No. That was the last thing I wanted. I had no interest at all in training to be a teacher . It was not the job I wanted to do. So I became a librarian. But I married a teacher ( okay - a lecturer - but he's a born and bred teacher - an excellent teacher in the truest sense of the word). My friends - count them 9 - no 11 of them - are teachers. Now my son is a teacher and so is his partner . . .
And suddenly I find I've become a teacher too - I teach Writing Romance - and I love it. Perhaps in the past I never found a subject that absorbed me so much or one that I wanted to teach. But now I love teaching writing and the new horizons and new friends it has brought me.
I have to be careful that my teaching time doesn't eat into my writing time so I try not to take on too much. So weeks- months- can go by without a mention of teaching and then suddenly it all piles in at once.
And this last week or so has been a 'teaching' time.
As you probably know, I've written two How To Write Romance books. The first one - A Straightforward Guide to Writing Romance - is being revamped to go into its 3rd edition this spring and I got the new cover design to put up on my web site. The new edition will probably appear in March or April
Then the lovely and hugely successful Penny Jordan, who has already recommend my 12 Point Guide and given it to her writers' group, asked for some more copies - which meant I had to get in touch with the publisher. I was thrilled to learn that the book has just about sold out - and they too are looking at a new edition. First we have to see if there are any returns from Waterstones etc who stock it.
And at the same time two web sites that I'm actively involved in - the Pink Heart Society and My Tote Bag both want me to work with them on writing projects - and to talk about the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance.
The PHS is running a special FinDaBoo (Finish the Damn Book) course over on their blog with lots of advice, inspiration and support on offer through the coming year. And in February they've asked me to contribute an article.
Then over on My Tote Bag Leena Hyat is planning articles on writing, workshops etc and again she's asked me to contribute . Of course, I'm happy to. We're already working on a couple of things together.
And then in November I'll be running the course in Writing Contemporary Romance at Fishguard with the wonderful Anne and Gerry from Writers' Holidays. I'll probably be doing something for them in the week at Caerleon too but not a full course - not this year.
And then of course as the year progresses there will be critiques to write for the RNA's New Writer's Scheme . . .
But another couple of things that have happened this week to link me to the 'teaching ' side of me and to make me feel how worthwhile it is to do this.
One is that up on Amazon now is the very first book by Natalie Rivers - The Kristallis Baby. I worked on this book with Natalie through the NWS and now, after editorial input and revisions, it's being published.
Another NWS protegée of mine - Natasha Oakley has been shortlisted for the RNA Romance Novel Prize and she and two other shortlisted authors have all said on this blog that they found my 12 Point Guide a big help in their progress to being published writers.
Finally only this morning I heard from a student who attended a workshop I gave in Kent last May. I was thrilled to learn that
thanks to your inspiration and advice that day, I have finished my book, sent
the first 3 chapters and synopsis in and just had a request for the completed
Congratulations, Linda - I have my fingers crossed for you.
She added that:
What I forgot to mention was how helpful your book, Kate Walker's 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance has been in the whole process, and especially invaluable at the submission stage. It covered every detail and query I had so that I
felt I was sending off something that was as professional as I could make it.
With comments like that and results like these listed above, I'm feeling pretty happy about the teaching side of my career - even if I never planned on doing it!