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The CEO's Baby Surprise by Helen Lacey

The CEO's Baby Surprise

by Helen Lacey

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Spotlight on Kate Walker, Olivero's Outrageous Proposal #Giveaway

This week's Spotlight on Author is on Kate Walker and her latest release Olivero's Outrageous Proposal. There's a Kindle Copy Giveaway of Olivero's Outrageous Proposal to one commenter!  

Connect with Kate Walker on the web:
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What inspires you to write?

Simple answer -  life! Well, life and people. People are endlessly fascinating., We are all human, but there are so many  different types, looks, characters, personalities. I love sitting in a coffee shop or on a train and watching everyone going about their day - some alone, some together, some happy , some angry . . .  It’s always fascinating. And then I find myself thinking  about what their lives must be like when they get home. If they have a  wife/husband/children/family.  I love reading ‘human interest'; stories in magazines or newspapers and watching people be interviewed on  TV or listening to them on the radio., Sometimes they will come up with a line or say something else that will just inspire me. I was once listening to an interview with a champion athlete who said that when his son was born he looked at him and  said that ‘he was the only person  I knew  in the world with my blood in him.’  That just intrigued me  - it turned out that  this man had been abandoned as a baby and he didn’t know anything about his family.  As a result of that one line I wrote The Italian’s Forced Bride.    
There is inspiration everywhere - you just have to keep your eyes open and look for it.  As long as there are people there will be relatin shipos and after all, relation ships are at the core of every romance. As Michelle Reid once said to me ‘I don’t write ‘love stories’, I write relationship stories’  - Relationships, people - there and endless source of inspiration. 

Tell us about your writing process.
 Having an idea is like have a seed  - the seed of a story  to plant and encourage into growth. Often I get an idea while traveling - there’s something about staring into space and watching the countryside flash by (luckily my husband is doing the driving!) that means I can let my mind drift. With that ‘seed’ planted I can start asking questions Why did this happen?  What is he thinking here?  How did she react to that? What happened next? The answers to those questions help me develop the story. I scribble down notes to remind myself  and ask more questions - more answers.  I need to know my characters well before I really start writing.   As I’m working on a book  on the computer I always have a notebook open at the side of the keyboard so that I can note down new ideas as they come to me - perhaps a snatch of dialogue, or a question that must be answered later on. Or some background information on my characters as I write the main story on the screen.   I don’t really plan out a story -just collect tohether theses ‘bobes’ of the story and build the novel on them .  I set out ‘into the mist’  and because I know my characters (I hope!) then they will tell me their story.
Which brings me to the next question.

Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do both! That's why I have to write novels because there are these characters inside my head and they want to tell me their story so that I can write it down ans share it with the world!  I always nbeed to know my charactres well before I start out - but then asI go along, it’s almost as  if they are sitting in the room with me, telling me their story, So if I aam puzzled by something or I need a to know whjy something has happened I can ‘ask’  them in my thoughts - why did you do that? What are you feeling now? Why? Writers are a bit crazy that way. But I think that oif  you don’t understand, get involved with, ‘tlk’ to your charactres then they don’t come fully alive  - and without that thjey can read as if they are just cardboard cutouts that the author is moving about on the page to suit her story - and not because they, as characters, will do nothing else.  It’s when my charactres don';t /won’t  do as I tell them that I know they’ve really come alive.

What advice would you give other writers?

Read Read Read – learn the plots that make successful romances in the past and in the present – and the ones that have failed.  Learn how a book is put together, how the author makes you care for the characters and get involved in what they’re doing.   Read to understand - but not to copy. 

 Write using your own voice.  That way you make the plot authentic to you –    Tell your characters’ story your way.
Above all, write from the heart. Romance  particularly is not the place for a cynical ‘I’m writing this for the money’ approach. If you write about characters you care about and involve them in a story that shows their emotional journey  - because that is what the reader is looking for  then you’ll create something people want to reader - and they’ll keep turning those pages!

What is your favourite genre to read? Is it different to what you write?

I read everything and anything. So yes, I read lots of romances - but not all of them are the type of romances I write. I write deep, strong, passionate stories with a powerful conflict - but I still love gentle, lyrical,  romances.  

I love historical novels too - my ‘desert island ‘ books would be the Game of Kings series by Dorothy Dunnett - wonderful, rich, complicated books, with a cast of thousands!  I can read them again and again.  I love a good thriller too - and I now I’d never actually be able to write one. My mind doesn't  work that way.    Ghost stories -  detective novels - family sagas  . . .  The truth is there are too many books and not enough time.  I wish there was an extra day in the week so that I could just spend it reading.  My TBR pile is a TBR mountain - and that’s not counting the number of books I have collected up on my kindle!

Tell us about your book...

My latest release from Harlequin Presents/M&B Modern is Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal.   It’s a story about families really, about the way they can be protective but also they can exile some members and shut them out. My  hero, sexy Italian Dario Olivero has longed for acceptance from his father for years but has never managed to achieve it. He’s the illegitimate son and so has been shut out from the family as a result.  When he meets Alyse, he is planning on using her to   wreak revenge on his estranged half brother. But he isn’t prepared for the fact that when he meets her,  she has her own agenda, her own problems that need to be solved. And  Dario is not prepared  for the effect Alyse has on him.  He is knocked for six by her andrealising how much trouble she’s in,  that pushes him into making an unexpected - and ‘outrageous’ proposal!.
A marriage proposal is not what Alyse was expecting. But this deliciously sexy Italian will resolve her family's debts if she becomes his convenient wife... Her head says no but her body begs her to say yes. With an intensity rivaling the Tuscan sun, their mutual desire soon escalates to something inconvenient, creating a whole new dilemma!

 Olivero's Outrageous Proposal 
One problem… 

For Dario Olivero, Alyse Gregory was supposed to be a way to reap revenge against his estranged half brother. But Alyse carries the key to the family acceptance he's always craved and, realizing just how much trouble she's in, he can't turn away.

One solution! 

A marriage proposal is not what Alyse was expecting. But this deliciously sexy Italian will resolve her family's debts if she becomes his convenient wife… Her head says no but her body begs her to say yes.

With an intensity rivaling the Tuscan sun, their mutual desire soon escalates to something inconvenient, creating a whole new dilemma! 
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