Guest Authors,  Tule Publishing

Author Spotlight: A Chat with New Tule Author, Kate Moore!

Today, I’m so pleased to welcome a new Tule author, but not a new author, Kate Moore!  Kate taught English Literature to generations of high school students, who are now her Facebook friends, while she not-so-secretly penned Romances. In Kate’s stories an undeniable mutual attraction brings honorable, edgy loners and warm, practical women into a circle of love in Regency England or contemporary California. A Golden Heart, Golden Crown, and Book Buyers Best award winner and three-time RITA finalist, Kate lives north of San Francisco with her surfer husband, their yellow Lab, toys for visiting grandkids, and miles of crowded bookshelves.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

N: Welcome to the blog, Kate. I’m so delighted to have you with us today. So, what inspired you to start writing?

A: When I was ten, I bought a small blue spiral notebook for novel ideas, mostly titles. “In the Shadow of the Wine Bottle” was a proposed saga about the rise and fall of a California family. Nancy Drew’s adventures and the American Girl magazine with its heroine-centered short stories inspired me, too. The summer after high school graduation I wrote for four hours a day, and finally sold a story to Ingenue magazine. BUT it wasn’t until I was teaching sophomore boys and read Pride and Prejudice with them that I knew what I must write. I read all of Jane Austen’s novels, got out my old typewriter and began a novel.

N: What comes first—the plot or the characters?

A: For me dialogue comes first. My characters start talking, bantering, resisting each other’s plans, each one trying to take charge. Often, I don’t know exactly where they are, but I hear them, and know who they are and what they want and how they stand in each other’s way. In dialogue, character and plot meet.

N: You’ve written a lot of books, but this is your first book for Tule! Welcome to the fold! What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself while writing your books?

A: The Tule community has been most welcoming, thank you. I am a champion worrier, an anticipator of all that can go wrong. My well-organized purse has items for most emergencies short of nuclear war. So, it has surprised me to discover that I’m ultimately a ‘pantser,’ that I can take this perilous journey of writing a book not knowing the ending and figuring it out as I go.

N: Your book, The Lady and the Thief just released today. Can you share with us something about this story that isn’t in the blurb?

A: First, the idea for this series came from readers, who wanted to know about the secondary characters, “the lost boys” from an earlier series I wrote. Two of those characters went off to London as teenage pickpockets in 1823. Their experience of London would be more out of Dickens’ Oliver than Austen’s Emma, or out of the movies Lion and Slumdog Millionaire. Their need to know who they truly were, and at the same time, their fear of that truth would be powerful opposing drives. And when I went forward in time with them from the Regency, I learned about the great fire that burned the Houses of Parliament to the ground in 1834. More about that later, but I knew that for my ‘lost boys’ now men, it would be a game changer.

N: You’ve written a lot of Regencies. What kind of research did you have to do to write a story that takes place in the early nineteenth century?

A: Research has changed so much since I began writing. Who knew that the words “search engine” and “database” could be so magical? I still love a print book with a good index and newspapers of the period (but not the microfiche). I love it that hundreds of people now research their interests and post blogs. Their passion for watches or obscure London settings or fashion history provides the details that bring the past to life. What was significant for this book with my Regency background was to look for what I did not know. That’s tricky. You think you know things about the time and place, and then discover that you don’t. The event that started me on that research journey was the fire of October 1834 that burned down the Houses of Parliament. Most of us think we know what Parliament looked like “back then,” but that’s only because the iconic image we see now was built to look old years after my story takes place.

N: If you had to describe Vivian, your heroine in only three words, what would those three words be? And three words for your hero, Edward?

A: Viv–an adventurous, independent nurturer. Edward is really Lark–a loyal, quick-witted strategist. For each of them, discovering their true identity is the key to the story.

N: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

A: Actually, my younger self got lots of great advice from fellow authors, both newbies and old pros, and from editors. Two pieces of advice I still turn to on a regular basis: 1) “Write lots of bad sentences.” That’s a hard one for me. I want to write good sentences, but letting yourself write the bad ones until you get further into a story is sound advice. And 2) “Write down everything that happens.” Not everything that happens ends up on the page, but knowing exactly what happens helps a writer navigate choices for scenes and structure.

N: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell our readers about?

A: Writing three books fast (for me) for Tule has been a challenge, but I have the start of another series percolating in my imagination about three school friends in London with special abilities who work for an Almanac publisher. The first of them has a talent for weather prediction at a time when that science was brand new. They live in a parallel world to the ton, a world of enormous wealth without titles, like the Trenchard family in Belgravia.

N: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

A: Everything I’ve neglected while writing! My husband prefers to keep me writing as it keeps me from contemplating house projects! But this year between our dog getting old and not being able to go far and my writing schedule, I’ve lost my good walking routine. We live in a town that’s great for walking, crisscrossed with “Steps, Lanes, and Paths” that offer woods, creeks, and views, and lead to an indie bookstore on the plaza that sells cappuccinos and croissants!

N: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: A writer and a mom.

N: Favorite book when you were a kid?

A: Tule fans of the cowboy hero will appreciate that I read Owen Wister’s The Virginian as often as I could. The library finally gave me the falling-apart copy I kept checking out! I loved Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom. But I read everything, every book my dad picked up in an airport and brought home with him, everything on the shelves at home.

N: Now, everyone’s favorite question: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

A: First, I’d invite my friend Susan, a great reader, who passed away this January. Her snarky wit, curiosity, spot-on insights, and love of olives, cheese, and Sangiovese would help any gathering. Of course, I would invite Jane Austen, and try not to gush too much about her genius, but only thank her for persisting in her work, for enabling me to see my world more clearly, and for paving the way for so many women writers. And, this is quirky, but maybe Kazuo Ishiguro, the English novelist. He is wise and funny about writing, and deep about memory and history, and he has an accent like Hugh Grant’s. He and Austen would have a lively conversation I think, and Susan and I could press him about whether those endings of his are despairing or ultimately hopeful.

The Lady and the Thief

In 1835 London, companion Vivian Bradish daringly pursues her dream of being a writer by researching and notating her ailing employer’s new book–A Guide to London for Fearless Women. Posing as a mark, Viv boldly enters a street known for pickpockets. When she’s attacked, she accidentally shoots the handsome gentleman who aids her. She brings the wounded stranger to her employer’s home for medical aid, but they are caught in a compromising situation, threatening Viv’s position and dreams.

Her would-be rescuer, Lark, was once a Lost Boy, part of a gang of street urchins and pickpockets rescued by the Duke of Wenlocke. Reformed, he’s now Edward Larkin, posing as a gentleman and searching for clues to his past. Meeting Viv is unexpected, and to save her position in the household, he proposes a fake betrothal.

To “court her,” Lark promises to guide her through the streets of the London she’s never seen so she can finish the book, never dreaming his impulse to help Viv will lead him to his lost family.

Amazon | B&N Nook | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | B&N Print