Saturday, July 07, 2007

Kate’s 25th party, guest blogger #13 – Shirley Wells

I know, I know – 13 is not a nice number. But it has to go to a crime writer, yes? So I’m delighted to introduce today’s guest, Shirley Wells. I’ve known her for a while (and she inherited some of my creative writing students when my time got so squeezed that something had to give), and she writes lovely serials for the People’s Friend as well as crime novels. But her crime novels also have something important in them… which I’ll let her tell you herself.

So here's Shirley:

I’m thrilled to have been invited to share in the celebration for the publication of BREAKFAST AT GIOVANNI’S, Kate’s 25th title for Mills and Boon.

Back in the early 80s, I started writing romantic short stories for magazines and I loved being able to spend each day with a new hero. Inventing your own man? What could be better? I thought it must be brilliant to write for Mills and Boon. I tried. And tried. I had letters from editors asking for revisions. And so I tried some more. In the end, I gave up and concentrated on longer works where I could have countless characters doing their own thing and where I didn’t have to sustain such a strong romance for page after page. Believe me, I know how talented you have to be to write one book for Mills and Boon, never mind 25!

Many, many congratulations to Kate!

I couldn’t contemplate writing a book that didn’t touch on strong emotions. After writing romance for, well, a lot of years, I’ve now turned to crime (metaphorically). I sent the first result of my crime-writing efforts, Into the Shadows, to a publisher who shall remain nameless and the verdict (from a male) was “too much emphasis on the relationship … market it as a romance”. I sent it to another editor (female) who said: “I love the relationship between the two main characters.” Yes, there are dead bodies in my book, but there is also love. And there always will be.

You’re reading this because love makes the world go round, and because you want Kate to hurry up and write the next 25 books! (Given the speed at which she writes, you won’t have too long to wait!)

GIVEAWAY: I’ll choose the best answer and the winner will receive a signed copy of the crime novel that some thought should have been a crime-romance, Into the Shadows.

GIVEAWAY QUESTION: What is the most romantic or the least romantic gesture you’ve ever experienced?


Diane said...

Ooh, look - it's Shirley. Coo-ee. :oD

Least romantic gesture: One of the blokes I pulled last week (turned out to be married), offered me some of his chewing gum ... already chewed ... (I thought they stopped doing that at playschool.)

Most romantic gesture: Has to be a million years ago when the tough, heavy (as in hard, not overweight ...), biker dude type I was going out with suddenly turned around with a big grin on his face and a bunch of daisies in his hands. Those daisies lasted outside our tent in a milk bottle for a week. (My favourite flower.)

Liz Fielding said...

Daisies are my favourites, too, Diane.

Bigest romantic gesture ... pearls from the dh from the Sheikh of Bahrain's pearl beds to celebrate the birth of our daughter. Most romantic -- any time he brings me a cup of tea in bed and stays... :)

Lynne Marshall said...

Your book looks very intriguing. I'd love to know the blurb. Anyway, for one of my birthdays (they've all blurred together by this point) my husband wanted to do something special for me. He bought me a new outfit (which I liked!!!!) and made reservations at a special restaurant but wouldn't tell me where. When it came time to leave for our dinner he made me wear a blindfold! Then he went out of his way to throw me off driving in circles, taking detours etc. We wound up going to a place called The Secret Garden (new to both of us) and had a wonderful meal. I'll never forget that BD and the extra-special effort from my husband. Very romantic IMHO.

Shirley said...

Ooh, I'm here.

Sorry, Diane, but that chewing gum story has me laughing out loud. Did you accept?

Liz: Pearls from the Sheikh of Bahrain's pearly beds? Wow!

Lynne, the blurb for the book is on my web site. I'm amazed that your husband bought you an outfit that you liked. I shudder to think what mine would buy if ever allowed to shop for my clothes.

Fascinating answers here, ladies!

Kimberly said...

My most romantic gesture: I was freaking out over a huge deadline and had to work all day on Valentines Day. My guy surprised me by bringing dinner and chocolate and then giving me a back massage. It doesn't sound like much but it really made my day.:)

Least romantic gesture: The day before my one year anniversary with my last boyfriend, he went out and got trashed. So on our anniversary he was sick and said if I wanted to celebrate I could come over because he couldnt move away from the toilet. Lovely way to celebrate. lol

Kate Hardy said...

Diane, that least romantic one is soooo vile!

Liz and Lynne - wow, your DHs are something else.

Kimberly - that's so sweet!

I can't think of a least romantic gesture from DH (he isn't huge on gestures) but there was one a couple of years ago where we went to see Whitesnake (and David Coverdale touched my hand TWICE...) and had a brilliant night, but I mentioned on the way home that he hadn't played my favourite track. So the next evening, I finished work at the usual time and he had a big smile on his face. Being on deadline, I wasn't reading any of the signals. He sat me down, handed me a glass of wine - and proceeded to play every video version of that song we had. He'd even cued them all up ready. ('Mistreated', since you ask.)

Devon Ellington said...

Happy 25th book, Kate! Congratulations!

Nice post, Shirley!

Kate-- I found you via Shirley's blog -- we visit back and forth.

Least romantic -- a guy I dated in college once gave me an empty jar of peanut butter "to remember him by".

Most romantic -- wow, there have been several - hard to pick just one.

Isn't weird how the least romantic was easier to remember?

Ink in My Coffee

JOYE said...

Once I happened to mention to my husband that I always felt on a high when I was with him. I had forgotten I had said that until a couple of months later (on my birthday) he took me for a hot air balloon ride across the Arizona desert at sunset, and then we had a candlelight dinner. It was so romantic