My latest release is “Champagne with a Celebrity”. It was inspired when I decided that it was time I got out of my perfume rut and tried a few different ones, and then I had this lightbulb: wouldn’t it be interesting to write a book about a parfumier? (I did a course on how to make perfume, and it was fascinating!)
Who are a few of your favorite authors to read?
Liz Fielding, Kelly Hunter, India Grey, Caroline Anderson, Maggie Kingsley, Nicola Cornick, Sarah Morgan, Judith Lennox, Barbara Erskine, Susanna Kearsley, Lindsey Davis
When the writing is done, how do you kick back to relax?
I love going to the beach for a walk (especially in winter); to the cinema with the kids; and fossicking around museums and stately homes. I also love cooking – and my family always knows where I’m setting a new book because of what they get for dinner! (I’m not alone there – my mate Sarah Morgan does the same thing.)
What’s your favorite flavor of romance? (Sweet? Spicy?) Do your tastes vary when it comes to reading versus writing?
Probably more on the spicy side, for both reading and writing; but as long as the hero is someone I can fall in love with and the heroine is someone I’d want to be friends with (so I can root for their happy ending), I don’t really mind whether the bedroom door is open or closed.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters? Can you tell us which ones? Were you surprised to find yourself there or was it intentional?
I think there’s a bit of me in all my heroines, to be honest. Readers have said that my books are full of warmth and heart, and I think that’s why – I put myself in my characters’ shoes and the reactions are how mine would be, if I had their backgrounds.
When pursuing that first sale, what line did you target?
Medical Romance. My husband pointed out that I was a freelance journalist working on the health pages and wanted to write romance – plus I watched lots of medical dramas on TV. I started reading Caroline Anderson, Maggie Kingsley and Sarah Morgan, and I was hooked! And then, at the age of 7 weeks, my daughter had bronchiolitis and spent her first Christmas in hospital. As a journo, I knew too much about her condition; the only way I got through it was to pretend it was happening to someone else, so I started my first M&B at her bedside. My agent loved it, M&B loved it, and they bought it on her first birthday and published it on her second birthday.
What inspires you?
Anything and everything. It’s usually something quirky that starts a ‘what if?’ train of thought in my head, and by the time I’ve finished it’s developed into a plot.
Plot or Pants?
Absolutely plot. I have tried pants, and it’s way too scary! I think this is probably the non-fiction writer in me: I work best when I have a structure in place.
What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer to an aspiring author?
Read, read, read, read, read. (And if you’re writing category, read the latest books in the line because it will help you see where the line is headed. Target the line you enjoy reading most as that’s more likely to fit your writing voice.)
How would you describe what writing is to you? (Habit, hobby, outlet, obsession, sanity saver…?)
Breathing. (I have to do it.)
Kate, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today!
CHAMPAGNE WITH A CELEBRITY, is on the shelves now.
Darkly mesmeric parfumier Guy shuns the press, and he feels he must shun Amber, too. She might be stunningly attractive, but a heated affair with her would risk the media discovering the secret that could shatter his world. But now that he's getting to know the real woman behind the celebrity facade, how can he let her go?