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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Kate Walker: Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother’s Day in the UK. I know it’s not the same date as it’s celebrated in America – I’ve never been quite sure why there is this difference – but in the UK we’ll be celebrating ‘Mothering Sunday’ on April 3rd. In the Roman religion the Hilaria festival was held in honour of the mother goddess Cybele and it took place during mid-March. As the Roman Empire and Europe converted to Christianity, this celebration became part of the liturgical calendar as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to honour the Virgin Mary and the "mother church".


During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church for a service to be held on Laetare Sunday. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone "a-mothering". In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, since in other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours. This Mother’s Day is going to be sad as well as a celebration for us. I’ll be so happy to see my son and to celebrate with him, but sadly my dear Mother in Law died a couple of weeks ago and so, like my own mother, she will be missed today.

So even more than usual, I’ve thinking about Mothers and their influences on us, and because I’m a writer I’ve been thinking about the books that my mother brought into my life. I don’t know if I would ever have started writing romance if it hadn’t been for the fact that my mother had a great friend who used to write for Mills & Boon in the years I was growing up. Marguerite Lees was a writer of romance back in the 1960s and 70s and she was the first person I ever knew who wrote and was published for a living. My mother had a collection of her friend’s books and I used to sneak a read of them when she wasn’t looking. They weren’t very sexy or even racy, but she still didn’t think they were suitable for me when I was young!

It’s funny though - because she thought that reading the classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights was fine. And these books have such strong emotions, such powerful themes of love and passion that they are far more intense and high-voltage than anything I ever read in the early Mills & Boon romances I read. But perhaps the fact that I read these books meant that when I wanted to write then I wanted to create stories that contained such intense emotions and strong feelings as the books I’d grown up with. So perhaps that’s why I now write for the Presents line where this emotional intensity is part of the atmosphere of the stories.

It certainly is there in my newest release – The Proud Wife - which is out in Presents Extra on April 12th. In The Proud Wife, Marina and Pietro married in a rush, early in their relationship, because she was pregnant. They were still in that wildly passionate first stage of love, when you’re blind to everything else. And the baby just seemed like the icing on the cake. But when Marina miscarried, their relationship was tested cruelly. Grief does terrible things to people. Some couples can be drawn together by it, others are torn apart. And because Marina and Pietro didn’t know each other well enough to understand what each of them was going through, it opened up the cracks in their marriage and split them up.

When someone has once loved so very passionately, the loss of that love leaves a hole that is very hard to fill. Marina and Pietro believe that they would be better apart, that their marriage is dead. But when they have to come back together to discuss the divorce, they are forced to think again. I love to write about themes like this - reunion stories are some of my favourites to write. And luckily they seems to be very popular with the readers – and reviewers. Romantic Times has given The Proud Wife 4.5 stars and describes it as ‘an emotionally charged page-turner with plenty of tension and passion. ‘

Which brings me to my really good news – I’m thrilled to be able to announce that another reunion story – The Konstantos Marriage Demand has been awarded the Best Presents Extra (2010) title in the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards. It’s a real honour for me and one I know my mother would have been delighted by. Sadly she never saw my books published - though she knew that the first one had been accepted. My Mother in law read and enjoyed every one of the novels I gave her and she knew about this award when I still had to keep it a secret. I’m so glad I was able to let her know before the official announcement and I’m so sad that I won’t be able to share my books with her in the future.

What about you? Did you get any of your love of books from your mother – or mother in law? – Did she share her favourite authors with you? Or if you are a mother what books have you been able to pass on to your daughter - or your son? I’ve been able to share all sorts of reading with my son but the romances are the books I share with his lovely girlfriend.

I have a signed copy of the award winning Konstantos Marriage Demand to give away to one poster – I’ll get Sid the cat on the job of picking the winner

You can read more about The Proud Wife over on my web site and you can learn all about my news and get all the really up to date stuff on my blog.

And the winner is . . . .LENI!


Leni please email me kate AT kate-walker.com and I'll send your prize book on to you

26 comments:

desere_steenberg said...

Hi Kate,

Thank you for sharing a lovely post with us on this beautiful day!

I got my love of books from my grandfathers both of them loved reading and just like me always had their nose in a book.

I find reading to be my very own personal escape from the the real world, like your books and that of many other authors it transports me to a whole new world and I can get lost for hours! The Konstantos Marriage Demand sounds stunning,thanks for the chance to win!

Take Care,
Desere

desere_steenberg@yahoo.com

marybelle said...

Here in Australia we have Mother's Day coming up in a few weeks time. My Mother is a prolific reader. I was surrounded by books as a child. How can you not love reading when given the best possible example?

marypres@gmail.com

kaelee said...

Hi Kate,
I really like the term Mothering Sunday as I think those of us without children can be appreciated for the care and love we give to our extended families. I hope you celebrate the day with many fond memories of your mother and mother-in-law.

My mom gave me my love of reading. I can remember that in grade one my teacher would read out a chapter a day of a Bobbsey Twin book. She had a small cache of books she would lend out. My mom would help me with words I didn't understand. By grade two I could read a book a day. My earliest recollections of adult reading go back to the ladies magazines that were always present in our house. My mom had a subscription to one, her mother and sister to others ~ add in a friend or two and those magazines were well read. Mom started buying Harlequin Romances when they first came out and then she added in Presents. I have boxes of them in my basement. I really don't know what I'd do if I couldn't read.

kaelee said...

PS ~ Please leave my name out of the draw as I have this book.

Laney4 said...

Hi, Kate!

Tough call about who gave me my love of books. My mother never read. My dad enjoyed newspapers and magazines. Found out after both died that man across the street (who died long before the other two) was my biological father (and everyone in small town knew but me, it seemed). I spent a great deal of time with bio father and his elderly parents, and he actually read romances all the time! He would sit on his front porch with his feet up on the railing, reading away after he finished the local paper. I picked up a book when I was in my early teens, and from then on, he took me to the used book store to choose books with him.

My kids have seen me immersed in books all their lives. I used to read to them. But you know what? They don't enjoy reading. At all. My 25-year-old son will read instruction manuals with ease and apparent enjoyment. My 23-year-old daughter teaches in a daycare centre, so she buys toddler books all the time and enjoys those, but a novel? Nope. Not happening.

Bummer for me, as I'd like to share the love of books. Luckily, though, we share many other things instead.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Desere - I love the idea of your two grandfathers both with their noses in a book - and I completely understand the feelikng of being transported to another world and wanting to stay there. Nothign does that quite like a really good book - does it?

Kate Walker said...

Marybelle - I wonder why Mother's Day is at such different times? I hope you have a lovely day when it arrives. You are so right - I grew up surrounded by books and when you see your psrents enjoying thier reading then it's such a great example - I just wish I had more time to read

desere_steenberg said...

Your right on the button there Kate,there is noting better when you feeling low or just need to escape from everyday life , like a good book!

Everything is better in "book land"!

Take Care,
Desere

Kate Walker said...

Hi Kaelee - I think you are right - Mothering Sunday reaches out to include more than official mothers and works for those who have done the mothering.

I think that being read a chapter a day of a story works so well in two ways - you get to see how much fun it is being told a story but you want to find out what hapens so you want to learn the skill of reading for yourself. It sounds like your Mum really loved her reading and who cold resist all those wonderful stories - I'd love to raid those boxes of Harlequins

Kate Walker said...

Laney - that is a fascinating story and it seems to prove that your genetic background to read came through. And someone who would take you to the book store and buy you books is someone special. My son has picked up the love of reading from both me and his dad - he freads so fast he gets through books and books all the time. At least your son can read and uses the skill - he just doens't like fiction! My DH prefers non ficiton - but not instruction manuals!

runner10 said...

Happy Mother's Day!!
My Mom is a reader. We still share books. My daughter enjoys reading too. She made me read The Twilight series. I hooked her on Nicholas Sparks.

Caroline said...

Congrats on the award Kate - well deserved it's a great book which I thoroughly enjoyed! Caroline x

Leni said...

No, I didn't get any of my reading habits from my mother, but we share a love of cooking.

lenikaye@yahoo.com

Kate Walker said...

Hi Runner! I love the way you and your Mum have swapped favourite authors like that - I was introduced to the Twilight series by my son's partner - and I've introduced her to romances - specially mine!

Kate Walker said...

Thank you Caroline - I'm so thrilled to have won this award. It means a lot to me. The Knostantos Marriage Demand is one of my own favourites and it's wodnerful to have it homoured in this way. I'm so glad you enjoyed it

Kate Walker said...

Hi Leni - I just chatted with you over on Romance Bandits too! It's lovely when we share soemting with our mothers - cooking or reading, it doesn't matter which! I have certain meals that whenever I cook them I always think of my mother - and certain books that I read that make me rememebr her too

CrystalGB said...

Hi Kate. Love your post. My mom and my sister in laws were the ones who got me to reading romance.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Kate,

Thanks so much for a lovely post. We have our Mother's Day coming up in May.

Congratulations on the award!

chey said...

Congratulations on the award Kate!
My grandmother was a librarian and she encouraged us to read. When I was 11 or 12 and I ran out of my own books to read, my mother sent me to her box of books. That's when I started to read harlequins. They weren't very racy back then.

Estella said...

I got my love of reading from my Father. I started out reading his westerns and then discovered the library.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Crystal - and thank you for visiting. With your mm and your sister in law influencing your reading, I'll bet you had lots of different recommendations

Kate Walker said...

Hi Nas

I hope you have a woderful Mother's Day when it comes around. And thank you so much for the congratulations - I'm really happy about that award

Kate Walker said...

Hi Chey - with a ibrarian for a grandmother, you would definitely be encouraged to read. I know I loved working as a children's librarian - helping lots of children choose books they liked to read. I think a box of Harlequins wold be like a treasure trove to a reader in need of books

Kate Walker said...

Estella - I used to love Westerns too but that's something I never read now. As a child, I used to go to the library every Saturday morning - the trouble was that I had often read my books by Saturday evening!

Kate Walker said...

And the winner is . . . .LENI!

Leni please email me kate AT kate-walker.com and I'll send your prize book on to you

Nice O. Urdaneta said...

this weekend would be the Mother's day celebration in the Philippines and I'm looking forward to celebrate it with my mom! nice post you got here...