Thursday, March 09, 2006

Of Queen Bees and Kate Walker

Just got an email from a dear, old friend Kate Walker and was reminded of how she's influenced my writing, how much I learned from her, and how much freakin' fun I had meeting her at Betty's Tea House in York, England (Anna Lucia was there too!).

Kate taught me how to write emotion. Whenever I was stuck, whenever I was paralyzed with fear of delving into those uncharted depths, I'd read a Kate Walker novel. And the next day I could write the scene.

It was like taking a magic pill. She'd show up on to dispense her hard earned wisdom to hopefuls like me, and her very presence leant a credibility to the pursuit that few others could do.

And if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her in the flesh, she's like a queen. All regal and quintessentially British, sarcastic and black as hell, but also warm and intelligent and beautiful to look at.

Her drone is pretty hot too *gg*.

The VERY first time I met her was at RWA Denver. I was standing outside the hotel, smoking, and wearing the Bee Pin all of us "wanna-bees" had gotten in order to recognize each other. I saw her sweep out of her taxi, take a look at me (and my breast, where the pin was) and suddenly I was tackle-hugged by not only a woman I'd never met, but a published author. That's how we all felt about each other--multi-published or not. And it taught me alot about the romance community. Could it have a better ambassador?

If you want to write from the heart, to know what such writing looks like, smells like and feels like, I'd recommend her as a good place to start. And, no. This is not a paid advertisement. *gg* Nor is it payback for all the books she dedicated to, or mentioned, The Bat Dame in.

It's just a simple and humble acknowledgement of an author and woman who's had a tremendous and unselfish impact on my career.

Long live the Queen Bee!


Blogger Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

I hadn’t heard of Kate Walker before, Ann, but just reading your post makes me want to head to my nearest bookstore and select one of her books to read. She sounds like a warm, delightful woman with a good sense of humor as well as a generous spirit. Great combination. ;-)

Loved the bee-pin-wearing “wanna-bees” idea. What a clever way to recognize authors you haven’t met before. (BTW--I tried to pull up Betty’s Tea house but got an error message.)

March 10, 2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Hmmm. I checked the link and it works for me in Firefox. I don't have version 6 of MSIE in order to check it there (thank you, Statcounter!)But Betty's Tea House is world famous and has steadfastly refused offers to expand out of the Yorkshire Dales because they want to maintain their commitment to handcrafted baked goods. I really admire them for that, and their Fat Rascals (ginormous scones) are to die for.

Kate is an awesome person and a delightful conversationalist. She's written a truckload of books and the one she mentioned The Bat Dame in (The Twelve-Month Mistress) is up for Best Harlequin Presents of 2005 at RT. In the book, the hero is Spanish and had a pet bat he called Senora Murcielago (The Bat Dame) and I was there at RWA NYC with Kate when her editor gave her the approval to mention it in her story. What a thrill! I've had such wonderful pre-published experiences. I should record them all.

Okay. I'll shut up now. *gg*

March 10, 2006 2:41 PM  

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