Thursday, November 03, 2016

Time Out Thursday - it's all about people

I thought that today’s post would have come under a different general heading – not Time Out
Thursday  but Thursday Talk Time. Then I realised that  I had it wrong – it was Tuesday Talktime, not Thursday.  But I’m still going to post the same blog as I meant to do  if I had been writing a ‘Talktime’ post – because it is, in some ways, about the ‘Time Out’ part of my writer’s life anyway.

A couple of things have made me think  about this post  today. I logged on to Facebook this morning and a memory post there reminded me that last November  11th I’d just been told that  my Presents  Extra title  in 2010 (that was one of the years of the Presents Extra experiment – the one that didn’t quite
work!) had been shortlisted by the Romantic Times for one of its awards.  This has happened to me twice – the  following year The Proud Wife  was also shortlisted for the same award.   That book didn’t win, but The Konstantos Marriage Demand won the title of Best Presents Extra 2010. It’s one of the best days of my writing career.

But days like that don’t happen too often. What happens more 
often is the daily routine of putting one word after another, hopefully bringing them to a satisfactory conclusion, then submitting. Next is revisions  - you’re a fool if you don’t expect revisions – but sometimes, like the ones I’m just working on for my latest story, they  are light and straightforward – other times.  . .  .  not fun.

And the other thing that brought my mind to this blog post is that fact that it’s November – NaNo  month – National Novel Writing Month. You sign up, set yourself a target, a word count to aim for, and write . . .  And you have to give account of what you’ve achieved in order to ‘win’.

So am I going to give hints as to how to up that word count?  Plans and  workcharts to fill in at the end of each day?  Nope – because actually my topic fits better into that ‘Time Out Thursday’. I’m thinking of  something Barb Han  said in her post a  couple of days ago:
Maybe that’s why I’m even more aware of the gift I’ve been given in being part of the romance community. Romance readers are the most intelligent and interesting people. And I’ve met so many wonderful and giving authors who I’m fortunate to call my friends.

And that’s so true.  And so important.  It’s a part of romance writing – any sort of writing  - that  sometimes gets buried under the  word count concentration, the strive to succeed, the need to know what the editors are looking for – who they’re buying, what is  selling . . .    The important thing that gets buried under all this is that writing – particularly romance writing is about people.
Ok, that’s obvious on one level – it’s about   the people whose story you write – your hero and heroine. That goes without saying .  Well – perhaps it does but you’d be amazed at how many students I’ve met on my courses where  they tend to work from the outside in – this is what I’ve planned  happens and so my hero and heroine have to be pushed into doing it, no matter what.

Last month I was celebrating the fact that my 65th title – Indebted to Moreno – had just been published. How had I managed that, people asked. The answer’s quite simple -  one word at a time – and one hero and one heroine at a time. People whose stories I wanted to tell.

The great thing about celebrating that 65th title was that I was able to share it with more people – my readers. I ran several giveaways – from blogs  where I was a guest of people like lovely Nas Dean   on Romance Book Paradise  or Lee Hyatt on Tote Bags 'N'Blogs, from  my Facebook page, my newsletter.  And my favourite thing about that was connecting with all the lovely readers who replied to my messages – told me about their lives and – this was really the best – how reading my books brought light into sometimes dark days. It’s  a wonderful feeling to know that what I write here in  Lincolnshire UK reaches out to people all over the world.  People with different nationalities, lifestyles, ages . . . but they all want to read romance.  They need time out. Sometimes some of them really need time out and what a joy it is to be able to  help with that, just by writing what I enjoy writing.

And finally -  this weekend will be a real time out for me. I’m meeting up with a gang of friends  for a long weekend in a beautiful old farmhouse. We’ve all met along the way in this writing journey of mine. Fellow writers.   Students who’ve shared my classes – some successful, some not yet there – some (fingers crossed) very close  . . .   But what matters is our friendship.  No doubt we’ll spend some – a lot – of the weekend talking about writing but it won’t be in the ‘must achieve’ – totting up our word count sort of way.  It’s be about talking, about laughing, about  sharing – meals, ideas, wine . . .

Sometimes, when the  writing to a deadline, hunting for new ideas,  checking on the word count part of  this writing job gets to me, I need to remind myself of this. That it’s all about people.  I’m so looking forward to this weekend – and I know it’s going to reinforce that point for me.  As a result, I’ll come back reinvigorated, revived and inspired.  I’m just finishing off the story of the  people in my 66th title – and I’ve already introduced the  people who will be the hero and  heroine of my next story . And I know that this time of connecting with the people read and write and enjoy romances (like through this blog for  one thing) will inspire and excite me into writing with even more delight.

That 65th title Indebted to Moreno  was published in October, but it’s still around.  I’m also delighted to say that a  couple of backlist titles  that have been missing  - The Sicilian’s Wife and A Sicilian Husband – are being issued as separate ebooks   in November  (though they've been in the collection Claimed By The Sicilian if you wanted in 3 in 1) .  And if you’re in Australia then there’s a special 3 in 1 Collection of my books – Resisting All Temptation  out now. This collection contains A Question of Honour,  Saturday’s Bride, and that award-winning 2010 title The Konstantos Marriage Demand.

If you’re interested in coming on any of my writing courses  with Writers’ Holiday or Relaxand Write   then the details are always on my Events page on my web site and the most up to date news can be found on my web site  on my blog    or my Facebook page


  1. Wow, Kate, 65 books!! You're such an inspiration to me! I still refer to your 12-Pt. Guide to Writing Romance often, and I'm convinced your tips helped me sell to Love Inspired. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, and congratulations!!

  2. Thank you so much Jill - your message has made my day. I love to know when the 12 Point Guide has helped writers get published - after all, that's why I wrote it. I know that so many people can't get to my courses and I hoped the book would help them instead. Your kind message has made me smile at the thought that I might have helped you. Great to know ab0ut your published career - here's to many more book sales!

  3. Oh, the 12 Point Guide definitely helped me! It still does. Every six months or so I review a few chapters. I need the refresher! Thank you so much!