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Monday, September 26, 2011

Kate Walker, THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER and giveaways!

Today Harlequin Mill & Boon multi-published author Kate Walker stops at Romance Book Paradise on her celebration tour for THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER , and she's with some giveaways!  
But before we give over to her, just a reminder....check on the sidebar for links to follow KATE WALKER and CHRISTINA HOLLIS blog tours for MEGA GIVEAWAYS! 
So over to Kate now....

Whose Line is it Anyway?

Here in the UK we used to have a very successful TV series called Whose Line is It Anyway?  It was based on the idea of improvisation exercises done by actors   in the theatre.  The compere, or the audience would suggest a topic,  a couple of characters and the contestants – successful actors, comedians etc  would act out a scene based on those elements.  But the scenes they were acting out were only brief, temporary, for fun – they weren’t planning to build an actual character on them, or  put them into a play – or  develop them into a full-scale production.  They were just playing.
But some people think  that the best way to approach writing romance is to do exactly the same with a book – pick a couple of characters, add in some conflict – write the book. And then decide what line to aim it at. I’ve done a couple of workshops this past two weeks and at both of them, when I asked which line they were aiming their romance at, several people looked at me with that ‘Huh?’ expression on their face.  Even worse, when I asked what books they had read recently, some had read none – and others had read books bought second-hand from the local book exchange or charity shop.  They were romances, they insisted – so they were  10, 15 years old. How had the books changed in those 15 years?
I gave my usual reply – how has society changed in the last 15 years?  I’ve just had my 60th title published –
 I’ve been published for over 25 years – and I would never submit a novel like my very first romance – The Chalk Line – to today’s market without some very serious editing and rewriting.

Some people don’t even know there are so many very different lines.  And they don’t know the type of book, the sort of conflict, plot, characters – the sensuality levels – that each line demands.  And then they wonder why their book is returned as ‘not suitable for the very specific demands of the XYZ line.’
I think it’s vital to know about the line you are targeting, it’s specific demands – and why you want to write for that line. Otherwise you can find yourself lost and wandering in a publishing desert with a book that no one seems to want.
Say you write the book and send it to line A Editor, A thinks it has too many sensual scenes for her line - she sends it back to you
     If you're really lucky - and believe me, it's rare- she'll:
 (1) Tell you why she sent it back. 
More likely it will be
(2) Just sent with a form letter – ‘these are the usual reasons why we return mss.’
 If it's (1) You could get to work on it, cut all the sensual scenes, and then find that she still rejects it. And you might have cut the heart out of your book because the book of your heart might be a Presents/Modern or a Blaze
 
If it's (2) Then you could send it to another line - having no idea really why it came back - and so not knowing which one to try for the best - and you could be trying and trying again for years - because we all know how long it can take an editor to get to read a book!
     Okay, so targeting will save you time at the submitting stage. It will also save you time and energy at the writing stage.
     Say you happily write your novel putting in plenty of mystery, intrigue, lots of secondary characters, some highly passionate scenes. Then you think about where to submit it -  and you'll find that you'll come up against a 'pruning' problem. Send it to one line and they could say :
"Good book - but you need to cut the secondary characters.'
OR
'Good book but you need to cut out the intrigue'
OR
'Good book but you need to cut the sex'
And that's only if they bother to say anything!
So now you are faced with the fact that you have to cut X thousand of your precious words - which is hard enough. It's like a cutting off part of your baby! But equally you have to think of something else to put in its place. Which can be even harder.
     And all the while, time is passing. You're editing the book again - and if you're not careful you can edit the life out of it. The more times you rework a novel, the less of the spontaneous, passionate, from the heart stuff you leave in. And what started off as something with a heart and soul and guts can end up as a pale shadow of itself. And I should know I've been there.
I started writing before there was a split between Romance/Cherish  and Presents/Modern here in the UK- and before RIVA had even been dreamed of.  I just  wrote a book and sent it in.  I didn’t think about the big  bad world beyond the UK publishing market.    I had a writing career. I was happy.  I didn’t realise how it could be any better. But  in America, some of my books went into  Harlequin Romance, some went into Harlequin Presents  and as a result, often my readers didn’t know where to find me.  Or if they were someone who enjoyed a Romance line book they would never buy one I’d written  that went into the Presents line. It was only about  1991 – 6 years into my career – that  editorial UK wanted to split the lines  - and I needed to choose which line I particularly wanted to write for. I could write for either – I was published in either – but I could only write for one. The voices of each line, the demands for each one were too different.
I didn’t have much of a problem deciding  which line I wanted to write for – or focussing on that line when I’d decided this was for me – but I had, not wasted, but messed up the start of my career at the vital, vulnerable point when it was just starting. And in many ways I had to build it all over again.
So when you're looking at a line, not just from the point of view of reading and enjoying it, but with the idea of writing for it you need to consider so many things. You're looking at:
    EMPHASIS  - how much is given to which aspects of the story. So with the question of whether a book is a Blaze or an Intrigue, it's whether the emphasis is on the sexual relationship (Blaze) or solving the mystery (Intrigue)
    INTENSITY - an example would be Presents/Modern  versus Romance /Cherish – and now with the RIVA/Presents divide too. In a Romance it's perfectly possible to have your H&h actually like each other all the way through  - in a Presents that would be rare. A Romance has a hugely emotional intensity, in a Presents this is often mixed in with other emotions like anger and revenge and  sexual desire. RIVA can have all of those too but these books tend to be a lighter, sassier read, with a conflict that is less dark, less balanced on a knife-edge. And  the hero, while alpha, is less of a dominating force.
    CHARACTERS - in a Presents too many other characters would diffuse the intensity. In a Superromance more characters  would be an asset.
    SEX - yes, this has to be considered, but not that in one line it's not allowed and in another it is - you can have a book where there is just one major passionate scene but it is a Presents/Modern  because of the  - that word again - intensity - of the rest of the relationship. Or one where they make love openly and clearly on the page but because the atmosphere is very different it is a gentler Romance.
    CONFLICT - this is a major point in deciding which line you're aiming for. Obviously, from what I've been saying, a line like Presents/Modern has greater scope for a stronger conflict (But make sure you don't confuse 'conflict' with simply 'argument') And in an Intrigue then the conflict needs to be based around the mystery element.
    SUBPLOTS - does the line have room and word count enough for them or not - once again it's the emphasis that makes the difference.
   And once you've considered these for the lines, you need to consider them for your own work - and of course your own reading. Which do you prefer? Why?  Michelle Styles always remembers that she knew she had to choose the line of her heart because I said that Harlequin are not looking for one book authors – they are looking for career authors.  You need to consider if you can imagine yourself writing 10, 20, 30 + books for this line and not get bored.
And that’s one of the reasons why this topic is on my mind today. At one of those workshops, talking about the books  I loved to read, the heroes that attracted me, I said that I was always drawn to the ambiguous hero, the dark character who could, with a little movement either way, could  be the hero – or he could turn out to be the villain.   I always preferred the wild, sprawling, dark, intense dramas of the Bronte Sisters rather than the  more controlled, elegant, mannered stories of Jane Austen.
And that’s why I was chosen to write my current book – The Return of the Stranger which is  part of the Powerful and the Pure mini-series. Books inspired by some of the great classics of Romantic Fiction – Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Jane Eyre or, in my case Wuthering Heights, with its ultimate dark and dangerous  ambiguous hero  - Heathcliff. It’s a book I’ve loved ever since I was a child. I’ve reread it more time than I can actually remember and I’ve studied it again and again at school and at university. You don’t have to have read the original to enjoy this book – but  the fact that it is so much a part of my reading – and writing history shows why I write what I do. If I’d written for Romance or  Medicals, or even RIVA then I’d never have been asked to write The Return of The Stranger – but I loved doing it, and  loved honouring one of my favourite reads of all time by doing so.
 So, if there had been that split in the lines in the UK when I first started writing, I know which line I would have wanted to read most - which one I would have enjoyed most. And so if I'd known there had to be a choice - and there does have to be a choice because you have to send your ms to a particular editor on a particular line - I know I'd have chosen Presents/Modern and I'd have slanted my ms that way. I've written both in my time and I know that the differences between them can be subtle and perhaps difficult to see - but they are there. Ask anyone who loves a particular line and they'll tell you. 
Those differences are what bring readers back to a particular line again and again -  and, you hope, to your stories time after time too.  Targetting isn’t about restrictions. It’s about writing to your strengths – and focussing those strengths where they are best suited.  So get reading. Read the books the editors are currently publishing, see what it is they offer – that promise they make to the reader – and focus your own writing on that.  Target your writing to the right line and you could save yourself a lot of time, struggle and heartache. 
Some information about Kate's latest book, The Return Of The Stranger.
Blurb:
Standing high on the windswept moors, the lone figure of Heath Montanha vows vengeance on the woman who destroyed the last fragments of his heart...Lady Katherine Charlton has never forgotten the stablehand with dangerous fists and a troubled heart from her childhood. Now the rebel is back, his powerful anger concealed under a polished and commanding veneer. When ten years of scandal and secrets are unleashed, with a passionate, furious kiss, Heath's deepest, darkest wish crystallises...Revenge - and Kat - will be his!

 Buy Links for  The Return of the Stranger       Amazon UK Buy Link     Amazon Buy Link





Where can readers find you?

Website         Blog        Facebook
Author Page created by Romance Book Paradise Promotions.

For one lucky commenter today, there'll be some extra goodies! A Kate Walker totes bag, and a pen with a signed book from her backlist! So get commenting and share with us, what line would you prefer to write for?

Romance? Intrigue? Blaze? Desire? Medical? Or the very popular Presents?

114 comments:

  1. I am aiming for the Romance line. I'm a big softie :)

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  2. Thank you very much, Kate and Nas, for a post that is a "keeper." As for the line? I would want to write what I know and love best--Harlequin Historical and Harlequin Intrique.

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  3. Wow - what a thorough and enlightening post! I learned a lot. Thank you so much for all the details - much appreciated! :)

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  4. Great interview, Kate, Nas! Makes so much sense, doesn't it? You can't write a certain type of story if you don't 'get' or enjoy books of the line/genre.
    I have written for Desire and Modern as well as Modern Heat, which are released as Presents or Presents Extra in the States. I loved intensity and passion, although my heros aren't so tortured and dark.
    Having said that, I absolutely love the sound of 'The Return of the Stranger'. Can't wait to read it!

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  5. I aim for the paranormals - especially nocturne (cravings, since I mostly write novellas) !

    Thanks so much for sharing this invaluable insight into harlequin's line demarkation, Kate! Loved knowing about it..and is really useful for an aspiring author!

    And I love reading everything - as long as it contains a HEA ;) Presents is my favorite !!!

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  6. Hi Kate, Nas

    Oh wow, i can't believe there is sooo much to consider when just deciding which line to write for.

    I love reading the romance genre in general but if i had to choose the lines that i prefer, they would Desire and the Presents lines. As Robyn mentioned passion and intensity that i love.

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  7. Hey Kate,Nas
    I would aim for modern and romance line as they contain the ingredients of heart touching and extraordinary stories which can even can capture any cold heartened person's mind, soul and heart.After all, it is the charisma of romance and love that attract me.Also, the cover page is quite a lot more pleasing and up to satisfaction when compared to the other lines.

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  8. Return of the Stranger is just a fabulous book - and anyone looking for help writing romance should get Kate's amazing 12 Point Guide (if they can't get to one of her famous workshops!)

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  9. Hi Kate,

    I would love to write for the Presents line because I feel that I can relate better to it and therefore give a better "picture" to it.

    I hope that makes sense ! Thanks for a brilliant post and a awesome giveaway !

    Desere

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  10. Wow! So many people already came by. Thank you to all my lovely friends for commenting here and helping me welcome Kate Walker to my home on the web!

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  11. Completely recommend the 12 point guide - helped me immensely! And thanks, Kate, for the interesting post :)

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  12. Hi Kate, Thanks for another great post. I've always wanted to write for the Modern/Present line, I just love the intensity and the strong characters. Alpha males knowing what they want, meeting strong women who are prepared to stand up for themselves. To me there are endless scerarios and possibilities which I think is vital, as you say, it's about picking a line that you will never get bored of.

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  13. This is a terrific post, makes things much clearer. I'm inclined to classify the lines by the level of sensuality and nothing else, but there's clearly more to it than that. Thanks for the info, Kate.

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  14. Great post. But I was shocked at reading people at the workshop who hadn't read a book. How can you write if you don't read?

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  15. Thanks for your great post Kate and Nas for hosting it. Like you Kate I have always had something for the dark mysterious hero. I found your comment about writing the kind of stuff you love to read really interesting - I bet it would be excruciating building a career writing stuff you found really boring! Thanks so much.

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  16. A really great post. Thank you Kate and Nas.

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  17. I have always enjoyed reading Blaze and Intrigue. My WIP is more toward Intrigue.

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  18. I prefer paranormals the most, but Presents is a close second.

    I too am shocked some newbies haven't been reading the lines. I'd get sick without a healthy stream of romance books.

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  19. Great post here... there's so much to learn and this is so useful!

    Thanks too for the great 12 point guide, which inspired me to write series romance. After lots of reading, I think the Riva line is where I need to be.

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  20. Wow, what a great post, Kate. This is definitely a keeper.

    Personally, I love the fresh, fun and flirty voice of Modern Heat and Rivas.

    Thanks for having Kate as your guest, Nas.

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  21. Wow, great advice, Kate! Thanks you so much!

    I read almost all the lines but I think I could WRITE for American Romance or Harlequin Romance.

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  22. I must admit to being very new (less than a year) to the whole romance genre as both a reader and writer, but I still did my homework when I started writing. I read the line I was specifically interested in (Nocturne, plus other paranormal romances). Now as I attempt my first contemporary I was compelled to aim at Riva (young, flirty, sassy), but I find I can't keep the sexual chemistry down and it has been suggested it's more in a Blaze style. Blaze would have been my original choice, if Riva had not arrived on the scene to confuse me, lol. Thanks Nas and Kate. Very informative.

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  23. Brilliant article! Thanks for the info. Return of the Stranger sounds like an interesting novel. Can't wait to delve into it.

    I read and write everything. lol Most of my novels have an element of suspense and secondary characters, better suited to American, Special Edition or Supers.

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  24. Thanks for the post, Kate, and for pointing out that publishers are looking for authors with a career plan in mind. Having one idea for a book isn't good enough any more - if they pick you up then their first question is often 'what are you writing next?' or 'what are you working on now?' It's not enough to have thoroughly worked over one novel, you have to be working on the next almost before you submit the first...

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  25. Hi Kate

    Great post! A really informative breakdown of category and what fits where.

    Oh, and I must say, I love the show 'Who's line is it anyway?'

    For me, I love the sexy, sassy stories. The ones with women who have gumption and their muscle-bound gutsy men.
    My favourite lines are Modern Heat, and particularly Blaze.

    I love seeing the sparks fly, and the journey of these two strong, passionate characters as they come together and realise that life only gets better when they become one.

    Thanks again for your insights.

    Michelle

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  26. Thanks for this post Nas and Kate. I've bookmarked this one in my MS developement file. A very informative blog post. I was a bit lost as to where mine would fit in. You've cleared that up for me. Thanks Kate! And thanks Nas, love your blog posts :D

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  27. I don't write or read romances but this is a great post about understanding the publishing/editing business. Thank you.

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  28. I would like to write for harlequin historical, It is the line I am most comfortable writing, thanks for the informative blog, it has been very helpful

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  29. Oh! You've all been so very very busy. I went out to do banking and such like in town and have just got back - I'd better get busy and see what everyone has been saying . . . .

    Excuse me while I catch up!

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  30. Hi Michelle - I'm glad you know which line you're aiming for - though they're not all 'softies' - I've read a couple of Liz Fielding or Marion Lennos for example that have really wrenched my heartstrings - though of course Liz F now comes out in RIVA in UK

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  31. Hi Michelle - if you'd seen the stress around when I was writing this post you'd kinow how grateful I am to have it considered a 'keeper'. Hmm- Historical or Intrigue - very different 'flavours' of lines there. I'll be interested to know which one really calls to yu to write it

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  32. Jemi - thank you! I'm glad you felt you learned a lot - as I said, I know from experience that it's important to kow where you're aiming your book for the best impact.

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  33. Hi Robyn, how good to see one of my fellow authors here - you'd be amazed how many times I'm asked to critique a book where the writer clearly is just putting together what they think 'a Mills & Boon ' is - not even a M&B romance! Just 'a M&B'! They really believe they are all the same. And you've put your finger on it - there can be passion and intensity but not the darkness or what I tend to call 'alpha conflict'.
    I do hope you enjoy The Return of The Stranger if you read it

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  34. Hello JU - it is important to know the different types, styles and voices of romance lines. A supernatural novel can have a Presents- like intensity but a Presents novel wouldn't have the supernatural elements. The whole feel of some lines is unique to that one

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  35. Hi Sonali - I know that I felt just like you when I first started out. I wished that someone had taken me by the hand and pointed out the things I'm talking about in this post - that I would have been so much more of a Presents author from the start. A sit was I was sometimes Presents/sometimes Romance and that didn me little good!

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  36. Hello again Kritisha - I so agree with you about the stories in the Modern and Romance lines and the way they speak to the heart - but each in their different ways. And those ways tend to be so very different that the sensible writer would decide which line she is best suited to write.

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  37. Very interesting article, Kate. I've been reading Mills & Boon and Harlequin romances since childhood and I know the ones written in the last 20 years are way different from those. I agree that with the expansion into so many different lines, the smart writer has to decide which one they're targetting if they want to write for these publishers.

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  38. Oh Liz - what a lovely compliment - set of compliemnts! From an author I admire as much as I do you they mean such a lot. I'm really happy that you enjoyed The Return of The Stranger - and thank you for reccommending the 12 Point Guide.

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  39. Great post! 60 titles? That's amazing.

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  40. Hi Desere - I think you said something important when you said that you wanted to write Presents because you could relate best to that line - that's just the way to start thinking about the line you most want write for

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  41. Hello Nas - and thank you for hosting me! So many people - and even more since you commented! I 'm trying to answer everyone but it's a long job! You have so many friends

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  42. Xandra - I'm always happy to hear that the 12 Point Guide has helped someone . After all that's what I wrote it for!

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  43. Nice to see you again Susie - and I'll just say hear hear! to your post - that sums it up very nicely and it's exactly why I want to write Presents/Modern

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  44. Hello Maria - your comments make me really glad that I wrote this post - I know that so many people tend to classify the lines by the level of sensuality and there is more to it than that. So I'm really pleased to have made yu stop to think. Hope it helps in your targetting.

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  45. Naina - I was every bit as shocked as yu were! But some people do think that romances are so easy to 'dash off' that they don't feel they need to actually read them first - they do tend to get a shock when they do and realise they aren't al the same, or written to a 'formula'

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  46. Hello Rachel - yes, writing what you love to read does help - I know when I was asked whether I wanted to write Romance or Presents I had no hesitation - I've enjoyed a lot of Romances but not in the same way as I've loved Modern/Presents

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  47. Lovely to see you here Kiru - I'm glad you enjoyed the post

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  48. Hi Christy - that sounds like a good choice. Yo can always add in a little 'Blaze' heat along with the Intrigue.

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  49. Hello Sandra - I wish you god luck with your writing. Like you I'd not be able to cope without a steady supply of new romance reading - but there are those who tink that reading the titles they can get from charity shops and book exchanges - books published years ago - will give them the idea of what editors are looking for - what editors were buying 10 years ago, maybe! The only way to learn what eds are currently buying is to read what's in the current schedules.

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  50. Hello Jane - thank you for your comment - you really made me smile - one, because I love to know that the 12 Point Guide to wrting Romance inspires people! and two - that 'after lots of reading' - the best thing you can do to learn where your voice will fit best.

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  51. Hello Serena and happy birthday (belatedly) RIVA have such a special tone, don't they - but I think that putting them in with Presents in America can be confusing. There's a big difference between the tone/atmosphere of Return of the Stranger and say a Kelly Hunter book - another argument for why peopel need to read!

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  52. Hello Jennifer - thanks for visiting. You've made agreat point - we can all enjoy reading all the lines, but the one we feel we can WRITE for is a bit special. Good luck!

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  53. Hi Mel - good for you for doing your homewark and research on reading the books. RIVA does have plenty of sensuality in it, so you might still be on track there. Asyou read Blaze you'll know when it has crossed the line between the two - sexual chemistry is fine but it is more flirty and sassy in RIVA

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  54. Hi Lorraine - I do hope you enjoy reading The Return of The Stranger if you get your hands on it. Reading everything is great but I do think that some time spent thinking where your voice really fits best can be so very valuable - the 'scatergun' approach can mean you don't learn how to tackle a particular sort of romance writing

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  55. Hello Jane - you're right about that career plan. The problem is that when we are unpublished we can't think beyond the book we are writign right now - but publishers will do - and they don't give you time to breathe! That's why I advise that people look at the type of book they can foresee themselves writing for the future as well as today.

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  56. Hi Michelle - it's great programme isn't it? I love your description of the sort of romance you like best - sojunds like you have your ideas pretty clear in your head of the sort of romance you want to write. Go for it!

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  57. Hello Juanita - I'm realy gld to help. If you are not quite sure where your story fits, then you also won't know which way to focus it best to give it the best chance so the more knowledge you get about this the better. I'm glad my post helped clear things up.

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  58. Thank you for commenting, Clarissa - and yes, this post isn't just about writing romances, it's important thinking for any sort of publishing.

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  59. Hello Charlotte, I'm glad you know which line you want to focus on - it really does help. Good luck with your writing.

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  60. Hi 'J.L. ' I'm glad you found this interesting - and yes, it's vital to keep up to date because if you try to write the sort of book that was writtne 20 years ago you'd be completely adrift - the changes may be slow and subtle but over the years they add up to huge changes that make things completely different.

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  61. Hello Kelley - I amost missed you in amongst my replies - yes 60 titles and I'm now on #61 - but I just write them steadily, one book at a time and they mount up! Sometimes I'm amazed at the total myself.

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  62. I love the intrigue factor too. Thanks so much for sharing with us! And I did see Kate on Talli's blog earlier - boy does she have some sizzling covers! ;-)

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  63. Great article, Kate. It is important to keep in mind who we're writing for.

    Congrats on 61 titles. Wow.

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  64. I wish I had the talent to write a Romance story!!
    Kate you are very talented and thank you for writing you have given me lots of hours of reading pleasure ;o)

    Rita from South Africa

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  65. Nothing like a pro to give you the facts. I'm totally impressed by your 61 titles and your attitude--that I'm impressed by a lot.

    Thanks.

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  66. Great post Kate & Nas
    Knowing you line is so important these days. Before I was published I read and re-read as many current Harlequin Special Edition's that I could get my hands on. Great advice in your blog - know your line, especially when at face value there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between some of them. But when you dig down there certainly is. And congrat's on title #61 Kate - I just read The Proud Wife and it was awesome!

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  67. What a great new "sample" blog!!!! fantastic topic today.
    thanks again, looking forward to reading more! Not sure when I'm supposed to write or work!!

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  68. Hey Nas, any idea why my gravatar doesn't show up as a photo?

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  69. Awesome post. I can't imagine what 61 titles would feel like. I don't even have that many pet names for my dog. Right now I'm shooting for one. Just one. Thanks for all the information. And Nas, thanks for the visit.

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  70. wow, great tips. It's amazing how many writers don't read. It boggles my mind!

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  71. GREAT post thanks Kate :-)

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  72. I'm a reader but I read from various lines.(Paranormal is about the only thing I give a miss to) When I'm in the mood for a certain type of book that book better follow the guide for that line.

    I can testify that a book written 10 years ago has a different feel to it when you read it than one written just recently. If you really want a contrast read some written in the 30's and 40's.
    Again if I'm reading a current book I don't want it to feel dated. This even applies to historical books as styles change over the years.

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  73. I love reading romance, but when I started to write my entry I found I naturally lean more towards Blaze / Desire... I hoping that I do well in the competition.

    This article really helped me lot and I can see how I can take the tips and work them on my story and hopefully make it a better one, I love mills and boon, and when searching through all my books I found a Kate Walker book that I thought I'd lost, sat down to read it yesterday and remembered all over again why I love romance stories all over again and why I first started to read them..

    Thank you for posting this article. xx

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  74. Ooooh, I love whose is it anyway. It is such a funny show. Too bad it isn't on anymore.

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  75. Nas, Thanks for hosting Kate.
    Kate. This post is a zinger. Extremely interesting. A lot of things I didn't know. And what a wonderful writing career you are having. Congratulations.
    I am particularly impressed with your appreciation of Wuthering Heights. I am 81 and I've read and re-read that book too. Heathcliff has always been my dark and mysterious gypsy. I'm not a writer or trying to be. Just happy I still have eyes to read with. :)
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  76. Thank you for visiting my blog.
    Any insight into the inner life of a writer is very interesting to me. I am an avid reader.

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  77. I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland - rushing in muttering 'I'm late! I'm late! Such a busy day - but I'm here now a going to catch up on reading all your comments . . .

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  78. Hello chey - good to see you. I often wish I could write for Intrigue but I know it's not what would suit me

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  79. Hello Talei - I'm glad you enjoyed my post about covers. This UK one for The Return of the Stranger is very special, I think. Everyone lovesit

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  80. Hello M Pax -I think that in today's publishing climate, knowing the audience you're writing for is so important - and particularly in writing popular fiction - after all there's a reason why it's popular!

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  81. Hi Rita - great to see you! I'm glad that some of us are readers and not writers. After all, a writer really needs their readers. And I value my 'regulare' like you. I'm so glad that my books have given you pleasure as you've read them.

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  82. Hello C. Lee and thak you. I do think professionalism is vital - as is telling it straight., Writing is a wonderful creative outlet but if we sit around waiting for inspiration and write just what takes our fancy, then we shouldn't be surprised if in the controlled and very focused marketplace it's difficult to see. Focus has helped me write those 60 titles

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  83. Thank you Helen, I'm glad the advice rang true for you. And yes, sometimes in the lines there doesn;t seem to be that much difference - at first - but reading and studying will show you where the difference lies - and where you should aim your work. Thank you for the lovely compliment on The Proud Wife, I'm so glad you enjoyed it

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  84. Hi bluemistlizzi - thank you for following me from Talli's blog. Sorry but I can't help you with your avatar but Nas is good with those things! I know how you feel too - there is so much good stuff to read on the internet that reading and writing isn't easy. But at least my blog tour will finish in December!

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  85. Hi Olga- my sister used to live in Toronto - the pictures on your blog brought back memories of when I visited years ago. I hope you enjoy other posts on my blog tour

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  86. OOPS! My computer jumped again - so I need to go back -
    Hi TC - good luck with that shooting for one. I may have 61 titles now, but the only way to get there was one step at a time - one book at a time - in fact, one word at a time - so I hope you get there too

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  87. I so agree, Lynda - I'm never sure how writers think theyt'll be able to tell stories without studying the craft of storytelling - but then I can't imagine life without reading.

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  88. Good to see you here Jen - glad that you found this post helpful

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  89. Kaelee, you are one mof my perfect readers - happy to try any line but you know what you want - that promise to the line that the author needs to deliver. It's people like you that I have in mind when I'm writing. I never want to disappoint you or give you a book that you feel should have been in some other line. Thank you

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  90. Hello Alaine - yes, there are always the line(s) you love reading - but then there's that one you feel you really should write. It can be a very different line. On now you've got me intrigued - I'm longing to know which Kate Walker book you found. I love the idea of you settling gown to read it - romance is a very special genre isn't it? Good luck with your own writing

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  91. Angela - I loved Whose Line is It Anyway? Sometimes we can catch it on cable TV here - but not often. I was always amazed by the actors' improvisation skills

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  92. Hello Susan - I'm glad you found this post informative. Thanks for visiting

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  93. Manzanita - how lovely to hear from you. I'm glad to find another Wuthering Heights fan and if you do read The Return of the Stranger then I hope it works for you as a version of the book we both love. 81 - and busy on the internet an reading, you are a lady who shows that life shold be lived - I'm delighted you came by. And oh yes, I totally agree - we should alll be so grateful to have our sight. Something really to celebrate.

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  94. Very interesting post, Kate, and thank you Nas as always for being a gracious host. I love your books, Kate, and your tomes on romance writing. I agree, you really need to choose your line and follow the guidelines carefully. I'm about to do a post on how romance writing has changed over time and I'll link to this post. I'm sure you won't mind?

    Denise

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  95. Awesome guest post. It's very informative. I learned a lot about romance books from this.

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  96. Wow. Thank you for going into so much detail, Kate. I don't read romance often but love to write it (okay, I know how terrible that sounds. What I ought to say is I try to read the best written romance, based on recommendations from other authors. I recently read and loved Joanna Bourne's The Black Hawk, for instance) and am about to begin querying for my latest historical romance, Out of the Water. I'd better figure out which line it fits into and start reading other books from that line!
    Thank you!

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  97. Hi to all my lovely friends!

    Thanks to Kate Walker we now know how to target certain lines while targetting Harlequin and Mills & Boon. This question has been asked so many times, about the sensuality level, heat factor and action, secondary characters, Medicine in romance. HM&B has a line for all types of stories including Paranormals and Vampires/shapeshifters!

    We just need to know which line suits our writing.

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  98. There certainly is a market for romances--in all of these lines. You do a wonderful service here, Nas, for romance writers. And thanks for stopping by and encouraging me in MY genre! You're a dear friend!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

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  99. I'm enjoying reading your review/story and will come back later.

    thanks
    list of xbox 360 games

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  100. Thanks so much for this excellent advice!

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  101. I've been so busy all week - but I just want to catch up with the last commenters - because I so appreciate you all visiting.

    L'Aussie - thank you - for your lovely compliments on my books - both fiction and non fiction. And yes that would be fine to link your post to mine - a real compliment too. Thank you. Do let me knwo when your own post is up.

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  102. Hi Peggy - thanks for coming by and I'm glad you likied this post

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  103. Hello Media - nice to meet you. I'm so happy that you found this post helpful

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  104. Hi Deniz - it's always great to get recommendations - but I think if we do range over the variety of styles/lines of romances available, sometime we can be surprised and discover something new. Of course a Historicl romance does tend to aim itself at one particular line!

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  105. Thank you for being a great host Nas - for inviting me over and for keeping an eye on things when I couldn;t be here. I so appreciate that

    And Medeia - my sincere apologies for spelling your name wrong. I thought I'd out in that exytra e but it seems I missed it, sorry.

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  106. Hello Ann, I'd definitely agree that Nas does a wonderful swevice for romance writers and readers - this is a great site full of lots of good reading

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  107. Nice to see you Julie - and I'm glad you found this advice helpful

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  108. And the winners are . . ..

    I got Charlie the Maine Coon on the job of picking winners and for the main(e!) prize he has picked
    KIRU TAYE (Kiru [please contact me - Kate AT Kate-walker.com) to organise your prize

    Then, being greedy - Charlie snaffled a second prize crunchie on top of the name

    KRITISHA - I don't have another bag etc for Kritisha but there is a book to give away to you if you let me know your addrss too.

    Thank you to everyone - the Big Blog Tour continues! Next stop . . . .http://rbpp-kw.blogspot.com/

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  109. Congratulations Kiru and Kritisha!

    Thank you to all my lovely friends for coming by and chatting with Kate, you all are vry much appreciated!

    Thank you to author Kate Walker for giving us this valuable time from her schedule and being with us here!

    Please check on left sidebar of Romance Book Paradise for links to follow Kate Walker's tour and win more books and goodies!

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  110. Oh wow! My lucky day. Thank you, Kate and Nas.

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  111. Hey thanks Kate and Nas for the lovely opportunity. However, special thanks goes to Charlie for picking up my name. Surely you are my lucky charm.

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