1. Tell us about your latest release.
The Princess and the Rogue is the third book in my Regency Bow Street Bachelors and just received a STARRED REVIEW from Publishers Weekly!
The series features three aristocratic heroes who run a gaming club together in St James’s. Sebastien, Earl of Mowbray, finally meets his match in daring Russian princess Anastasia Denisova. Anya’s faked her own death in Paris to escape a forced marriage, and is hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. After Seb mistakenly propositions her in a brothel, they meet again when he finds her working as his great aunt’s companion. When Anya’s life is threatened, Seb offers her protection—and vows to uncover ‘Anna Brown’s’ secrets. This story has some of my favorite tropes; a cynical, reluctant bodyguard, opposites-attract, forced proximity, and enemies-to-lovers! I do hope readers enjoy Seb and Anya’s snarky sparring.
2. Without giving away any spoilers, give us a hint about a favorite scene.
Anya’s quirky Russian superstitions provide lots of fun moments, and one of my favorite scenes is where she’s schooling Seb on the proper Russian way to drink vodka. It’s customary to give plenty of toasts, and the two of them get more and more tipsy—and more amorous—as their barriers come down. It was a fun and sexy scene to write—I hope it’s great to read, too!
3. What inspired you to become a writer?
I was always an avid reader of romance, but I actually wrote my first book thanks to a $1 bet with my husband! I’d just finished reading a badly-written book and said aloud, “I could have done better than that!” My husband replied, “Yes, but I bet you a dollar you won’t.” How could I turn down that challenge? I sat down and wrote The Devil To Pay, an Italian Renaissance-set historical.
Historical romance is my favorite genre because I’m a complete history geek. Before I started writing, I spent fifteen years as a fine art & antiques appraiser in the UK, running my own auction house. I still have a not-so-secret double life as a TV antiques expert / appraiser on several British antiques TV shows! Now I get my history fix by sneaking real historical facts into my plots.
4. What is a typical writing day for you like?
The current covid situation has changed things a little, since my three kids / monsters are taking virtual school from home right now, but I usually manage to sit down and write between 9am and 2pm each weekday. If I’m close to a deadline, I might also write in the evenings, but I never write at weekends. I think maintaining a healthy work-life balance is really important. And since writing can be so solitary, I make sure to check in daily with my online author friends for moral support, and chat with my readers on my Facebook group, Twitter, and Instagram.
5. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be back running an auction house and being a fine art appraiser. I really did enjoy seeing so many wonderful and unusual historical items arrive on my desk every day.
6. Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?
I hate writing on ordinary lined (ruled) paper. There’s something so daunting about an empty page, so I only ever buy notebooks with squared paper to write on. And, being English, I have to drink at least one cup of tea every hour (milk, one sugar please!) to keep me going when I’m writing.
7. What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?
One lovely surprise was how welcoming and helpful the author community is – both online and in real life. Whether you’re an indie author, traditionally published, or hybrid, at the start of your career, or a multi-published veteran, there are always other authors willing to offer advice, support and guidance. I’ve made some wonderful author friends over the years and I value them a great deal.
8. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
I think every book of every genre I’ve read has influenced me to a certain degree. I studied English Literature at University—which generally meant books written by men. So I’ve read everything from Chaucer to James Joyce, Shakespeare to Kafka. But so few of the women in those ‘classics’ ever achieved success or received any pleasure. If they did, they were usually punished, or ended up dead. Where was the kissing? The flirting? The sex? I wanted books where the women got what they deserved and didn’t die of consumption, guilt, or boredom.
Then I discovered Historical Romance. I picked up Ransom by Julie Garwood and after two pages, I was hooked. Here was a book that combined all the ‘best bits’ I’d been searching for! There was a whole genre of the stuff I want to read! After that I devoured Laura Kinsale, Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, Jude Devereaux, Kathleen Woodiwiss, et al, and never looked back!
9. Do you have any favorite authors that you like to read?
SO MANY! I love Laura Kinsale’s historicals. She writes such complex and fascinating stories. And I love introducing newbies to Romance, too, because there’s a book for every mood, for every trope. Want to laugh? Read Janet Evanovich or Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Want dark, sexy vampires? Read J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Want funny, enemies-to-lovers in a historical setting? Try Loretta Chase’s Lord Of Scoundrels or Connie Brockway’s As You Desire. Want gorgeous, angsty prose and unusual heroines? Go for Laura Kinsale. Snarky enemies-to-lovers, but in a modern office block? Read Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game. I could go on and on. My bookshelf is groaning!
10. What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I like yoga, hiking, mountain biking, and baking with the kids. We love to make the desserts we’ve seen on the Great British Baking Show!
11. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise?
Get ready for a brand new Regency-era series featuring two warring families—the Davies and the Montgomerys—who live on opposite sides of the England/Wales border. They make the Hatfields and the McCoys look like amateurs—but sparks will fly when these enemies are thrown together in a series of ridiculous adventures. Expect my usual badasses-in-bodices heroines, enemies-to-lovers snarky banter, and plenty of sexy shenanigans!
The first book will be out Fall 2021.
12. How can readers connect with you online?
All the usual places! Readers can sign up for my monthly-ish newsletter here: https://bit.ly/JoinKatesMailingList
Or join my exclusive ‘Badasses In Bodices’ Facebook reader group here;
Alternatively, there’s always:
BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/BookbubKateBateman
About the book:
In The Princess and the Rogue, Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love―until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.
Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection―and accommodation―at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue?