Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Friends I’ve Met Along the Way - Kate Walker

As some of you may already know, this year I’m celebrating 30 years as a published author. It’s really a rather special occasion – and one I’m not quite sure how I got here! I was a child author,
of course!  Born with a pen in my hand and graduating to a keyboard before I could walk!    People often ask me how I managed to write so many books (63 and one on my editor’s desk  if you count the romance fictions stories--  another 2 if you take into account the  ‘How To’ books.)

The answers to that one’s easy (well – easier to answer than to managed) I wrote these books one word at a time – and that’s how I’ll continue to do so while I still want to write and people still want to buy my books.
So, last month, I received a box full of my newest book – Olivero’s  Outrageous Proposal – and if you’re one of the ones who gets hold of a copy early through the Book Club you’ll have seen that it has a very special dedication to a very special friend of mine.  My dear friend Pat who  had been a vital part of my life for 35 years lost her battle with cancer last year.  She left a huge gap – one that I will never truly fill.  Pat was one  of the very few people who knew that I was writing when I was just aiming for publication - so she and another long-term friend Noelle  have very special
places in my heart both as a writer and  a woman. But  this made me think about other friends being a writer -  friends who are an unexpected bonus  as a result of this writing life.

Because romance books are so well known all over the world,  one of the surprises that writing for Harlequin brought me was meeting up with people who read my books –and/or wrote their own – from  so many different countries.  For example - he reason I’m on this blog is because of one of those  readers. Lee Hyat came to visit my brand new web site and told me how much she enjoyed my books –  that’s always a great start!  I think she wrote first because of Constantine's Revenge  - We’ve been friends ever since.  And now here I am writing on Lee’s web site!

Regular readers of my blog will know that Michelle Reid and Anne McAllister are  writer friends pf mine – writers whose books I’ve enjoyed and then met the authors and enjoyed being with them too.   Well, actually the list of authors I now count as friends has grown too long for me to list  here – I’d only forget someone. But I do have to  mention my ‘twins’ – Holly Jacobs and Donna Alward.  We didn’t know we were twins until we met at a RWA conference. (What do you mean you can’t have 3 twins – we can!)

There’s a special place in my friends list for people who have come to my courses to learn about writing romance. Some of them  I’ve met on line – Julie Cohen, Anna Louise Lucia  and Abby Green  were all people I’d chatted with in forums or on line writers classes and  Abby came to my course at Writers’ Holiday. Now they’re all published authors with thriving writing careers behind them.
And that’s another reason why friends have been on my mind, Tomorrow   I’ll be heading to Weetwood Hall  in Leeds (UK)  to run another course – this year’s Writing Retreat.  I’ll meet up with a bunch of people who were originally students but now are affectionately known as my ‘Stalkers’!  I’ve had the great thrill and privilege  to see some of my students progress from studying writing to being successful at it – the latest student to be published had been Rachael Thomas, brand new Harlequin  Presents author. She is the 14th of my students who has gone on to be a published writer. 

So now I’m hoping  to see another one – perhaps one of this group in Leeds – become the 15th!  There are a couple of people I have hopes may well make it soon (fingers crossed) and that being so I’ll be delighted to in traduced them to you over on my blog.  But in the meantime I’m looking forward to spending this weekend with them – and  meeting up with some I know as friends
already and getting to know newer friends better as the weekend progresses.

Friends are important. I knew that with my dear Pat and I lost her way too soon. So I’m grateful for all the other friends – writers, readers, students . . .  I’ve made as  a result of  this writing game!  So that’s why Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal is dedicated to Pat. 

Thank you to all my friends – and to the readers out there  - too many to list – who write to me and tell me you enjoy my books.  You’re an important part of my life even if we’ve never met. And I’m so glad you’re there.

What about you? Do you have one special friend or a gang of friends?  Are your friends all close to you – or, like mine, spread out all over the country – the world. Tell me about a special friend and I’ll get my furry friend – Charlie the Maine Coon  - to pick out one comment so that you can give your friend a present of a  Kate Walker backlist book.

The 63rd book of mine  Olivero's Outrageous Proposal will be out at the end of March /early April.
And the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance is now available on Kindle. (I hope to have some extra news about that 12 Point Guide - for people who prefer print books - very soon. Watch my blog for that.)

You can catch up with all of Kate's news on her website  or on her blog.  You can also find her on her author page on Facebook.


Laney4 said...

I too am blessed with many friends - some of whom I have never met. There's you, of course, and other authors like Annie West and, yes, Abby Green! There are way too many authors to mention (and I am fortunate to have an abundance of good personal friends too), but I WILL admit that Sandra Hyatt will always have a special place in my heart, even though she passed away in her prime. I just feel so blessed to be able to "talk with" so many authors and readers too via blogs and emails.
One couldn't have done that thirty years ago! When I think back to those years, an author would have had more time to write because there wasn't blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.; however, today more words are able to be typed because we aren't typing and retyping on a typewriter! Oh...modern technology! It has its good points and its not as good points.
Since we both "know" Abby, we'll go with her name as my "special friend" here. I'm sure she'd love to read one of your backlists!
Thanks for sharing, Kate, and may you always be surrounded by lots of friends in your life. It's a lonely world without them.

dstoutholcomb said...

i have a few close friends and a larger circle of friends, too.

Carol L. said...

I have friends I'vee know for over 40 years. Some live in my area while a few live across country. I cherish them for being in my life through everything. Thank you for your post.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at). aol (dot). com

Mary Preston said...

I do have the one very special friend from work, but most of my best friends are actually my sisters - I have 5 of them.

My daughter awoke this morning to the news that Terry Pratchett had died. She was most distraught. My Jane is not only a big fan of his books, but of the man himself. Books bring all kinds of people & friends together.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Laney - thanks for sharing too! And yes, I'd have to include you in one of my lists of readers who are friends across the internet. I love the other friends you mention too - and my heart still aches for dear Sandra Hyatt that was so sad. When I started out I never got to know any other authors unless we met in person - now it's so different.
Thanks for being one of my reader-friends

Kate Walker said...

Hi and thanks for visiting - close friends are special aren't they? It doesn't matter how many there are, they mean a lot

Kate Walker said...

HI Carol - friends for 40 years are like sisters, aren't they? That's what my friend Pat was like to me. Even when you can't see them everyday they mean so much. I hope you keep those friends for a long long time.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Mary - sisters are special, aren't they? Sometimes they are not friends at all and sometimes they're the best friends you could possibly have. I felt the loss of Terry Pratchett too - he will be so missed and you're right, books do so bring people together

Kate Walker said...

Carol L - Charlie picked out your name - please will you contact me - kate AT with a postal address so I can share a book with one of your friends