Friday, March 18, 2011

A Date With Kate - Romance means love - All around the world

I was going to write a completely different blog – something clever about the conflict in a romance novel being like March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb - but then the events of this past week, with the terrible disasters in Japan have left me with only one topic I can write about

Last week I wrote a blog on ‘what is romance anyway’ - and there were lots of answers. But one has been in my head this week – Anne McAllister said:

It's the attitude behind that behavior. Behaving romantically is focusing on the other person, thinking of things -- big or small -- that matter to that person and finding a way to make them happen.

And heaven knows, there’s been a need for that this week. And, it seems, for much of the earlier weeks of this year too. There have been the floods in Queensland, the earthquake in New Zealand and this appalling earthquake and tsunami and the resulting destruction in Japan. It’s horrible to hear about and yet whenever you turn on the TV or the radio, it seems like there’s nothing else being talked about.

But at the same time as I’ve been brought down by these reports of loss and misery, I have had my spirits lifted by other things – by the way that the romance writing community, and so many other authors, have gathered round, come together, and determined to do what they can to help, as much as they can.

I’ve been able to share in this, to make contributions to books for Queensland, the silent auction for the victims. Every year there is Brenda Novak’s fabulous auction to raise funds for research into diabetes, and running right now is the Authors For Japan auction where we’ve clubbed together to raise funds for the Red Cross working in Japan. I've donated a copy of the 12 Point Guide, and a selection of novels – all signed. Bidding is open now and goes through to March 20th so don't miss out.

Another auction going on right now is on a smaller, more personal scale, but no less a tragedy for one particular family. Someone I've come to know over the last years as a wonderful reviewer and supporter of the Romance genre. Fatin (mad4rombks) lost her husband last week in a workplace shooting which is just devastating for her and her family. The Operation Auction proceeds will go to an education fund for their four girls. I've added a few items of my own, and there are some wonderful offerings up for grabs.

In the middle of all that seems darks and horrible, these signs of caring and generosity are real testaments to the best of humanity.

There’s an old, well-worn ‘joke’ (one that should be worn out by now in my opinion) that has hung around too long and it’s often quoted by crime writers. The one where perhaps a reporter asks ‘Doesn’t dealing in these gruesome crimes, writing about then, researching them, say something about the nature of a crime writer? Their obsession with the dark and nasty?’

‘Oh no,’ is the answer, ‘crime novelists are usually lovely, warm, friendly people. Romantic novelists, now - you wouldn’t want to be in a room with them. They’ll stab you in the back any day!’ Hmmm!

I don’t need to spell it out, do I – the evidence above is so clear. Romantic novelists/romance writers are spread out all over the globe, but when they’re needed they don’t let a few oceans and continents stand in their way. We know that by ourselves, one of us can do so little – but together we can really hope to achieve something worthwhile.

And isn’t that what romance is truly all about? We women (mostly women ) know that we’re independent, capable, coping on our own – but together with someone at our side, we become so much more than the sum of two halves. We can change things – and hopefully help to make things better.

At a time when I think we’re all hungry for good news, I wish you all the true romance of the support, strength joy of love. In our books and in our lives that’s what we assert - ‘romance’ that is so much worth having.

Kate Walker's latest Presents title - The Good Greek Wife? - was out in Presents Extra in October and is still available now on Amazon, eHarlequin etc. her next Presents Extra title is The Proud Wife (her editor has been on a 'title with Wife in it kick!) is out now in  Modern Romance the UK and April in America.

Her latest book, part of the The Powerful and the Pure mini series - The Return of The Stranger - has just been scheduled for September 2011.

You can get all Kate's news and read the latest updates over on her web site or her blog.


  1. Hi Kate,
    What an awful joke. From reading blogs and posts about romance books and their authors, there is no doubt in my mind that you care about each other and your readers. I'd love to be in a room with a bunch of romance authors, it would be a dream come true for me.
    All the great causes that most of you support are going to be that much richer. I'm sure Fatin, who I don't really know, is feeling all of your sympathy and support. Good friends are needed when you have tragically lost your husband.
    Lets hope and prey that Japan has no further disasters. It will take a long time for them to recover but recover they will.

  2. Hi KAte,

    Romance writer's community is a very warm, loving and stand by your side in times of need community. Thank you for all you're doing.

    Our prayers with Fatin's family for the senseless and untimely loss. And also with the people of Japan for the tragedy they suffered.