Friday, September 06, 2013

A Date With Kate - Back to School

At this time of year I get a sort of ‘New Year’ feeling, with a sense of being ready to sort things out, reorganise and plan the next stage of the year. I suppose it comes from all those years of being at school, then university – and then having my son and my husband (as a teacher) starting new academic years at the beginning of September. I love the idea of new terms with all the new notebooks, pens and pencils that go along with them.

Which makes September a dangerous month for me.  The shops are full of all the ‘Back To School’ stuff. Pretty notebooks, coloured pencils (both in the barrels and the leads inside the barrels), pens . . . At the end of August, I was in Harrogate and I was  tempted by document cases, patterned files and folders. I even looked at a ‘School organiser’ – I wish there had been things like t
hat when I was at school! I might even have got my homework handed in  on the right day if I’d had one. 

Harrogate was bad enough – but tomorrow  (today when you’re reading this) I’m heading for Cambridge – Oh dear!  A university town, with stationers and bookshops. Can you have excess baggage on the train journey back home? I know my husband will be spending hours in those bookshops but will I be able to resist the temptation? I mean, I know I have a kindle, but real books are still so tempting.  And I have to admit that there’s an e-reader cover that looks like a paperback edition of  Wuthering Heights that’s calling to me

Of course these days I’m far more likely to be using a new file on the computer but I still love those new notebooks and pens to scribble down my ideas and an ‘academic year’ diary works wonderfully to help me plan out all the plans and commitments I have for the next twelve months coming up. There's nothing quite like back-to-school shopping. The fun of hitting the shops  selling school supplies. I start thinking about ways to use office supplies that I never usually buy just because the stores are  filling with cool new colours, designs  and 'stuff'.

Maybe it’s a writers thing? I've yet to meet a writer who doesn't go a little giddy when walking up and down the aisles of WH Smith or Staples or Paperchase (and oh dear, they have a 3fer2 deal on right now!) , cruising the bright notebooks, the fun accessories and the always-necessary pen varieties.  Friends know about my  stationery addiction and they do tend to indulge me - I spent half of this year looking for a replacement  for  particular pen that goes perfectly with the cover of a beautiful notebook I was given as a gift  (I’m looking at you Kate Hardy!)  when the pen had run out. And Julie Cohen gave me the most beautiful pencils – black, coloured crystals at the top and so soft and smooth to write with. What my mother used to call ‘thinking pencils’  because they flow over the paper as you’re making
notes.  I don’t need any more Post-It notes, I swear I don’t. OK, let me rephrase that  - I don’t need any more Post-It notes, but when a student on my Writing Holidays course (Marie – you know who you are!)  gave me a beautiful selection of different designs, my stationery acquiring fingers twitched happily. And I always  have revisions coming up  so I really need more of those lovely, colourful ‘index’ stickers that mark the pages where changes are need . . .Oh, and highlighters to mark up lines that need reworking  . . .

Hmm, I think I need a list for Cambridge . . . now where did I put my ‘To Do ‘ list pad . ..  or perhaps it should go on the ‘Shopping List ‘ one?  A couple more lists on either, and I’ll have the perfect excuse to buy a brand new one.

What about you?  Do you find the ‘Back To School stationery displays wickedly tempting, whether you have children to kit out or not? And if you do need to take the kids out shopping at this time of year, do you find you’re sneaking one or two items . . .or more . . .into the basket for yourself?

If you’re a writer, I’ll just bet you do! 

 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. Hi Kate ~ I have to stay away from the back to school displays and I'm not a writer. It is especially hard to resist the 200 sheets of loose leaf paper for 15 cents even though I know I have packages unopened from last year. I can't resist highlighters as you never know when one will dry out. My husband is more practical and likes to point out that they will dry out when they aren't used as well.

  2. I kow the feeling, Kaelee - I just bought a 3fer2 pack of loose leaf paper when I have some left from the same offer last year. But you never know - you might want to write a LOT!