Sunday, January 04, 2009

Looking Forward by Kate Walker

Happy New Year (just a little bit late)

I'm not a great one for making New Year resolutions. I always find that in the razmatazz leading up to the New Year everyone gets a little carried away and decides on dieting, not drinking, not smoking, detoxing etc etc just that bit too much and sets themselves a whole load of aims and achivements to reach for - most of which are way out of our reach so that the failure to reach them means that we just feel worse about ourselves rather than better.

But then I feel lazy and a real let-down when all around me everyone else is declaring their resolve to do better, try harder, become the 'New You'. So I was quite relieved to read that a psychologist had declared much the same idea.

So I’m not resolving anything. And I don’t really feel that I need a ‘New Me’. The ‘old’ one might need a bit of a shake up every now and then but I’ve managed OK so far. But I am looking forward to 2009 with a lot of anticipation and some excitement. It’s a special year for Harlequin, for one thing. Last year here in the UK we all celebrated Mills & Boon’s Centenary year and that involved a lot of excitement, a lot of interest in the press, and personally I travelled up and down the country to appear at Book Festivals and other events to give workshops on my 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance. It was hectic!

2009 will be a bit quieter for the UK - but an important year for Harlequin because this is the year that they are celebrating their Diamond anniversary – 60 years of publishing romances! So watch out for all the special events and offers that will be announced over on eHarlequin. I'm looking forward to celebrating with them too.

And for me 2009 is also a year to celebrate. In December this year, it will be 25 years since my very first ever book was published. That’s right ! 25 years ! A special silver anniversary for the day my dreams came true and I became a published author. I’m not quite sure how I will mark the date but I will be doing something special.

And before that I’m looking forward to the publication of some new books that I have coming up – the very first of which will be published at the end of this month. That’s when my next Harlequin Presents Cordero’s Forced Bride will be appearing on the shelves in the American bookshops.
With my last title Bedded By The Greek Billionaire shortlisted for the Romantic Times Best Presents of 2008 I’m looking forward to the announcement of the results of that. (Though considering the great books also nominated with me, I’m honestly going to be happy, no matter who wins.) There’s another new title coming in September too and I’m looking forward to that as well.
But sometimes it seems that when you work in publishing you’re always looking forward – always planning ahead. Right now, I’m busy with the plans for my next book, the deadline is already set for when I need to have this on my editor’s desk and I’m working towards that right now. The trouble is that I know that as soon as I get involved in the story and get my head down, then the time of writing it will just pass in a flash. It always does. I’ll look up and realise that it’s March or April and this ‘New Year’ is way behind me and already we’re partway through it. And if I’m not careful I’ll be too busy looking ahead to take the time and space to enjoy the present.

So that’s my resolve – not necessarily a ‘resolution’ but definitely a determination – for 2009. I’m going to take a couple of steps back and actually experience – and enjoy – everything that comes along in this new year that stretches ahead right now. I know from experience that if I don’t then I’ll get to this time in 2010 with a sort of ‘blink and you missed it’ feeling. Instead I want to actually live fully in this year, experiencing everything that happens in it so that I will remember it all as clearly as possible. After all, these past 24 years of being published seem to have passed in a lash already. I want to enjoy the 25th!

What are you looking forward to specially in 2009? What do you hope will bring you some really great memories to recall as 2010 dawns (or is that looking too far ahead again?) Let me know what you hope this new year will bring for you and I’ll get Sid the Cat to pick out one name to win a signed copy of that award nominated book Bedded By The Greek Billionaire.

Oh – and just to let you know that this will be my regular blogging spot on Tote Bags from now on – the first Sunday of the month, So I’ll be back on February 1st when I will be talking about Cordero’s Forced Bride. See you then!
My apologies - I posted, meant to come back and read all the comments and chat with you - and life caught up with me and I've only just managed to snatch a moment to breathe and come back here.

Sid the Cat has picked me a winner - he doesn't have so much to do and he was just sitting about by the fire so he got the job done straight away! And he has picked:
Michele L
Michele please email me kate AT so that I can organise your prize for you.
Thanks to everyone else who posted.


Gina said...

Happy new year to you too Kate. I am looking forward to sliming down a dress size. I have a gym plan so I want to stick with it. Also so many fabulous books are coming out this year, including yours.

Avi J said...

I am looking forward to the birth of my neice. Have a great 2009 Kate.

Helen said...

Kate this is going to be a wonderful year for you congrats on your milestone 25 years that is really fantastic enjoy your year and congrats on the nomination well done.

For me I just really want to find more ME time I have 4 beautiful grandchildren now that I want to spend more time with before they grow up to quickly and there are so many good books being released this year to read and of course I already have a big TBR that I really want to get into nothing better than being taken on a wonderful adventure.

Happy New Year to you and your family Kate.

Have Fun

sarabelle said...

Hello Kate. I am looking forward to my husband going back to work and life going back to some kind of normal. Have a Happy New Year.

LJ said...

Hi kate, HAPPY NEW YEAR. I am looking forward to the birth of my child. My husband and I found out on Christmas eve l was pregnant, just about 2 months along.

Jennie Lucas said...

Oh Kate, congratulations on your silver anniversary as an author! What a fabulous milestone. If you come to DC in July, I'll treat you to a martini to celebrate! (Although that's as much for me as for you, because I adore your company. The things you say--so witty! so wicked!)

I love your "determination" to take time to enjoy life and pay attention to the joys of the present. Sometimes I'm so wrapped up in goals and dreams that I forget to enjoy what's right in front of me. (The story of my life, I'm afraid!) I'm going to take 2009 to enjoy my family and the sunsets and all the little moments that add up to a life well lived.

Crossing my fingers that Sid picks me so that one of my first fun moments can be reading Bedded by the Greek Billionaire. *grin*

Lisa said...

Hi Kate,

I am looking forward to lots of new books plus a long awaited vacation for a month. Just to rest and relax

Estella said...

Happy New Year, Kate!
I'm looking forward to spending more time with friends and family in 2009.

LJ White said...

Happy New Year, Kate! Congrats on all of your past achievements and upcoming celebrations.

In 2009 I plan on getting focused and pacing myself better. I have a lot of ongoing projects which I would like to complete. If I complete even half of them this year I will be happy.

Michele L. said...

Hi Kate!

I am hoping and praying that my husband finds a job this year. Money has been so tight and without health insurance it is not a fun worrying what each day will bring.

Many blessings to you and your family for a fantastic 2009!
Michele L.

Maureen said...

I am looking forward to the birth of my nephew. I hope 2009 is a good one for everyone.

Dina said...

Happy New year Kate. I am so looking forward to a Vacation this year with my friends. We have all been saving for a while to go for 2 weeks.