Monday, March 12, 2018

Early St Patrick's Day Greetings from Kate Walker

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone.   

Yes, I know it’s not actually St Pat’s Day yet, but it’s getting near to the  17th March, and at this time of year my thoughts always turn to the ‘Emerald Isle’  and my family’s connection with that beautiful country.   And then it was Mother's Day here in the UK yesterday so naturally I was thinking of my mother who was born in Clones,  Monaghan.

Both my parents were  born in Ireland -  and on my mother's side I’m descended from a man called Chevalier Charles Wogan whose story is something of a delight for any romantic novelist – here is a brief summary:

"The Chevalier" (Knight) Charles Wogan was born in Rathcoffey. Is it possible that his heroic actions on the night of April 29th 1719 have given rise to the romantic fairy-tale tradition that for every fair princess shut up in a castle tower there comes a knight in shining armour ready to set her free so that she can marry the handsome prince of her dreams?

Wogan was a staunch supporter of the Stuarts. He initiated the alliance which led to the marriage of James Edward Francis Stuart (the Old Pretender), son of Charles II, to Clementina Sobieski, daughter of John Sobieski, King of Poland. She was apprehended, however, on her way to marry the Prince in Bologna. She was held captive in Innsbruck in the Tyrol. Wogan arranged false passports with the Austrian Ambassador and along with a small group feigning to be a Count, Countess, the Countess’ brother (Wogan) and her maidservant, managed to gain access to the princess. Following a quick exchange of clothing between the princess and the maidservant, the party escaped in high winds and blinding snow through the Alpine passes into Austria.

The marriage to James took place and from it Charles Edward (the Young Pretender) was born in Rome in 1720. Wogan’s reputation for daring and enterprise spread throughout all Europe.
It’s rumored that in fact Charles Wogan and Clementina fell in love on their journey but that his loyalty to his king meant that he didn’t press his own claim for marriage. It’s also rumored that as a result of this, the Chevalier and his family are entitled to wear their hats in the presence of the king and to a pension of £10 a year. Unfortunately, like most of these things in English law, this was only passed down through the male side – which has now died out - and I come from the female line.
But this story has been in my mind a lot lately and I keep thinking that seeing as there's really nothing really new in romance plots, it could make a good romance story for Presents.

What do you think?

But for now, I have to  drag my mind away from the ideas that this story is sparking off and make myself focus on the revisions for my next book.   This is the trouble with the way that writing works. You write a book – send it to the editor.  The   editor wants revisions – but the revisions always seem to arrive just when you’ve thought of a new story and are itching to get on with it.

So I’m going to have to push this story from the Irish part of my family to the back of my mind while concentrating on the current book.  I may have mentioned that this is the second part of the duet of books that I started with  A Proposal to Secure His Vengeance.   I need to get this finished because it seems a lot of people are waiting impatiently  for the second half of the story – Imogen and Raoul have had their happy ever after  so now it’s the turn of Imogen’s sister  . . . and it seems that so many of you have guessed who her hero will be and can’t wait to read it .  So I’d better get back  to those revisions.   the meantime,  I’m itching to go back and reread the story of Charles Wogan and his Princess  and see where my imagination will take me.
A Proposal To Secure His Vengeance  was published in Harlequin Presents
in  February and is still available on Amazon etc.

I'm planning an revamp and a much needed update on my web site   - just as soon as I  finish these revisions!  And you can find any news and up to date information on my Facebook page


dstoutholcomb said...

What a wonderful family history you have!

Happy Mother's Day!


Kate Walker said...

Thank you Denise - it has always fascinated me and I'd really love to investigate it more. When I have time . . . !