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Saturday, October 1, 2011


Kate was born in Nottinghamshire, England, and is the middle child in a family of five—all girls—in a home where books were vitally important and she read anything she could get her hands on.

Even before she could write she was making up stories. But like most writers she was told to find a more secure career. So she studied and earned an English and Librarianship degree.

She met her soon-to-be husband at university, married and settled in Lincolnshire. With a young family to raise Kate found the time to write again. Her first two novels - sent off to Harlequin Mills & Boon - were rejected, but the third attempt was successful.

In 1984, THE CHALK LINE was published just in time to be one of her best Christmas presents ever. And with THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER, her latest HM&B release, Kate has 60 books in print - an amazing milestone. 

Kate, welcome! It's great to have you here on your blog-tour.
Let's get straight into it.
So, what's the low down on your latest release? Tell us about the book...

Title - THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER - Mills & Boon Modern September 2011/Harlequin Presents Extra October 2011.
Setting - Yorkshire – the moors that are so famous  from Emily Bronte’s original Wuthering Heights.
Hero - Heath Montanha who was once just a stablehand working for the Nicholls family but then turned his back on that life and went away to build a new life for himself. He  travelled to Brazil and made a fortune there, mining emeralds. But now he’s back.
Heroine - Kat – Lady Katherine Charlton. Once she and Heath were the closest of friends, growing up together but his troubled spirit and damaged heart drove him from her. In his absence she has married  Lord Arthur Charlton - but that has proved a disaster.

Scene you would never cut –
Because this book is inspired by Wuthering Heights as part of the mini-series The Powerful and the Pure (Harlequin Presents) I needed to write my hero as a character who was truly capable of falling in love and caring enough for  the woman he loves to create a happy ever after ending that was believable.

The original Heathcliff is too callous, too cruel ever to really love. But for my Heath, I created a scene where he admits to Kat that he'd been in love with her as a teenager but couldn't tell her because she was so innocent. For me, this goes right to the heart of my hero – and makes him a true hero in this story. 

What's one quirky thing about your hero?
It doesn’t show on the cover of the book – either the fantastic UK cover or the  Harlequin Presents Extra one – but my hero Heath  has a single stud earring in one ear.  It is the first emerald he ever dug out of the mine that made his fortune and he keeps it as a talisman of that discovery. 

What do you think the readers will like about this book?
I hope that people who love a story of characters with a past, and with some dark secrets to be revealed will enjoy the book as Kat and Heath find each other again.

I know a lot of people who have read Wuthering Heights are intrigued to find that I have reworked that original, dark and often unhappy story and given it a happy ending.  But I think they’ll find that I’ve kept the rather gothic atmosphere of the original and taken the wild strong-willed Catherine and the dark, brooding, dangerous Heathcliff and let them learn about love so as to give them a happy ending.

You don’t have to have read the original Wuthering Heights because this isn’t a copy of that, but it is inspired by that story - creating a new story that is a romance.

Standing high on the windswept moors, the lone figure of Heath Montanha vows vengeance on the woman who destroyed the last fragments of his heart...

Lady Katherine Charlton has never forgotten the stablehand with dangerous fists and a troubled heart from her childhood. Now the rebel is back, his powerful anger concealed under a polished and commanding veneer.

When ten years of scandal and secrets are unleashed, with a passionate, furious kiss, Heath's deepest, darkest wish crystallises... Revenge -- and Kat -- will be his! 

Amazon UK      Mills & Boon         Ebook at Harlequin          Amazon          M&B Australia 

What's next for you? 
My 60th title for Mills & Boon Modern would release in March 2012 and is titled THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES. And at the moment I’m working on a royal romance story.

About you...
Favorite movie of all time –
Oh dear, that’s almost impossible – I love different films in different moods! The Princess Bride, Witness, Paperback Hero starring Hugh Jackman . . .  no, sorry I can’t choose! 

Three films I love too - especially Paperback Hero with Hugh! :-)

Favorite fairytale – I‘m a little wary of talking about a favourite fairy-tale ever since I read some psychologist who said that your favourite story can be a script for your life!

So, I’m taking a risk in admitting that I always used to feel for the poor little Ugly Duckling – and cheer when he grew up and became a swan.  (Hmmm – now I’m not sure if this relates to my life, but I know that teachers and family always said that I would never become a writer – and here I am, with my 60th title accepted!).

CONGRATULATIONS on such a monumental milestone, Kate! You must be so thrilled. 

Favorite story to disappear into – This is almost as hard as choosing a favourite film – but I have read and reread Wuthering Heights again and again and again.

I love The Moonspinners and several other books by Mary Stewarts and  Dorothy Dunnett wrote a l-o-n-g series of 6 complicated historical novels called the Lymond Chronicles beginning with The Game of Kings. I could start at the first book, read them all the way through  - and then go back to the beginning again.  (I know, I’ve cheated here by listing lots of books – but I do love to read!).

Favorite TV program – I love ‘soaps’ - they provide relaxing entertainment, story telling, character development, conflict, romance – all the things I try to put into my books.  Here in the UK I always have to get my ‘fix’ of Coronation Street to see what’s happening. 

Dog or cat person (or other) – Definitely a cat person – I’ve been under the paw of many cats from my earliest childhood when I shared the family cat and then had my own  first kitten, a little grey and white called Misty.

Since then I’ve always had one or two of these beautiful creatures sharing my home. Often we rescued them from the RSPCA  but then we discovered Maine Coons and fell in love with the breed.

At the moment I have one very elderly cat of great charisma called Sid – a  dark tabby stray who walked into our house one night and stayed.  And then there are the Maine Coons – Flora a smoky grey and white (with just a tiny touch of ginger on her head) who was a Christmas gift from my husband 3 years ago  and Charlie a beautiful red and white boy who was my Christmas present from my husband last year. 

Author (living or dead) you'd most like to meet – Well, I’d have to say Emily Bronte wouldn’t I? She was so very young when she died (only 29) and she only wrote one book that we know of – Wuthering Heights – and yet thousands of people all over the world and in the century and more since she died – know about that book and are amazed by it. I’d love to know if she had written anything else  or was working on something new. 

A romantic retreat for you would be... Ireland - almost anywhere. My mother and father were both born in Ireland and as a child I used to go back to visit a lot. Then I took my husband and son there to meet my relations – my uncle and aunts – and we loved our stay when we went touring all over.

Recently I’ve been back to Dublin a few times with my husband and I’ve also discovered this wonderful retreat called Delphi Lodge in Connemara which is a wonderful hideaway, miles from any city and with a lake and hills  - a great escape. 

What do you do to unwind or relax?
Books books and more books! I never get enough time to read and I’m never quite so relaxed as when I’m lost in a great book. I also love to walk – I walk an hour every day before I start work -  and swim as much as I can.  Oh, and a good meal shared with the best company – my lovely DH or a very good friend  - is the best way to unwind.

What era would you like to time travel and visit? And why?
Hmm – that’s  difficult one.  I’ve always been intrigued by the past and would love to visit several time periods. I’d love to be able to solve some historical mysteries – like for example what did happen to the Princes in the Tower? I’ve always been sure that Richard III didn’t kill them but I’d love to be sure.

But I think I’d have to choose to go back to 1718 when an ancestor of mine  from my mother’s side of the family – Charles Wogan gallantly rescued Princess Clementina Sobieski who was the bride for James III – and mother of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There is a family tradition that he and the Princess fell in love with each other, but his loyalty to the king made him give her up to James.

What does love mean to you?
Love is the best gift in life. It’s being with one person who makes the whole world better because they’re in it. No matter what happens, good, or bad, they are there and  - well, yes, they are like the ‘other half of you.’

Love is strength and support, fun and laughter, sensuality and passion,  comfort and joy. I’ve been married for over 35 years (I was a child bride!) and my husband has been my best friend and the light in my life all that time.

Where can readers find you?
My website, blog, Facebook page and my Author Page created by Romance Book Paradise Promotions.

Kate, thank you for joining me today and telling us all more about yourself and your latest release.

ADDENDUM 2nd Oct.2011 - Kate is offering a signed copy of one of her backlist - just leave a comment  by midday, 4th October, to go into the draw!

Here are the USA and UK versions of Kate's book, THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER.

UK cover
USA cover

To view Kate's backlist, click here.


  1. Ohhh, the guy on the UK cover is hot!!!!

    Thanks for an interesting interview :)

  2. Hi Kate,
    Great interview! I always enjoy learning more about you. And Kylie has the right questions (hi Kylie!!) I LOVE Royal stories and can't wait to read your next book.

  3. Cath, my thoughts exactly about the UK cover - I love a bloke with a bit of a 5 o'clock shadow.

    Hi Rishal, thanks for dropping in to say hi to Kate.

    Serena, good to see a fan slavering to read the next book of one of their favourite authors! :-)

  4. Cath - it seems like that is everyone4's response to that cover! The only trouble is that he is only on the UK cover!

  5. Hi Rishal - I'm glad yu enjoyed the interview - Kylie asked some great questions didn't she?

  6. You're right Serena - Kylie asked just the right quesions - the royal romance story has been slowed a bit as I've been unwell for the past week or so - but I'm hoping to get back to it asap.

  7. Hello Kylie - and my thanks to you for taking the time to host me on your blog today. I'm so happy to be here. My apologies to you as I forgot to let you know that I would offer a giveaway on the blog to one person who comments - asI said, I've not been well - but I'll be happy to give a signed copy of my backlist to someone who comments over the weekend. (

  8. ### The post has been duly updated to reflect the giveaway - many thanks, Kate for your generosity! ###

  9. Hello Kate, Hi Kylie,

    We get to learn more about our favourite author with every interview! Thanks for sharing, Kate!

    And Kylie, your questions enabled us to learn yet more things about the 'Queen of Romance', Kate Walker! Thank you for hosting Kate!

  10. What a great interview. Thank you Kylie and Kate Following Kate around has let me learn so many things about her.

  11. Lovely interview, Kate and Kylie, I have to agree with the others that the guy on the UK cover is gorgeous! The story line sounds fabulous as well! I love the sound of the setting and the parallels with Wuthering Heights.

  12. Hi Kate, Kylie

    Fab interview...its so interesting getting to know more about you and learning about the inspiration behind 'The Return of the Stranger'

  13. Thanks for updating the blog to add that Kylie! I should have mentioned it before

  14. Oh Nas - you're making me blush - the Queen of Romance! That's a lovely compliment. Thank you

  15. Hello Helene - thank you for visiting. The approval rate fopr the UK cover is 100%. Lets hope the approval rate for the books is as higg. I do hope you enjoy it

  16. Hi Sonali - I'm glad that all the blog posts are interesting you. I've sometimes had problems knowing what to write!