Congratulations Kate on 30 years! It’s time for you, and your readers to celebrate.
How will I be celebrating this milestone? I’ll not be celebrating the quality and quantity of your books, though that is certainly sigh worthy. Nor will I be celebrating the infinite wisdom gleamed from your seminars, posts and romance writing book. Though many writers have been inspired by your generous and encouraging spirit.
For me, I’ll be celebrating your most important and absolute greatest monumental achievement. It is so grand it self-produces its own fireworks, makes its own cake, and lights its own candles.
For me, I will celebrate: The Kate Walker…err…writing thing you do.
Did you know you do a thing when you write? You do. It’s the reason I read your books again and again. After 30 years, you do it really well. That’s what I’ll be celebrating: The Kate Walker– Oh, what to call it?
You know that moment when you sit at the cinema, and the commercials stop, but the movie hasn’t started yet? That moment where you forget the popcorn and there’s a slight hitch to your breath?
Or that moment when you go to the theatre, the lights dim, the curtain rises and the spotlight illuminates one lone actor? It’s that moment when the audience sink in their chairs and collectively think: This is going to be good.
It’s that moment you capture when you write. It’s more than anticipation, vaguer than expectation, there’s an element of surprise, tons of delight and a certain greedy gleefulness. It’s quick, and it grabs the readers instantly; they don’t even realise it. It’s not a hook; that’s too obvious.
No, the moment you capture with your writing, that Kate Walker thing you do, brushes against your reader’s very heart, and changes the rhythm. That’s what your readers have been celebrating for 30 years.
That moment is in your first book “The Chalk Line” as Rowena gazes out a window, and Leo enters the room. She doesn’t see him clearly because he’s just a vague reflection behind her. But our hearts change, our breaths hitch when Leo says, “I always knew you had the makings of a real beauty.”
It’s there in the “Cinderella Trap” as Clea watches Matt from across the room. It’s there again in “Hers for a Night” as Georgie is writing a cheque, and Lucas approaches behind her.
However, as much as that moment is there in your first books, it’s even more so now. Now, not only do our breaths hitch, and greedy gleefulness seizes us, but you’ve sustained the writer thing you do. So, as readers, we forget to breathe from one page to the next. We forget our hearts need to beat.
Now, you take your characters, who are like strong magnets, and hold them in your writer’s hands. We, as readers, feel their need to collide, but you keep them apart. With hearts beating different, we, and your characters, are suspended in that moment you create, and you keep our breaths hitched for pages.
In the opening scene of “The Married Mistress” the spotlight is on Sarah. She thinks she’s the only one on the stage. But we know Damon is waiting there in the dark, and we wait along with him. When Sarah bumps into him, greedy gleefulness seizes us.
In “The Proud Wife”, from the very first page there’s a clash and a need between Pietro and Marina. When Pietro touches Marina’s arm, she reacts and Pietro says, “It’s still there, isn’t it?” I’m reading, I’m there and in an instant I reply, “Yes, Kate, it’s still there.”
The writing thing you do? I’m sorry I failed to have a name for it; I haven’t been writing for 30 years. But I’ve been your reader for almost that long, and can’t wait to curl in my chair, open the cover of “Oliverio’s Outrageous Proposal” and think: This is going to be good.
So please keep on writing. Your readers will keep on celebrating. For me? I’ll keep wanting my heart to experience that writing thing you do.
Nicole Locke x