I met Sarah Mallory through the RNA ages ago – OK, yes, another historical author, so you know what we have in common and talk about at author dos :o) We were also on the same shortlist this year, for the RoNA Rose award, and I was so thrilled to be there and applaud her when she won!
So, over to my award-winning friend Sarah:
First of all, HUGE congratulations on your 50th book, Kate, although you are so prolific that by now you are probably nearing book number 60!
I am delighted to have the chance to be here with a writer whose books I enjoy so much, although they are very different to mine. I tend to stay away from other historical authors while I am writing my own historical adventure romances, just in case their "voice" infiltrates my writing, so it's good to relax with a Kate Hardy medical. Of course, Kate is also interested in history, which is something we have in common – my love of history goes back to my schooldays when we had a lovely (if eccentric) history teacher, who would hitch up her tweed skirts, perch herself on one of the front desks, push her thick-rimmed glasses back into place and proceed to tell us all the juicy bits of gossip about history, the salacious stories of the English kings and queens or how Victorian ladies relieved themselves and how you could tell an 18th century snuff taker (he or she would have brown stains around his/her nose). The detail we needed to pass the exams we could learn from our school-books, but we found this much easier because of the colourful detail added by our delightful teacher. Since then I have continued to read and research about history, particularly the Georgian and Regency periods, and to write my own stories, set in the gloriously colourful world of the past.
Writing can be a lonely business, and it's great to be able to meet up with like-minded authors. Kate has always been very supportive, never more so than when we were both short-listed for the RNA's Rona Rose Award earlier this year. You might have thought that the rivalry between authors would be intense, but not amongst romance authors - there is a tremendous camaraderie and when my Regency romance The Dangerous Lord Darrington was announced as the winner Kate was the first to congratulate me (this was my very first major award, so I was completely overwhelmed and very grateful for the advice and good wishes of such a successful and established romantic novelist).
You can find out more about Sarah on her websites - www.melindahammond.com and www.sarahmallory.com, follow her on Twitter - @SarahMRomance, and find her on Facebook - Melinda Hammond (http://www.facebook.com/melinda.hammond.77)