Sunday, February 12, 2017

Making Valentine's Day Special - Kate Walker

I  have been busy planning a course  ready for the weekend.   Every February I  teach  the ‘Advanced
Romance Writing Course’ with  Writers’ Holiday.  It’s held in the  middle of Wales, on the Pembrokeshire Coast  in the small town of Fishguard.  The hotel we stay – and run the courses  in –the Fishguard Bay Hotel is  set  right above the bay itself so that we have a wonderful view of the sea, the cliffs and occasionally the ferry  that comes in  to dock  from its crossing over the sea from Ireland. 

I love this place, the hotel, the people who run Writers’ Holiday and the students on the courses  - it’s all very special and warm and  happy.  Just what we need in the middle of dark, wet, miserable February.  And we really need to feel that way because every time, in the few days before we set out – days like today – when I look out at the cold, wet, grey and gloomy day,  I wonder why I ever agree even to set foot outside my home, let alone face a long, winding, rain lashed journey.  But  once  I’ve made the trip and I’m in my  bedroom with its wonderful view of the sea, I  feel  so glad I made the effort – and happy at the thought of the time I’ll spend with friends I already know and  the chance of making new ones over the weekend.

I think that’s why I appreciate the fact that this  weekend is always held just around the time when all the shops are filled with bunches of red roses,. Chocolate hearts and teddy bears that they seem to think people want in order to celebrate Valentine’s  Day.  I’ve never been a great fan of Valentine’s day.  It started out as a secret – and rather romantic way   of letting someone know you loved them,. By sending a card. Usually an anonymous one.  Now there are special Valentine’s dinners, wines, presents . . .   I have to admit that I don’t go in for those sorts of things.  

But when I think about my trip to Wales  and the way that everyone who meets up in Fishguard  after  they’ve gone to the trouble of making that extra effort, travelling that journey so we can all be together, then I sort of understand more about why we need something like Valentine’s Day in the dark, miserable days of February – which has to be one of the gloomiest months of the year.  Christmas is behind us, New Year  Resolutions are forgotten,  Easter is still on the horizon . . .
Because isn’t that what Romance is all about?  It’s not just about love and marriage and happy ever after, at least not for me. It’s about my hero and heroine, making that extra bit of effort,   finding ways to show  each other that they care, that they want to be together.   Real romance isn’t about picking up one of the hundreds and thousands of bunches of red roses mass produced  for the 14th February. Or  handing over a box of chocolates that are piled  high on the  supermarket shelves.  It’s about  finding a way to show the person you care about that you  feel  something special for them – and you want them to know it.

So  that’s really why  this  weekend away in Wales  is  all about the ‘Advanced’ Romance  writing! That’s about finding something special in  your own writing  and to put into the world of your  hero and heroine  to help them forward into that happy ever after.    It’s that that puts the ‘romance’ into their world, not the mass-market cards and gifts. At least that’s how it is for me and that’s what I always hope to put into my books to bring that extra romance into my readers’ lives.

Wherever you are, I hope your Valentine’s Day will be a lovely and a special even for you. I hope that every one of you has someone special who will find a
way to mark this day to brighten up  dark and gloomy February  - and  hopefully the rest of the year.

My  latest Harlequin Presents title was published last year - that was Indebted to Moreno.   Since then I've had another book - my 66th title accepted and bought but I don't yet know its title or exactly when it will be out - but as soon as I have that information I'll share it with you.

What I can tell you is that this  new  title is the first book in a duet of linked stories that I have  given the working title The Scandalous O'Sullivan Sisters.   These two books tell the story of two sisters . The first book - the one that's just accepted is Imogen's st(the older sister) story,.  The one I'm working on now is the younger sister's story - her name is Ciara.

If you want to most up to date news on my books and my writing, check out  my web site  or my blog.  Or you can catch up with me on my Facebook page

Happy Valentine's Day to  you all!


Anne McAllister said...

Wishing you and The Prof UK a happy Valentine's Day -- and a wonderful restorative time in Fishguard. It sounds lovely. See you soon1

dstoutholcomb said...

sounds like a lovely place to teach a course

Happy Valentine's Day


Kate Walker said...

Thank you Anne - we're looking forward to the time in Fishguard - and then we're looking forward even more to your visit. Charlie and Ruby are full of anticipation too
See you soon!

Kate Walker said...

It is a wonderful place to stay - and to teach - or study - on a course, Denise. Happy Valentine's Day to you too