By Anna Sugden
I'm delighted to welcome back a Lair favourite, my dear friend, the fabulous Kate Walker. As always, Kate will give us a peek at her latest wonderful release and share some great news too.
So, without further ado, I'll hand you over to Kate.
It’s great to be back here with the lovely Romance Bandits. I’ve had such a wonderful time on my previous visits so I’m always happy to be back here. It’s funny, Anna S and I tried so hard to make this happen for over a year – but emails kept going missing and then Anna was moving from one country to another. But when we finally got it together it’s been so easy ever since. And here I am back again just looking forward to that wonderful Bandita welcome.
And I’m pretty excited about the reason for my being here. I don’t know any author who isn’t thrilled to know that she has a new book out. Even if this is my – hang –count them . . .56th title, it’s still a wonderful moment to know that the latest story is published and on the bookshop shelves and that people are actually buying it. (Well - fingers crossed that they are!)
But this book – The Konstantos Marriage Demand (Presents Extra out March 16th) - is extra special for me. That’s because I just discovered that Romantic Times has given this particular book 4.5 stars and has chosen it as one of their Top Picks for March. Can I say – I’m celebrating! Double celebrating. As I mentioned when I was first guest-blogging here with you all, this year I’m celebrating 25 years of being published. And when I started out – and all through most of those 25 years, it was my ambition, my dream, to win the accolade of my book being a Romantic Times Top Pick. I finally achieved it with my 2008 book Bedded By the Greek Billionaire and that made my day (my year!) Now I’ve managed it a second time with The Konstantos Marriage Demand and I’ve every bit as excited as the first time. It’s funny though – these Top Picks seem to be like buses. You know what they say – you wait for ever and then two come along at once! Anyway, as most people know, when I’m celebrating I like to have others celebrate with me. And this time is no different. So at the end of this post, there’s a chance for you to join me in my celebrations.
But first –the real blog I was going to write was going to be something of a response to the question that I get asked all the time. You know the one. The ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ question.
This is what everyone seems to want to know and it’s really such a very hard question to answer. I usually fudge my answer by saying ‘well I have a very vivid imagination.’ Or ‘ Where do I get my ideas from? From life.’ And it’s true, ideas are all around you if you just know where to look. They’re in the newspapers, the magazines, on TV. In conversations overheard in coffee shops . . . I once told my accountant that really life was a ‘viable expense’ that I could claim for because everything was ‘research’ for an author but he wasn’t having that.
The truth is that you only really need a tiny ‘seed’ that sparks off all sorts of questions and ideas and then I start asking the question ‘Why. . .?’ and I end up with a story.
And that’s how it was with The Konstantos Marriage Demand. A long time ago, in my ideas notebook, I wrote down ‘family feud – Eastenders’. I was watching the UK ‘soap’ Eastenders at the time and there was a storyline running through the episode about a family feud. I just noted the idea and never used it. Then last year on one of my courses I was teaching about conflict – internal and external conflict and illustrating external conflict with the story of Romeo and Juliet. And there was that word again ‘feud’. The feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.
And that started me thinking . . . How could a feud come about in the 21st century? What effect would it have on my hero and heroine . . .
So that’s how the book that turned into The Konstantos Marriage Demand got started. I loved working in the ‘feud’ part of the story – it gave an added edge to the whole plot. And when I thought out a reason why the feud had really become so bad as to tear Nikos and Sadie apart, I felt I had a something that gave it al the emotional punch I had been looking for. And it seems that the Romantic Times reviewer agreed when she wrote : Misunderstandings and family betrayals propel this terrifically well-paced and fiery romance to its very rewarding conclusion.
So now as I said, I’m going to share the celebrations. Seeing as two of my books have won that coveted RT Top Pick accolade, I’m going to give away a set of the two winning books – Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The Konstantos Marriage Demand – to someone who leaves a comment. (Well – you know me – I’ll get Sid the Cat on the job and have him pick out the winner for me.)
So you know what I’m celebrating – what are you celebrating this year? Big or small – a new home, a new job, getting over the flu, the fact that the sun’s come out again? Let’s cheer up the cold days of March and look at the good things in life. Tell me something you’ll celebrate and I’ll put your name out with a cat treat on it for Sid to pick a winner.