First let me say congratulations! What an accomplishment to be working on your 20th book, just published The Man Who Could Never Love with Harlequin Presents, and on top of that Zoe and The Tormented Tycoon was a Top Pick in Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine, and is also a Reviewer’s Choice nominee for Best Presents of 2010. How thrilling!
After reading a little about you and browsing your blog, it looks like you have had a passion for writing since you were 5, and that you picked up your love of romances at 13. How have you managed to keep your passion for writing and romances?
Writing is always something that has been important to me, and I actually become grumpy and out of sorts if I'm *not* writing for more than a day or two. I still experiences dry times creatively speaking, and I've felt burned out by the whole writing for publication thing too. The way I recharge is by turning off the computer, taking a break, and reading or watching movies--filling that creative well again.
It has got to be pretty amazing to have such an accomplished author as a Mom/Wife. Does your family have anything special that they do with you or for you when you have a new book coming out?
My husband is wonderful and will buy me flowers and a cake! It's like having a birthday several times a year :)
I actually loved a post you did on your blog that dealt with receiving bad reviews, and I wanted to take a moment to hear how you deal with great reviews?
Thank you! Great reviews are interesting because the temptation can be either to give them too much weight or not enough--depending on whether you're feeling arrogant or insecure ;) Ultimately, whether good or bad, it's just a review, and one person's opinion, and I think that is what you need to remember.
Of the characters you have written, which one man and/or which one woman (not necessarily from the same book) would be your favorite and why?
That is hard to answer! Aarif from The Sheikh's Forbidden Virgin is a favorite hero of mine, because he was so desperate to do the right thing--and so tempted not to! Ana from my most recent release, The Man Who Could Never Love, is my favorite heroine because she is so strong and stubborn and yet still has her own vulnerabilities.
Most recently, you wrote on your blog about Down Jasper Lane, which you originally wrote under another name, but now are going to publish as yourself. It sounds like a great story, and your post about the covers got me thinking about book covers. From what I understand, authors generally have very little say in the cover art. Have you had a cover that just amazed you, or one that you thought just didn't fit? (Note - the cover to the left is the original cover, not the new cover for release in the US)
Thank you--I'm very excited about Down Jasper Lane, and that it is getting a second life. My absolute favorite Presents cover is my first--The Italian's Chosen Wife. It captured the look of both the hero and heroine perfectly, as well as the mood of the story. I just loved it. As for covers I haven't loved, usually it's because they just lack that extra little something that makes a cover stand out. I haven't had any that have caused me to really shudder.
I also read that you are learning to knit as a hobby. Do you find that having a hobby like knitting helps with your creativity and your writing?
That, I'm afraid, was a bit of an exaggeration on my bio :) I like to knit, but with writing and 4 children I find I rarely have time. I think hobbies are important as a way to recharge creatively, and I love cooking and baking. We are moving from New York City to rural England this summer, and I am hoping to begin to garden as well.
Now for a spotlight on your recent release of The Man Who Could Never Love, which is part of Royal Secrets series with Harlequin Presents. The book is set in Italy, and features Vittorio, a titled man looking for a marriage of convenience, and Ana, a woman who had no notions of getting married at all.
What drew you to make the setting of the book in Italy?
I've traveled through Italy and love it--also, my sister-in-law is Italian and she always provides inspiration (as well as help with any Italian phrases in the book!)
Castle Cazlevara vineyards plays a big role in the book, as Vittorio is returning to the family vineyard and settling down. Did you have to do any special research in order to learn about vineyards?
I did! I researched wine making, and the different kinds of grapes, and Veneto, the region of Italy the book is set in. I love doing research for books, and making those details feel truly authentic.
There seems to be a lot of emotion and history surrounding Vittorio's family, which colors decisions that are made (getting married to effectively ensure that his brother, who happens to be his mother's favorite, does not inherit the family vineyard). What was the most challenging part of writing scenes with so much emotion behind them?
I think the challenging part is making them resonate with the reader, rather than having someone roll her eyes! Emotional conflict in Presents can be extremely intense, but you also want it to be real and accessible. I like to say Presents are fantasies with a core of emotional truth, and the challenge for me as a writer is getting that across on the page.
If you could have written yourself into the story as a secondary character, who would you have been and why?
I think I would have been Ana's best friend. She needed one, especially somebody nearby!
I don't want to take too much of your time, but I would welcome any additional comments/thoughts if you'd like to add anything else. Thank you so much for taking the time to share a little about yourself and your writing with me and the readers at Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (And More) In Seattle.
Thank you for having me on your blog! I really appreciate the chance to talk about writing and books, two of my favorite subjects. The Man Who Could Never Love is really close to my heart, so I hope readers enjoy it!
by Kate Hewitt
Harlequin (June 7, 2011) ~ 192 pages
Fiction / Romance
Vittorio Ralfino, the Count of Cazlevara, is back in Italy to make a business proposition. He wishes to marry a traditional wife, and Anamaria Viale—sturdy, plain and from a good vintner's family—perfectly fits his bill.
Ana is stunned that Vittorio is offering her—an ugly duckling!—marriage. She'd stoically resigned herself to a career and singledom.
But Vittorio is persuasive and Ana would like a child of her own. Although she's under no illusion that this is anything but a convenient marriage—Vittorio will never offer her love. So when the time comes for him to claim her as his bride, she's surprised—and amazed—at the strength of his passion….
About the Author: (from her website)
Kate Hewitt discovered her first Mills & Boon romance on a trip to England when she was thirteen, and she’s continued to read them ever since.
She wrote her first story at the age of five, simply because her older brother had written one and she thought she could do it too. That story was one sentence long—fortunately, they have become a bit more detailed as she’s grown older.
Although she was raised in Pennsylvania, she spent summers and holidays at her family’s cottage in rural Ontario, Canada picking raspberries, making maple syrup, and pretending to be a pioneer. Now her children are enjoying roaming the same wilderness, with a few additional modern comforts (like TV!).
She studied drama in college and shortly after graduation moved to New York City to pursue a career in theatre. This was derailed by something far better—meeting the man of her dreams who happened also to be her older brother’s childhood friend.
Ten days after their wedding they moved to England, where Kate worked a variety of different jobs—drama teacher, editorial assistant, church youth worker, secretary, and finally mother.
When her oldest daughter was one year old, she sold her first short story to a British magazine, ‘The People’s Friend’. Since then she has written many stories and serials as well as novels. In 2007 she received ‘The Call’ from Mills & Boon for her first Harlequin Presents novel, The Italian’s Chosen Wife, and still has to shake her head in disbelief and wonder that it really happened… and she’s really writing for Mills & Boon! She loves writing stories that celebrate the healing and redemptive power of love, and there’s no better way of doing it than through the romance genre.
Besides writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and learning to knit—it’s an ongoing process and she’s made a lot of scarves.
After living in England for six years, she now resides in New York City with her husband, an Anglican minister, her four young children, and the possibility of one day getting a dog.
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Again, I would like to say a huge thank you to Kate Hewitt for agreeing to be interviewed! I had a great time chatting with her, and learning more about her book!
If you would like to visit her website, visit her at Kate Hewitt Romance Author.
This interview has been added to the About the Author Index! Click here to read more author interviews.
*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)