Interview with Kate Hardy

One Night, One Baby (Harlequin Presents)Jen: This week I am excited to welcome Kate Hardy to Book Talk. I was embarrassed to admit to her that I hadn’t read any of her books when she approached me about the interview. But now I am happy to say that I am a fan and delighted to have her with us this week. Kate, will you share a short bio with our readers?
Kate: Thank you, Jen. I live in Norwich, the most easterly city in the UK (roughly in the middle of the big bump above London) with my husband, two young children, a very soppy spaniel and too many books to count! I grew up in Norfolk but studied English Literature at the University of Leicester, then returned to work in marketing before I had the children.
As well as writing romances, I also write local history books as Pamela Brooks. My dear friend Kate Walker has nicknamed me ‘Scary Kate’ as I fit rather a lot into my life… but hey, in real life I’m short and round and make fabulous cakes and cookies, so I’m not really that scary!!

Jen: Please tell us a little about One Night, One Baby and where it’s available. Kate: From the blurb:
Everyone seems to have forgotten Jane’s birthday – but meeting handsome, brooding millionaire Mitch Holland gives her good reason to celebrate. The attraction between them is intense, but Mitch puts a strict limit on their time together: he can offer her one night only.
A few weeks later, Jane is still struggling to forget gorgeous Mitch – and their unforgettably sexy night together. Then she discovers she’s pregnant…

This started when I’d read a children’s book where the main character’s friends hold a surprise birthday party for her, but spend the whole day pretending they’ve forgotten that person’s birthday. Now, I think this is OUTSTANDINGLY mean… and then a lightbulb flickered. Supposing…? And that was how it started. Add a hero with a dark past (I’m known for writing weepies), some fabulous flatmates (again, I’m known for warmth and realism) and the fact the hero has a really interesting occupation (he’s a stormchaser) – and the story began in earnest.
It’s available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Eharlequin.com and as an ebook.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.

Kate: I’ve written ever since I can remember, and had my own typewriter from the age of six. So I went through writing pony stories, ghost stories… and finally into writing romance. I had some short stories published in my 20s (along with a string of raunchy romances) but I wanted to write relationship stories. I was also deeply into medical dramas (EH, House and definitely their UK equivalents) so my husband suggested I tried writing a medical romance. I read tons when I was pregnant with my daughter. And then, when she was seven weeks old, it was her first Christmas and she was in hospital with bronchiolitis. The only way I got through it was to write my first medical romance. My agent loved it, M&B loved it – and they rang me on her first birthday to accept it. It was published on her second birthday and Ottakar’s gave me a huge party to celebrate.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Kate: Absolutely I’m a plotter. I have to know the beginning, middle and end before I start writing. Having said that, I’m flexible with it – if my characters suggest something better to me in the course of a book, I’ll go with it. But being a pantster… no. Too scary.

Jen: Are there any things you must have with you when you’re writing? A favorite drink, music, etc?

Kate: I do tend to write to music, and it changes with each book. I have playlists for all my books!

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

Kate: The happy ending. Every single time.

Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Kate: Winning the RNA Romance Prize this year (the UK equivalent of the Ritas) with Breakfast at Giovanni’s. It’s particularly special for me because it was my 25th book for Mills and Boon and 2008 is the company’s centenary year.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Kate: That’s a hard one! My favourite category romance author is Liz Fielding because I love her warmth and realism, the sparky dialogue, the heroine you want to be your friend and a hero you can always fall in love with. Another of my favourites is Diana Norman’s The Vizard Mask; I enjoy historicals, and love Nicola Cornick, Louise Allen and Sharon Penman (great storytelling and the research is accurate). I also like A S Byatt (I wish I’d written Possession: A Romance), Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields and George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss is my all-time favourite book). Oh, and then there’s crime – Sue Grafton is fantastic, and who doesn’t enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books? (I’m a Morelli girl. Just for the record.)
At the moment, I’m reading a lot of nonfiction as research for my current local history book. I also have a huge TBR pile, made worse by the fact I went to the RNA conference in July and came back with lots and lots of books…
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Kate: I have two children and write eight books a year – what free time??? Seriously, I spend it with my husband and children. We like going for long walks on the beach; fossicking around ruins and castles and stately homes and museums; and going to the cinema.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Kate: I’ve just finished my first Sheikh – which is also the first Sheikh for Modern Heat (Presents). Currently I’m writing the second book in the duo, about his best friend. I’m also writing a couple of local history books (these are ongoing projects so I fit the research in around the fiction).

Release-wise – in the UK August sees The Spanish Doctor’s Love-Child (which comes out in the US in October as a Presents Extra); then next year I have a duo with a gorgeous Greek doctor and a Welsh doctor; my duo with the sheikh and his best friend; and then I’m planning a Christmas book set in the maternity unit which is going to make everyone weep buckets!

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Kate: My website is at http://www.katehardy.com/ and my blog is at http://katehardy.blogspot.com/
Jen: Do you have any questions for our readers?
Kate: I would like to say thank you to the readers who’ve bought and read my books – and to those who’ve written to me saying what they enjoy. I hope I’ll continue to write stories that touch people’s heart – and I’d love to know what kind of stories readers enjoy most. (My own fave is the best-friends-to-lovers story – I just LOVE reading those!)

Kate is giving away a copy of One Night, One Baby to a commenter on the interview (or my review). Since I’m going to be out of town at the end of this week, I’ll draw a name when I get home on Saturday. So, you have until August 9 at 8:00 pm PDT to post your comments.