Wednesday, August 22, 2012

50th party blog guest - Kate Jackson

I met Kate Jackson through the RNA email loop, and when we realised that we lived near each other we decided to meet for coffee. Except it turned into coffee AND lunch, and I think we both lost our voices that day because we’d talked so much. (Cough, that’s not the only time!) Nowadays we get to meet up once a term for lunch and a proper writers’ chat, alternating between Norwich and the coast. Our children are similar ages and we like the same sort of things (Kate always texts me or rings me if there’s an Aurora-watch red alert, because she knows I would dearly love to see the Northern Lights). She’s also helped me in research (she took me to a certain shop in Sheringham that sells 50 flavours of ice cream, when I was writing my gelati book, as well as telling me a couple of things that really helped with one of my local history books); her husband, also a writer, was nice enough to let me grill him about his Mac before I bought mine; and Kate writes lovely, warm serials for People’s Friend as well as longer books.

Anyway, over to Kate:

I’m delighted to be here at Kate’s 50th book party. Fifty books is amazing and that’s not counting her brilliant local history ones too. Knowing Kate she’s got lots more books to come, with plenty of special light bulb moments popping up her mind and triggering new stories.

When Kate asked me if I’d like to be part of the celebration, I was stunned and honoured, because I’m way down on the ladder of writing, with only one book out there. But Kate wanting me to be here, is part of who she is – get ready to blush Kate – because not only is she is fabulous writer – A Christmas Knight is my favourite Kate Hardy book - she is a lovely, genuine, generous, kind and caring person who I’m lucky to have as a friend. She also supports and encourages me with my writing.

It’s fitting that my novel ‘Second Chance’ which is up for grabs, was helped along by Kate posing me some thought provoking questions about it over lunch. It was almost ready to be submitted to the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, and Kate asked me to talk to her about it and she asked me some specific questions –
What’s your character’s motivation – what drives them?
Why do they act the way they do?

Working on these questions helped me tighten the novel and I sold it a few months later.

Second Chance is set in Orkney, a beautiful place which oozes history, scenery and wonderful wildlife, and to where Laura Sinclair returns. Her homecoming turns out to be far more complicated than she expected. She’s confronted with family secrets and the one person she wanted to avoid – her former love, Matt. While she waits to find out which direction her career will take, Laura takes on the challenge of helping her family while having to face up to her past actions - and Matt...

Old Man of Hoy - in the first scene of Second Chance

Langskaill House (the house in Second Chance)

Skaill Bay (setting in Second Chance)
Thank you, Kate for inviting me to the celebration. Here’s to the next fifty books.

To win a copy – leave a comment and tell us about your favourite setting in a Kate Hardy book.

You can find out more about Kate and her books on her blog - - and follow her on Twitter @katejacksonauth


Melinda Hammond/Sarah Mallory said...

Hi Kate and Kate. Another fab guest blog, thank you! My favourite place is Embleton, on the Northumberland coast. The beach has a promontory with the remains of Dunstanburgh Castle standing dark and ominous against the skyline. I love the open space, the roar of the sea and the mysterious ruins. It has inspired me a lot, although the only story I have set there hasn't been published (yet)!

Happy writing, ladies

Eli Yanti said...

my fave is Skaill Bay - near the amazing Neolithic site - Skara Brae :)

Caroline said...

No contest! ROME! Caroline x

bn100 said...

I like any of the settings.

joanne fox said...

Congratulations Kate Hardy on a fabulous 50 books! Your local history books sound really interesting, especially the ghosts and legends.

Kate Hardy said...

First name drawn from the hat for 'Second Chance' - Joanne Fox. Please contact me kate(dot)hardy(at)btinternet(dot)com with your details, and I'll get everything sorted :o) Thanks for taking part!