Thursday, May 10, 2007

Writers Wednesday with Kate Hewitt

This week we here at the Pink Heart Society all feel a bit special about higlighting the journey of this gal. For she is the very first unpublished Pink Heart Member to have sold a category romance!!! There we were, happily nattering on our yahoo group about, oh, I don't know, hot heroes most likely, when up sprung the lovely Katharine Swartz with the news!


After living for six years in England, Katharine, her husband, and three children moved back to the U.S. where they live in Connecticut. She wrote her first story at the age of five--it was two sentences long, but it had a lot of emotion! Now her stories are a bit longer, and still just as emotional.


I’ve been reading Harlequin romances since I was a young teen--my mother used to put them in my Christmas stocking. Even though I ended up trying to write for Tender/Romance for a long time, Presents was the line I personally liked to read.

I started writing my first romance novel when I was just out of college, living in New York City, and mistakenly thinking it would be a breeze. Four manuscripts, rejections, and years later, I’d managed to final in the Golden Heart in 2000, which was a great experience, but nothing came of it in the end--the finaling manuscript was rejected at the partial stage by Mills & Boon Tender and at the full stage by Silhouette Romance.

I decided to put romance to the side for awhile and concentrate on short stories and serials for women’s magazines in the UK, which was a flourishing market for me. I also connected with a terrific group of women, The Wild Geese, who write for these magazines and offer absolutely fabulous support.

Still, every once in awhile, I jotted down various notes and ideas for different romance novels, and told myself I’d get back to it when I had time... with three young children around, that time never seemed to come!

Then in the summer of 2006, I had my first book, a rewritten serial, accepted for publication by a small UK publisher, Robert Hale. Realizing that I actually could write a novel--and get it published--made me decided to try my hand at romance again.

I’d had a story in my head--and in particular, a hero--that I really wanted to write, and so I wrote the first 100 pages of that story in little over a week, which was a record for me. By mid-July, I sent my partial to Presents (the first time I’d targeted this line) and settled down for what I hoped was only a two or three month wait.

Five months later, a few days before Christmas, I got a thick letter from Mills & Boon and opened it with trembling fingers. They liked the story and my voice, but there were three pages of revisions. Fortunately, I’m someone who actually likes revisions and my parents offered to watch the children for a few days so armed with a large cup of coffee by my computer I got to work.

I finished the revisions in just over two weeks, sent the manuscript in, and settled down for what they had said would be a sixteen week wait. Fortunately, this time I heard from my editor just two weeks later, requesting more revisions but in a very positive way. Afraid to be too excited, I worked on the revisions and sent them to her within a week. Another e-mail just one day later... more revisions! Now there was a deadline because I was going on vacation that Thursday, and if the book was accepted, it needed to be ready by Friday.

I spent most of the night on those revisions, sent them in, heard back the next day... one last revision! Another night of writing and finally on Thursday morning--the day I was leaving for vacation--I got the official call.

The funny thing is, for that whole crazy week of phone calls and revisions, my husband was away with no e-mail or phone access, and I was alone with my kids and had no one (except internet friends) to share the news with--at least, no one in real life who would really understand. Still, it didn’t stop me from being just about wild with excitement--the buzz is still going on!

The Italian’s Chosen Wife is out in December 2007, and Kate just recieved news that her second book has sold!!! Seduced by The Greek is out in March 2008!


  1. Well done and wlecome Kate!! Your story is so inspiring, can't imagine how mental that last week of revising etc must have been, and all with three kids - you must have a halo!!!
    And congrats on book two too!!! Can't wait to read your books.
    x Daisy - Abby Green

  2. Kate! A huge congratulations! I have no excuse not to be writing if you can do it!I have two kids as well, but they're both teens. Time for ABC (apply butt to chair) I see! Best to you and your "new" career !!

  3. Your call story brought a tear to my eye. It must have been such a rush!

    Congratulations on your success and on book #2!


  4. Kate, big fat congratulations on your acceptance. Not one but TWO books scheduled already - that's just marvellous!

    All the best,