Monday, May 12, 2014

Whatever the weather . . . with Kate Walker

I spent almost all of yesterday on a sun warmed terrace outside a villa in Tuscany.  There was a swimming
pool  nearby, just down a flight of stone steps, and a panoramic view of rolling hill and green fields. The sun was warm and comforting  and the birds sang.  . .

 . . .Er – not! The truth is that yesterday was cold and windy and wet. Wet, wet,  wet.  Rain lashed against the windows, the wind buffeted the garden and the cats refused to go out.   The Tuscan villa, the swimming pool, the sunshine – they all belonged to my characters. The Villa   D’Oro was where my hero Dario had taken his newly married wife of convenience  for their honeymoon. So they got to enjoy its delights while I just got to dream. But at least  I got to enjoy them in my imagination – and it took my mind off the cold wet day outside.

One of the great things about being a writer is that when I’m creating worlds for my characters to live in I can make them whatever I want, put my hero and heroine wherever I want. I can put them in an English village – or out in a desert kingdom. I can even create my own country for them to them to live in and for my hero to rule as King – as I did in A Throne For The Taking

And the weather can be whatever I want  or need it to be for the story. The funny thing is that I never – well, rarely ever create the same weather for my hero and heroine as I’m actually experiencing as I write. Yesterday’s downpour is a case in point . And it made me remember  the way I was feeling when I wrote my next book  - the one that’s coming out in June.

This book is called A Question of Honor  (or A Question of Honour if you live in the UK!) and my hero, Karim Al Khalifa is the son of a sheikh.  You’d think that would be the perfect cue for a hot, dry day amongst the desert sand. Well, yes that may be where he lives but at the start of the book he has been sent to find the runaway  bride Clementina  Savaneski and take her to her fiancé when she’s to be married.  The problem is that Clemmie has run away to a small English village  and it’s the middle of winter.  In fact the weather is so bad that my characters are snowed in.

And I was writing this on one of the hottest weekends of the summer! I was trying to imagine how it felt to be freezing cold, with snow falling down outside and having to light a fire to keep warm – while all the time I was fighting to keep as cool as possible, with all the windows open and a fan blowing next to my desk. It’s a good thing I’ve got a vivid imagination.

This made me wonder if as readers you really notice the weather/heat/cold  climate  in which a book is set. Does it matter to you – would it increase your enjoyment if  the book  was set somewhere  very hot. Or do you perhaps love it when the hero and heroine are snowed in together like Karim and Clemmie?  I know lots of readers have favourite settings – but do you have favourite climates? I’d love to know.

Well, it’s time I got back to Dario and Alyse. The sun is still shining on that terrace but they’d better enjoy it for now because I’m sending them back to cold rainy England in a moment.   And guess what – as soon as they head for London and get caught in a rainstorm, the sun has started to come out here in Lincolnshire. I
can’t win!

My atest Harlequin Presents title is– A Question of Honor  which is published  on May 20 th
I've also revised and republished a Kindle edition of the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance which  is now  available on  or

You can find out more  about me  and my books on my web site or on  my blog where the latest and most up to date news is posted.


Janine said...

As a reader, I always enjoy exotic settings in a book. I don't get to travel any more, so this is how I get my vacation fix.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Janine. I love to 'armchair travel' with books too and the Presents line certainly has some exotic settings. Best thing is you don't have to do all that packing!

Cindy Hamilton said...

I like the desert if a sheikh is involved or Greece & Rome

Kate Walker said...

Hi Cindy - those sheikhs are still so popular and they're always fun to write. And I have to admit that, having a weakness of islands - the thought of a Greek Tycoon owning his own private island is a real fantasy.