We have UK author Kate Walker with us today and she's got a print, signed copy of her latest A THRONE FOR THE TAKING for one commenter!
Who is Kate Walker?
I’m from the UK – I grew up in Yorkshire but I now live in Lincolnshire, and my parents were both Irish. I’ve been married to the man affectionately described as the Babe Magnet for years! (Not letting on how many but we d have an important anniversary coming up this year – I was a child bride, honest!). I have one grown up son and two character cats – Flora and Charlie – both Maine Coons. Before I was published I worked as a Children’s Librarian but I have been writing for Harlequin Mills and Boon for almost 30 years. (I was a child author too!) My very first title The Chalk Line was published in December 1984 but my first paperback (Game of Hazard) came out in February 1986 so that's when my career really started. Since then I have written 61 different title for Harlequin, most in the Presents line, but some were also published in the Romance line way back in 1980s. My novel The Konstantos Marriage Demand won Romantic Times Best Presents Extra award in 2010 and The Proud Wife was also shortlisted for the same award in 2011. I love to teach writing romance and run courses for weekends or the week long Writers’ Holiday in Wales. To help people who couldn’t get to my workshops/courses I wrote the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance which is now in its 3rd edition and is also available on Kindle.
My web site is at: http://www.kate-walker.com
and my blog is http://kate-walker.blogspot.co.uk/
What inspired you to be a writer?
I always loved telling stories even before I could write I was making up stories. My mother told me that I was making up the tale of the Three Little Raindrops — Drippy, Droppy and Droopy for my two younger sisters when I was four. I can't remember a time when I wasn't scribbling away at something, and I wrote my first 'book' when I was eleven, an adventure story, most of it in secret in lessons at school. I kept on writing stories all through my school years and wrote a long story about a hero called Mick O’Connell – he was in a band called The Celts - that my friends read as a serial. A friend of my mother wrote romance for Mills and Boon and I so admired her and wanted to do what she did but my mother and teachers always said that being a writer was just a dream and I would never succeed at it. When I married and worked as a Children's Librarian, writing took a back seat but when I left work to have my son I decided that if ever I was going to achieve my dream the time was now. I remembered my mother's friend who wrote from home when her children were small and so I determined to see if I could do the same. I set aside the two mornings a week when my son was at Nursery and I loved the whole experience of telling stories all over again. And even better I showed everyone who said I would never make a success of writing that in fact I did – and I've continued to do so for almost 30 years now!
How did you chose your genre?
It chose me! I have always enjoyed ‘relationship stories’ - whether those relationships were romantic, friends, or even the stories where a detective or a cowboy and a ‘sidekick’, a partner, an assistant – and the relationship between them is a central focus of the story as well as the rest of the plot. I’d always thought I wanted to write for children but when I started to try and write for publication, I looked at the stories I had already written and there was always that relationship element in them – and there was usually a dark (or perhaps not dark) , ambiguous, difficult male character in there too! And as I said I had seen my mother’s friend writing at home – and she had written for Mills & Boon – so I read some of the recent publications to see what they were publishing then. I loved the concentrated plots, the focus on the hero and heroine, the intensity of emotion, so I decided to try to write this type of novel. I wrote the first one – which wasn’t very good! and sent it off but even though that came back with a form rejection, I was hooked – so I tried again. My second submission got a response from a Senior Editor, asking me to try again so I did . . . and the rest is history
What made you tell this story and why did you write this book?
I’ve never written a 'Royal romance before - but obviously the UK has been fascinated with the Royal family for the past couple of years – with Prince William’s wedding, the Jubilee and now the new baby on the way for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I taught a workshop on how to write a Royal Romance and preparing for that made me think of ideas that would create a story for this particular sort of novel. So suddenly I was intrigued. by the idea of someone who discovered he was was royal, a Prince- even a king – when that was the last thing he had ever expected. What would his reaction be? How would he cope? And what if – as in my working title – he was Black Sheep Prince, one whose life had been touched with scandal – and tragedy. The thought of Alexei coming to terms with all the changes in his life – and dealing with his past as a result fascinated me. I also wanted to write about Ria (Honoria) and how she had to come to terms with her own past, the way they had once been friends but then life had intervened and they hadn’t seen each other for ten years. When they finally come together after all that time, the reasons for meeting up again and the repercussions of that meeting – together with the white hot passion that now flares between them - are so explosive that they are both knocked right off balance and they have to rebuild their lives along very different lines.
The title isn’t mine – it’s the one my editor gave the book. It does fit the story well though - and it fits in with the mini series the novel is in., My book starts off the new mini series Royal and Ruthless and for this,m the the tag line is The power of the throne, the passion of a king so that fits well. My original title was different. The working title was The Black Sheep Prince because my hero is a sexy, rebellious Prince . Alexei Sarova thought that he had left behind the restrictions and formality of the royal life, but now his old way of living has come back to enclose him and the person who brings him the news, along with some unexpected details, is Honoria (Ria) the girl who once used to be his only friend. The two covers for A Throne For the Taking are very different. Take a look at them and see what you think.
Do you like to read about the Royals and their romances?