Harlequin Historical Westerns…What’s Next?

Sabbatical notesA Letter from a Reader ~

Publishing has always been a fluid enterprise. With the advent of ebooks that fluidity has increased dramatically as publishers sought to stay ahead of the curve and tried to figure out the next trend in books that would capture the reading public’s interest. That said, I recently received a letter from a reader who had just learned that the historical western line at Harlequin Historical had closed as of January 2019. I thought I’d share it here, along with my  answer for those of you wondering what’s next…

  Hi Kathryn,

                                     A belated Happy New Year to you!
                                     What can your readers expect from you now that Harlequin Historical 
                                           is not publishing western romances?
                                     A reader   
                                                (She gave me her name, but I am withholding it here.)

   Dear Reader,

                          Thank you for asking! Although I hated to see Harlequin’s Historical Western line close,
                           I personally was ready to move in a different direction than historical westerns. Harlequin
                           asked me to write Medieval or Regency stories, and although I enjoy reading them, I do
                           not have the enthusiasm to dive into all that research and actually write one.  Currently,
                           I am taking a sabbatical from writing to figure out my next step.

                           I will admit…It is hard to stay away from writing. I enjoy stories so much — watching them
                           at the movies, reading them, and writing them.

                           I will let my readers know when the next book is well underway, but be prepared to see
                           something different.

                           Until then, thank you so much for reaching out to me with your question. 
                           I hope your 2019 is a great year for you as well!                      

KA sig

Scenes Drawn from Life


Scenes drawn from life and an excerpt!

To create a scene, quite often authors draw on their life experiences and the emotions they felt at the time. That is how Katie O’Rourke’s “date” with Doctor Graham became a scene in The Prairie Doctor’s Bride.
When my husband took his first job as a school principal, he moved our family to a remote rural area in western Illinois. We rented a big, old farmhouse on a hill surrounded by fields of corn and wheat and woods, three miles from the town where he worked. The picture above is similar to the house, except the condition was much better! I enjoyed living in the country, but there was no hospital nearby for me to work in my profession as an obstetrical nurse. I took a position at the closest place ~ a nursing home. I didn’t last long. Those lovely elderly men and women reminded me too much of my grandparents — one of which had recently passed away. My emotions were frayed after only one day of working there.




That is the memory I drew on when I envisioned Katie O’Rourke and her past.
I’ve posted the excerpt HERE on the Sweet Americana Sweethearts Blog. 


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The End!

The EndI am relieved/excited and feeling happy that I have typed

“The End”

on a new manuscript for Harlequin!

This one was so much fun to write because I did it in conjunction with another author and the ideas just sparked off both of us. What a fun way to collaborate. She’ll have her story and I will have mine and the two mesh together in places. It was a bit challenging…but fun. I will reveal a more about it as the time draws closer for the book’s release!  Can’t wait!Logo

My #1 Writing Advice

I am often asked for advice for aspiring writers… so I thought I’d give my thoughts on those breaking into the business…

#1:  Join a supportive writer’s group to help in the journey.

Early on, I was part of a small critique group that helped hone my writing skills in a “safe” environment. I learned to take criticism, to analyze my writing from different angles, and to brainstorm. That was the best—those brainstorming sessions.

#2:  Let people know that you are a writer if you wish–but don’t go into detail about your story. Hold the vision inside a bit to let it percolate and strengthen. Telling your story dilutes the impetus to keep pushing ahead with the writing of it and may make you stall out. (I realized this through trial and error. This may also be an introvert’s reasoning and not applicable to extroverts.)

Best wishes to all aspiring writers. It’s a fantastic, consuming creative journey…