Today is my mother's birthday. She was born on 3rd March in Clones County Monaghan, Ireland. Sadly she died just before the publication of my first book - though she did know that it had been accepted and was about to be published.
My mother was the first person to open the door into the enchantment of stories and that wonderful questions ‘what happened next?’ I was one of five daughters, all of different ages and interests but we all used to come together at bed time and listen to the stories Mother would read to us. She read so many stories – many I can’t remember – but there were the Brer Rabbit, Irish legends and folk tales, King Arthur and his Knights of The Round Table. Or sometimes she would make up stories herself, with characters based around the personalities of her five daughters, or perhaps some special toys who would come alive in those imaginary lands. These were the best because we had no idea what was going to happen and we had to wait until the next night to hear what was going on. I’m sure my mother had no idea of what was going to happen either and spent the next day frantically trying to think up what might be the next instalment in the plot she was making up as she went along.
Perhaps it was from her that I learned how to tell a story. How to add in excitement and adventure, how to lead up to an intriguing moment and then leave it at a cliff-hangers , saying ‘ and if you want to find out what happened . . .well I’ll tell you that tomorrow night.’ She certainly taught me to love stories and to want to feed my imagination with these wonderful people, events and mysteries. And when I was old enough to read for myself she fed that imagination with books – from second hand book sales, from trips to the library, and birthday and Christmas gifts. One of the best things that was always guaranteed to be in our Christmas stocking was a brand new and unopened annual. I know it was put there for us to read so that we would keep quiet and stay in bed a little while longer on Christmas morning so that she could get some sleep – and it worked! But it was still such a treat.
Of course, sadly I can't actually celebrate her day with her, but I do want to mark today – for a couple of reasons. One is obviously Mother’s birthday, another is the fact that I’ve just been sent the brand new cover of my upcoming Presents title – A Throne For The Taking. (out in June) I’ll post it here so you can see what you think.
Here in the UK, next weekend is also Mother’s Day, again something worth celebrating – so, although it’s not Mother’s Day in America until May, I think mothers are really well worth celebrating – so to mark today, and this new cover – I’m offering a giveaway of one of my backlist books for someone to give to their mother. Tell me about your Mum – does she love reading? Or is there something else she’s really interested in? Why would you like to give her one of my books? Just post a comment and I’ll get Charlie the Maine Coon to pick a name so that someone can hopefully make their mother’s day with a little special gift.
Kate’s latest hero is Alexei Sarova, a black sheep prince who has to face up to a new and unexpected destiny. A Throne For the Taking will be published in the Royal and Ruthless miniseries (in UK) in June.