Monday, June 06, 2011

Q&A with Kate Hewitt!


1. Tell us about your newest release.

The Man Who Could Never Love is a marriage-of-convenience story where both the hero Vittorio and the heroine Anamaria want the benefits of marriage without the danger of falling in love. It’s also a story of awakening, of two people discovering the strength and beauty in each other and themselves.

2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

In the first draft of the manuscript Vittorio takes Ana on a shopping trip and buys her a bunch of beautiful clothes. Then I realized she wouldn’t accept this because she would feel he was trying to change her. I rewrote it so she decides on her own to buy some clothes for herself, and then Vittorio sees her in a white lace dress and is completely stunned by how beautiful she is. Instead of the hero transforming the heroine from an ugly duckling into a swan, she decided to do it for herself--but the result is he sees her in a whole new, wonderful light.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was quite young--I’ve always written something, since childhood: poetry, plays, short stories, young adult novels...! I started pursuing romance writing seriously in my twenties.

4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

Ideas are magical things--I wait for them to suddenly pop in my head like bubbles. Then it takes a lot of work and research turning that little bubble of an idea into a full-fledged story. I try to write about places I’ve been or know, and emotional conflicts that resonate with me personally. But ultimately Presents are fantasies, and so I get to do a lot of fun research about luxury hotels and the most expensive champagne!

5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I am not a superstitious person at all, but I’ve developed this little phobia about starting a book. I put all caps on to write ‘Chapter One’, and if I forget to take it off when I start actually writing I feel like it’s a bad omen and I need to start over! Bizarre, I know.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Discovering my true voice was surprising! When I first started writing romance 15 years ago, I tried for lighthearted books that belonged in the Romance/Cherish line. None of them were published. Then I took a break, and when I started again I tried writing without thinking about what would sell, and out came this intense, emotional, sensual book...! I knew it was a Presents and that was a shocker, yet that was my book that sold and I’ve written 19 now and it’s definitely the right place for me.

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

My parents have always believed in me, which has been wonderful. My mother still reads all my books, and tells everyone she knows that I’m a writer. As far as authors, Jessica Hart and Jane Porter are two series authors that I’ve really enjoyed as a reader, and they both personally encouraged me to keep writing. When I wrote short stories for women’s magazines, I belonged to a fantastic group of women called The Wild Geese. We critiqued each other’s work online and gave each other a lot of support. I loved being part of a group.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My parents are proud! I have to admit the rest of my family, while supportive, are a bit nonplussed as none of them read romance. I occasionally have to field a ‘churning it out’ comment, but when I tell them how many books I’ve written they’re pretty amazed.

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

I have four young children, so spending time with them is a pretty big interest and priority. I love reading and baking, and am looking forward to moving from an apartment in New York City to a house in the English countryside so I can finally garden! It’s a big move for the whole family and we’re really excited.

10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

The Matchmaker Bride, a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, will be available in the US in August. (It came out in the UK in June as Mr and Mischief.) In September I have The Secret Baby Scandal coming out in the US, a 2-in-1 (two novellas) with Jennie Lucas, both based on ‘blackmail babies’. And in November I have Kholodov’s Last Mistress coming out in the UK, my first Russian hero!

11. How can readers connect with you online?

My website is http://www.kate-hewitt.com/  , and I have a blog there that I try to update weekly at least. I also have a Facebook fan page, and I’m on Twitter far too much as katehewitt1. Keep in touch! Thanks for having me here!

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