Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Weekend roundup

First of all - and most important - I've still got time to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my favourite people - and favourite authors.


Today is Michelle Reid's birthday so Happy, Happy Birthday Michelle.



Michelle has a brand-new book, The Markonos Bride out this month and she is planning a revamp and relaunch of her web site - so watch that space.



Next - I've been swamped with Spaniards this week. The latest, Santos, has been tweaked within an inch of his life and sent back to my editor. So I hope she loves him even more now.

And the other Spaniard, Raul, is starting to appear in the Presents edition in America. The book isn't actually on sale in the shops until the end of this month, but Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife is on sale on eHarlequin here as a print book or here as an ebook.




And Harlequin now has this widget which means that you can 'Browse the book' and have a look inside and a sneak preview before you buy. I just hope it works here.





And while I'm talking about reading - and eHarlequin - I'd like to draw your attention to the great 100,000 Book Challenge that is running on the eHarlequin site all year. This is an easy and fun way to make a contribution to charity - in this case, the National Center for Family Literacy - just by reading (and if you're visiting here, you're more than likely to be reading anyway) and then writing a short review of the books you read so that they can be added to the total read all together.




The goal this year is to read a total of 100,000 books thanks to the combined Community team and individual efforts. When the reading challenge ends on December 31, 2008, Harlequin will make an unprecedented donation of an equivalent number of books to the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) to assist them in their challenge to fight illiteracy.


And all you have to do is read and record the books you've read! You need to be registered for the eHarlequin community to post your reviews but that doesn't cost or involve you in anything else and it's easy to do. I've been so busy that I've only managed to post 7 reviews so far - writing books/ launching books etc doesn't leave enough time to actually read them - but this is a Bank Holiday weekend and I've done my revisions, so I'm hoping to add to that total. (Right now I'm reading Annie West's The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife and loving it)


If you want to know more, then there's an introduction and all the rules here


Jayne from eHarlequin has written some clear and helpful instructions about how to post up a review so that it can be counted


Finally I've discovered another stockist for 12PGTWR2 - in the UK at least.

WHSMith online has the book for sale with a 34% saving (£7.25) - and if you're one of the thousands of people who have a WHSmith points card you can get points on this purchase too. This should mean that the book will be asy to order from a WHSmith shop if you prefer.

Still catching up & Centenary Novellas

Thank you to everyone who sent me get well wishes public and private - I am starting to feel a lot better now, but I'm still struggling to catch up. So I'll get to the Q&A when I can breathe.


In the comments section on Saturday, in response to my post about the reprint of The Duke's Secret Wife, 2paw (Hi Cindy!) said:



Do you think we will get the special Novellas here?? I hope so.



These novellas are a special collection published by Mills & Boon specially to celebrate the Centenary this year. In the UK, you can buy them separately, one by one, in the shops with a couple of new titles out each month, or you can buy the complete collection on the M&B site at a special offer price - which I think works out at saving of about £10! You can find out more information on the books here.

I don't know about publication anywhere else in the world - except that, by accident, I discovered that some of them will be on sale Australia - so Cindy, I can answer your question!


In May the eight books in the Sexy Romance Line will each have a 'bonus classic story' included with the main title. These 'classic stories' are some of the special novellas published in the collection in the UK. I discovered that my own story will be included with the Lynne Graham title, The Italian Billionaire's Pregnant Bride.


Each of these special bonus books will have a gold version of the M&B Centenary logo on the front cover so that they will be easy to spot.

So if you're looking for The Duke's Secret Wife, in the UK you look for a book with a cover like this - out in August.


And if you're looking for a copy of the same title in Australia, then you want to be in the bookshops in May and you're looking for this very different cover.

Same title of mine, very different marketing.



But to be in there with Lynne Graham can't be bad.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lost weekend and an important point

I don't remember much about the weekend. Something nasty - of the infection/viral sort - hit me - hard. I spent several days sweating, shivering and doing other unspeakable things in something of a haze. And yesterday I slept, opened my eyes, had some soup, slept again . . .

I lost a couple of days, hopefully I also lost a couple of pounds, and I'm completely behind with everything.
So while I catch up, there are just two things to say -

1. My apologies to the people who sent in questions for the Writers' Q&A - I have not forgotten you, it's just that life had rather conspired against me lately and I haven't had a moment to breath. And as I want to answer your questions thoroughly I need some time to do so. I promise I will get to your questions just as soon as I can.


and
2. If you are ordering the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance from Amazon.co.uk , please make sure that you order 12PGTWR2 not 12PGTWR1. The sales for 12PGTWR1 keep going up - and as this is sold out all you'll get - eventually - is a message from Amazon saying they can't obtain this book for you. They probably won't move your order over to the 12PGTWR2, however logical that might seem. And so you'll be disappointed.

So please either follow the link from the sidebar to find the second edition - or go here where you will find the edition that is in print and in stock - and that way you'll get a copy. The edition with the white band across the front is the second edition - the one that doesn't have the white band, no longer exists.
If you have ordered the first edition, you need to go into Amazon and change your order.

And if you're ordering from a bookshop, you need to order the edition with the ISBN: 978-1842851319
Hope that helps.
Now I'm going to try and catch up a bit more. It's scary how much things mount up after just a couple of days.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Writing Workshop - Lincoln

In the comments section, Alice asked:

What happens at one of your workshops, Kate? Will it be like a lecture or do we exchange ideas and do writing exercises?
Alice - the answer is a bit of all three.

The workshop at the Lincoln Book Festival is on Saturday May 17th. Here are the details :



The 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance

Start time: 2pm - 4pm
Join Kate Walker as she discusses how to write romance while launching the second expanded edition of The 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance.


Location: Lincoln Drill Hall

Admission cost: £6/£4
Tel: (01522) 873894

We have two hours as you see. So there will be some talks on writing (by me) some writing exercises, and I'm sure there will be some discussion as we talk about these and question and answers as needed. I will be covering the 12 Points to writing romancebut obviously I won;t be able to go into them all in detail in the time - so the new edition of the 12PGTWR2 will be on sale for anyone who wants to take things further.
Make sure you bring pen and paper for the exercises!
I hope I'll see you there.
Then in the evening you will be able to get more information about Mills & Boon and writing romance when we have our celebration of Mills & Boon in the evening


100 Years of Romancing Readers




Start time: 6pm - 7.30pm


Join in the festival's celebration of 100 years of Mills and Boon and meet romance authors

Kate Walker,

Trish Wylie,

Natasha Oakley and

Kate Hardy.


Location: Lincoln Drill Hall

Admission cost: £5/£3
Tel: (01522) 873894


We will all answer questions, talk about our writing careers, discuss the different lines, the history of the company . . . There will be drinks, books will be on sale and the authors will all sign them for you if you want.

Also - here's the big new announcement - we will then be drawing the raffle for the Biggest Box of Romance ever offered as a single prize.


How would you like to win 85 (yes that's right EIGHTY FIVE brand new romance novels, most of them signed by the authors? Books from every line and from authors all over the world.


For the whole of the Lincoln Festival period - May 9th -17th 2008, the Festival Bookshop will be selling raffle tickets to win this huge prize. So many wonderful authors I know have donated books to this fabulous prize.


Proceeds from the raffle will go to Breast Cancer Research a charity that Mills and Boon have been connected with for years now.


Just as soon as I get pictures of the piles of books we have on offer I'll post them here.


Sorry - but because of postage costs involved etc it will be impossible for us to open this to international readers.


And finally, I got thrill today when I finally got to see these new covers - both coming in August.




First of all there is my novella, The Duke's Secret Wife - this title is part of the Mills & Boon 100th birthday collection.



And in the same month, my trilogy The Alcolar Family will be published with all three titles in one By Request anthology. And I finally got to see the cover . So here it is



My friend and fellow Presents author, Trish Morey will recognise this cover - hmmm, Trish?? ; O )

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thank you from Julie Moggan

Another busy day today.

Interview went fine yesterday. Parcels all went off - so my prizewinners will have their copies of 12PGTWR2 very soon.


And some of you who pre-ordered from Amazon actually have your copies in your hands or they're on their way to you now. I've had emails from some happy people who have theirs. And of course you can always order it from your local bookshop.
But here's some great news for those of you who live in America/Australia - anywhere really - the Book Depository now has 12PGTWR2 in stock!!
Why is this such good news?

Well the Book Depository has a fantastic deal for you because it offers FREE delivery worldwide And it's a reduced price. I don't know how they manage that but they do. So I had hoped that they would stock 12PGTWR2 because I knew it would make life so much easier for my international readers.

And now they're stocking it. And it's despatched within 24 hours - I hope this helps some of you.
Also, I just wanted to pass on a thank you from Julie Moggan the documentary maker. After my post and the PHS one went up she has had a flurry of emails from people who will answer her questions. So thank you for those - she will get back to you just as soon as she can.
But she can do with still more. Specially from readers - so if you missed the post about the project then it's here and Julie would love to hear from you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lincoln Book Festival


They've arrived!


Yesterday my copies of The 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance were finally delivered so I finally had the book in my hands. Such a thrill


And now I can send out the copies I have had as prizes and that I've been waiting to send on to the winners from other sites.

And I can send the copies to the lovely authors who helped me by making a contribution to the From The Readers' Desks section - those authors who have been joining in the Launch Party with me.


The Post Office is going to love me! The last time I looked there were 30 parcels packed up and ready to go!


Today I get to visit one of my favourite cities - Lincoln. This is work though. I have an interview with Radio Lincolnshire . Officially I'm on the Afternoon Show with Sue Taylor, but as I will be interviews at 1.30 that's more like lunch time really!


Even if you're not in the area and you want to hear the interview, you can listen to it on the Radio Lincolnshire site. They have a listen-again facility too if you miss the actual broadcast.

The reason for this interview is to talk about the upcoming event I have, with several other great authors, at the Lincoln Book Festival in May.


Several people have asked about this, so to give you all the details here's the Press Release:


The Lincoln Book Festival passionately presents…100 Years of Romancing Readers

Celebrate 100 years of Mills & Boon with top romance authors Kate Walker, Trish Wylie, Natasha Oakley and Kate Hardy
Saturday 17th May 2008, 6.00pm,
Lincoln Drill Hall, Lincoln

On Saturday 17th May, award-winning Mills & Boon authors, Kate Walker, Trish Wylie, Natasha Oakley and Kate Hardy discuss the world of romantic fiction and what it takes to write for Mills & Boon. From first glances until happily ever after, this lively discussion, commemorating the Mills & Boon Centenary, offers participants the chance to hear from four of today’s leading romance writers…


About the 100 Years of Romancing Readers celebration:
As part of the Mills & Boon Centenary celebrations, the Lincoln Book Festival presents four influential romance authors for a unique opportunity to take part in a spirited conversation that celebrates the world of romantic fiction.
The evening will also include an audience Question & Answer session, along with a book signing. The event will take place from 6pm - 7.30pm on Saturday 17th May at Lincoln Drill Hall.
Tickets are £5, concessions £3.


The panel will feature bestselling romantic novelists:
KATE WALKER – Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife; The Duke’s Secret Wife
TRISH WYLIE – His Mistress, His Terms; Her One and Only Valentine
NATASHA OAKLEY – Crowned: An Ordinary Girl; Wanted: White Wedding
KATE HARDY – Sold to the Highest Bidder; The Doctor’s Royal Love Child
AND
SUZY CLARKE – Mills & Boon editor
Come and join Mills & Boon for a glass of bubbly and have your say…
About the panellists:
KATE WALKER published her first novel with Mills & Boon in 1984 and hasn’t looked back. She writes for the Mills & Boon Modern line and has had over 50 books published. The second edition of her award-winning The 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance is being re-issued on 8th April 2008. For more information, visit her website and online blog at http://www.kate-walker.com/

Kate will be leading a workshop on writing romance on Saturday 17th May, 2 - 4pm in the Ruston Room at Lincoln Drill Hall.


TRISH WYLIE has always been a keen writer. Now on her 16th title, writing for the Romance and Modern Heat lines of Mills & Boon, Trish’s creative passion looks set to continue unabated. Her latest book, Claimed by the Billionaire Bad Boy, is published in May. To find out more, visit her website and online blog at http://www.trishwylie.com/


NATASHA OAKLEY began her career in the world of theatre, before turning to writing. Her first book was published by Mills & Boon in 2004 and she writes for the Romance series. Natasha’s 2007 book, The Tycoon’s Princess Bride, is short-listed for the Romance Writers of America Prize (The RITA). For more information, visit http://www.natashaoakley.com/



KATE HARDY has been writing romantic fiction since 2002 and has so far produced over 25 books for the Mills & Boon’s Medical Romance and Modern Heat lines. With a passion for writing, and also for cooking, Kate often combines the two, including recipes in her stories and creating heroes and heroines with gastronomic flair. Kate’s book, Breakfast at Giovanni’s, won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Prize for Romance in February 2008. For more information, visit http://www.katehardy.com/


About the Mills & Boon Centenary:
In 2008, Mills & Boon celebrates one hundred years of publishing history. This iconic imprint has grown to become the UK's undisputed market leader in romantic fiction publishing; a household name entrenched in the hearts and minds of its global readership.·
A Mills & Boon book is sold every 3 seconds·

10 million Mills & Boon titles were sold in the UK last year·

130 million Mills & Boon books are sold worldwide each year·

In 2007, 1200 unsolicited manuscripts were submitted, of which only 27 went on to be published·

Mills & Boon books are sold in 109 countries and have been translated into 26 different languages
Lincoln Book Festival:
From Friday 9th May to Sunday 18th May, Lincoln turns literary as the Lincoln Book Festival brings together authors, fans and book-lovers of all ages for 9 days of discussions, workshops, signings and chances to meet your favourite literary idols. Featured authors include Colin Dexter, Iain Banks and Steven Berkoff.For further information, visit http://www.lincolnbookfestival.co.uk/
You can find details of my workshop here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

News of an exciting project


Well, I promised you some news - here it is.


As you know, I was in London last week for the launch of the 2nd edition of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance at London Book Fair. That was on the Tuesday.

But just before I left for London, I had an email from Julie Moggan who described herself as “ a UK based documentary maker and a fan of romantic fiction”. Julie told me that she’d just begun development on a new film that she was very excited about. Her plan was to “make a warm, intelligent, entertaining documentary celebrating the success of Mills & Boon novels in their centenary year. The film will feature Mills & Boon writers and their dedicated readers and will seek to explore the secrets of the brands enduring success.”

Julie had found me through my web site, she’d read about the 12 Point Guide and she wondered if we could meet to talk about the project and look into what the documentary might contain and how I could contribute to it.

Julie went on to say: “I'm a freelance director, but I have good connections with commissioning editors at Channel 4 and they are keen to support my next project. My work has been screened on BBC and Channel 4 and at a number of international film festivals. Most recently I directed a film for More4 about last year's Turner Prize and worked on a two-part Channel 4 documentary about post-natal depression. I trained at the National Film & Television School and I like to make warm, sensitive, life-affirming films that are always based on compassionate/respectful relationships between myself and my contributors.”
(You can read more about Julie and her work here )

Channel 4 -‘Compassionate . . . warm . . .life-affirming’ - that all sounded so good. But to be honest, she had me at ‘celebrating’ - anyone who wants to celebrate M&B and category romance rather than knocking and mocking them gets my interest!
So last Wednesday morning I had coffee and a l-o-n-g chat with Julie. She’s really easy to talk to, didn’t once mention the words bodice-rippers or formula or ‘churning them out.’ And believe me, after years of being interviewed, that’s a pretty rare event. I almost think it’s a first.
But of course I’m only one person. And a documentary needs more. A lot more.
Julie has already spoken to Midas, Mills and Boon’s PR company – she’ll be talking to editors and marketing in Richmond but what she needs are more contributions from authors and from readers who love these books. And that, obviously, made me think of all the other M&B writers I know, and of my readers in the UK.
With contributions from as many of us as possible, Julie will be able to collect up the material she needs to give an unbiased, accurate and up to date view of what M&B romance –writing and reading – is all about. We have a chance to put our case and have it heard and reported fairly.As Natasha Oakley says: It’s a big deal if one of the UK major TV channels wants to make a positive programme on us.

So here’s Julie’s letter asking for contributions and for people to talk to her about what they love about Mills & Boon, why you love to read it or write it. I hope that lots of you will volunteer to chat with her so that she can get as wide arrange of opinions, interests, ages etc as possible.


The only limit I have to mention is that, obviously, due to budget restrictions and the fact that most commissioning editors only want UK based ideas, Julie is looking for UK readers and writers for the final documentary:

Hi there, my name’s Julie. I’m a documentary maker and a fan of romantic fiction. I want to make a warm, intelligent documentary that celebrates the Mills & Boon publishing phenomenon in the year of its centenary. I want the film to take us into the personal worlds of Mills & Boon novelists and avid readers, to uncover the secrets of Mills & Boon’s enduring success and find answers to the perennial question ‘What do women really want ?!?!’.

I’m at the very early stages of research and at this point I’m very keen to chat to devoted fans of Mills & Boon novels, to hear what it is about the books that they love so much. I would also really love to hear from Mills & Boon novelists, to learn more about their lives & writing. I had a really exciting and inspiring meeting with Kate last week and she very kindly offered to let me make this posting on her website. So please do get in touch if you would be willing to talk. All discussion at this point would be off-camera and you’d be under no obligation to appear in the final documentary.

I look forward to hearing from you and telling you more about my project.

All the best
Julie Moggan
juliemoggan@yahoo.com


So if you think you can help, if you'd like to talk to Julie and tell her what you love about writing or reading romance, and why you think Mills & Boon has been such an incredible force in publishing, starting back in 1908 and still thriving, bigger and brighter than ever100 years later, why not get in touch with Julie - you can email her here - and let's see if we can make this the best, the most accurate - and the most celebratory documentary on M&B we can.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

12 Point Guide 2 - More winners!

I have more winners! Some of my wonderful guests have picked t names from the people who have commented and they have let me know who has won their prize - so - fanfare and trumpets - here are the lucky winners:

Trish Morey's winner is "Alissa who said in response to Natasha's q - "I like hearing about the trips author's have planned and how this influences their upcoming books". Will keep that in mind for my own website updates in light of upcoming trip later this year!"

Natasha Oakley herself chose Mulberry for her helpful comment " Thinking about author's websites, most of what I would say has already been covered, but I feel for me the main thing is to get a sense of the person behind the books. It needs to offer a lot more than the covers and blurbs (we can get these from the M&B or Harlequin sites), more personal information and snippets about writing the book."

Michelle Reid chose Robynl as her winner.

Joanna Maitland chose Maureen

And India Grey chose Jennybrat (actually, she didn't chose - it was India's daughhter who did the picking, so you have her to thank, Jenny!)

Finally - Trish Wylie chose Virginia

And if you entered Susan Stephens contest - she'll be announcing the winner on her web site later today.

So - winners please email me with your postal addresses and I'll send your details on to the wonderful author who has donated your prize. Congratulations all!

And the special news that I had to hold back on yesterday until the authors themselves had announced it comes from the Romantic Time Awards , announced at their Convention in Pittsburgh:

Liz Fielding was awarded a Career Achievement Award for Love & Laughter in romantic fiction.This award is self-explanatory. It’s not for just one book, but for a body of work.

Trish Wylie won Best Harlequin Romance with Rescued, Mother-To-Be

Natasha Oakley won Best Harlequin Presents with The Tycoon's Princess Bride

and Holly Jacobs won Best Everlasting Love with The House on Briar Hill Road

Once again congratulations, ladies - I have such talented friends. (and generous ones too as they've all offered prizes)

And tomorrow I have some of that news I've been promising do come back for that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

London Book Fair and the real launch

You're an impatient lot!

I said that I had some good news, but I had a party to orgainse and revisions to do on Santos's story. I've been busy. But you can't wait - I've been getting emails wanting to know what's happening, when I'm going to post the news . . . and what happened in London. . . .?



Well, one bit of news I still can't tell you. I'm waiting for the official announcement on that, but there's one bit of exciting news I can let you have this week.So watch this space.

And what happened in London - I can definitely do that . . .



I've never been to London Book Fair before but I knew it was big. It's held in Earls Court so that gave me some idea of what it would be like. But just driving up to the front of the venue, while impressive, doesn't give the full idea of what it was like inside.

Behind those doors it's a bit like a Tardis, opening out bigger and bigger. And what I didn't know at first was that there's Earls Court 1 and Earls Court 2 so there was even more of it! It's huge. Even the official guide to who's exhibiting and what they do was inches thick. I was glad that the Magnet and I had been sent tickets by the publisher of 12PGTWR2 - some people had to pay £35 to get in!


We didn't have a lot of time to wander round as we'd travelled down from Lincolnshire that day so we didn't get to the BookFair until the afternoon. But there was one exhibitor that I was determined to see, and that of course was the Harlequin Mills and Boon stand.


It was a particular thrill to see it this time because of course the displays were celebrating the wonderful 100th birthday that Mills and Boon are having and the centenary year logo was very much on display - as were hundreds of books from all the different lines. And there were a lot of visitors - this photo was taken at the end of the day, when everyone was on their way home so that you can see the stand more clearly.




At the HMB stand I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Anne Coquet, the Editorial Director of ├ęditionsHarlequin - Harlequin France - who was over for the Book Festival.
We were able to have a chat and Anne tells me that there are four of my books coming out in France in 2008.
I already knew about the French edition of Their Secret Baby (Une rencontre troublante) as a copy came through the post only last month, but I didn't know that The Italian's Forced Bride (Un mariage en Toscane ) will be out in May - and there will be two more - I've no idea yet which titles those will be.
Harlequin France is also celebrating this year - they are 30 years old in 2008.

Congratulations Harlequin!

After talking to Anne, and to our own Editorial Director Karin Stoecker, I realised that I had better make my way to the launch party or I would be late. Studymates is only a small publisher and they are based in Wales, so this meant that we had to work out how to get into Earls Court 2 and then find the Welsh publishers stands. We managed it, with some help from one of the official guides, just in time to have a glass of wine and toast the new edition which was on display for the first time.

And I finally got my hands on the revised and expanded second edition. It looks just great - the reduction in size, from a trade paperback to a normal paperback edition means that it is more compat that the first edition, but it's also a lot thicker. It's a solid book, very nicely produced and with clear print inside. Excellent.

I was able to meet both the printer and the typesetter who had worked on the book and thank them for their work in getting it out on time after it had been delayed in editorial so that I hadn't been sure it was going to be out on the publication date of April 8th. The typesetter, Sandhar
had come all the way from India so I was happy to sign a copy of the book for him to take back and show his team there. You can see him in this picture with me, Graham Lawler the Director of Studymates and his wife and HMB's Editorial Director Karin Stoecker who was kind enough to come to the launch - as did M&B editors Suzanne Clarke and Jenny Hutton.


I met a lot of people - names and faces blurred at times but I know I talked with other Welsh publishers, with wholesalers, booksellers, distributors. There were familiar faces too - Hazel Cushion from Accent Press who I've met at Caerleon and even Johanna who was on my Writing Romance course in Fishguard in 2006 turned up. Congratulations on the MA Johanna!

I was given all sorts of snippets of news about the 2nd edition - let's see - Graham told me that they'd sold the Indian rights to the book just that morning. This will probably be as a result of M&B's expansion into India where The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife was one of the launch books and Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife was also on sale last month. I understand too that M&B will be actively looking for an Indian writer so that may connect well with my book.

What else? Amazon.com will be listing it - they will also hopefully be stocking it directly in America which will mean it's easier for USA writers to get hold of it and you'll get it quicker - so if you wrote to Amazon to ask about it, then thank you! Also Barnes & Noble will be stocking it on their site and - hopefully - in their shop. But they want to take a look at the new edition first - so keep asking for it in B&N shops! The more word of mouth interest there is, the more likely it will be that it will be on general sale in America and so hopefully more writers will be able to find it more easily.
The launch was only supposed to be from 5pm till 5.45 but it was after 6.30 before I was able to get away, feet aching, mind spinning and jaw aching from smiling! It had been a great afternoon - and there was one more little thrill in store for me. It was
as we walked past the now empty Mills & Boon stand that I suddenly realised that there, right at the front of the shelf displaying the special 100th Birthday Collection was my very first sight of the cover of my own The Duke's Secret Wife which is on sale in August. So naturally I had to take a photo of that - it's the middle book here, the one with the blue top to the retro-style cover.
And that was my first day in London - more details - and some exciting news coming soon.
In the meantime, the cyber launch party is still going on for a little while. Until I hear from the authors who have donated prizes for the posting over the weekend, you can still post a comment there and be in with a chance to win - so don't miss out - visit Saturday's blog and be in with a chance of winning!
PS - Talking of good news - I can't actually announce it until they have done, but some of my lovely guests from the Laucnh Party have great news of their own to anounce - so keep a look out on Liz Fielding, Natasha Oakley, Trish Wylie and Holly Jacobs' blogs and be ready to give them special congratulations.
I'll just hug the secret to myself until they let you know - and say CONGRATULATIONS ladies!

Friday, April 18, 2008

12 Point Guide 2 Launch Party 5


Well, the party is starting to wind down now, but there's still a few bottles of champagne left and some tasty nibbles if you're hungry. And I have a final set of guests to introduce to you let them chat - and offer prizes.


There are an extra few guests today because the party eneds this weekend - and I will be busy tomorrow so these wonderful authors will keep you entertained till Monday - and you'll have plenty of time to comment because there are plenty of prizes on offer.



The great thing about the guests who have joined us at the party, and the writers who have contributed the From the Writers' Desks section of the 12PGTWR2 are from so many of the successful lines published by Harlequin and Mills & Boon. And today's authors are no exception.


First, here's one of the great Historical Romance authors - Joanna Maitland :


Joanna says:
Kate Walker has written a really accessible guide to the craft of writing romantic fiction which I always recommend. Can't wait to see the new, improved version. I'm sure it will do exactly what it says on the tin.



Joanna's next book out is published in September and it's part of The Aikenhead Honours trilogy. Three gentlemen spies: bound by duty, undone by women!Book 1 is His Cavalry Lady


Joanna's Prize -She can't offer His Cavalry Lady as there are no copies available yet. But she is offering a copy of one of her other books - like Bride of the Solway that I've shown here.



Joanna blogs on the Regency Authors' blog that you can find here


My next guest needs no introduction . She's the brilliant Presents author, Michelle Reid.

Michelle was so keen to join us that she posted her quote in the comments section a few days ago, but I've rescued it and now I can post it here:


Huge congrats on the 2nd Edition Kate! Yet another must-have to join my well used first edition. So - so useful even for an oldy like me!


Michelle's next book out is coming in May in both UK and USA - the title is The Markonos Bride. She's offering a signed copy of this book to her winner, chosen from the comments over the weekend.



She's having her web site revamped so watch out for the new look coming soon - you can find it here


Next is another of the talented new Presents authors - India Grey.


India says:


Hurrah for the launch of the fantastic all-new 12 Point Guide! For me, discovering this book was like being on a really arduous, lonely journey and suddenly finding not only a road map, but an excessively knowledgeable, infinitely kind and sympathetic guide who was willing to hold my hand along the way. Anyone setting off on the road to publication-- don't even think of leaving home without it!


India's next book is out in August and it's so new that I don't even have a cover for it yet. The title is: Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure .

You'll soon be able to read more about this book on India's website which is here
India's prize:
I'm expecting the pink hardbacks of my August release in the next few weeks, so I can offer one of those (as soon as they arrive!) to a randomly picked commenter

The Presents authors are coming in in droves today - here's another, the lovely lady I had lunch with only last week - and that's Susan Stephens

Susan says:


Wishing one of my favourite authors and favourite people all the richly deserved success in the world. Susanxxx

Susan's next book is Desert King, Pregnant Mistress (UK June) (US August)

Susan's Prize:
A signed copy of one of her books

Susan's question:
What is the name of my heroine in Desert King, Pregnant Mistress, and the sheikh she meets in the desert kingdom?

The answer can be found on Susan's website

IMPORTANT:
Send your answer for this question to lee@susanstephens.net


Now here's an author who writes for a couple of lines - and the advice she gives in 12PGTWR2 is for both of them - she's Irish author, Trish Wylie

Trish says:

I can't tell you how proud I was to be a small part of Kate Walker's second edition of the 12 Point Guide, the book that has launched so many writing careers. When we started our Writer's Wednesday at The Pink Heart Society and new authors would tell us their road to publication story - the 12 Point Guide appeared again and again and again. So bravo Kate and here's to the second edition




Trish writes for the Romance line and Modern Heat and her next book is out in the Modern Heat Line in May with the title



Claimed By The Billionaire Bad Boy. For those of you who read Trish's blog, you'll know this as Gabe's book.

Trish is offering a signed copy of one of her books to someone picked from the comments today or tomorrow.

Another guest who writes for another line is Romance author and RITA nominee Natasha Oakley

Here's what Natasha has to say:
When I began writing romance I joined the Romantic Novelists' Association and submitted a manuscript to their 'New Writers' Scheme'. I didn't know it then but my 'mystery reader' was Kate Walker. What I received back was a five page detailed report. More important than that were the ticks throughout my 'book' where I'd written something she liked and the frequent 'cut for pace' note she'd written in the margin where I'd gone off on a tangent. It was a masterclass - and I knew it. Kate also sent me the first edition of the 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance. If writing a Harlequin Mills & Boon is your aim you truly do not need another 'How To' book. I found there were sections which confirmed what I was doing and built my confidence, other sections which saved me years of writing 'near-misses'. Buy it!

Natasha's next book out is Wanted: White Wedding- Harlequin Romance out in May in the UK and NA.
Natasha's Prize:
As a prize I offer The Tycoon's Princess Bride - that's the book she has shortlisted for the RITA


Natasha's question:
I'm currently revamping my website after a year of ignoring it. What features do you particularly like to see? The answer that surprises me most wins the book!'


And the final guest, last maybe but definitely not least is another Trish - this time it's Trish Morey who's come all the way from Australia to help with the celebrations


And Trish says:

Kate, I was never able to recommend a writing how-to with so much assurance it would be valuable, if not a godsend, to writers than the first edition of your 12 Point Guide. I have no doubt the second edition is going to be even more valuable. Thanks for updating such a useful text!


Trish's next book out will be The Italian Boss's Mistress of Revenge - out in August in America, September in UK . Another book that's too new for me to have copy of the cover, so I'm using the cover of the book that Trish is giving away as a prize - The Boss's Christmas Baby, another one you can win just by commenting.

You can find out more about this book and the one Trish has coming up over on her web site.


And that's it - lots of wonderful authors, many of whom have donated great prizes - and all of whom have contributed great advice to that From The Authors' Desks chapter in 12PGTWR2.

A great big THANK YOU to them all for their generosity in both ways.


Now if you want to win one of these prizes you know what you have to do - you just need to drop by the comments section and leave a note.
Except for Susan Stephens question which you answer through the email given

So - get commenting! And you never know your luck!

12 Point Guide Launch - Winners!

I'm back! I had a great, hectic time and I'm still trying to catch up. I have lots to report, there are still some more guests for the launch party - and I have revisions to do for Santos - ain't life fun? Well, it's never boring, that's for sure.

But first of all, I have some winners to announce so here they are:
Yvonne Lindsay's winner is Sue Child - which just goes to show you don't have to make a long comment to be in with a chance to win - just a comment!
Kate Hardy's prize goes to Michelle Douglas because she says she recognises the reverse psychology her dad used!
and fianlly, Julie Cohen's prize goes to Dina, because Julie loved this post:
To answer Julie Cohen's question on advice: I was told by my daughter to always "SMILE at least once a day", no matter what kind of day you're having.
So, Sue, Michelle and Dina please email me with your postal addresses and I'll get them to your generous authors so that they can send on the prize to you.

And a special thank you to the wonderful authors.
I'll be back with the last few party guests . . .

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

12 Point Guide 2 Launch Party 4

I'm dashing today because I'm setting off for London, literally any minute.
This afternoon I'll be at the London Book Fair for the real launch party for 12PGTWR2, but I'll leave you with some really wonderful guests who will chat with you and I'm sure you won't miss me.

My apologies to the people who have sent in questions for the Writers' Q&A which has been rather pushed to the side in the chaos that has been my life this past week or so. I have not forgotten you and I still plan on answering the questions just as soon as I get back from London and can breathe again.

So watch this space.

And when I get back I will have winners to annouce as well.
So I'll see you Thursday and in the meantime, enjoy meeting today's guests.

The first of these is Holly Jacobs who says:
Kate Walker's book is a must-have for any writer's bookshelf. It's clear, concise, informative!! Okay, so when I say things like that you might think I'm biased since I think Kate's one of the loveliest ladies around, but my copy of the book is on my reference shelf, within arm's reach of my desk! Congrats, Kate!
Holly's prize:
The winner can pick a book from my backlist (although there are a few that I'm now out of, I have copies of most.)
Holly's next book out is Same Time Next Summer, SuperRomance, in August.

I don't yet have a cover for Same Time Next Summer, but the lovely House on Briar Hill Road is still around on Amazon. And you can read more about Holly's books on her web site


My next guest is a lovely author from Australia - Ally Blake who writes for both the Modern Heat and Romance lines. Welcome Ally!

Ally says:

The second edition is here! The second edition is here! For anyone out there who does not have a copy of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance, run, don't walk, down to your local bookshop and buy one now. And I just ain't saying that, Kate, because you sooooo kindly asked me to be involved ;). When our published members of the Pink Heart Society get together to say which book helped them most on their journey to becoming a romance author, your wonderful book comes up trumps time and time again. And if that ain't a stamp of approval I don't know what is. A big fat humungous congrats on the release of the second edition and here's to it helping spawn a new generation of romance authors for us all to fall in love with!


Ally's next Modern Heat novel The Magnate's Indecent Proposal hits UK bookshelves in May . You can find her at her website.

Now I'd like you to say hello to Nicola Cornick who writes such fabulous historical novels.

Nicola says:
It's been great to be able to recommend The Twelve Point Guide to lots of aspiring authors who have contacted me for writing advice and I'm thrilled to know that I've been able to make a small contribution to the new book. Thank you, Kate, and I wish the book every success. When it comes to good, practical advice for would-be authors the 12 Point Guide is the best!"
Nicola's next book is The Last Rake in London - May 2008 from Mills & Boon Historicals and June 2008 from Harlequin Historicals

Nicola's Prize:
I'd love to offer a copy of The Last Rake in London as a prize
Nicola's question is:
Which historical period would you like to have been born in?
(Answer in the comments as usual please)
You can find more about Nicola on her website.
And last but not least is Presents auhtor Abby Green .
Here's what Abby has to say:
HUGE congratulations to Kate on this occasion, the launch of the second edition of her world famous 12 point guide to writing romance. It helped me along my way and then I was lucky enough to meet Kate and get her to sign my copy, and I've subsequently ordered it and also lent my own precious copy to various other aspiring authors.No doubt it's featuring right now in someone else's path to publication and the new edition will be even more fabulous than the last one. Even more encouraging. Even more inspirational and even more jam packed with helpful advice and exercises.Thanks for all the hard work you've put into it Kate...x Abby Green

Abby's next next book out is The Mediterranean Billionaire's Blackmail Bargain in July

You can read more about Abby and her books on her website
And don;t forget that all these fabulous authors are partying with me because they contributed to 12PGTWR2 by offering thier own personal tips and advice on writing romance in general and the lines they write for in particular.

Keep commenting for a chance to win - and I'll be back before you know it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

12 Point Guide Launch Party - Winners!


I have winners ! (I also have a streaming cold thanks to the Babe Magnet's generosity - this is going to make me look SO good at the official 12PGTWR2 tomorrow !)

Anyway - the bit I like - announcing winners:


Anne McAllister says:

The winner of The Boss's Wife For A Week is acdaisy95.
Congrats to acdaisy and to you, Kate, on the 2nd edition of your book!

Michelle Styles sent me an email yesterday to say:

I pulled a winner from the hat this morning and it was:
Jane Cheung
I have sent an email to her and hopefully the books will be winging their way to her shortly.


Jane's on a lucky streak - that's her second prize!


And finally there's one from Annie West
Popped over to your blog and randomly selected a winner. It's Peggy.

So winners - here's what you do - email me with your postal address and I'll send your details to the lovely author who donated your prize. Jane of course has already been contacteed - so acdaisy95, and Peggy need to email me.

And I'll hope to post more winners soon - Kate Hardy, Julie Cohen and Yvonne Lindsay will choose their winners at the end of today - so you have plenty of time to post and maybe win.

Back soon - Aaaaachooooo!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

12 Point Guide Launch party 3

My party post got delayed yesterday - I was too busy having fun!

The Babe Magnet had a signing in Borders for several of his Grim and Gruesome books (Yorkshire Murderous Women/Yorkshire Hangmen/ Hauntings in Yorkshire - do you see why we had to go to - well, Yorkshire for this?). So I went along and because a special friend - the lovely Susan Stephens who also writes for Modern/Presents - lives close by, we arranged to meet up. The Magnet and I went back to Susan's gorgeous home and had lunch with her and her totally charming Alpha Male husband, her beautiful younger daughter and the sweetnatured hound Her Royal Bettyship.



Thank you Susan! We had a fantastic time. So much so that we all forgot to take photos. Susan herself will be dropping into this party later on.



We were having so much fun and eating wonderful food that I forgot all about the time and about blogs and such like - so when I got home I had no energy left to post the next party post, never mind answer the Q&A - but I'll make up for that today because we have four more very special guests who have come to help me celebrate the launch of 12PGTWR2.


Today I have a real selection of guests who help to show just how much range there is in the romance writing worls. Each one of them is successful in their own line - some in more than one.
And each opf them has offered their own personal advice and tips on writing in 12PGTWR2

First up is Kate Hardy - aka Scary Kate.
Kate says:

Congratulations, Kate, on the second edition of a book which was already superb the first time round. It's one of the very few 'how to write' books I will recommend, because it's practical and down-to-earth and most definitely not scary!


Scary Kate of course has lots of books coming up - in Medicals there's The Doctor's Royal Love Child (UK April release) and in Presents Extra there's In Bed With Her Italian Boss (US April release - aka Breakfast at Giovanni's, which won the RNA Romance Prize 2008).
You can read more about these books on Scary's website



Kate's Prize:
Kate's offering a signed copy of The Doctor's Royal Love Child and she will pick her winner at random from posters of comments - so you know what to do!





Now a party wouldn't be much success without some handsome men around so here's Gill Sanderson (and it you didn't already know this - Gill is a distinguished gentleman with a moustache) who writes for Medical Romance,



Gill says:


I'm glad there's another copy of Kate Walker's Guide to Writing Romance coming out - I might have written 45 books for HMB, but I still find the Guide useful and interesting. It's also one of the most borrowed of my books. My present, much-thumbed, copy is now decidedly tatty. I need a new one!

(There's a new copy on its way to you, Gill - just as oon as I get my hands on them!)


Gill's next Medical title is Nurse Bride, Bayside Wedding coming out in May. It's one of the Penhally Bay series.

Now here's a very special friend who has her own reason for celebrating today. It's Julie Cohen's birthday (so go and wish her a happy birthday when you leave here!)

Happy Birthday from me, Julie love!
Julie says:

Before I was published, I was lucky enough to attend Kate's seminars and to get her advice on a book I was writing. She gave me two pieces of advice I will never forget, and which took my writing to another level. That book she helped me with went on to become my first published novel with Harlequin Mills & Boon. Since then, I've taught a course alongside Kate, and that was just as much a learning experience as a teaching one. Kate's a natural teacher and when she talks about writing you can see her listeners' eyes light up with sudden insight.


I've got a well-thumbed copy of the 12-Point Guide on my bookcase, with all my precious writing books, and I refer to it often. I still use Kate's character questionnaire every time I start a story. And I recommend her book to aspiring and experienced romance writers alike. It's easily one of the top titles out there about writing romance, and about writing category romance in particular. Im glad there's another edition so that I'll be able to recommend it more easily!
New books Julie has coming up:
For US readers, I've got a Harlequin Presents Extra out this month, Mistress in Private. It's about...well, let's cut to the chase, shall we? It's about hot sex with a male model. Yeee-haw!

For UK readers, my Little Black Dress book One Night Stand is on the shelves. It's the story of Eleanor Connor, an erotic comedy writer who gets pregnant by mistake after a one night stand with a stranger, and enlists her best friend and neighbour, serial-shagger and pastry chef Hugh, to search for the father.
You can find out more about both these books over on Julie's web site
Julie's Prize
I've got a copy of ONE NIGHT STAND to send to the most inspirational or amusing answer to the following question:
Julie's Question
What was the best (or worst) piece of advice you've ever received? I'll choose a winner from the comments.

Oh, and those two pieces of advice Kate gave me, which I'll never forget--one about emotional punch, and one about character motivation? They're both in the book, so you'll have to read it, if you haven't already, and see.
Finally we have New Zealand author Yvonne Lindsay who followed my advice to be brave - and now her courage has made her a very succesful author for the Desire line.

Here's Yvonne:
I keep my much-highlighted, well-thumbed, post-it-noted copy of Kate’s first edition of the 12-Point Guide nearby at all times. As well as being packed full of sound and logical advice, it’s a great reference to trigger off a new tangent in your work or even just to give you a judicious kick in the rear when your writing isn’t going quite as well as you want it to. Congratulations, Kate, on launching a second edition of this most excellent writing aid. Really, it’s like having you at my side while I work, and who couldn’t benefit from that?


Yvonne Lindsay’s next release is due out in the NA market in June 2008. Jealousy and a Jewelled Proposition is book 6 in the fabulous Diamonds Down Under Continuity and is available for pre-order now through Amazon.
You can find out more about this book on Yvonne's web site.

Yvonne's prize:
She's giving away a copy of my February 2008 release, TYCOON’S VALENTINE VENDETTA.
And Yvonne will pick her winner from everyone who posts.
Oh - and if you choose to answer Julie's question, then all those posts will be included in the draw for the other prizes as well as Julie's - so get posting!
And I haven't forgotten about the Writers' Q&A - I've just had no time. But I promise there will be more answers just as soon as I can manage them!
 

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