Friday, July 05, 2013

A Date With Kate - Anniversaries

I expect you’ve probably noticed that I’m having a celebration over on my blog. I've called it 40 for 40.

If you haven’t noticed – then get yourself over there right away because you’re missing out on all the fun – and all the prize giveaways!

What am I celebrating? Well my DH aka The Babe Magnet  and I are celebrating a big wedding anniversary. (Yes, I really was a child bride – I can’t possibly be old enough to have a wedding anniversary with a Ruby in it! ) Well, yes, I admit it, we will have been married for 40 years on July 14th (and all the jokes about the storming of the Bastille were done at our wedding back then.)

Anyway  - I thought it was  something worth celebrating and I’m running a  cyber party on my blog. After a difficult year I want to celebrate the good stuff and this is well worth celebrating.

So I'm asking friends – hopefully 40 of them!  - along to join me.  They’ll be contributing blog posts and  most of them will also be offering giveaway prizes for everyone to have a chance at winning. So you  get to join in the celebrations too. There are a lot of PHS members joining in as well.  Quite a few of my guests have their own anniversaries to celebrate as well – Holly Jacobs had her 30th just over  a week ago – and Melanie Milburne was celebrating her 31st on the 3rd.  I find this rather interesting, when critics of romances often say that they give an unrealistic idea of  love and marriage, there are so many writers  (not all of romance – I have on special friend joining me who will be celebrating a really wonderful anniversary – and she’s a crime novelist.)

Anyway, romance writers are often accused of portraying love and marriage as seen from behind rose-pink spectacles. Hmm!   What’s unrealistic  - or rose- tinted  - about showing couples facing up to problems/conflicts, feeling that they can’t deal with this, then working them through and showing they can actually resolve their problems. And then heading off into their happy ever after ending. It’s probably that happy ever after  bit that riles the critics.  They think it implies that from then on, all is sweetness and light and never a cross word is spoken ever again.  But that’s not what the author is saying.  The romance novelist leaves her hero and heroine at the start of this new phase of their lives. A phase with so much potential for happiness together,  the hope of a happy ever after possibility. Isn’t that why we all love weddings? All that hope, all that potential? No one’s saying it’s going to be all plain sailing from now on – but the reader does want the author to create a couple who she can believe in, who she can imagine going through life, growing older together, and holding on to the lessons the conflicts they shared  in the book that has just ended  to face a future together – and stay together.

As well as all the conflict the passion, the sensuality that go into writing a romance, the author also needs to shade in the things that bring and hold the couple together so that the reader wold expect to see them still together, still happy, still loving 10, 20 – 40 years down the line.

Not that we meet many of romances great couples years later, when they have settled down into  the quieter, gentler perhaps, stages of love. The story is in the passionate, dynamic, new beginnings of feelings that we mostly want to read about. There have been ‘sequels’ write to some of the classics – Pemberley by Emma Tennant which takes up the story of – of course Lizzie Bennett and Darcy – Scarlett – again the original novel is obvious.  These have been written by other authors and, interestingly, they recreate the original story by upsetting the relationship between Darcy and Lizzie or Scarlett and Rhett and  creating a story around that. Few authors actually took their youthful characters into middle age  - Georgette Heyer perhaps in  Devil’s Cub  where Vidal’s father is the Duke of Avon from These Old Shades. Or the follow on books  from Little Woman Good Wives, Little Men,  Jo’s Boys . . .  where we see the March sisters growing up and becoming parents. Most of the time, the romance writer leaves her characters at the start of their life together – and leaves the reader to imagine what would happen next.

I know that some of the guests – and family – at my wedding all those years ago would have been surprised at what happened next! I was never considered the sister (I come from a family of 5 girls) who would have a long, settled marriage.  In just the same way I wasn’t expected to become a published novelist with 61 titles to my name. And as I celebrate this special  anniversary there are
people I’d love to meet up with again so that they could see how my life has turned out.

That’s true romance – for me anyway. But it’s not the romance of a romance novel.  Though it does make me wonder about some of the characters in my earliest books -  Leo and Rowena from my very first published novel The Chalk Line. Or Nick and Erin in Game of Hazard. They ‘married’  almost 30 years ago. They have celebrated their Silver weddings at least. They’re old enough to be parents – maybe even grandparents?   I wonder what life threw at them, what changes, difficulties, joys  or sadness.

So I was wondering as I organise this celebration of so many years together – would you like to join in? On my blog it’s my friends who are giving away the prizes but I can offer a giveaway here today.  Just answer this question to be in with a chance to win a copy of one of my backlist books –

Which fictional couple would you like to read about  later in their life?   Jane and Mr Rochester? Lizzie and Darcy?   Scarlett and Rhett?   Harry and Sally?  Monica and Chandler? Hermione and  Ron?
Peeta and Katniss?   Someone else entirely?

Leave an answer – preferably with a short explanation why  - in the comments section and I’ll get Charlie the Maine Coon on to picking a winner.

And  don’t forget to head on over to my blog for more celebrations, more prizes!

 Kate's latest  novel is A Throne For The Taking:
Alexei Sarova, the black sheep prince who has to face up to a new and unexpected destiny with his heroine Honoria Escalona (Ria) as the woman he wants as his queen.

A kingdom's safety...
Betrayed by those she loves, Honoria Escalona must now face the only man capable of bringing stability to the Mediterranean kingdom of Mecjoria. A cold, hard man who once called her his friend... Alexei Sarova-the true King of Mecjoria.
In exchange for her happiness

But Alexei's tortuous past has changed him into someone she hardly knows. He blames Ria's family for his bitterness, and his help-when he offers it-comes with a price: he'll take his rightful place as King with Ria as his wife, until she produces a true-blood heir  

A Throne For the Taking  is published in the Royal and Ruthless miniseries in both Harlequin Presents and Mills & Boon Modern in June.
Other up to date news and details of all Kate’s books can be found on her web site and in her blog.




  1. I absolutely LOVE reading romances with HEAs (although when I first started reading them in the seventies, some of those books did NOT have a HEA ending - so I threw those books across the room and then threw them in the garbage - so there!).
    That being said, I would like to check in on Monica and Chandler, as I don't think they would still be together. They struck me as both being too insecure to stay in a relationship for very long.
    I am thrilled that you've hit the 40-year mark, Kate. Heartfelt congrats go out to you and The Babe Magnet.
    Have you noticed how many friends/family get all the way up to 20 years but break up before their 25th anniversary - perhaps because they don't want to celebrate a big anniversary together, and/or perhaps they were waiting for the kids to finish school before parting ways?
    My sis (69)/husband celebrated their 43rd anniversary this year; another sister's (64) husband dumped her for a younger woman after their 24th anniversary; my brother's (59) first marriage lasted 7 years, and his second lasted 24 years before his wife died of cancer last year; and ours (I'm 54) is 32 years next week. Time flies when you're having fun!

    1. Hi Laney - I'm like you, I need a Happy Ever After ending to really satisfy me. I've learned to cope with an ambiguous or a sad one - after all I love Wuthering Heights! But I'd rather a happy one. Chandler and Monica - hmm, well yes, I have to agree with you. I think they would both have to do some growing and changing to be really secure in their relationship.

      You've talked of some interesting points about people who are married for so long and break up - it's like the ones who break up I retirement. Perhaps it's that suddenly they think 'is this it for the rest of my life'" In your own family you have a real mixture of marriages working and not - I'm so glad you have one of the long lasting ones. Congratulations on your 32nd - and here's to many many more!

  2. Dear Kate, Happy Anniversary to you and the BM!!! A well deserved celebration. Although I love a good epilogue at the end of a M&B, I am not enamoured of sequels to famous books. I like to imagine in my own mind what will happen, or has happened, and not read someone else's imaginings. They get it wrong: Death Comes To Pemberley is an example.

    1. Hello 2paw - good to see you again. I have to agree with you, I'm not a great fan of sequels to famous books - mainly because (as in the soaps) they have to stir everything up again and spoil the love story the original author created. I'm not sure I want to see the hero and heroine grow old either!

  3. Hi Kate ~ Just wanted to stop in and tell you that I am enjoying your 40 for 40 posts but I will be going missing for a while as my brother in law is very ill. I am not sure if he will live until July 21st which is my sister's and his 50th anniversary. He is 15 years older than her. She will have a lot of years to reflect back on and remember with love.

    As for sequels to stories, I enjoy them but I don't need them.

    1. Hello Kaelee I'm so sorry to hear your news. So very sorry that your brother in law is so ill. How sad it will be if he doesn't live until that important anniversary. I hope for your sister's sake that they get to share that day together. But whatever happens - as you say - she will have a lot of years to look back on and remember with love. I will be thinking of you all.

  4. Darcy is great and I never grow tired of reading about him and Lizzie. But a couple I would love to read more about is Logan & Beth from The Lucky One. After finishing the novel I kept thinking about this couple and wondered what would happen on the next page and the next. Another couple I am curious about is also from Austen's pen. Capt Wenthworth and his Anne. They got a second chance at love and as I too once hoped for a second chance I would love to find out how it brought them even closer. What are their lives like now that they are together after such a long time.

    1. Hi Jo's Daughter - I didn't know the story of The Lucky One so I looked it up. It sounds like something I'd like to read - and, yes it wold be intriguing to know what happened afterwards. I have a friend who would so agree with you Captain Wentworth and Anne - as you say, they had to wait so long for that second chance - I'm sure they must have made the most of every last minute.

  5. Scarlett and Rhett to see if they got back together

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Hi bn - I think a lot of people would agree with you. And I must admit that I'd be intrigued to see what happened after the ending of Gone with the Wind - that is what the book Scarlett is about but I've never read it

  7. Kaelee - I don't know if you're going to be reading this but it was your name that Charlie picked as my winner for this giveaway. I'll contact you privately when you're ready to talk about getting your prize to you.

    Thank you to everyone who commented.

  8. I'm enjoying your anniversary party. It's great fun. Have you ever thought of doing a sequel to one of your stories I'd love to see one to THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES or A THRONE FOR THE TAKING....