I'm starting work on my new book. Well, I've been working on it for a while, in my head, even if I haven't got many words down on the screen. I know who the hero is, who his heroine is going to be I have to put them in that order for this particular book, because that's thye way they came to me - it's the hero's position and situation that gave me the story. Thinking about that told me who my heroine needed to be.So I have a hero, a heroine - and a plot. I have an opening, a stiuation that starts off the story as a whole, and I have conflicts. A big problematical conflict that starts off the story and puts it into motion, and deeper, more personal ones for both my central characters. The ones that will come between them and stop them falling into each others' arms.
I even have names - I think. These are liable to change if they end up not fitting as I tell their story. But right now, Alexander (Alex) and Ria are the hero and heroine, and they're names I can work with. I even have a villain - though I'm not sure of his name yet.
But I have a problem with one thing. I don't know where my book is set. And that's important because the setting is part of the story, part of the plot, part of the problem.
The Devil and Miss Jones - is set partly in Argentina and the UK - one is where my hero (The Devil) and one is where Miss Jones (my heroine) live. My hero in my next book out - The Return of The Stranger - is Brazilian, but the book takes place in the UK for a very special reason, as well as the fact that it's where his heroine lives. (More on that next time).
But with this new story I need to invent a country for myself. I'm writing a Royal' book - one where one of my characters (not telling you which yet because it would spoil it) is heir to a small kingdom. It's not a real country of course - I'm creating my own conuntry, with its royal family, its history, its customs. Its a European country - just - because it's almost in Russia it's that far along the coast of the Black Sea (at least this is how I'm imagining it at the moment.)
It's a tiny country, not much more than the size of Monaco, but it has some real importance - its major port for one - and an invaluable mineral that is mined in its northern mountains.
Desert Affair) and Barakhara (At The Sheikh's Command.) But as I said, I wanted a more European - possibly east European - name for this kingdom.
So I thought I'd run a contest. And I'd ask you all to join in. Have you got any suggestions for the name of my ficitonal kingdom? Any ideas what it looks like? If so to enter please tell me about it in the comments section, give me the name of the country I'm crfeating - and perhaps a few details about your imagining of it to inspire me.
I won't promise to use any name from here, but itf there is a really great one then I'll not only use it, I'll acknowledge it - and you - on the dedication page of my book. And I'm offering prizes too. If someone gives me a name I' really want to use, then I'll send you two signed books from my backlist as a thank you for the help. If I don't pick the actual name of my fictional kingdom from here, then I'll get Sid the cat on the job of picking a couple of winners anyway, and they'll get a signed book as a prize.
So - what would you name an imaginary country and what would it be like? I'd love to know.
Kate's newest title - The Return of The Stranger - is officially released in the UK in Mills & Boon Modern on Septermber 2nd. It will be published in Australia and America (in Presents EXTRA) in October. She'll be back next month to tell you more about this book and why it's very special to her.
You can find out more about The Return of The Stranger and all Kate's books on her web site, together with her most up to date news on her blog.
Sorry to be late in replying but I only just managed to post before I was hit by a migraine and have only just been able to look at the screen again. I'm tempted by four of these suggestions - can't make my mind up yet!
So if Laney, Caroline, Sonali and Michelle L would email me -
kate AT kate-walker.com I'll let you know which of my backlist I have copies of and you can choose a prize for helping me get this far
And if I do decide on one of these for definite then I'll let you know!