Sunday, December 06, 2009

Do You Remember Your First by Kate Walker

Do you remember your first?

I’ve been thinking about some of my very favourite authors, and trying to remember how I first discovered them – and even, if I can, trying to recall the very first time I read one of their novels – the ones that got me hooked on reading everything they ever wrote.

Mary Stewart was one of the earliest ones. I remember I saw the (not very good) film version of her book The Moonspinners when I was in my teens. So when I spotted a book with the same title I just had to read it to find out if it was any better than that. It was - so so much better and I was hooked. I hunted down every Mary Stewart book I could find and devoured them all. I still love them.

I can’t recall the books that got me hooked on Georgette Heyer, but I know I found the second book in Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (Queen’s Play) in the library and , although I really enjoyed it, there were a lot of references I didn’t understand – that ws because I hadn’t read the first book, Game of Kings. So I hunted that down, and again I just had to read every word she had ever written. They are still on my favourite ever books list.

I found another favourite author because of my sister. I was staying with her in Tasmania and I had free range to raid her –extensive bookshelves. There was one author, Jodi Picoult, who I’d never heard of. My sister recommended her enthusiastically. ‘ Amazing – she writes like a dream,’ she said. ‘Try one.’ So I tried My Sister’s Keeper (well before the film came out) and I just couldn’t put ti down.

I’ve been thinking about this for a very special reason. December 2009 marks 25 years – 25! – since the very first time I ever saw one of my own books in print. December 1984 was the month that my first ever title, The Chalk Line was published by Mills & Boon in the UK. It didn’t come out in America until 1992 – my first USA title was Game of Hazard. But The Chalk Line was the book that started it all off – a career writing and publishing romance that has lasted 25 years!

So this month and throughout the coming year, I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve now reached my ‘silver’ anniversary – 25 years as a published author. And people who know me well know that when I’m celebrating I like other people – my readers – to join in too. And this time is no different. I’m running a special contest on my web site with 25 – that’s right, 25 prizes to give away. And those prizes go to readers who let me know their first – and/or their favourite ever – Kate Walker title.

Can you remember the first Kate Walker novel you ever read? Were you right there at the beginning with The Chalk Line? Or have you discovered my books much more recently?

Tell me about your first time – the first Kate Walker you read. What book was it and what was happening in your life when you found it? Did you pick it up in a shop, find it in the library – or perhaps a friend or member of your family suggested you try it?

Let me know about the first book you read and I will publish the most interesting ones on my blog. I will also give a prize to anyone whose story I publish. You can win a signed copy of one of the backlist books I have a available, together with another small gift to celebrate Christmas and this special anniversary.

Send your First Book stories to me – see the email below – with FIRST BOOK in the subject line. Closing date for all FIRST BOOK stories is December 31st 2009. But I’ll be posting some of the titles and stories before then.

Or maybe you’d like to vote for your favourites of my books – your Top % Kate Walker title? If so, check out my Contest Page for details how to do that.

And to get this celebration started, why not let me know your first ever Kate Walker right here? I have an extra prize of a signed copy of my latest book Kept For Her Baby (Harlequin Presents EXTRA) to give away to some one who posts that information in the comments section.

And I’m thrilled to be able to say that my writing career will be lasting even longer that 25 years as I already have two new title coming out in 2010 with The Konstantos Marriage Demand coming in Presents EXTRA in March and A Good Greek Wife? following that some time in the summer. (It’s out in the UK in July) So look out for those.

And I’d love to know which one was your ‘first’ – or your five favourites.

Sid took some finding to pick a winner this time - we've had visitors and he was hiding away from the active 3 years old! But I found him and the winner of a copy of Kept For Her Baby is Linda Henderson. Linda please email me kate AT with your postal address and I'll send on your prize.

And everyone else - if you want a second chance at winning, don't forget to enter the contest and vote for your Top 5 - details on the Contest page on my web site


Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Kate, congratulations on your upcoming 25th. I think my first was Penny Jordan while working at Princess Cruises a co-worker gave me her book to read and the rest is history.

As for my first of yours, I'm thinking Hostage Bride or Desert Affair. At any rate, my Kate Walker journey has been a wonderful experience and you've introduced me to so many new Presents authors. The friendships and memories have been quite remarkable.

Happy Holidays to you, the bm and of course Sid. xx

Laney4 said...

Congrats on your 25th! I look forward to the next 25!

You have asked a difficult question to answer. Back "in the day", I didn't keep track of who wrote which books. I just read them. I went to your web site to check out your back cover blurbs and cover pictures to refresh my memory, and three books seemed familiar: BROKEN SILENCE, MAN OF SHADOWS, and THE SPANIARD'S INCONVENIENT WIFE. I DO know that I recognized your name as someone whose books I read often, like Anne Mather and Penny Jordan. That would have been in the eighties, so I was having kids then! Ahhhh, those were the days. And I thought I was busy THEN! I would have picked them up in a local book store (one of my favourite places!!!), and then I would have passed them on to one of many girlfriends (as I still do).

Since I've started blogging, I now write down my comments on Post-It notes and attach to the books. I recently read CORDERO'S FORCED BRIDE, and I wrote "fast read (GREAT!!!) ... made sense throughout ... liked how they talked to each other ... realistic re details - could imagine it actually happening ... wished I were the Heroine ... dress on cover was blue satin and pg 9 said it was pink satin."

Thanks for offering all the great books through the years. Now you've whetted my appetite to read even more (which is the reason for blogging, I imagine)!!!

Jane said...

Happy Anniversary, Kate. Congrats on 25 years as a published author. My first and favorite is "The Antonakos Marriage."

Virginia C said...

Hi, Kate! Congratulations on your splendid 25th Anniversary! Truly a wonderful accomplishment! My first Kate Walker book was "Flirting With Danger".

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I've been reading your books for a long time. You have always been one of my keeper authors. The first book I ever read of yours was Rough Diamond. I particularly like your sheikh books. Desert Affair and At The Sheikh's Command are some of my favorites.

Michele L. said...

Hi Kate,

My love affair with your books all started with THE UNEXPECTED CHILD. I found it laying with a bunch of other romance books at a book sale and it caught my eye. I picked it up, liked the back excerpt, and bought it. Ever since then I have scoured book stores for your books. I have found many of your old ones, have won some, :-), and bought a lot at different stores.

It is so fun to find another one by chance! I always give a little squeal of joy, quickly pick it up, and rush to the counter to make my purchase. It is like a treasure hunt!

You are an amazing writer Kate! Your books are always unique, wrtiten with so much soul, and so much fun to read!

Congarats on your anniversary! What an amazing accomplishment!

Silvia said...

Hello Kate, Congratulations!
I started reading these books a long time ago. I've wrecked my brain but can't remember my first. (Am I getting old?) I do remember loving what Charlotte Lamb or Emma Darcy wrote. And yours are great too!

ilona said...

I have been reading your books since I found my first one in the library (I believe it was Games Of Hazard) and it became automatic to pick up a book if it had your name on it.

I must admit to also doing the same with Emma Darcy, Liz Fielding, Anne Mather and Penny Jordon too. Sometimes you lot were all that kept me sane as I coped with my 5 children when their Dad was away with the army :D

Kate Walker said...

Hello Marilyn - and thank you for your congratulations. Hostage Bride and Desert Affair were bith 2003 publications but DA came out in January 1nd HB in April - the opposite to the UK publications - so I expect that means Desert Affair counts as your first Kate Walker. I do hope you'll let me know your Top 5

Kate Walker said...

Hi Laney

You've listed some early titles there - and they both date from the same year (USA) and yes it was the 80s - that's 1988. They were earlier in UK.

What a great idea to put a note to yourself about how you felt about a book - it is so easy to forget eactly which one it was that we liked and why. I'm thrilled that my names registered as someone whose books you read often - a real compliment - Thank you so much for your comments on Cordero. Believe me, it's great to know that what I thought made sense also makes sense to a reader - believe me it isn't always the case! I hope you'll continue to find my name on more books you read.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Jane and thank you - The Antonakos Marriage is a favourite of mine too!

Kate Walker said...

Hello Virginia - I recognise that little cat picture! Flirting With Danger was a 1996 publication - Eeek - even that is over 10 years ago!

Thank you for sending me your top 5 for that vote.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Michele - The Unexpected Child was one of my best sellers in the 1990s. In fact it was one of the top sellers in Presents that year so I have fond memories of it. I'm delighted that it started off your interest in my writing. Do you know which is the oldest title you have?

And I'm honoured by those lovely things you've said about my writing - to have my books described as written with so much soul is just fabulous. I hope I continue to write books you enjoy.

Michele L. said...

Hi Kate,

The book I have is 1997 and the cover is all creamy white, probably from age, with the picture in a circle. It is old fashioned looking to me, giving it a nostolgic feel, which I love!

Linda Henderson said...

Thank you very much.