gotta agree that to be a good writer, one should also read. Lots.

    I like the idea of talking to characters who won't do what they're supposed to.

    Always nice to pop by, Nas.

  3. Venice. Nice. Super interview, Nas, as always. I love characters who misbehave. It was lovely getting to know you, Kate. :-)

  4. Kate, what a touching story about writing your first medical romance to keep you going while your baby was in hospital. I can only imagine what a tense time that must have been for you.

    Nas, I always enjoy the answer to your question about specific advice for kick-starting a career, and Kate's was one of the best responses to date.

  5. I have a random question:

    "I’d been writing for Medical Romances for 5 years , and I’d just moved to being a two-line author". I don't know all the jargon yet so, uh, what exactly is a two-line author?

  6. I'm impressed - a proper typewriter at 6! LOL, don't let my 3 y/o know ;)



  7. Donna - wow, that's a hard question. Venice itself is so magical that everywhere's special. My very very favourite place was probably St Mark's basilica (the original horses are inside; although the ones on the loggia are perfect copies, there's a special magic about the original ones). I also really loved St Mark's Square at night. We didn't get to see the Doge's Palace, so that's my excuse for going back :)

  8. JL Campbell - nice to meet you. I do think writers often know it - my daughter's the same. (She's a bit more focused than I am, though, LOL!)

  9. Robyn - I love characters who misbehave, but I prefer it if they start playing nice in time to meet my deadline! ;o)

  10. LP King - the bit that did make me cry was on Christmas Eve, when my 3-y-o son asked from the back of the car (on the way home from visiting her), 'Will Santa bring my little sister home for Christmas?' The answer was no, but she was home for new year.

    Glad the advice was useful!

  11. Rachel - sorry, I should've made that clearer. What I meant is that I write for two Harlequin/Mills & Boon lines, i.e. Modern Heat/Presents (now Riva in UK) and Medical Romance.

  12. Rach - being able to type was definitely a bonus, because my handwriting is a wee bit small and hard to read ;o)

  13. Hi Kate,

    I adore your books they are always so much fun to read! My question is what type of "mindset" are you in when writing a medical as oppose to when writing a Modern heat?


  14. Lovely to read how you became a top flight writer for M and B, Kate.

  15. Ooh Kate I can't wait to read your St Piran's book! I know I'll love it. And I wish I was in Fiji right now - sigh. A girl can dream........

  16. Hi Everyone, *waving*

    Welcome to my home on the web and I hope you all are enjoying yourselves!

    Hello Kate, my lovely friends are throwing you som very good questions, I see!

    Hi Sarah, Come-on, come to Fiji, you know you want to!
    And The Fireman and Nurse Loveday was one sweet, emotional story. Once I started, I just had to complete it to the end. Couldn't put it down. Lucky for me my hubby was away in Sydney and I completed it around 3 a.m!

  17. Hi Kate,
    Oh I LOVED Venice even though I was there with my Papa and my best friend (long story) but I was 15 and got caught up in the magic of Venezia! I loved it all - Murano where they make the gorgeous glass trinkets and jewellery, and the Lido - a lovely beach resort. And it was fun riding in the Gondola even if it was with my Papa :)

    Thanks for having Kate as your guest author, Nas. Love your blog.

  18. Hi Kate and Nas! Kate, 'sparkle' is the perfect word for what a romance adds to a person's life...whether writer or reader. Great interview!

  19. Thank you for hosting Kate, Nas. Kate, it's nice to meet you. I don't write Romance, but in my epic fantasy the sub plot is romance. I absolutely agree that you must care about your characters and make them real. Mine are so real, I sometimes think they've moved in with me. LOL
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  20. Lovely interview! I can relate to the part about wanting a typewriter. :-)

  21. Hi Kate, good to meet you. Best wishes for your writing career. Me, I like revisions. They are time consuming though. Stephen King said he only does a few revisions. I hope to get it down to that soon. Have a great week everyone.

  22. Another great interview....It is nice to meet you...

  23. Hi, Kate! I have a particular fondness for firemen for whatever reason, so I'm shocked to have missed the release of this story. You can be sure I'll be finding it! I love your stories. (And, BTW, I asked for a typewriter when I was in elementary school and even taught myself how to type properly. It was a great advantage in high school and college.)

    Enjoy Fiji, even if it's only in your mind. In fact, we've had so many rainy days lately that I think I'll join you. Can you pull up another beach chair and pass me the sunscreen?

  24. Hi Friends,

    Kate has some lovely photos of Rome! Check them out...

  25. Great interview! I adore Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, too - such a great book!

  26. Thanks for commenting just now on my post I just put up, which got me over here to read this wonderful guest interview. I just went over to Facebook to share.

    Email is certainly awesome when one is writing a book. You can get answers from all over the world!

    Kate: You are so enthusiastic that I know your books have to be also. And your husband sounds wonderful--so supportive. Keeping romance alive does take effort, and it sounds like that has certainly worked for your marriage. Congrats to both of you!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  27. Great interview. I'm so jealous over how many books she's written. Great advice.

  28. Great interview! I hadn't heard about medical romance until a few months ago but it sounds like a genre I could really get into. Would love to have a cafe bookshop myself, but it's true - I doubt I'd be able to part with a single book.
    Oh, and yay for the Paddington Bear quote!

  29. Hi Kate, I thoroughly enjoyed your interivew. Thanks for sharing. Do you know, the authors you listed as autobuys are ones I love to read too? Obviously we have marvellous taste! And I so connected with the idea of a cafe bookshop if the writing didn't turn out well. Being surrounded by books (and good food) is the perfect way to live.

    Congratulations on branching out into Riva as well. I'm looking forward to your latest story.

  30. great interview. I can relate to revisions being the least fun part of writing :)

  31. Wow – I’ve woken up to a ton of comments! Apologies in advance for being slow to reply (I’m 12 hours adrift, timezone-wise).

    Desere – thanks for the compliment :o) Really interesting question: I do try to keep my voice the same for both, but I guess they’re slightly different because I get to have more secondary characters in a Medical. I think with a Med I need to make sure I’m not getting too technical; and because my Riva/Presents books tend to have unusual settings, I need to make sure my research doesn’t show too much. It’s the same thing, really!

    Margaret – thank you very much.

    Sarah – thank you (and I’m looking forward to yours!). Y’know, I think you and I need a research trip to Fiji…

  32. Nas – thank you SO much for having me here. Your friends are great! And I’m glad you enjoyed the book.

    Serena – oh, wow, to see Venice at age 15… (My kids were 9 and almost 13, and they were just blown away by it.) I too loved Murano, and we went to one of the glass-blowing exhibitions – stunning!

    Rula – thank you! I definitely think the world needs sparkle :o)

    NR Williams – lovely to meet you, too. And I’ve enjoyed fantasy for years, so I must check out your books!

  33. Liz – I’m so glad I’m not the only child who wanted a typewriter! (And it was a proper portable, not one of those “Lilliput” toy ones.) One thing I don’t miss, though, is changing the ribbon and getting ink all over my fingers.

    Stephen – nice to meet you. And it’s nice to meet someone who DOES like doing revisions. (Hope some of your pleasure in it will rub off on me!) Stephen King is in a class of his own, and I don’t think I’ll ever get to his “very few revisions” stage :o) Good luck with your books, too.

    Savannah – nice to meet you, too!

  34. Jan – lovely to see you here! This one’s from the St Piran’s series (follows on from the two Penhally series, the first of which is out in the US right now) so you might need to get it from England or be very, very patient… ;o) Agreed, being able to type in high school and college was so useful – meant I had really organised revision notes. Sunscreen and a cold drink coming right up…

    Nas – thanks for pointing everyone to my Rome pics. We had SUCH a good time there. Amazing sights.

    Hi Susan – nice to meet a fellow DDM fan! I also love her short story ‘The Blue Lenses’, and it’s inspired a few ideas of my own (none of which have made it into a full-length novel yet, but I’m thinking about it…).

  35. Ann – lovely to meet you. Yep, I’m enthusiastic – I’m the human equivalent of an English Springer Spaniel ;o) My husband has his moments (though drove me crackers this weekend when I was trying to break the back of the revisions, so right now I think he owes me flowers, LOL).

    Clarissa – nice to meet you, and glad the advice helps. (Another bit is write a set amount per day – if you do 500 words a day, which is very doable, that’s a Harlequin novel in 3 months. Doesn’t seem quite so daunting that way!)

    Deniz – lovely to meet you. Medical romance is great and there’s such a wide variety, from the sweeter ones by Marion Lennox to the steamier ones by Amy Andrews, and loads in between. We have quite a few new authors debuting this year (Wendy S. Marcus, Annie Claydon and Scarlet Wilson are the three newest), so I think the line’s going to be really exciting. And definitely yay for the Paddington Bear quote!

  36. Annie – glad you enjoyed it. Agreed, we have excellent taste ;o) My next Riva is the gelati book (October UK, November US, no idea of the Aus date so must nag my ed) – scary to think it’s my 15th! (Well, if you include all the name changes of the line, LOL. Otherwise it’s my first.) And I’m looking forward to your next one – I won your first Sheikh book on Kate Walker’s 50th book blog party, absolutely loved it, and have kept an eye out for yours ever since :o)

    Lynda – nice to meet you. And yeah, revisions are the least fun bit. That’s when I’m tempted to drink more than one cup of proper coffee a day… and too many cookies with it!

  37. Another wonderful interview. A cafe/bookshop sounds like a good plan to me, although I think I'd have the same problem as you. :)

  38. I loved "When Harry Met Sally", but I haven't seen the other one. Now I'll have to check it out!

  39. Lovely interview--congrats to your success!!

  40. Shelley - LOL, I think most writers/readers would have that problem!

    Theresa - it's really, really good, so you're in for a treat :)

    LB Diamond - thank you!

  41. That is really interesting thanks for replying Kate !

    Keep writing

  42. Hi Nas, hi Kate. This is an awesome interview and I must read this book. I'd also like to invite you, Nas, and anyone else reading this to join us at Romantic Friday Writers, a weekly challenge group for writers of romance.


    Join the Romantic Friday Writers - first challenge up!

  43. Once again, a great interview, Nas. Nice to meet you Kate! Congrats on your success!

  44. Another great interview, Nas and Kate! Gosh, it is really lovely here, that breeze coming off the sea, and the handsome men passing out cocktails...

  45. Jeeze! Late again! But great interview Kate! I'm not a fan of revisions myself. But I'm usually very pleased by the end result. And I agree, to write a great book you have to love your hero and heroine. Sometimes it's exhausting writing. When my characters are laughing, I'm laughing. But when they're sad or devastated about some event, I actually suffer that emotion, too. Does that happen to you?

  46. Desere - pleasure :)

    Denise - nice to meet you!

    Lydia - thank you, and lovely to meet you too :)

    Sally - thanks, and isn't it gorgeous here?

    Wendy - oh yeah, that happens to me! And there I am, writing the Black Moment, crying my eyes out, and the postman rings the doorbell... and I have to explain I'm fine, but I'm writing this weepy scene! Mind you, could be worse. Michelle Styles says she's an emotional eater on behalf of her characters!

  47. And I'm delighted to announce the winner! picked Rachel Morgan's name out of 29 here - so, Rachel, please email me with your snailmail address (contact details are on my website, and I'll put the book in the post to you :)

  48. And finally - a huge thank you to Nas for having me here this week. I've had such a lovely time and it's been great to meet new friends as well as say hello to some familiar faces!

  49. Congratulations Rachel Morgan! Enjoy your The Fireman's story!

    Thank you Kate, on behalf of all my friends here for taking your precious time out from your busy schedule and visiting with us!

    We all enjoyed chatting with you!

  50. I love When Harry Met Sally! And thankfully, my husband is very patient, too. Great interview and congratulations to the winners!