Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Courses - a PS

As  a PS to my earlier post about courses -  I just heard  from the organisers of Writers' Holiday and  it seemed there are places available unexpectedly for this summer's event in July.

So  - to remind you that this year Writers' Holiday is at the lovely seaside town of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Wales  in   the
 Fishguard Bay Hotel.   Here's what I say about this lovely event on my Events Page -

In the summer, I’ll be going back to one of my favourite events and taking part in the Writers’ Holiday at Caerleon 2013. This is one of the highlights of my year, with a warm and friendly welcome from Anne and Gerry, fantastic food, lively conversation – and lots of fun. Every year I look forward to going back again.
But this year the set-up will be rather different. Writers’ Holiday has moved to Fishguard Pembrokeshire and the Fishguard Bay Hotel. There will be a different format but the same welcoming atmosphere.
Summer Writers' Holiday
  • Dates: Monday 21st July - Saturday 26th July 2014
  • Cost: £499  (That's all in  - accommodation - food - courses - Welsh Choir concert - all you'll need will be money for the bar or perhaps to pick up a book in the Bookroom.)

  • Course: A Complete Introduction to Writing Contemporary Romance
This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write a popular romance genre novel. It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from creating realistic characters, sustaining pace and conflict, packing emotional punch, writing sex scenes and crafting a satisfying ending. While the focus may be on romance novels, the techniques – dialogue, characters, tension, pacing, settings, hooks etc will also be relevant to all forms of popular fiction.

There are spaces on my course this year - the more the merrier.

You can choose to follow ONE course from 1-4 and ONE course from 5-8.
Courses run during the mornings only Tuesday – Friday
Other courses
1. The Complete Poetry Course - James Nash
2. The Complete Contemporary Romance Course - Kate Walker
3. The Complete Article writer Simon Whaley -
4. Painting And Drawing Andrew Earney

5. The Complete Short Story Course - Della Galton
6. The Complete Novel Course Marina Oliver
7. The Complete Crime Writing Course Simon Hall
8. Painting And Drawing Andrew Earney

This is along with the other great things on the programme:

Afternoon sessions 'after tea' will consist of a series of workshops, seminars, discussion groups and talks, all designed to broaden experience. Normally there will be a minimum of four choices, from which delegates can choose to do one daily. These 'after tea' sessions will take place on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons.
Daily Monday to Thursday there are a series of main lectures which will further broaden the outlook of delegates attending the event. Some will be serious, others humorous - all are worth attending.
Friday evening only, after dinner, gives delegates the opportunity of sampling a little of the singing reserved normally for the communities of Wales. This private concert will start at 8.00pm and the excellent Cwmbach Male Voice Choirwill also adjourn to the bar after - an evening not to be missed.

There are  3 rooms available - if you're coming on your own. But if you have a friend/a  partner/ to share the room with then the rooming plan can be adjusted to provide  sea view twins with balcony for  2 people sharing.

So if you're interested - grab a place while they are still available.  Maybe come along with a friend?

Details of this event are on the Writers' Holiday web site

New courses

OK - so here are the new courses coming up later  this year.

Just a reminder that the basic course at Weetwood Hall (16-18 May) can still take an extra student or two if you book now.  And Writers' Holiday (21st -26th July)  may have a cancellation - not sure if those have been filled or not. But you can always enquire!

Those are the courses that prepare you to join the Advance Romance Writing Course at Fishguard in February' I know that's booking up well - but it's ages away!

So these are two new courses -  both at Weetwood Hall Leeds.  The first one is a new concept - for people who are already embarked on writing a romantic novel and would like a weekend of concentrated  focus,
 writing, discussions and one to one advice. That' why it's called:

Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction
A Retreat at Weetwood Hall   Leeds
Dates:  26-28 September 2014
Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction is a guided writing retreat for people who have been on a course before  or who need to do exactly as it says on the tin – Focus  on their writing. Where you’ll have time and space away from the real world to write and reflect on your novel. You’ll also  have the opportunity to work with me to discuss the novel, work through problems,  brainstorm new ideas, and get it ready for submission. There will be some relaxed group sessions designed to make you think deeply about your writing, and during the weekend there will be scheduled for one-to-one time where you can ask all the questions that have been bothering you.  This retreat is designed for people who have already started work on a novel and who want time to focus on that  - and not have to worry about anything else.

On a Focus retreat,   all rooms booked are single rooms which gives you comfort  and privacy and the time to yourself,  with all food provided. To get away from family and home chores – to concentrate on writing – and  have  professional advice/input/discussion.  Meeting like-minded people who love writing/popular fiction/romantic novels is always something my students say they value. So there will be plenty of opportunity to do that.

Then the following month there's a very practical course dealing with all those bits and pieces you need to know  to make sure you get your novel ready to submit.
Before You Submit your Novel – The Practicalities
Weetwood Hall Leeds
Dates:  24 – 26 October 2014

Attend as a Day Visitor or Residential Member
Get your novel ready to send to a publisher.
This course will cover the preparation needed before  submitting your novel to a publisher: 
•             Writing a synopsis that sells your story.
•             Polishing those first three chapters.
•             What to include in your covering letter – introducing yourself to the Editor (or Agent).
•             Pitching the unique selling point of your story
•             Pinpointing the type of reader and the market you’re aiming at.

Full details and application forms for these courses can be found on the Relax and Write web site
And  as I've been asked to run a couple more courses next year  -including one at the lovely Gladstone's Library in   March 2015 - keep your eye on the Events page of my web site  which I'll be updating soon. 
Oh yes - and it's not a course but I'm doing a library talk as part of the Doncaster Libraries   Turn The Page Literary Festival   :
Wednesday 4 June, 3p.m. - 4.30p.m.
Authors Kate Walker and Stephanie Cage – Central Lending Library, Waterdale

Behind the Hearts and Flowers. Popular Mills & Boon author Kate Walker will be talking about being a romantic novelist and her latest book, which is released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of her very first book! Joining her will be new author Stephanie Cage who is a Doncaster-based romance writer and author of Perfect Partners (Crimson Romance).
Ticket Price £3
Further details on the Doncaster Library  web site.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Now where was I . . .?

Sorry for the delay in updating this blog - one of the things about being a published author is that in order to keep that title you have  to write - and that takes time and focus. Life has been hectic anyway, and I've needed to carve out time to spend with a sexy Italian and his wife of convenience, to get their story told.  

So that's where I've been and what I've been doing  - on the writing front anyway.
On the teaching front, I've been thrilled by the response to the new Kindle edition of the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance  - and want to send many thanks to everyone who  bought a copy  at the special promo price |(and to the wonderful friends and fellow authors who spread the word that it was available.)  The ebook is now on sale at it's proper price - but as that is only $3.99 - or  £2.45 in the UK., I still reckon this is a bargain compared to the  price of the paperback. Plus,   the Kindle edition is easily available to more countries  - copies have sold in Germany, France, Australia and Canada - all with just one click! I love ebooks.

I'll admit I never thought I'd say that but I do love ebooks. I love the ease with which I can buy them, the way that I can store hundreds on my reader and not clutter up my room. I'm never without something to read, travelling is easy - just throw the reader in my bag and I  will never run out of  reading matter or if I should do, then  it's easy to get hold of something new.

Not that I'm ever likely to need to do that  . . . the problem is that my Kindle sits on my desk beside me as I
write this - and if during the day I spot an interesting title, then  the temptation is very strong . . . and I was never good at resisting temptation - at least not where books are concerned!

And as a writer, the great thing about ebooks is the way that old titles  get a  whole new lease of life as people discover them. When I was first published , Harlequin romances were in the shops for one month and that was it.  They sold, or they didn't and there was little chance of getting  a copy once the month was over. Sometimes, a book might be reprinted as a 'Bestseller'  - but that would be years later.  I often used to get letters/emails from readers looking for a replacement copy of an old book - or to catch up on one
they'd missed  and  it was difficult to help them.

Now I have old titles out in ebook  form - and it's great to see  - as I did this morning - that older titles like  Kept For Her Baby, At The Sheikh's Command,  The Italian's Forced Bride and Cordero's Forced Bride are out there in the list of bestseller for Modern Romances on Amazon UK.

Oh - and btw -  if you buy  your ebooks from the Mills & Boon web site - they've now introduced a brand new app  which is the best way to read Adobe® Content Server protected eBooks on your iOS device.

What else? Oh yes - courses - I need to update the info on the courses coming up   including one special
retreat style event called Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction - but there's an Italian calling to me so I'll post about that tomorrow.

If you're still looking for a basic course - check out the details  on the upcoming course at Weetwood Hall -   below -  it has filled up but if you're interested I can find another space for you.  Details are also on the Events page of  my web site and on the Relax and Write website here

More details on the other course(s) and the Focus retreat as soon as I get some more words added to my total for Dario and Alyse! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This and that . . .

Today is the 12th April  so it's the date for my regular post over on the Tote Bags 'N' Blogs  blog site.

Today I'm talking about a job I thought I never wanted to do  - and that now I find I'm doing - and actually enjoying . And no, it's not writing romance!  But it is connected with the republication of the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance.

Which reminds me - the special introductory price for this book has been a great success - but it's now coming to an end.   If you want to get the book for the amazing price of £0.77 or $0.99, you need to act now!

Oh yes - and there's a great review of the 12 Point Guide over on the Pink Heart Society blog today., My thanks go to Michelle Styles for the great write up - I have to admit that I love the idea of  the book being
'classic text on writing series romance'!

Friday, April 11, 2014

More on Courses - what's coming up?

So, to answer those questions about what courses are coming up  - and what they'll   contain -

I have two 'basic' courses coming up in 2014. These are the courses for someone who has never been on a course on writing romantic fiction before.  They cover the essentials of writing  romantic fiction - well, really any sort of fiction.

They take the information  given in the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance and  add in extra depth, writing exercises, time for Q&A s and discussion.  There's also plenty of time to relax and talk with your fellow students, discuss the topics in the workshops - and to work on your own novels.    That's why they are Relax and Write or  Writers' Holidays. You get a break as well as learning.

Dates - 16th - 18th May 2014  _arrival from 3pm on the Friday afternoon
These courses are informal and fun.

The first one coming up is the Relax and Write course which is being held at Weetwood Hall  in Leeds.  

Cost: £240

Every student who books on this course will be able to have their own single room for privacy and relaxation - and of course to write!
All meals - from Friday Dinner to Sunday Breakfast - are provided as are tea and coffee. 
There are 9 teaching sessions ( 45 mins - 1 hour)  and time to relax/write/dream is built into the course

·         Creating realistic characters
·         Sustaining pace and conflict
·         Packing emotional punch
·         Writing sex scenes
·         Crafting a satisfactory ending.
If you’re just starting out writing romance, or you’ve written a manuscript or two but are not yet published and are interested in honing your skills, this course is for you.

Because the numbers on this course are kept small to keep it relaxed and informal,  spaces are limited & demand has been high.  But we have recently added a couple of extra places so if you want to join us, there are still spaces. To book contact   Write and Relax    organiser Lois Bird Maddox  through her web site - or  further details on my Events page.
Also on this weekend is the course  
Creative Writing & the Art of Self-Discovery - with Stephen Wade  and introduction to journalling and  the ways it can help you in your writing.

Non-participating partners welcome.

The other basic course I run has always been  at one my favourite events and places of the year - when the Babe Magnet  and I head for Wales  - again  - and join the wonderful Anne & Gerry Hobbs and all the  other tutors and students at - well,  up until now it has been at  Caerleon but this year the venue has changed  - and as a result, the format of the event has changed slightly too.  It may be held at Fishguard now, with slightly different time schedule and dates - But this is still Writers' Holiday and I'm so looking forward to it again this year.

Writers' Holiday 
Monday 21st July -  Saturday 26th July 2014
Cost £499
So  this Writers' Holiday will mean a week in the Fishguard Bay Hotel,  with wonderful views of the sea - inspiration is bound to strike!   Delegates will choose two courses from a selection of eight. Each course will
consist of eight, one hour lectures or workshops and will run during the mornings and afternoons, Tuesday - Friday.

All meals are provided - together with tea and coffee -  so as always, all you'll need is the cash to spend in the bookroom - or the bar!

The format of the course will be very much as above - but this time there will be the rest of the week to either choose and take another course if you want. There are After Tea sessions and of course the annual visit of the Cwmbach Male Voice Choir
Again, non writing partners are welcome and  information is provided of activities and places to visit in  the area for anyone who is not doing a course.

This years' Writers' Holiday was booked up but there have been a  couple of unexpected cancellations  so if you're interested  contact Gerry  on the web site  and you might just get a place.   Again, there are  details on my Events Page.

These two courses mean that you'll be well prepared to attend the Advance Romance Writing Course in Fishguard in February 2015 if you want to.

So those are the two basic courses - I'll post some more details of other events coming up - including special writing retreat weekends  as soon as I can.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Books and Courses

Thank you so very much to everyone who has helped to make the relaunch of  the 12 Point Guide in ebook such a huge success. I've been thrilled by the interest these has been in this book, and watching  it being downloaded in large numbers day after day has been fantastic.

It ended up at #1 on the Amazon lists for Writing skills on both  and  and it's been up there ever since.   So a great big thank you to everyone who contributed to this - the friends and fellow authors who shared the news on Facebook and Twitter and the readers who down loaded  it so enthusiastically.  I've really appreciated it.

Of course, there has been a different sort of response to this  new interest in the book - I  said when I wrote it that my aim was to try and  give something of the feeling of being at one of my courses, to work through the most important points about writing romantic fiction (in fact, any sort of fiction - as one of the comments in the book says, even while directed specifically at romance,  this workbook can be used to help anyone who wants to write fiction).  I know that many people can't get to a course because they just can't get to one,  because they don 't have the spare  time, or the spare cash to  dedicate  even a  weekend to themselves and their writing.  I understand this. After all, it's why I wrote the 12 Point Guide in the first place.

But I'm getting messages from people  who have bought the book - and/or who have decided that this year is the year that they'll really focus on their writing  - and they want to know whether they would benefit from attending a course. They also want to know what  they could get from a course that the 12 Point Book, and its writing exercises, can't do.

I could answer myself -  my answers would be that the direct contact is such a valuable thing. Contact with your tutor so that you can ask direct question, go back over things you don 't understands. Contact with others who want to write   - and who want to write the same thing as you .  Contact that means you can discuss your writing with others who are at the same point as you, who have the same worries and doubts about what you're doing.  And that's  before you consider the fun and laughter - and sharing - and chocolate - and , yes post-it notes!  - that  are part of a course - for me anyway.

But don 't just take my word for it. I asked  my students from this year's Advanced Writing Romance Course at Fishguard what they got out of the  weekend they spent with me in Wales in February this yea
Fishguard Bay Hotel 
r.  Here are some of the replies:

I find that writing courses give me a goal to aim for in terms of submitting finished work because otherwise, being unpublished, there are no real deadlines and it’s difficult to stay motivated. I also love getting feedback on my work, and being able to focus on nothing but writing for a whole weekend is pure indulgence. Discussing romance with other people who have a genuine love for the genre is fantastic too, but the greatest benefit I get is that I come home buzzing with ideas, really inspired and re-energised.    Jo

As someone who has only just plucked up the courage to attend a writing course and expose my efforts to others, I couldn't have picked a better course. Not only did I learn lots but also everyone was so welcoming and friendly and we had a good laugh. It's just great to share ideas and experiences with like-minded people; I would highly recommend Kate's course to anyone who dreams of becoming a romantic novelist!    Claire

Kate's courses are special. They give me a chance to learn from an author who has had in excess of 60 books published, books I love. She gives her time generously and enthusiastically and every time, I'm inspired to do better. The classes are small and very friendly, so everyone feels able to contribute.  Sarah

Weetwood Hall  
I'm so complimented by these comments  - they remind me why I run these courses too.

So, if you're interested in coming on one of my course, watch this space - I'll tel you about the ones I have coming up.  There are weekends for all stages of your writing - beginners,  the special Advanced course in Fishguard - and newly decided on are writing retreats where you can concentrate on your  novel, with advice, input and help - and a detailed one-to-one  session too.  There are some details on my Events page - or you can find out more from Writer's Holiday 
or the Relax and Write websites

Maybe I'll see you at one of them.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Big News

So, finally, I can make a full announcement of my big news  (though if you've been on Facebook today, you'll have spotted this already!)

I have just published a  new edition of my award-winning  (Cata-Romance Best Book For Writers), bestselling  (3 editions sold out) book on how to write romance - Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance - in an ebook version.

As of today, this edition is out on Kindle and is available at a very special introductory sale price of  just  77 pence (in the UK) and  for $1.28 on  This is an amazing saving for anyone in America or Canada, where the kindle version  hasn't been available and I've seen the print edition at the ridiculous price of  $29.50 !! (or even -  a 'used ' price of $83.60!!!! (You have to be joking! I could ship out a print edition for  less than either of these prices). At long last I've even been able to make it easily available in Australia too . So  if you've been looking for a chance to get hold of a copy of  this book  - or you could never find a Kindle edition  - here it is!

This book has nine 5 star reviews on Amazon - and  there's a wonderful long review of it on my web site  Writers' page.

I've been asked if there is new information or advice in the book - basically, the answer is no - if you have a copy of the 2nd or 3rd editions,  (see the illustration - the last time I'll be using this image) then the same information is in those. But I have revised this new ebook edition to reflect the new names for some of the lines (KISS, Modern Tempted etc) and I do plan to make sure that the ebook is available in other formats too if you don't have Kindle.

This special introductory price is available for  just a week  - after that the price will go up to its proper published price  - but that will still be w-a-y lower than  even the £10+ charged for the last one.

This is the book that I wrote to answer as many questions as I could from the students who had been on my courses - both actual and on-line.   It's aimed at helping as many would-be authors as I can.  I still run the courses - with Writers' Holiday and now with Relax and Write. There are spaces on those still available at the moment (see my Events Page for details)  but if you can't make it one of them - or you don't live in the UK - or can't afford the cost or the time - this book will give you  so much of what is in those courses. (Without of course the post-it notes, the chocolate, the laughter . . .)

Oh yes - and if you  don't actually write romantic fiction , don't think this book is not for you -   Dr Karen Maitland (Creative Writing Tutor, Adult Education and author of Company of LiarsThe Gallows Curse etc)  says this:

I regularly recommend the Twelve Point Guide to Writing Romance to my Creative Writing Students. I'm glad to say, they all agree it is one of the most helpful books they've read on writing and works for all types of fiction.   I think writers from beginners to experienced writers get solid practical advice from this book which is both clear, logical and jargon-free and as one of my more down-to-earth male students said, 'makes you actually get on and write.'

Romantic Fiction is big business. This book will provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write romantic novels.

Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance brings together all Kate’s expertise as a successful romantic novelist with over sixty titles in print all over the world. It will give the aspiring novelist the essential skills needed to master this hugely popular genre , but it is also an invaluable handbook for more experienced writers. The 12 Point Guide is more than just a how-to book; it’s also a practical workbook with exercises to help you learn the important skills she discusses, and advice on how to understand and apply the storytelling techniques demanded by the romance genre.

Topics covered in this book include:
• Creating and writing the emotion needed in your story
• Building characters that come to vivid life on the page
• Developing and sustaining the conflict between your hero and heroine to build a page-turning plot.
• Writing intimate, passionate and sensual love scenes
• Submitting your manuscript and working with editors.

Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance brings together all Kate’s expertise as a successful romantic novelist with over sixty titles in print all over the world. It will give the aspiring novelist the essential skills needed to master this hugely popular genre , but it is also an invaluable handbook for more experienced writers. The 12 Point Guide is more than just a how-to book; it’s also a practical workbook with exercises to help you learn the important skills she discusses, and advice on how to understand and apply the storytelling techniques demanded by the romance genre.

Published for  thirty years, award-winning author Kate Walker’s novels for Harlequin Presents are sold in over 50 different countries worldwide, and they regularly appear on the romance bestseller charts. She is an experienced tutor and has taught many day and weekend courses on writing romance.

I can't end this post without sending very special thanks to Lee Hyat of Author Sound Relations who helped me prepare the book for ebook publication  - and who designed that fantastic cover for this new edition.  Thank you for  everything, Lee.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Pink Hearts Day

Today's the first Friday of the month - which means that I'm posting my regular blog over on the
Pink Heart Society blog.
What am I talking about?  Well, it is National Stationery Week -  and most writers seem to be addicted to stationery!

If you're still waiting for the news about

Well I'm told it's moved a stage closer  - and hopefully I'll be able to let you know more this weekend. (Perhaps just as well, it didn't get sorted out earlier this week as you might have thought it was an April Fool!) 
I'll tell all as soon as I can.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

New Books

Still waiting for the final details of the exciting news  hopefully I'll be able to tell you all very soon. But in the meantime today's good news was coming home to find a large parcel waiting for me. Brand new copies of the Presents edition of A Question of Honour.  (Ooops - no - sorry, seeing as this is the USA edition -

it's A Question of Honor!

This is one of my favourite moments of being a writer - the arrival of  the first editions of my book.

Another  bit of happy news was discovering that two much older books  - like  - books that were published in 2003 originally - are in the daily  Mills & Boon bestseller list on  

It's great to see  The Married Mistress   and Wife for A Day selling so well in ebook ten years after they first came out in paperback in the UK.

And personally I'm getting a lot of satisfaction from seeing  Wife for A Day  there - with its  British hero!

Do you still love the Mediterranean hero - of do you miss the British guy  with his stiff upper lip?

I do wonder if it's time to admit that a British hero can be every bit as sexy and romantic as a Greek Billionaire or a Sheikh.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Exciting news

I'm really excited about this - I've been wanting to share this with everyone  for - well, it seems like ages but it's actually three months.

But it's felt like a long three months!

Anyway -  here's part one of my news, with special thanks to the lovely Lee Hyat at Author Sound Relations

More news to follow soon - watch this space!


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