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Planet Kate, 16 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (after realising I have got it totally wrong and shredding it); updating my website one backlist book per day (well, I was until I got the White Screen problem); and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: All the Missing Girls, Megan Miranda (really interesting structure- told backwards – good read); Her Last Lie, Amanda Brittany (didn’t see the twist coming)
  • Looking forward to: a couple of days in Buckingham
  • Workouts: hopeless – too hot – early morning dog walks only
  • Planet Kate last week: The Tempest at the Cathedral – fabulous performance
  • Fave pic from the last week: the cathedralC791113E-1788-471F-AFA0-D19458D5077D
Writing life

Planet Kate, 9 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: Rowan Coleman, The Summer of Impossible Things (enjoyed); Tracy Rees, Amy Snow (absolutely EXCELLENT and I will look out for more by her)
  • Looking forward to: The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral
  • Workouts: too hot to do the gym – dog walks early, so Archie’s paws are safe on the pavement
  • Planet Kate last week: Melting in the heat (I prefer cool weather!); Uni of Sheffield open day, and thoroughly enjoyed the English department’s presentation (loved the fact that their lecture theatre is a converted church). I also have another big book brewing in my head, which involves opera; as a result. I have tickets to La Traviata (plus a ‘behind the curtain’ performance later in the year) and tickets to The Magic Flute in London next year (!)
  • Fave pic from the last week: a summery sky, an early morning sniff of lavender (aka my beautiful dog posing) and a petunia in my neighbour’s hanging basket that I thought was just gorgeous.
Writing life

Planet Kate, 2 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell; It Had to Be You, Susan Elizabeth Phillips; Dear Dad, Giselle Green (really enjoyed); The Things We Never Said, Susan Elliot Wright (absolutely brilliant – couldn’t put it down and I’m going to keep an eye out for future ones)
  • Looking forward to: open day at the University of Sheffield
  • Workouts: dogwalking, last week
  • Planet Kate last week: Work, work and more work – but I did finish the revisions! Uni of Nottingham open day on Saturday – Chloe loved the campus (and I enjoyed the talk – great attitude towards students) but the course isn’t right for her. Went to the seaside on the way home. And more work. And melting in the heat. And too many barbecues (even though I’m being sensible and sticking to salmon or tuna steaks).
  • Fave pic from the last week: a spaniel waiting for his share of barbecued salmon; the University of Nottingham; and a day at Cromer where you could really see where the depth of the water changed.
Writing life

Planet Kate, 25 June 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); revising M&B #83; updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book; and I thought it was publication day this week for my 80th M&B, but that turned out to be last week…
  • Reading: Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres
  • Looking forward to: open day at the University of Nottingham on Saturday
  • Workouts: managed one last week at the gym along with dogwalking…
  • Planet Kate last week: Revisions, but I did have some outings – Travis on 21 June in Ipswich (great and enjoyed hugely) and Sheryl Crow on 22 June in Nottingham (one of my all-time top 10 gigs – fantastic); Belvoir Castle on the way home on 23 June (gorgeous rose garden) and Wells-next-the-Sea on Sunday. Also new hair (Chloe had hers dyed green!) and a brief trip out to find a field of poppies in the middle of the week because the world got a bit much mid-week. (I do think we need more kindness in the world.)
  • Fave pic from the last week: LTR: top row – Poppies at Caistor St Edmund, roses and alliums at Belvoir Castle, and lovely Sheryl Crow; bottom row Travis, a mackerel sky over our back garden, and Book 80 on the beach where it’s set 🙂
Writing life

Planet Kate, 18 June 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: revising M&B #83 (Medical romance, Marriage of Convenience); writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: Small Town Love, Susan Meier (enjoyed); Vinegar Girl, Anne Tyler (enjoyed – very, very clever retelling of Shrew)
  • Looking forward to: Travis at Ipswich on Thursday (they’re doing the whole of The Man Who, so that will be great) and Sheryl Crow in Nottingham on Friday (bucket list – I’ve adored Sheryl ever since I first heard ‘All I Want to Do’ – and we share a birthday).
  • Workouts: two gym sessions last week, plus dogwalking; intend to be good this week, too…
  • Planet Kate last week: plotting my book; taking Archie for his first haircut (which ended up with me being soaked and covered in hair while wussy spaniel leaned on me); going to Mannington Hall for a writery day with my good friend Rosie Hendry on Friday (inspirational place and I’ve kind of sorted out location inspiration for a couple of books, plus sorted out a knot in my Big Book); off to London on Saturday to meet my friend Ali Williams to see Two Noble Kinsmen at the Globe (sorted out another book knot, and also I really recommend Tas Pide, which is opposite the Globe, as the staff are lovely and the food is fantastic); and off to Norwich for breakfast out with my daughter on Sunday and some photographs to help with the publicity for my 80th M&B – which I thought was out at the end of the month, but it seems that publication day is flexible and it’s already out. There might also have been an accidental foray into bookshops and accidental purchases (all right, a signed copy of a Terry Jones medieval book and a facsimile of the manuscript of The Wasteland and a few other things – this is why I’m not allowed in second-hand bookshops without adult supervision, and I think my daughter might fall under the label of Bad Influence rather than Responsible Adult). Also my son came home for the summer on Sunday afternoon, and it’s lovely to have a full complement in the house. Archie is particularly pleased to have Eldest back.
  • Fave pic from the last week  – I was going to include some faces in here as well, but for some reason WordPress tipped them upside down and I couldn’t get them to tip the right way up again! Anyway. Mannington Hall chapel ruins; Mannington Hall moat; and the Globe stage.

     

 

Publication day

Happy 80th M&B pub day to me!

reunited-at-the-altar

Thrilled to be celebrating publication day for Reunited at the the Altar, my EIGHTIETH book with Mills & Boon! It seems like yesterday when I got The Call, and the past almost 17 years have gone by in the blink of an eye.

This one’s set locally, on the North Norfolk coast – so obviously as Archie was part of my research team we had to visit the beach and try doggy ice cream (!!). I also dedicated the book to him. And here he is at Wells-Next-the-Sea – which appears in a mashup with some of my other favourite places as ‘Great Crowmell’.

 

If you like beaches, reunion romances, ancient churches, ice cream or pretty seaside towns, this one’s for you.

And because I wanted to do something a little bit different for the publicity, I’m taking the book on tour. Not on other people’s blogs, but in my home city and showcasing little bits that appear in the book. It’s going to be on Instagram (and therefore on Facebook), so do watch out for it. I might do a final roundup on here, too, just for fun. Enjoy!

Writing life

Planet Kate, 11 June 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: finished M&B #83; sort of wrote the outline for M&B #85; started writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: Who We Were Before, Leah Mercer (enjoyed)
  • Looking forward to: Two Noble Kinsmen at the Globe in London on Saturday
  • Workouts: I am so going to the gym this week…
  • Planet Kate last week: worked hard on the book all week and finished it on Wednesday; spent Thursday in Ipswich with Caroline Anderson as a plotting day (and bonus of meeting her new pup); collected Youngest from her school trip to Stratford at 3am Friday night, left for Leicester and a look round the uni at 7am Saturday morning (yes, 4 hours later – was nice to see my old uni), and saw Bill Bailey in Peterborough on the way home (probably the best standup show I’ve ever seen, but it was another post-midnight trip home and up to take Youngest to work at 7am).
  • Fave pics from the last week: Caroline’s gorgeous pup needing a carry past the Scary Lorry in the park; my own gorgeous pup, trying to make me for guilty for not taking me with him; and my youngest discovering the delights of the stack system in the library where I spent my student years.
Writing life

Planet Kate, 4 June 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: looking forward to seeing what’s next on my TBR
  • Looking forward to: Chloe’s uni open day at Leicester at the weekend (aka my old uni) and Bill Bailey on the way home
  • Workouts: planning to go to the gym – I need to show my face and get back into routine
  • Planet Kate last week: Absolutely manic, even by my standards! I’ve been trying to finish my book and fit in a whole bunch of other stuff. So Tuesday morning started with a trip to Manchester for an open day at the university for Chloe. Whatever the satnav says, I never seem to manage it in less than five hours (and we don’t stop that long for lunch!). But we got there safely, had a look round the science museum, had dinner and went to the Royal Exchange to see Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’. Maxine Peake was excellent, but the play was very challenging! Wednesday, we visited Mrs Gaskell’s house, and what a joy it was. The original furnishings were sold, so the curators worked with inventories and letters to find what was there and then purchased pretty much the nearest equivalent (exactly right in period terms). Best of all, WE WERE ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE BOOKS. There might have been a bit of squeaking over being allowed to touch an actual Currer Bell. Then we had the uni open day, and it’s currently in top slot – lovely buildings, a good and honest talk, and then being shown round by one of the students. Thursday, met up with a friend I’ve known for more than 10 years online but hadn’t actually met in person before, so there was much walking and talking and it was so nice to meet her; and then the five-hour drive home. Two days of concentrated work to catch up, then Gerry’s birthday and a trip to the beach, where Archie decided he was brave enough to go right into the sea for a swim (and was less than happy to discover that meant a bath to get the salt and sand out of his coat!). Oh, wait, I forgot something: publication day for my 79th Harlequin Mills & Boon! (Read more about it here on the website.)
  • Fave pic from the last week: Mrs Gaskell’s writing desk, the Faculty of Arts building at the University of Manchester, and Wells-next-the-Sea. And then I think I ought to include my book…

unlocking-the-italian-docs-heart

Writing life

Planet Kate, 28 May 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: finishing M&B #83 (overdue, sigh); updating my website one backlist book per day (in theory, but in practice I’m away so won’t have the time); and faffing about with my Big Book (need to decide which of the four ideas in my head needs writing first and stop messing about)
  • Reading: The Light Behind the Window, Lucinda Riley (enjoyed)
  • Looking forward to: King Lear on TV tonight; uni open day trip with Chloe to Manchester – as it’s a long drive there, we’re staying overnight and going to see Happy Days at the Royal Exchange; also planning to see the Museum of Industry and Mrs Gaskell’s house, and meeting up with friends; and it’s Gerry’s birthday at the weekend
  • Workouts: as I’m not here most of the week, it’ll be walking in Manchester
  • Planet Kate last week: busy with work – managed to get my dates wrong so we missed seeing Jon Richardson, which is a shame, but we did have nice weather at the weekend so we took Archie to the park on Saturday and to the beach at Holkham (i.e. the beach you see in Shakespeare In Love) on Sunday
  • Fave pic from the last week: Arch with very fluffy hair, cow parsley (I love the structure of the flowers) and one very happy spaniel on the beach

 

Writing life

Planet Kate, 21 May 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #83 (cardiac unit, marriage of convenience book); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: haven’t had time to read, this week!
  • Looking forward to: picking Archie up from kennels today; Jon Richardson at Norwich Theatre Royal (comedy)
  • Workouts: probably no time for gym this week, but I did walk 130,000 steps in Tuscany last week, including climbing the towers of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Campanile and the Duomo itself, and the leaning tower of Pisa…
  • Planet Kate last week: Florence. What a city. So much beautiful art and architecture. We had a wonderful time in the art galleries and museums, chilling out in cafes and having dinner in gorgeous little trattorias. And we had a bonus when we spent our last day in Pisa, because we managed to get tickets for the tower (which was a very strange experience – as you walk round, you can feel the ‘lean’ changing). And also it was our son’s 21st birthday at the weekend. Where did that time go? Great that we actually got to see him on the day and took him out for lunch.
  • Top tip from me for Florence: buy the Firenze card (72 museums, access for 72 hours – and most importantly you get priority queuing, so it saves time – it more than pays for itself in admission fees, too). Get to the Uffizi for about 8.30 to avoid the massive queues. And if you want to climb the Duomo, book your tickets on the first day (and if you’re going to be there at a weekend, probably pre book from England, because places are limited and tickets sell really fast – we booked on Tuesday morning and the first ticket available was Thursday lunchtime.)
  • My fave bits of Florence: the library at the San Lorenzo complex; climbing the Duomo  (and the crypt in the cathedral, which has the most gorgeous Roman mosaic pavement); seeing the Botticellis at the Uffizi; and the modern art gallery at the Pitti (only in Florence does ‘modern’ mean 1750 to about 1920! That’s the one with the Macchiaioi paintings, which is what the book I’m about to start writing features quite heavily).
  • Favourite church in Florence: torn between Santa Maria Novella (for the camera obscura meridian, and the frescoes in the cloisters) and Santa Croce (tombs of Michelangelo, Dante and Galileo).
  • Fave pic from the last week: Bearing in mind I took rather a lot…  The San Lorenzo library, the peacock in the crypt at Santa Mara, the inside of the Duomo, cathedral complex, the Botticelli that made me cry because it was so beautiful, the leaning tower of Pisa and a quick shot of the four of us on Chris’s 21st. (Large, because it came out upside down on a WordPress gallery and I couldn’t work out how to change it!)

 

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