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Spotlight on Kate Walker and A THRONE FOR THE TAKING giveaway!

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
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.
How did you come up with the title?
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?

47 comments:

  1. Babe magnet? I love it! If I called my hubby that, he would turn beet red.

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    1. Hi Donna - it's a long story! But yes, in romance circles my DH's nickname is The Babe Magnet - and he loves it!

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  2. I enjoyed reading Kate's interview so much! I love the fact she has Maine Coon cats (aren't they wonderful?) and that she's written a book helping fledgling romance writers get better.

    And of course I like to read about Royals! Doesn't everyone? :-)

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    1. Hi Lexa, I'm glad you enjoyed reading the interview - Nas asked some great questions didn't she. And yes- my beautiful Maine Coon cats - they are such characters and so beautiful. Do you have cats too? I hope you enjy reading my 'royal romance' if you get your hands on it.

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  3. Hi Nas and Kate!
    So Kate was the lucky lady who snagged the Babe Magnet? How cute is that!
    I love that tag line: The power of the throne, the passion of a king. It's very appealing.

    Writer In Transit

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    1. Hi Michelle - yes I snagged the Babe Magnet - tho he wasn't one when I met him! That came later. The tag linbe was one that the editors came up with but I think it's great - it would make me want to read a book with that line anyway!

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  4. Wow! Sixty-one books for Harlequin! Impressive. (Talk about showing those nay-sayers, huh?) Congratulations on such a successful career doing what you love.

    And of course, I like to read about royalty. Might as well fantasize big, right?

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    1. Hi Susan - I'll admit that even I'm stunned when I look back and realise there are all those books in my backlist! And it's great to know that I showed all those people who said I'd never succeed. But the most important thing is that I have spent all these years doing something I love. I think royalty are intriguing to read about just surprised that this is my first royal romance to write!

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  5. I've always loved the name Kate. Congratulations on your release!

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    1. Thanks Suze - my name is the same as my Irish grandmother and I was named after her. I now have a niece called Kate so the family tradition continues.

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  6. I love the title and the story sounds really good.

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    1. I'm glad you think the story sounds good, Kelly - my editor came up with the title. My working title was The Black Sheep Prince

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  7. I have a long relationship with Kate. I've been reading her books for years and swear by her how-to romance writing book as well. Go Kate! So voracious! May your latest be a best seller!

    Hi Nas! Great interview!

    Denise

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    1. Hi Denise! Lovely to see you again. Yes, we've known each for for some years. I'm delighted you still think the 12 Point Guide works for you. And I'll be thrilled if A Throne is a best seller . . . fingers crossed

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  8. Great getting to know you better, Kate! Love the sound of your recent release :) And giggling a bit at the Babe Magnet title--sounds like a fun story!

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    1. Hi Meradeth - the Babe Magnet nickname was given to my DH when he first attended a UK Romantic Novelists' Association conference with me. There weren't many male attendees so he was pretty popular! And got labelled the Babe Magnet. I hope you'll enjoy A Throne For The Taking

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  9. What an outstanding career! And more to come :) Pleasure to meet you.

    Hi, Nas!

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    1. Thanks Carol - a pleasure to meet you too. One of the great things about guiest blogging is meeting new friends and connecting with older ones.

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  10. Hi Kate,

    I love royal romances, there's this whole fairy tale element. I remember reading about your royal romance workshop Kate, because my online friend Sally Quilford participated in it and wrote about it on her blog too. It was fascinating getting a peek at it through the notes. I'm reading A THRONE FOR THE TAKING right now and enjoying it thoroughly.

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    1. Hi Maria, lovely to see you here. I didn't know you and Sally were on line friends - I've always enjoyed seeing her at my workshops. And that was a fun day - I even managed to cope with the dreaded TV cameras. So pleased you're enjoying A Throne - do let me know what you think when you've finished.

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  11. I am proud to say I have met both Kate and the 'Babe magnet' (and it's true, he is!) at the workshop that Maria mentioned and one before that (it's well known I'm one of Kate's stalkers) They're both lovely people and treat everyone like family.

    I do love a sexy prince too and Alexei sounds right up my street so this is going on my reading list. Both covers are lovely but I do like the brooding man in the three piece suit on the 'Modern' cover.

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    1. And here you are too, Sally! I have to say that you have rather fallen off as one of my 'stalkers'! There are other who've now overtaken you. But I'll hope to see you at RNA Conference in July. I hope you enjoy reading about my black sheep prince - but you're one of the few who have said they like the brooding M&B cover. Still, at least it's got people talking!

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  12. Hello everyone! Sorry to be late joining you - blame it on time zones, family commitments .. . But I'm here now and it's lovely to see you here - I'm going to read yuor comments and then I can join in the chat. Back soon

    Kate

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  13. Love to read about royals and their families.
    Love to read your books more, Kate.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Laney - lovely to see you here! Like I said - there are new friends and older one. I do hope you enjoy this book. You've read so many of mine that I have a standard to keep up!

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  14. I have to say I do really enjoy "royal" type romances. I'm a Royal Family stalker. LOL

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  15. Hi Jennifer. The way everyone's saying they like toyal romances makes me wish I'd written one sooner - must think of another 'royal' plot. Hope you enjoy this one.

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  16. I read romances on occasion; usually I prefer other genres WITH romance added into the plotline. And all my own YA novels have at least some romance in them. :) It doesn't matter if they're royal or not--if they're intriguing characters and it's an intriguing plot, I'm...well, intrigued!

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    1. That's an intriguing answer Carol! I do agree though - I read so much and it doesn't matter to me what genre it is, as long as the plot and characters and - intriguing!

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  17. I can't say I've ever read a royal romance. This sounds like a good one, though.

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  18. Well I'd be thrilled and honoured if A Throne For The Taking was your first royal romance, SHerry. If you do try it I hope you enjoy it.

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  19. Wonderful interview, Kate and Nas! I love royal weddings but I've never read a royal romance. Yours, Kate, sounds especially enjoyable!

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    1. Thank you Maria. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I think we're all dascinated by royal weddings - I always say I'm not going to watch the TV coverage, but then I do! If you do decide to try reading a royal romance I hope you enjoy it

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  20. I always enjoy a read with Royals. It's the stuff of fairy tales almost.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  21. Hi Mary! I think you have it right - royal weddings etc look like the stuff of fairytales - but of course the roayls are just humans so they have their problems too - which is what I enjy writing about!

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  22. Love the cover!
    I've never read a Royal romance before - it sounds like it'd be so... romantic :-) Well, you know what I mean!

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    1. Now I'm won dering which cover you mean, Deniz - the Harlequin Presents one (top) or the brooding hero - Mills and Boon (UK) one! You're right - some how the idea of as royal romance does sound - romantic! - is it because of all those fairy tales of sleeping beauty princess and Prince Charmings?





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    2. Ooh, the brooding hero, definitely!

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  23. Hi Kate, I loved loved loved A Throne for the Taking and looking forward to reading the others in the series. I like the Harlequin cover the best. I've read a lot of royal stories if you class Sheikhs as royalty... well I guess they're Arabian royalty? There's been the odd Russian prince too that's been quite lovely to read about, apart from that, I dont mind who or what the characters are, as long as their story is interesting I grow to love them just as much :)

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  24. Hi Tash! I was wondering what you thought of 'Throne' - thank you for letting me know. I was wondering too about including sheikhs in the 'royals' lists - but I suppose that realy they are a category of their own. It's going to be interesting to see what the rest of the Royal And Ruthless series will be like.

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    1. It was a devine story Kate. To sum up my thoughts about it it's exactly why you're on my top 5 fave authors list. Scroll down to the bottom the page on this link for all my thoughts about it :D http://rbh-contemporary.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/a-throne-for-taking-by-kate-walker.html

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  25. I'm always enchanted with royal stories. I'm also jealous of your Maine Coons. I've always wanted one. Coolest cats on the planet.

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  26. Hi Leslie - I hope you'll be enchanted with my royal story then too. And Flora and Charlie would agree with you - they definitely think they are the coolest cats on the planet - and they are! They are each going to have a special blog post about them on the Pink Heart Society blog if you want to learn more.

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  27. Royals are fascinating. I'm pleased to meet Kate, and thank you for the holding the giveaway.

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  28. Congratulations to Sherry Ellis! You were chosen as the winner of this giveaway! Please contact author Kate Walker for your signed print copy of A THRONE FOR THE TAKING!

    Thanks to all my friends for visiting and chatting with Kate. And special thanks to Kate Walker for the giveaway and for being here!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'll look forward to reading it!

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  29. Excellent answers, Kate. The book sounds very good!

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