Feature on Kate Walker & A THRONE FOR THE TAKING giveaway!

Today's feature on author Kate Walker and her A THRONE FOR THE TAKING and there's one signed, print copy for one commenter!



What do you love most about writing for Harlequin Presents?
I love the emotion, the intensity – the passion. And I don’t just mean the sexual passion, though that is always important in any romance!
What I love about writing for this line is the freedom it gives me to explore strong and intense emotions and some deeper themes that bring out the conflict between the hero and heroine.
I can write about darker emotions, like anger, even hatred, revenge. I can bring my characters close to despair (I sometimes think that romance writers have a strong sadistic streak!)
and then lift them up into the joy of true love and happiness. The fantasy element – the wealthy heroes, the settings, the glamour is fun as well but for me what I enjoy most is digging deep into my charactres’ feelings and motivations.
What do you think makes a good story?
My answer to the first question is part of the answer to this one. Emotional tension and emotional themes always draw in the reader and keep her following the story,. But before you
can create those believable and affecting emotions you have to create believable and sympathetic characters. Particularly in a romance, which, after all, is the story of the hero and heroine’s emotional
journey from conflict and distance to closeness. trust and ultimately real love. So it’s important to create a hero and heroine the reader can relate to,m believe in and empathise with, and the stronger the emotions
you are dealing with in the story, the more important that is. Then when the feelings, the actions, the events all come from the motivations of these characters, the reader will be really involved. And of course the conflict
between the hero and heroine has to be believable and come from their personalities, their lives, beliefs and backgrounds. That way there is plenty of tension that keeps the reader wondering what happens next
and keeps them turning the pages.
You write about exotic places in Presents – what is your ideal holiday destination?
Some of the places I’ve written about in Presents - Spain, Malta - are places I have actually visited – others are created purely from my imagination – lie the Mediterranean kingdom of Mecjoria in A Throne For The Taken of the kingdoms I’ve given my sheikhs to rule over. It can be a lot of fun to create a whole new country and give it the climate, the type of countryside, the history that I want. For myself, I am always fascinated by the history of a place I visit. I enjoy some time on the beach or by the pool but I can’t just sit there all day every day. I have a real thing about islands and because of that I have loved several places I’ve visited- Malta, Madeira, Jersey and Tasmania where my sister lives. They are all so very different but have a special character that is fascinating. One other really special place to me is Ireland – another big island!¬ My parents were both born there and I still have family in Dublin and I love to go back and visit when ever I can.
Anywhere you haven’t travelled you would like to go?



I would love to go back to Australia, but it is such a long journey. And there are some islands I still haven’t seen. One special one would have to be Sicily. I’ve written about it so often in myth novels and never yet set foot on the island! And Italy itself is a place I really want to explore. My DH and I have a special wedding anniversary coming up and we’re looking and taking a trip to see some of the beautiful Italian cities.
What one item do you always pack when you travel?
Books! Well, these days it’s my Kindle which has certainly made life a lot easier. I used to have to make decisions about what books I wanted to take – to read on the journey and to relax with when I got there. I tried to take books I could read and leave behind so that I had free space and weight in my luggage on the way back. I remember one holiday when I read all the books I had with me and ran out of reading matter! Thankfully that won;t happen now because I just pick up my Kindle and go!
Tell us a little about your current release …..
A Throne For The Taking is the story of a sexy, rebellious black sheep Prince (my own original title for it was The Black Sheep Prince). Alexei Sarova thought that he had left behind the restrictions and formality of the royal life, but now his old way of living has come back to enclose him and the person who brings him the news, along with some unexpected details is Honoria (Ria) the girl who once used to be his only friend. Alexei has to face up to a new and unexpected destiny. He also has to face up to the fact that he has never forgotten Ria, and now that she has grown into a beautiful, desirable woman, he never wants to let her out of his life – and his bed ever again.
Romantic Times gave this book a rating of 4 ½ out of 5 and said:
The majesty of Walker’s fictional principality shines, and her frenemies-to-love story is perfectly passionate.
 
What about you? Do you love the Black Sheep story? And do you buy books based on it's reviews?

Kate Walker on the web:
Website       Blog      Facebook
Her latest release is A THRONE FOR THE TAKING and you can read reviews of it here.
 

49 comments:

  1. No, I do not (nor would) buy books based on reviews. I can generally make up my own mind, thank you very much :) Oh, and anyway, I happen to be a Kiwi 'and' a Capricorn - both of which are very stubborn!

    I will, however, categorically say that I shall put, A THRONE FOR THE TAKING, on my 'to be read' list. Sounds excellent :)

    All the best, Kate!

    I shall tweet this post :)

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    1. Hello Wendy - I always tell myself that reviews are only one person's opinion - that's fine when it's a bad review - but I like to think a good one will be more general! Oh and I know all about stubborn Capricorns - my son is one too. I hope you enjoy A Throne for The Taking when you get to read it.

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  2. I'd go to Australia--but on a cruise ship! :D

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    1. Hi Donna - now that sounds great - I'd love to go abck to Australia - and a long slow journey there would be great for relaxing. Just think of all the reading you could do en route!

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  3. I have bought books based on reviews; they help me decide when I am on the fence. Thanks for helping us to get to know Kate!

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    1. Hello Karen - nice to meet you. Yes, reviews can help[ when you're trying to decide if a book is for you. But sometimes there ae equal votes for and against - so I'm still on the fence!

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  4. I agree that world building is fun. Making up a whole new country is a lot of work but very rewarding.

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    1. Hi Emily - world buiding is great - a lot of work,as you say - but then I can make any laws or traditions or scenery I like.

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  5. I just received her book from the last giveaway. I'm really looking forward to reading it!

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    1. I just got your message to say that the book has arrived, Sherry. I do hope you enjoy it.

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  6. So exciting! The book sounds great! Romance really is great for discovering and experimenting with all kids of emotions - and I love world building. It really lets you use your imagination!

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    1. Thanks Leigh - as you say, romance is great for experimenting with all sorts of emotions ( though I love the idea of it being all 'kids' of emotions! Sometimes it does seem like that!) Luckily I've always had a very vivid imagination - it does help.

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  7. Hi Kate. I just loved loved this story and thought the opening chapters were fab-tastic! Andrew yes, I LOVE black sheep stories, it gives the author so much more drama and emotion to work with.

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    1. Oh hello Tash - I'm so glad you enjoyed A Throne for The Taking. Your review was lovely, thank you. And yes, a 'black sheep' does give me a lot of drama and emoiton to work with - so I love that.

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  8. I would love to visit Malta -- how nice!

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    1. Malta is lovely, Suze - really like nowhere else I've ever been. I hope you get there one day.

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  9. I really like stories about black sheep, and of course I often buy and read books based on reviews. I like the way Kate seems to really explore emotions in her stories, which is of course draws a reader in more than anything.

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    1. Hello Helena - when I write romance I do love to explore emotions and the way that feelings make us (ie my characters ) behave and think. That's what draws me in as you say so I try to write the books that I would want to read.

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  10. Kate's work looks wonderful, Nas! Thanks so much for highlighting her. I agree it's all about the emotional tension!

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    1. Hi Morgan - great to meet you. Ah - emotional tension - yes, that's what grabs the reader and holds her. But a lot of people find it hard to create - it's tension that matters and emotion, not sentiment.

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  11. I tend to rely more on the description of the book and maybe reading a snippet if it is available, although if it is an author I know I am more likely just to buy it. Reviews vary widely depending on who writes them and so are not always reliable. Mx

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    1. Hi Morton - reviews are so subjective, aren;t they? You need to know that the reviewer is on your wavelength and even then it can be hit and miss. Sometimes I've bought a highly rated(in reviews) book and when I read it I wonder whether the reviewers read the same one!

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  12. I love the original title of the book- it speaks mystery, rebellion, and power all in one phrase! It does look like a terrific book, and Malta is one place I'd like to see someday, too.

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    1. Thak you Shelly - I realy wish I could have kept my original working title for this book. I love the way you describe it as having mystery, rebellion and power all in one phrase. That's what I was aiming for - so I hope the book delivers! I do hope you get to see Malta - I'd love to go back.

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  13. Sorry for the delay in joining you all - blame it on time zones/visitors/life in general! But I'm here now to say hello - and answer your comments.

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  15. Your book sounds wonderful! Yes, I have to say I'm a sucker for a black sheep story. :)

    I've run out of books on vacation, too. What a panicky feeling that was! LOL

    Have a great Wednesday. ☺

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    1. Hi Dana - I know - the words 'black sheep' just grab me and I want to read (or write) on. You ran out of books too.. . oh dear, I can understand that feeling - thank heaven for kindles though I do know someone whose kindle broke down on the first day of her holiday - nightmare!

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  16. Kate, it's nice you've found an imprint that fits with your style of writing.

    We do torture our characters, don't we?

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    1. Hi Teresa, nice to meet you. Originally I was writing for both Presents and Harlequin romance - I was so glad when I realised I wanted to specialise in Presents because, yes, I do love to torture my characters! Authors can be sadists- and the readers love it!

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  17. Greetings and salutations!
    I used to buy based on the romance line (i.e., HQ Presents) and then the blurb. Since blogging, though, I now buy based on the author's name in that romance line. I try not to read the blurbs or excerpts because I might think I've already read those books before. Now there is no need to read them, as I trust those authors on my list - including Melanie, Kate, and numerous others (as I've read 250+ books/year since 1973).

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  18. Oops. Forgot to add that I read the excerpts for new authors who are recommended by other authors.

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    1. Hi Laney - answering both of your posts together - 250+ books .. . now that's a great total! I've not counted up how many books I've read since 1973 but I do know that since I started writng I've had less time to do as much reading as I'd like. This year I've vowed to read more and so far I'm keeping to it. I'm honoured to be on your list of authors you trust - thank you. I always try to make sure I don't disappoint. Sometimes the trouble with blurbs is that they can make the books sound so similar, when as experienced readers like you know, the individual styles and writing each author puts in makes them very different.

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  19. Hi, Nas and Kate! I enjoyed the interview:). I love books with lots of emotion and tension!

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  20. Hello Maria - glad you enjoyed the interview. Like you, I love books with lots of emotion and tension - that why I write them!

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  21. And Sarah - thank you. I hope it is as 'delicious' as you think when you get to read it.

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  22. I love the sound of the prince.

    I also want to visit numerous places. I hope to travel more in the years ahead.

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  23. I reember leaving a comment here a few days back but I can't find it - it must have got lost.

    Just wanted to say congratulations on your latest release Kate. It was a pleasure to read.

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  24. Hi Medeia - thak you I'm so glad that my blakc sheep prince appeals to you. I hope he does to a lot of people! Good luck with that wish to travel

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  25. I thought you'd posted Maria - but perhaps it was over on the previous blog?! Thank you for visiting anyway and I'm so pleased you enjoyed Throne.

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  26. The prince sounds very intriguing! Many congrats, Kate!

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  27. I'd love to visit Malta one day. The book sounds wonderful!

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  28. Hello Susan - nice to 'meet' you. I hoped my black sheep prince would sound intriging so I'm pleased you thought so.

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  29. Hi Lynda - Malta seems a populare place for people to want to visit. I have to say I really enjoyed my holiday there and visiting at Easter meant that it wasn't too hot.

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  30. Oooooh I think the lovely Honoria has what it takes to tame this wild king!!! Take care
    x

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    1. Hi 'Kitty'! Yes - I think you'll find that Honoria is a match for Alexei - in many differnt ways!

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  31. Congratulatiojns to Dana! Your name was picked by random.org as the lucky winner!

    Thanks to all my friends for coming by to chat with Kate Walker and thanks to Kate for this giveaway and for being here chatting to us all!

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    1. How exciting! Thanks so much!

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You can discuss your romance novel addiction too!