Monday, January 14, 2008

Guest Blogger - Kate Hewitt

First of all, a huge thanks to Lucy for inviting me to blog here. As a newly published author, I’m thrilled to be asked to contribute. Thanks, Lucy!!

I received ‘The Call’ from Harlequin almost a year ago now, for my Presents book The Italian’s Chosen Wife, out on the shelves this month. Just today I sent my fifth book to my editor, so it’s been a crazy, wonderful whirlwind of a year.

Lucy was one of the Presents authors who inspired me with the in-depth emotional conflicts she portrays in many of her books. What struck me about her books was how the hero and heroine actually talked about their issues. Sounds simple, right? Yet so often a plot hinges on that missing conversation—the one the hero and heroine should have but always inexplicably shy away from. The conversation that, if it happened, means the story would end 100 pages sooner. You know the one I mean?

When I read Lucy’s book His Royal Lovechild, I loved how Danette and Marcello had to work through their problems together. They knew exactly what was keeping them apart because they were honest about their feelings—they had a conversation about it rather than always shying away from the issues. Ultimately they had to change and stretch and grow in order to have their happy ending. That, I decided, was the kind of book I wanted to write—a book where the hero and heroine always have ‘that conversation’.

It’s tough—and wonderful—to write about people who seem incompatible, who don’t think they can find their happily-ever-afters with each other, and then to make it happen—as well as make it believable! I love stories that show the redeeming and transforming power of love, and that can only happen when the conflict keeping them apart is based on more than a misunderstanding.

In The Italian’s Chosen Wife, Alessandro and Meghan are both running away from their pasts and the mistakes they made. They can’t forgive themselves, but ultimately they can forgive each other… although it takes a lot of stormy soul-searching for them to get there.

What kind of emotional conflict do you like to read about in a romance? Are there any issues or conflicts you’d like to see but haven’t yet?


Lucy Monroe said...

Welcome, Kate! I'm so glad you could come by and share with everyone. You *have* had a very busy year and I for one am looking forward to reading the results. :)

Everyone...Kate sent a lovely picture with her blog, but it was part of the Word document and wouldn't save as a separate image for uploading. So, just picture a gorgeous author with a sweet partial smile as you read.

Cat Schield said...

Hi Kate! Hi Lucy! What a great topic. I read two of Lucy's books this weekend (my first, I'm embarrassed to be so late to the party) and loved the way her characters communicated. How can we believe people fall in love if they don't talk about what's in their hearts? Physical attraction might bring them together, but emotional attraction keeps them together.

Kate--it sounds like you're going to have a busy year. I'm heading to the bookstore tonight to pick up your first book. All the best!

As for what I'd like to see for conflict: surprise me! It's all good!

Kate Hewitt said...

Hi Cat. You have a lot of great books to look forward to with Lucy! I'm so excited you're picking up my book--I hope you enjoy it. And you're absolutely right: how can two people fall in love if they don't talk about it?

Thanks for posting,


flchen1 said...

Hi, Kate! (Hi, Lucy!)

Kate, what a good topic! I do prefer books where the characters communicate honestly, and where the conflict is a real issue that they need to work through. It isn't as important specifically what the disagreement is, but I can't stand those stories where the problem looms large at least in part because the two people can't/won't talk about it! That drives me bananas!

Maureen said...

Hi Kate!
I agree with you. I want real problems that a couple would have. I want to read about real people that I can relate to not people who don't make any sense to me.

Cryna said...

Hi Kate

Welcome to the blog. I have to agree with you - I love it when the hero and heroine can talk through issues - even though they have lots of secrets.

Congratulations on your book.

Kate Hewitt said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I love when the hero and hereoine talk through their issues, and I also love when books address issues that aren't always found in romance novels. Have any books stood out to you that are a bit different this way? I know Lucy's Blackmailed into Marriage is one!


Amy said...

Hi Kate, I have a subscription to HP's so I received The Italian's Chosen Wife several months ago. It was a wonderful read. I just received my April presents about a week ago and your book The Greek Tycoon's Convenient Bride was on of the books in my shipment. I have only had time to read one of my April HP's so far but I look forward to reading TGTCB.

As far as the type of conflict I like to see between characters It really does not matter to me. What matters the most to me is the chemistry between the characters and how well a author is able to pull me into the lives of the characters.

Nathalie said...

Conflict in general is nice... however I love it when there is a mistaken identity...

Lily said...

Congrats Kate!

I don't really care for conflict, the most important thing is likeable characters with a nice story line.

Estella said...

I like to read about real people with real problems.

Joyce said...

Hi Kate,
I really dislike when the h/h do something so stupid that you just want to scream at them just talk it out!

lidia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lidia said...

Hi there Kate! Your first book is in my TBR pile.

Stories where a couple is separated or is having problems because they won't discuss their problems annoy the heck out of me -- especially if in the end, the H says "I love you" and magically everything is fine and we have a HEA -- I don't think so.

Unless the couple learns how to communicate and express their feelings, talk things out, then another problem large or small will once again cause havoc in their relationship.

Life is full of ups and downs. What matters is how you deal with what comes along.

I love reading HPs -- the alpha males, the strong heroines, and the emotion. Take away that emotion from an HP and it really loses everything.

My post was full of typos -- hopefully I caught all of them.

Kate Hewitt said...

I see everyone has their personal peeves & preferences! Lidia, I totally agree with you about the emotion! That's really the hallmark of Presents for me.

Here's another question to throw out there. I recently wrote a Presents that had some important secondary characters, always in context of the H and h, of course! How interested are you in secondary characters in a shorter romance like Presents?

Thanks for all the posts!


Amy said...

I alway's love it when secondary characters get their own romance. I become interested in their lives while reading the romance they play a supporting role in. I also love to look back on previous characters lives to see where they are now. By writing about secondary characters it gives a author a great forum to show us readers where the former H&H are in their lives. If they have had children etc...

deseng said...

Hi there Kate!

Glad to have you here! I love books that contain emotion and depth. Secondary characters add so much to a story. I don't like when a book has to many subplots running through it though. I will have to say my all time favorite is romantic comedies with a little suspense. I am not much for fighting and arguing in books.

I recently read a book by Jennifer Crusie titled Anyone but You. It was absolutely hilarious! It starred a lovable basset hound named Fred! He stole the show! I love it when an author adds animals in the story also.

Michele L.

Brandy said...

Welcome Kate! What a wonderful year for you! (If not busy! *g*)
Conflict is okay as long as the hero and heroine are truly communicating and not in some silly argument based on misconceptions. (Although, to be honest, that can be funny too.)

flchen1 said...

Hi, Kate,
I definitely enjoy supporting characters (I love to see the H/h in context, so to speak), and also agree that I like it when they may eventually get their own stories :) It's definitely a tricky balance though, because in the shorter stories like Presents, you don't want to take too much of the focus away from the main characters. Sorry for the non-answer there ;)

Stacy~ said...

Welcome Kate! I think someone mentioned already that the conflict must be real problems, issues we can relate to. While I love reading romance for the escapism, I also feel there has to be something connecting me to the story. So while reading about the problems of rich people and family obligation and all that is interesting, it doesn't really mesh with my everyday life, so I won't feel as involved in the storyline.

Good luck with your book :)

Kate Hewitt said...

Thanks everyone. It seems like the general consensus is that romance needs to contain escapism as well as reality--we want to be able to relate to the story, and I completely agree with that! It's an interesting balance in Presents, which has so many escapist elements, yet also needs to have that important core of emotional truth.

I've enjoyed blogging here--thanks again, Lucy! :)


Denysé said...

Hi, Kate!

Like you, I fell in love with Lucy's books with the mini-series that introduced the very characters you spoke about. I'm half-way through your book now, and loving every page... I'm sure it will be the first of many. Congratulations and I look forward to more of your wonderful, engaging, and thoughtful books!

Lucy - consider yourself hugged, you know how much I love you!


Lettetia said...

Hi Kate,

I loved the ITALIAN'S CHOSEN WIFE. Couldn't put it down until I had finished every word. Great story, with realistic obstacles that the hero and heroine had to talk through and deal with. That is my kind of story! I look forward to more in future.

I am certain everyone will love the book as much as I did.