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: 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.