Friday, August 07, 2015

Friday Fun - Moving House

As I write this I am inundated by cats. There are my own two, Charlie the Maine Coon  and  Ruby the tuxedo queen. But today we have the addition of six other felines that belong to my son and his fiancée. Which means that we have eight – count them – eight – furries  causing chaos  all day long.         

The reason for this deluge of cats is  that  the Offspring and his fiancée are moving house. In order to make things easier for them, we are housing the cats until the move is done and they can collect them and transport them to their new home. Meanwhile, they struggle with the packing, the losing of removal vans, the  30 miles or so drive to the new home – the unpacking . . . And then of course they have to come and collect the ‘family’ to take them to their new abode.

I don’t envy them. It’ll be a long, hard day, specially in the heavy close heat we have today. And there has been so much to do, so many delays to get to this day – and so much more to do once they’re there as they settle in. But I do  envy them that rush of excitement, that feeling of  having a new home, a whole different layout of rooms, the different colour of walls, carpet, the surroundings and the new roads and places beyond their gate. I used to love that – though it’s years since I last experienced it.  We always had traditions that went with a move too.  The last thing to be packed – and so the  first thing to be unpacked  - was the kettle and the tea caddy plus several mugs for vital refreshment  when we first arrived. Then we always had fish and chips for the first meal  so that no one had to cook or even sort out the kitchen – and, believe me, that meal always tasted so wonderful even if it was eaten straight out of the paper and  sitting on the floor.

I’m not going to be experiencing that ‘just moved’ feeling this time. I’ll leave that to The Offspring and Lovely Fiancée – and the cats.   At least in a physical reality, that is. But the fun part (because this is Friday Fun after all!) – and the writing part – is that when I create new books, new characters, new settings, I always get to ‘move house’ so to speak with my hero and heroine.

So, in my April book – Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal – I got to ‘wake up’  in Olivero’s Villa D’Oro, where the brickwork is tinted almost rose by the light of the sun. Or perhaps in Dario’s London  penthouse apartment – though I doubt that my rebellious, pulled himself-up-by-his-bootstraps millionaire  wine exporter, would actually have the  very formal  grandfather clock and uncomfortable looking chairs that appear on the cover of the UK edition of the book. The Villa D’Oro below the title line is almost perfect though – with that golden-rose-pink tinted brickwork standing out from the greenery around it.

There’s less greenery around the home of my hero in the next book (Destined for the Desert King) .    Nabil bin Rashid Al  Sharifa sheikh of Rhastaan lives in a palace in central Hazibah,  the capital of his country. The floors are made of marble and the high windows open out on to balconies from which you can view the whole of the city, stretching away to the coast.  The  wedding feast is served on golden plates – no fish and chips in the paper for Nabil – though, considering the circumstances of his wedding, perhaps her – and his bride would prefer that.  His honeymoon is spent in the mountain palace, with its huge swimming pool   where Nabil and his bride can   . . .well, cool off, when it’s necessary.  In my imagination in my stories I can make every move, live in every  new home that my characters do, without the trouble and stress of the actual move. And I can  create homes I can only dream of, in countries all over the world.

So I’ve ‘lived’ in palaces – in Mecjoria the kingdom ruled by Alexei Sarova in Throne For The Taking.  A Spanish finca  - with another swimming pool (a girl can dream!) or a luxurious apartment in  Madrid.  In my books, I’ve achieved my long held dream to go back to live by the sea. (I spent 5 years of my life in Aberystwyth in Wales and loved being able to walk along the sea front every day.)
Aberystwyth on Cardigan Bay
Or in a small, rather shabby cottage on the Yorkshire Moors in A Question of Honor – and moved from there in the blink of an eye – the wonders of word travel – to another desert kingdom with Clementina and Karim. There have been more cottages, Italian Palazzos,  Greek villas -  on private Greek islands! A Spanish
There have been smaller,  less glamorous homes  of course. Right now I’m in the middle of a story which starts with my heroine running away from the shabby, almost derelict squat that has been her home up until now.  I’m looking forward to moving her into more comfortable accommodation just as soon as I can.  But I’m not sure that she and her  Spanish hero will be celebrating with fish and chips from the paper . . .or perhaps. .  .

Well, if I do, then you’ll know where the idea came from!

Do you have a dream fantasy home you’d love to live in –  a palace, a stately home, a Montana ranch  or perhaps a cosy cottage or even a sea front apartment?  I’d love it if you shared with me.

I can’t show you the setting image that the cover designers have come up with for the UK edition of  my December book – Destined for The Desert King -  with Nabil and Aziza – but  I can share the Harlequin Presents  cover I’ve only just seen for the first time. This is set on one of the balconies in the palace  in  Hazibah, even if you can't see very much of it.   The UK  edition might well just take that 'Desert King' literally and leave me with a sand dune and no other fabulous palace setting. And the cover of my new edition of the 12 Point Guide has  that wonderful wild freedom of being on the seashore  which is probably why I chose it.

By the time you read this, that  deluge of cats will have been put into their transporters and headed off to their new home . I hope they’ll be very happy there.  And anyone reading this who has just moved – or  is thinking  of it – I hope all goes well . And I wish you happiness in your new homes (and in the old ones too!)

My  latest romance  is Olivero's Outrageous Proposal published in April in Harlequin Presents and Mills and Boon Modern Romance . Coming next is   Destined For The Desert King  which is published in December this year.

Then there's the  12 Point Guide to Writing Romance, the newest edition of which is available on Kindle or a revised and updated paperback edition now available on and

Kate Walker's web site is here   and the up-to-date news can be found on her blog or her Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes cats and dogs don't react well to moving. We people think we have a hard time when we have to uproot and go somewhere new. However, the animals can be quite uneasy for a while as well. All their familiar sights and sounds are gone and they have to adjust to a new place. Sometimes the cats stop eating.

    Robyn Harmon @ Hills Moving