Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kate’s 25th party, guest blogger #2 – Liz Fielding

Today’s guest is one of my favourite people in real life – and she’s also the person whose books I turn to when I’m having a really, REALLY bad day because the warmth of her characters and the cracking dialogue always manage to make me smile again. She’s written several of my all-time favourite M&Bs, including Gentlemen Prefer Brunettes (I admit I shamelessly begged a copy), The Marriage Miracle and The Sheik’s Guarded Heart. I also enjoy reading her blog. So I’m delighted to welcome Liz Fielding as a guest blogger. Especially as she, ahem, had a hand in inspiring the hero by telling me all about this incredible Italian chef…

I can hardly believe that we’re celebrating the 25th Kate Hardy book, Breakfast at Giovanni’s and, having read it, I’m ready to tell you that, with Giovanni inspired by the fabulous Georgio Locatelli, this is a book that is definitely worth celebrating. It’s positively overflowing with gorgeous Italian men, fabulous Italian food. And the sexiest of romances.

It seems no time at all since I first met her, a bundle of nerves – can that possibly be right? – at her first AMBA lunch back in 2002. Actually, come to think of it, it is no time at all. How does she do it?

Math was never my favourite subject but even I can work out that she’s written five books a year, every year – as well as tackling a host of other projects – so, paraphrasing the lady in the delicatessen in When Harry Met Sally ... Can I have whatever she’s on, please!

Kate’s swift success comes as no surprise, though. From the beginning it was obvious that she had what Grace Green once described to me as “the tender touch”. Her characters have heart. They’re people you want to spend time with, people you’re rooting for from the word go. Those are the qualities I look for a in a writer, make her an auto-buy, bring me back again and again.

As I keep telling her, she should be writing “Romance”, but between Medical, Modern Extra and her non-fiction work, when would she ever have time?

I salute you, Kate, on this very special milestone, and wish you many, many more.

[Edit from Kate: thank you, Liz. Am blushing hugely now!]

GIVEAWAY: And for your wonderful readers, I’ve got an advance copy of my latest “Romance”, REUNITED: MARRIAGE IN A MILLION so that they can read it a full month before it hits the bookshelves in August.

GIVEAWAY QUESTION: What makes an author an autobuy for you?

1 comment:

Kate Hardy said...

Comments from the old blog:

DIANE SAID: What makes an author an autobuy for me is a good, solid track record. Mind you, they start to let me down I start to reconsider. They get 3 strikes in my book. Another autobuy is if they're my friend! :D

AMY ANDREWS SAID: Hey, rememebered to put my name in this time :):)
Autobuy is someone who can make me laugh. Also someone who can do great sexual tension. Did I mention Kate's book with the lamposts along the Thames.....:o:o

LIZ SAID: Thanks, Kate -- and thanks Amy for liking the cover. Sadly the heroines of RMiaM and Jackie Braun's Found: Her Mr Right, appear to have got mixed up. Belle is supposed to have short, tawny hair...:-(

DONNA ALWARD SAID: Good friends are autobuys. And books that come recommended! Congratulations Kate on such a great milestone, btw!!!!!!!

AMY ANDREWS SAID : Hey Liz - don't you hate it when that happens:(:(
Covers - argh!

Hi, Liz!!! Nice to see you! And love the When Harry Met Sally quote...I'd like some, too, please!

I just wanted to say way to go Kate! Congrats...that's such a lovely milestone!


KATE HARDY SAID: Good answer, Diane :D

Thank you, Amy. (Bows.)

Liz - it's still a lovely cover.

Donna - thank you.

Amy - mm, we had the cover conversation the other day, didn't we? Trish has blogged about it too and there are covers far worse than yours and mine up there.) (Giovanni's cover is fine. It's the one before, which had the blurb I thought was a spoof until I realised the same thing was on every other cover too...)

KATE HARDY SAID: Holly, we cross-posted! Lovely to see you here. And thank you :)

SHIRLEY SAID: An autobuy for me is a writer with a good track record - a writer who strives to improve on the last book instead of settling for less. (Oh yeah, and friends' books are autobuys, of course.)
Also, for me an autobuy is a writer who delivers wonderful characters that live on in the mind long after the details of 'plot' are forgotten.

LIDIA SAID: I have many authors on my autobuy list. Over the years, as I've enjoyed many books by the same author I've added them to the list. Usually the books are full of emotion and the actions by both the hero and heroine believable -- based on what they know or think they know.

I'll give new authors a chance -- by trying out some books.

I also have a three strikes policy. If an author on my autobuy list disappoints me, I'll no longer by her books unless a particular title is recommended by someone that I trust.

My reading time has "shrunk" and I get very upset spending time and money and books that I don't enjoy.

I think that I have too many authors on my autobuy list -- by TBR pile seems to be growing faster than I can read them -- that's a good thing -- I think!


KATE HARDY SAID: Shirley, that's really interesting - I know I panic about delivering a "turkey" instead of a good one and try to improve on the last.

Hi, Lidia - nice to see you here - my TBR pile sounds like yours!

TIANA SAID: Well if it says by Kate Hardy it's an auto buy. :) An auto buy for me is great storytelling and a great voice.

Kate, 25 already Seems like yesterday I read and loved your first Medical Here's to celebrating your 50th and 100th soon.

:) Tiana

LIZ SAID: There are some great answers here. I think three strikes is pretty generous, although maybe the reader's taste changes while the writer is still in the same place? But there are so many great authors and great books -- I'm really sad when a fav author just disappears; I know that Sophie Kinsella sells in shedloads, but I really miss Madeleine Wickham.


DONNA ALWARD SAID: I drive myself insane trying to write something new and fresh and more tight than the last.

I too find I'm more selective than I used to be, probably because I have less time to read so I really want it to be worth my while. And I rarely buy EVERYTHING any author puts out because there are so many more I want to try!

That being said I have all of LaVyrle Spencer's and if I had the money I'd be running to get Rosamunde Pilcher's entire backlist.

MAUREEN SAID: An autobuy for me is an author creates characters that I like spending time with, both hero and heroine.

AMANDA ASHBY SAID: Wow - Kate, I can still remember reading your very first medical - and my memory isn't what it used to be, which means I'm sure you've broken some sort of landspeed record to get to book 25 so quickly. Well done.

As for what makes an author an autobuy for me, it's when they create a world and a way of living that I want to be part of and often that transcends the actual story. Does that make sense? I really get the feeling that I shouldn't leave comments until after I've been fully caffinated!!

CRYSTAL B SAID: What makes a book an autobuy for me is when I am drawn into the authors stories and I can't put the book down.