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Regency romance author K. C. Bateman is our guest! We talk about research rabbit holes, how every one of her books begins on her “wall of crazy,” and what to do when faced with shedding all those bloody layers.

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Transcript
Elle
Joining us today on Steam scenes is K.C. Bateman. K.C. Bateman is the number one bestselling author of Regency and Renaissance historical romances including the Secrets and Spies series and The Bowe Street Bachelors series. Her books have received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and feature feisty, intelligent heroines, (badasses in bodices!) wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to strangle and kiss. When not writing, Kate leads a double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK. She currently lives in Illinois with a number-loving husband and three inexhaustible children, and regularly returns to her native England ‘for research.’ Welcome to Steam Scenes, Kate, thank you for being here.

Kate
Hello. Thanks for having me. It’s great.

Elle
This is super fun. I’m curious where in the UK are you from originally?

Kate
So it’s near Cambridge. I had an auction house for 15 years. So that was in Stamford, which is Lincolnshire. So it’s right on the border of three three little counties, Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. So the nearest thing was probably Cambridge, which about 40 minutes from me, I lived in a tiny little village called Handle which is fab.

Elle
Is it something like a hamlet?

Kate
No, not really a hamlet. There was a public school where it is just like Hogwarts. I mean, when people ask me like apart from a lock, which because it was kind of Scottish. It is basically Hogwarts where I grew up and lived that village.

Elle
Oh my God that’s really cool. How did you end up coming here? I just stayed at Hogwarts. What? Well, like, Okay, well, I’m

Kate
gonna get kicked out of school, I graduated. And then what? Yeah, it was the usual by husband’s work. I was I was logged here under false pretenses by my husband, who works at a big engineering company, out here in the Midwest. And it was supposed to be a two years maximum three year placement. And I was quite happily running my auction house with my dad and my brother, and it was all going well. And I thought it’d be fun, you know, 24 months. That’s only like 12 sales. They’ll barely miss me. So I literally walked out and said, Yeah, we’ll do it. What the heck. And I was pregnant with my third kid at the time, so I was gonna have a few months off anyway. I was like, you won’t miss me. I’ll be back before you know it. And literally, that was nine years ago now. And I’m here. Two years stayed and it kept going. And now we’re still here. We got a house that dog. So yeah. But if it wasn’t for that, I would never have started writing User Agreement.

Elle
See, that was my question. That was my question whether you had picked that. Whether you were writing while you were sort of like having this busy life in, in Hogwarts town, or if you picked it up when you came here?

Kate
Well, sort of, yeah. I was always a massive fan and reader of historical. My background- obviously, the antiques is historical, but my degree was in English literature and French – and I always thought I would go into publishing or, you know, journalism. I did work in that for a few years before I started my auction house. But then my dad decided to set up the Auction House and asked if I would come and do it. And he was good at painting some furniture. And he just said to me, oh, you can do everything else. And I was like, Yeah, cool, not realizing that’s 90% of everything. You know, silver, ceramics, pottery, porcelain, everything. So I got the bum end of this deal. But anyway, I did it for 15 years and adored it. And but on this side, I did write. It wasn’t a romance at the time. Ironically, I saw a gap in the middle grade market for something cool and magical. So I just finished a manuscript when Harry Potter came out, which and it just got accepted by a UK publisher, which was like Quantum Leap for kids. It’s really cool. And then I moved here and that kind of went under the bed. And I started writing romance because that’s what I loved. I’d read it I can’t remember. Every time I tell this story, I can’t remember which book it was but I just read a really bad historical and I was you know not working here because the laws for auctioneering is different here. And I thrown across the room and said God I was so terrible, I could have written better than that. My husband went Yeah, but you weren’t I bet you a pound you won’t. And he said your pound I will and I was still hungry. He probably knows that seemed to probably set it to give me something to do. But I thought Damn it. Yes, I can’t. I mean, literally, I’ve got a degree in English. I know about history, dammit. I can write. I’ve read so many books, I can surely write one, which is what I did. I sat down wrote my first book, which was The Devil to Pay which was my re Renaissance, Italian you know, lunacy romp, Not knowing anything about the actual publishing market that Regency Italian is almost impossible to sell to traditional publishers because it’s such a niche market. But I had just finished reading, I think it was Laura Kinsale who was brilliant, who had done a couple of medievals. And I thought you know, I want to read more of that and looked around for them and I couldn’t find it. So I’m like, Okay, I’ll just write what I want to read, which is, you know, hot mercenaries and feisty girls in castles, you know? And that actually got me my first publishing deal even though it was unpublishable.

Elle
You got your first publishing deal on a book that was so niche that it would have been considered unublishable. That’s kind of extraordinary.

Kate
I entered it into a couple of contests and it had won the contest. And the finals judge for one of those contests was my then editor who ended up being my editor at Penguin Random House. And she judged it, I love your writing. I love this whole manuscript, but I just can’t sell it. But can you write me a Regency? And I’m like, hell yeah. All right. Anything you like if you’ll give me a publishing contract. So yeah, I just did my Regencies which I did a three book series for for them. I did it backwards. So everyone’s like, what’s your path to publication? And it was backwards. I got the theoffer to publish the book, a Regency which I had written a very quick spec, thinking it was a kind of joke like, sure, here’s a book. And she said, Yeah, I’ll take it. I was like, Oh, I better get an agent and, you know, take this seriously. Then I called agents before that. And of course, you can’t get representation at all. It’s like, hen’s teeth, finding an agent that will take you. I rang up, literally my dream agent, and said, I got this offer of a publishing deal from Random House, will you be my agent? And of course, at that point, they’re like, Yes, I’ll take your 15% but to be fair, she did get me the three books series. That was pretty good. Cuz I was only gonna write that one book and thought I was happy. I was happy with that. And she and the agents. Well, this she’s got a brother and a sister. You know, they were always gonna be three books in the series. I’m like, Yeah, sure. Yeah.

Elle
Of course.

So she pitched the three book series, which then sold and I was like, Oh, no, I’m gonna write the other two books now this is like Wow.

So so I get I this is sort of like an oddly circuitous route to being a romance writer. I mean, you would said you worked in journalism before you started your auction house. What kind of journalism were you doing?

Kate
I had done it was anything I could because I was straight out of university. My degree was in English and French so completely unemployable. But I am I did loads I worked for cosmopolitan on the beauty desk for a while

Elle
Oh, I worked for Elle and the beauty desk for a while.

Kate
I got so much free makeup.

Elle
It is ridiculous how much free crap you get.

Kate
I still use it, like 40 years later still got it all. And then ironically, I temporal alpha Macmillan who are now my publishers I worked for dead nature magazine for a while in the in the marketing department so it wasn’t really writing. And I did some editing, I did some like proofreading and stuff but yeah, that I wasn’t really you know, thinking I’d sit down and ever write a book but obviously having read lots of proper in inverted commas lecture like hardcore everything. I was kind of it was my escape but university I just plowed through like 10 Harlequin – here in England it’s Mills and Boon – but, you know, because that was like the happy upside to all these French women dying of poisoning and jumping into trains and you know. So that’s why I write romance is because I want all these kick ass we want to just you know, live happily ever after not languish away.

Elle
Right Isn’t it funny how usually the kick ass ones do languish away except in romance?

Kate
I found myself rewriting it you know got so you know Tess of the Duberville’s it’s like just get on a boat and get to America, Tess, you’ll be fine. You know, live it up, you know? You know Anna Karenina, he’s not worth it. Just just run away with Bronski and be happy it’s not hard, right? It just drives me nuts. So I yes in my head, none of those have sad endings and Dangerous Liaisons was another one. I couldn’t bear it. I was like, no, that just is not an acceptable ending. In my head. They live happily ever after he realized his mistake and grovels and gets better and she survives and they will fine. I have denial of the worst sort, I probably need therapy.

Elle
So when did you start reading romance? Was it college? Or was it even before?

Kate
No, I think it was probably college. I’d read vaguely romantically Ann of Green Gables and stuff like that and classics. But there’s not a lot of romance per se in them. But I remember very clearly reading the first historical being proper book, but was it was Julie Garwood and I picked it up to commute my head a 40 minute commute on the train from my house to London. And it didn’t look like a romance book. It kind of look like historical fiction. And you know, it had the gapes on the front and the castle rather than that clinch cover that you know gave you away on the train that you are reading smut. And it blew me away. I was like, wow, there’s a whole book of exactly what I want. It’s these you know, great people in an interesting setting and they all get happy and it was brilliant. And that kind of opened the floodgates and then I read everything you know that the old school you know, Joanna Lindsay’s, I’m a huge fan. I’ve not stopped since and that was like 25 years ago.

Elle
So you remember what book it was that that you had read?

Kate
I think it was Ransom. I read it because I think I just bought that book with a very bad cover. It was probably Ransom. It was cool. I mean, yeah. And then I devoured everything. So people like you know, Laura Kinsel all of those, you know, favorites and my heroines still.

Elle
So when you started writing, did you did you ever close the door and like sort of ease into writing more graphic steamy scenes? Are we always just like, right there. You know, out there writing never closing the door not getting too black?

Kate
Yeah, I used to get frustrated with the whole I you know, I suppose the first books I read that were not that were romance, but not sex was a kind of Georgette Heyer. And I love those. But yeah, the most exciting thing is he clenches his snuffbox and you know, maybe you get a kiss at the end, or he snaps his fan or whatever. And I found that really frustrating. And I want that, you know, I want to see the open door stuff. I don’t want fully, necessarily fully graphic, the sex can be quite boring if it’s not written well, I mean, it can be better to leave it out to your imagination. But when it’s written well should complete the relationship of you know, those two characters, and it should be specific to those characters. So, yeah, I find that I like it. I mean, my first is hard to write. I know as a mother of three, my mother is going to read those sections. And I think she’s pretty sure this has been immaculate conception. I’ve never had sex according to my mother. So that cringe worthy thing of people you know are going to read the sex scenes you’ve written and think she’s thinking, is that what they do? And you’ve got to get over that, like, No one asked Stephen King if he’s buried 15 bodies in his garden, but everyone assumes that once writers are writing exactly about what they’ve done, or they’ve thought, which that makes me laugh.

Elle
That’s actually an excellent point. Like the FBI isn’t showing up to Stephen King’s House, and being like, okay, so tell us about all these murders you’re committing.

Kate
And everyone’s like, Oh, you know, that thing they did? Have you ever tried that? Might? No, I have a great imagination. And, again, if you’ve met my husband, he is far from a romance novel standard.

Elle
He’s not a rake or a rogue.

Kate
You know, he’s my hero, but he’s not, you know, that’s the thing. There’s someone out there for everyone. So you have to use your imagination for all the all of the thing, not just the sexiness, but yeah, it’s, it is tough to write, I have a good strong gin and tonic before I start writing.

Elle
Do you really? Oh, nice. Good to know. So to backtrack a little bit, um, what to you, what makes a sex scene good?

Kate
I think it’s this, it has to be specific to those characters. I mean, that’s it, it has to kind of tie in all of the kind of main themes of the book, but at the same time, it could be kind of, you want to be really in the heads of those characters. And they’ve got to act as only those two characters word. If that kind of makes sense. Like, it just could be any two characters for any books having having the sex, then it’s not a great thing, because you can just interchange it. So it has to be something specific. So either because of their, you know, their background situation, or their mental state or the, you know, whatever’s going on between them has to be, you know, in that state, and it’s got to have tension that I think it’s lots of complicated things happening. And when people have a sense, it’s controlling its power and its trust. And it’s, you know, it’s just a really interesting thing, and it doesn’t necessarily have to go well. I mean, you can have a very bad sex scene and still a great sex scene. I mean, like, I was thinking about this, a lot of my favorite books, the first sex scene between the characters is actually bad sex. Like it doesn’t work so well. Or it’s, you know, something goes wrong, or it’s, it’s not a good balance. And then that makes it interesting, because once they’ve had things if it’s all great, it’s kind of done right. So you can play with that. If you have more than one sex in a book, you know, it’s not your kind of happily ever after sexy right at the end, I usually sit them right in the middle, and it’s sort of the beginning of everything going wrong, you know, they’re lying to each other, or there’s still issues to be sorted out. So it’s fun, but there’s still kind of underlying tensions and, and conflicts in there, which kind of makes it for me really interesting. And I hope the reader as well.

Elle
Yeah, no, it actually really does is to sort of look at that as your the first time never. If you’re writing it at that particular point in the book, that’s not the end, they do still have things to work through. And so even if they have this great connection, you know, it all has to fall apart afterwards.

Kate
Yeah. And because that’s it usually the first one is just about the kind of physical, you know, stuff and all the other things are still in the background causing problems and it’s probably at the end when you finally get that, that full completion of everything is all coming together and that’s why there’s going to be so successful long term relationship is that you need to believe that at the end, but you don’t necessarily need to believe it at the at the midpoint. And that’s what makes it fun as well. If there is danger or risk or anything like that, obviously, that adds to the tension on the other stuff as well. It’s all fun to play with.

Elle
So you need your G and T, before you start writing. Did you realize that like your very first one, when you sat down to write it, we like I better have a gin and tonic before I get this started? Or like how did you muddle through the very first one, if you can remember,

Kate
I was trying to do it because it must have been The Devil to Pay which I think I just wrote it. Obviously I read a lot of things. And I went back and actually specifically broke apart some of my favorite sex scenes to see how they’ve done it. You know, I think the deeper the point of view can be, I think the more engaged the reader is because you want you want to be there experiencing that, whether it’s the first time for the person or the 50th time or you want to be in the character’s heads kind of feeling that so all the senses need to be engaged. You need to be describing stuff, but not so much that it cuts you off. Like I’m a terrible one of obviously with my historical background. I know what a 15th century castle looks like and a doorknob and a table. But you can’t be noticing that halfway through unless it’s relevant to the sex scenes. You can’t go Oh, that’s a great, you know, Majolica picture on the side. Yeah, you have to be. I can’t remember, actually, I think I just wrote it. I mean, I’m fairly unembarrassed double like that. Yeah, I think I wanted to have the forces, I mean, obviously, you can write it, it’s hard to write. Pardon the pun, I mean, it’s very easy to write bad kind of tab A in slot B, the technicalities of it. And that’s usually what comes first, as you’re working out, whose arm is where, and you know, physically, where are they in the room? Are they you know, on the bed? Are they not the bed? How are we getting there? But after that, then you have to layer in the emotions and all the conflicts and stuff as well.

Elle
Right. And that’s why… I take forever to write my intimate, like, for forever, it can be really like pulling teeth whenever I’m getting to that intimate moment, like my writing just sort of grinds to a halt. And I think it is that constantly going back over it and layering it in and layering and Layer Layer Layer, you know, is that your process? Or do you work differently?

Kate
I mean, I have friends that do that, and actually physically go in and write, you know, layer in like, this is the pass where I’m going to put in smell taste touch. I just write it and it seems to kind of all come together, you know, I’m pretty lucky in that I tend to have pretty clean the first draft. And I don’t really tweak them that much. I mean, it’s my obviously I get edits back and my editor will say, you know, he is he’s got three legs in this scene. So you know, one of them has a dress over the door. But actually, it’s still hanging on the lamp shade, or whatever it is. But those are the kinds of things you can you can tweak. But no, I have fun writing them. I mean, I think that’s part of the fun of writing it is the fun has been that build up to it. And there should still be that fun, sort of teasy sexy scene of, you know, teasing and stuff in that whole section as well, it should kind of, again, reflect with characters, if they’re intense people, and it should be an intense scene, if they’re kind of more teasing, and that’s still messing around with each other. It should be like that. So I have a lot of fun writing, I think it’s it’s just a natural part of their, you know, their relationship, I’d feel a bit cheated myself if I don’t get at least some kind of glimpse through the bedroom door. Not that I dislike, you know, sweet romances. You know, I’m quite happy with ones that don’t go that far. But I prefer ones that that give you that entire view of that that snapshot of the relationship.

Elle
Right, right. So when you said that, when you first were writing your very first one, you went back and sort of like dissected scenes that you loved. What do you know, what you were looking for, in particular, while you dissected them?

Kate
Well, I suppose part of it was, you know, how long are they? How, like, literally because they are they a chapter long? Are we in whose head are we in? Are we alternating points of view? I tend to do that when I write a sex and I want to have both points of view usually because they they’re usually conflicting, you know, it might is maybe the first time for the, for the heroine, but for the hero, it’s obviously not and you want to see those different, you know, what people are thinking about from different points of view. I suppose I was looking for all the things like how are they doing it? What are they, you know, are they what are they describing? How are they getting that deep point of view? What other things are happening? Where are they? Where is this taking place at what point in the book is is taking place? You know, what goes wrong at the end of it, you know, all those things?

Elle
Okay, cool. It’s just sort of interesting to sort of see what you know, in terms of dissecting a scene what people are looking for, you know, because it’s something that I I struggle to do because I always go back and try and dissect and then I get, and then I find I get swept away in the reading again, and all of a sudden, I’m like, you know, 70 pages into a reread and it’s three hours later. And I’m like, I don’t know what I was supposed to be doing here. But this is a great book.

Kate
This is the danger isn’t it? Loads of my favorite writers, they all write sex scenes differently. Like I mentioned, Laura Kinsal she writes really good scenes, but, but her writing is just beautiful. I mean, she has, you know, imagery and themes and descriptions in there that I, you know, I would probably never think of in a million years, or I was looking at as a really good one, which was, I think Judith Ivory, it’s old school, it’s called Beast, and it’s the hero and the heroine who are betrothed, but meet each other on a cruise ship on the way to the bethrothal, and they have their first sex scene completely in the dark. So they don’t know each other, if you know what I mean. They’re just attractive strings. And it’s fascinating, because that’s a completely different twist on because normally you’re seeing, so I thought that was really brilliant. And yeah, there’s a whole bunch of different ones. I thought that was really clever, you know, really, as an author, you when somebody does something really well, and differently you look at it. And you know, that 50 Shades is a classic example. I mean, that’s like, how, how are you doing that? You might not love the writing, but you can’t deny that it’s, you know, very readable, you rip through it, you know, it’s enjoyable.

Elle
And, you know, however many million copies that book sold, I mean, it clearly resonated with a lot of people. And that is going to be the mark of a good book, whether you like the writing or not, it’s still a mark of a good book. Or a good story. So, when you’re writing period romances, I love historicals, I would love to write one, they are so intimidating.

Kate
I’m intimidated by, you know, by the modern day things because yeah, I can get it so wrong. And I stick to what you know, right? So I mean, I would have to write you know, in English, you know, an English sort of heroin and things like that. I don’t think I could ever write a contemporary American set thing because I just still get too many things wrong after living here for so long. I mean, daily that the word use is I reckon there’s about a third of words that are completely different meaning or use between English, English and American English. I really, it’s just, it’s amazing language is a fascinating thing. But I like, historical is fun. I obviously having had 15 years as an auctioneer, I’ve seen all the things from all the periods that I you know, I know what a regency fan looks like, and I’ve touched the…and I’ve worn the dresses and I, you know, all these, I’ve picked up the tea cups and stuff. So I’ve got that sort of comfortable thing in my head, that I setting I’m fairly confident in that. And I’ve read a lot in that genre, that also makes me confident, but it doesn’t have to be exact. There’s there’s this huge discussion over you know, historical accuracy. And especially with Bridgerton that’s come up now with you know, that’s an interesting thing in itself. But I’m not trying to write historical fiction it is it is a historical fact. It’s like flavored historically flavored fantasy is it is a fiction. And nobody wants the realities of Georgian England. In reality, there were no hot dukes, they’re all like fat, and, you know, balding and inbred and, you know, had gout. No, you know, we’ve already suspended disbelief to get to this point, you know, legs or has a bath once a month, you know, all of that stuff. So it’s already and so where’s the balance between, you know, it has to be absolutely historically accurate versus a bloody good story that you just want to read. So I battled with it constantly. You know, I still have people complain, certainly for the medieval, but I had people complain about some language use and things that weren’t too contemporary. But it has to be accessible to a modern reader, right? If I’d written that entirely in medieval Italian, how authentic do I need to get? If use the words, people wouldn’t understand it. So this balance, it’s, I try and justify this. There’s no way you either enjoy it, or you don’t and there’s always people that are going to pick little bits apart, but I try to stay as true as I can to, to the period.

Elle
Have you seen the show Peaky Blinders on Netflix?

Kate
I’ve seen a couple of Yeah, that a couple of them, but not the whole lot. But right.

Elle
And the music, the music uses, like they’re using contemporary, like, like Nick Cave and the Bad seeds, like all of this, like contemporary music is overlaid in a very period piece. And it’s it works so well.

Kate
Bridgerton does that too. They had like Ariana Grande and a full piece Chamber Orchestra. You know?

Elle
I haven’t watched that yet. So I don’t know what’s going on over there.

Kate
It’s clever. But the point is, it’s for a modern audience and we’re going to have things and everything. Every book is written for the, the ages. You know, it’s written in, you know, we look at Bridgerton, it was written 20 years ago and some of my favorite books are classic old school bodice rippers that in terms of consent, are utterly unacceptable now and, you know, we would not write them the way now. I mean, what was fine in the 80s is absolutely not okay now. We’ve come to realize that and change the way we write. So I suspect people will look at our books in 20 years ago, my God, all the thinking, how can you write that, but we’re here and we’re writing and people are enjoying it. So

Elle
Yeah, you know, I know one of the questions that I sort of threw out to you as prep was like, you know, for me, it’s always sort of so shocking with these characters and historicals are having so much sex outside of marriage. And, you know, even though I guess at the end, they always end up betrothed but, but there’s, am I making an assumption that the people back then just weren’t randy, or is this again, you know, this is a disbelief that we’re gonna suspend?

Kate
People and people. People have been people. And so the problem with Regency is, you’re only talking about literally a span of, you know, nine years, you know, in a very specific part of the top 200 families in England, it’s the tiniest part of microcosm of the whole of history, but people are obsessed by it. And you only have to look 50 years before that the Georgians were at it constantly. Everyone’s after, I mean, to the Romans any any period in history, you know, is basically there’s strife caused by people having affairs or you know, anything look at Antony and Cleopatra. I mean, it’s just politics, sexual politics is everywhere, right? And it’s usually caused by men and women having all sorts of issues that cause look at Henry the Eighth. I mean, the entire Protestant Reformation in England happened because he wanted to get rid of one wife and marry another.

Elle
So that’s a very good point.

Kate
It’s people are no different. And, you know, there are filthy books from like the 1500s. And they’re filthy boats from today. And I was reading one actually, it’s The Secret Life of nuns, and it’s made me laugh so much. I mean, it’s just completely tongue in cheek, you know, erotica, but it’s just funny as hell as at the same time, so to think that people were not reading and writing this kind of stuff is, you know, it’s happening all the time. But I like the reader spirit, because you got those restraining factors, right, these people were trapped by the marriage market and wealth, and that the need to be seen as doing the right thing. And, you know, and having to marry and keep the family money within the, you know, the top few 100 families and stuff like that. So it’s a kind of really interesting cage, that the characters either have to break out of, or use to their advantage, you know, or work their way through. So I kind of like the constraints that they put on them, but everyone likes a rebel. And so I think most of my heroes are, I don’t just want to read about a girl that you know, just about Mary’s, you know, her husband and finds that she loves him. I wanted the girl that, you know, sailed off to Egypt and discovered some pyramids and then came back and fell in love with the, you know, the Egyptologist you know, Indiana Jones type. So, yeah,

Elle
Yeah, I saw how your women are, hey’re spies. They do all of these, the female characters are doing all these wonderfully interesting things. And they’re, you know, they’re actually kind of almost more fascinating than than the heroes.

Kate
Yeah, my girls girls do cool skills. That’s that’s kind of my thing, badasses and botices, and they’re all based on genuinely real historical blokes real people. Sometimes I’ve, I’ve tweaked it. So you know, to say, oh, what if that was a woman that then the man but almost lots of come from real? Like I was thinking about this, my To Catch An Earl, that’s the real theft of the French crown jewels. The submarine plot to rescue Napoleon in This Earl of Mine. That was a real plot that was hatched by an American called Robert Fulton that happened. Steal A Heart that’s a real prison break from Shadowrun sent by a guy called me Let us and so lots of it’s all based in fact, he was so cool. So I did a reverse of that. So this this guy, all he did was put in prison because he I love his story. He was a complete courter of Madame Pompadour. And he sent a box of poisoned powder to Madame Pompadour and then pretending that he had discovered the plot because he wanted to be, you know, fated for not, you know, discovering a plot to kill the Queen told her about it, but they obviously traced it back to him. It’s like you actually were the one that sent the powder. So he got stuck in. But then he he escaped twice. He was put in LaTour in Paris and then again in the Château de Vincennes. And he wrote a book when he got out he escaped twice and went and fled to, I think the Switzerland where they couldn’t extradite him. And wrote an apology to the Queen’s I’m so sorry. But I’ve escaped. And by the way, I’m in Switzerland and they arrested him again and brought him back. But he wrote a book, and he was a great escapee. And he wrote a book of exactly how he escaped. And I read it. And this is just genius. But then I thought, Okay, well, I can’t have my parent breaking out. But what if I had used the same what method to break in? Right? And some things in the reality in the real stories are just too ridiculous. You think I can’t write that because no one will believe it. So only that’s the bit that make didn’t make the cut was when he was in his cell, he trained rats, rats are trainable. And he trained them to run messages between his cell and other people’s cells in the block. I pitched that to he was like, he can have trained rats. It’s like nobody’s trained a rat, and I was like this guy did in 1750.

Elle
That’s one of those where you get one of those reviews that said, This never happened. And it’s like, well, actually.

Kate
I’m such a geek, though. I’m like, Well, I think you’ll find that in 1150 there’s a… Yes. I know, I it’s funny, I shouldn’t engage. That’s the point. I have done my research. I’m pretty happy with it. But you can go down a very evil rabbit hole of research, if you want to go that way.

Elle
So is this is this sort of like a byproduct of your day job? Or how do you lay like, this is really fascinating how you’re able to kind of tumble onto these stories?

Kate
Yeah, I mean, yeah, you just again, it’s like you click and you click and you kind of research one thing, and then you discover this is so cool like that. That was the submarine plot and escaped Napoleon or rescue Napoleon from St. Helena, I discovered that looking for something completely different. And I was like, This is so cool. Like, I couldn’t believe that. I was like, what how is this not been in a book?

Elle
So are you doing like Google deep dives? Are you like, actually in the archives of these libraries? Like, where are you researching this stuff? This is awesome.

Kate
Oh, no, it’s just I mean, it’s basically internet. I’ll look on something it’ll lead me down this rabbit hole of a lot of them are dead ends. And I’ve done it for years. And you’ll you’ll pick up something that you will stick it in a folder, you think, oh, that’s really cool. I want to put it in a book or a lot of it’s my own interests. Like I am fascinated by, you know, lost art and art that’s, you know, things like stolen paintings and counterfeiting. So that’s that I’ve got thieves and counterfeiters, and, you know, art people, jewel thieves, I just think they’re fine. I love those heist movies. I have two girls getting away with it. And yeah, one criticism I got recently was, you know, there’s never been a jewel of the I mean, an internationally known English girl, Dorothy, if you’ve never had a girl counterfeit, I’m like, Yeah, exactly. Because the girls are too clever to get caught. You’ve heard of a guys because they’re the ones that made the news and got stuck in prison. And the girls, they went off whistling with a bag of money to the new world. And, you know, they’re the ones that that was, so that I there are all these unwritten stories of these badass women through history that oh, you know, once you find them, you’re just like gold. And my hair is like meshes of a couple. So I did, there’s a novella I did, which was an Egypt set novella, because I’m pretty sick of English ballrooms. It’s the first my first three book series I pitched was, it was Regency England. But actually, the first book is 90%. In Napoleonic France, the second books 90%, Napoleonic Spain, and the second one, amazing, but already completed the manuscript to my editor, and she’s like, not much in England. Ramallah has two scenes in a ballroom in England, like, it’s a road trip round, you know, how to explain that, you know. And she went with it. So I’m very lucky. But my one Egypt novella was based on it, the wife of Chuck belzoni, who discovered a whole bunch of the things out in Egypt or rediscovered, I should say, but Sarah belzoni, his wife never makes the news. But she was there with him doing everything, you know, living it up for years, actually organizing everything and getting it done. And he’s the one that took all the praise like moving natural rameses to the British Museum. And she’s the one that you know, actually doing it after he died as well carried on doing it. So I just like the fact that these women actually doing these cool stuff, and I’m kind of giving them a fictional voice.

Elle
I love that. I absolutely love that. So I want to dig into your scene. It is so good. This is from the princess in the rogue Can you set up where we are?

Kate
Okay, so this is the midpoint. This is the midpoint sightseeing. And this is the first thing between them. And it’s my heroine is a Russian princess who has faked her own death in Paris as you do, obviously, to escape a horrible suitor who’s traded and she’s hiding out as plain Anna brown in England. And the heroine is Sebastian Wolf, who is a bow street runner who is reluctantly having to look after he doesn’t know she’s a princess. So that’s why this is I enjoyed this scene because they’re emotionally they’re naked, like physically But emotionally there’s still a whole lot of lying going on and there’s a whole bunch of layers of different, you know, openness and questions going on and play about with that. So, yeah,

Elle
that’s where we are. Okay, great. Okay. All right. Here’s the first little bit. his boots brushed her skirts. They describe kissing in 343 forms. First, there’s the OSS column, which is a friendly peck on the cheek. He bent and press to chase kiss just below her collarbone. Her stomach quivered, connects, we have the best sium a more erotic kiss on the mouth. He matched his words with a featherlight brush on her lips. It was only a casual touch. But Anya felt felted right down to her toes. She was enchanted. A prisoner of sweetness, completely focused on where he touched her. She sucked into a shaky breath and the last kind, the savvy him the most passionate of kisses. He gets hungrily at her lips and her blood thundered in anticipation. Unable to bear the suspense, she rose up on tip toe and fused her mouth to his his arm came around her and he answered her demand with a thrilling ardency angling his head for better access desire scalded through her blood. Oh my god, the heat you created with the three different kisses was so intense. And again, like it was that tension, right, that you talked about earlier, is just even in these, you know, couple of paragraphs, just with describing each form of kiss. How did you approach this because this kind of opens the the scene.

Kate
And that that’s the kind of this helps with the overarching things or the fact that you’ve got who’s who’s in charge, you know, who’s like, she is a princess, technically, she’s higher in the social ranking than he is. But he doesn’t know that. And she had zero experience in this field. So I kind of was playing with the ideals of you know, who’s who’s in charge here. You know, who bought power, the social power the male female power in here, you can mess about with this and I the fact that he’s been very unlikely. The contrast between very being practical like a tutor and kind of describing this can have very dry, you know, Roman history, but at the same time, it’s super sexy. And, and it’s that slowing it down. I think that’s the main thing is you’ve got lots of my books have lots of fun banter. They’re very quick witted, and they bounce off each other. But in the section, you really want to slow it down. We want to feel all those heartbeats. You want to feel that kind of, you know, tightness of your stomach and the anticipation of it. And so I’m kind of being mean, I’m drawing it out. I was blowing the whole thing down. And I’m enjoying it.

Elle
I was enjoying it. Okay, yeah, let me see moving down a little bit. Very, very small, very, very small, like one paragraph that I just like, just was holding my breath through, it was really exquisite, frankly. He was left in a white shirt, black breeches and top boots without the crevasse to hold it together, the neck of his short fell open, revealing an exciting glimpse of Tawny skin, fascinated, she stroked her fingers over the jaws of his collarbone and the intriguing hollow at the base of his throat, his skin was warm, smooth, delicious. See, this, to me, was genius. Because in so many romances, we’re always exposing the woman’s skin. And here, it’s the reverse. And you know, when we expose and at least I read a lot of contemporary romances because that’s where I write. And it’s always the hardness the muscles that you know, with the man and the softness with the woman. And this, you’re able to reverse that. And I thought that that was absolutely brilliant.

Kate
Like, I didn’t even think that hard about that. But when we’re in her gaze, and it is her first time so I want the reader to feel that if we’re really deep and hope one of you want to feel that sense of discovery this, you know, it’s everything’s new and she wants to save it like when something’s new, you take notice of it, right? If you write sometimes you kind of don’t stop and enjoy the moment. So yeah, that’s a neat Scott the first we start with the site, and then we go to the touch and so you’re deepening the levels of you know, eventually you’ll be getting to the taste and the you know, the kissing and you know, things like that. And again, there’s a slight play, I guess here on the fact that he’s warm. So I’m playing up there’s a overarching Russian fairytale where she is like a snow princess who falls in love and melts and either the melting pot or the melting thorns her and she, you know, frozen up so there’s this there’s a potential for disaster or happiness. And he’s always when I describe him, he’s always the one that’s hot. He’s warm. She’s the one that’s melting and she’s described in kind of icy terms, and he’s always described as kind of hot and warm terms. So I Oh, wow. That’s also going into here he is like his skin was warm and I think later in the thing you know, you get she she’s Worried she’s melting, she’s you know, they obviously they get together they’re hot together so it’s a danger to her that she’s letting down her guard.

Elle
I mean, practically speaking as you’re writing because, you know, clearly there’s some you know, there’s costuming things going on here she’s got the shirt, the breaches that that you know what I mean? Like how are you? Do you have like a Are you working through? How are you working through that it sort of practically speaking Do you have photos up on your computer? Are you kind of picturing it in your, in your head? You know?

Kate
I mean, yeah, mine sort of play out like movies. I literally I’m writing down I think what’s just in my head? I don’t, I suppose because I’ve seen enough of these things. I mean, occasionally I’ll get to a practical point of like, Okay, how many buttons? How do you actually how many laces and buttons are there to undo a course that you know, you get those technical things where you don’t know, you know, put a zipper in, which happened on the back of one of my foreign covers, I have to say, the Croatian version of one of my books. Somebody said she’s got a zipper and a dress on my Oh, yeah, she is. How did that get? 10 minutes of editing. But yeah, I’ve lost the plot now.

Elle
Okay, we’re

Kate
about unbuttoning trousers. Yeah. And I think that’s part of the you want a little bit of that detail because otherwise, it historical moments, people want those slight differences to remind you that you’re in a historical period. And I think we can all imagine like, you know, Darcy or Simon Hastings, whatever. I mean, you’ve got those images in your head of you know, loose white shirt. crobat buckskin breeches, you’d absolutely come back we have, we were idiots to put many loose trousers and sweatpants. I mean, there is I’m single handedly on a crusade to bring these back because then on top booths are definitely a much better way of getting an eyeful. We’ve missed a lot of definition in men’s men’s fashion, I miss it.

Elle
I would love to see that walking down the runway. That would be great. The next runway show…

Kate
It’s exactly why people like Jean Paul Gaultier, that’s all he would do is a tight T shirt and an amazing pair of you know, black leather type pants. It’s not it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel, you know, bring bring back wrenches and top boots. Hell yes.

Elle
More of that please! But I think that’s such a great point that I think even writing contemporaries, you know, there are Yeah, I get I you know, I guess I I feel like, you know, what I’m writing are short of like, t shirt and jeans, guys, you know, but I kind of feel like, Oh, you should put them in more interesting clothes, like, you know, because you can have so much more fun undressing them.

Kate
Yeah, and, and also hard to undo things. I mean, that’s again, part of the difficulty or the drawing out process of the Regency is that there’s so many bloody layers. I mean, like seriously, and part of it’s a fun is the anticipation. You know, there’s super sexy scenes, there’s a scene in Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels where he literally just unbuttons her glove on the inside of her wrist. And it’s it’s ridiculously sexy, because that’s that’s as sexy as it gets. Right? You know, or they, you know, Keaton blondes or very flowy and doing buttons is a great thing that you can play with. Yeah, and and clothes are shorthand like so you’re if you put your guy in a leather jacket, you don’t need to say much about the character. And it already tells the reader a lot about the character and just that shorthand of he’s a leather jacket rather than a denim jacket or, or cardigan, evening jacket. Exactly. You’ve already got a kind of very quick, almost truthiness about it. And, you know, I guess for my guys, I love the fact that that, you know, their jackets are so tight, they can barely get them off. I mean, that just makes me laugh. You need help getting it off to it as well. Like, you know, I’m genuinely thinking that things would rip if they actually did most of the physical work that I have them doing in this boat is ripping. It’s gonna be like breeches ripping I mean I should that’s gonna be my new stripe loan. It’s got to be features breaches, roofing bottles. Yeah. Okay,

Elle
Now we are let’s see, okay, um, I kind of moved down a bit. Getting a little bit more to the nitty gritty. Okay, he trailed his tongue in a lazy ever decreasing circle around one Rosie peak, and when he captured it between his lips, she gave a soft, startled cry of wonder. All sensible thoughts fled, his hand slit over her hip, bunching the silca for drawers and despite her excitement, she’s different. He lifted his head and caught her gaze. Relax, lest you get accustomed to my touch. His voice deepened by desire. let yourself get accustomed to my touch. Whoa, sorry. His voice deepened by desire made her shiver still holding her gaze. He stroked his palm over her stomach, then down over her silicon drawers the lower still between her legs, petting her through the silk. To her mortification, she felt the material dampened with the evidence of her desire. And she put her hand down to try and shield herself. But his impassioned groan made her paws. No, sweetheart, it’s all right. It’s perfect. You’re perfect. God, please let me he slid down her body and used his broad shoulders to nudge her knees apart. On his eyes grew wide as he slid one hand beneath her bottom to lift her hips and press to kiss their right at the heart center of her body. She sucked in a slow scandalized breath. His chuckle was a wicked sound. Nice, tell me what you want Miss Brown, she caught his hair and pushed him back down, more more of that, Oh, my God, love this moment. I loved it. There was such hesitation. The hesitation was so necessary. She’s inexperienced, she’s This is like, all new to her. And she’s a little bit embarrassed, you know, and like, this is so real. This happens especially like your first time with somebody new, your very first time, which this is hers, I’d love to talk about the hesitation.

Kate
Well, from both of them, because he’s the one with all the experiences. So that’s why the whole please let me I really I very much want to have consent from both of them. And there’s a such a big amount of trust. And, you know, you know, you have to trust the person, you know, you’re trusting one with your body, you’re completely open and, like physically, and but then I like to play with that, that Miss Brown, you know, tell me what you won’t miss Brown. And there’s that kind of teasing a bit to that the and also, there’s conflict there because that’s not her name. She’s She’s still at this point. He she’s Anna Brown, or and yet, but she’s you know, princess and Associates is over. So there’s that layer of, of lying. So it’s interesting that she’s physically naked, but actually, emotionally, she’s not quite there yet. And so there’s still stuff to be worked out. But again, it’s still teasing, because she calls him Mr. Wolf. So it’s that kind of the formality of that versus the fact that he’s right in between our legs. The fact that there’s that kind of dichotomy of like, exactly that, because this this also echoes the very first time they meet where they’ve kissed without even knowing each other’s name in a brothel. And he, like they say, I don’t think we know each other well enough to you know, use first names or something, which is ironic, because they literally had his tongue down the throat.

Elle
They don’t actually know each other’s names for the whole, really,

Kate
Literally just after this, so she they have done the done the deed, and it goes down to get to the stables to kind of think, Oh, my God, what am I done, how to reassess. And that, that, that’s when it’s revealed. And so he’s like, Wait, what? And she’s like, now you fucked someone who outranks you, congratulations. This is the bigger straight after this, which is what I play with, everything goes horribly wrong straight after the full sex scene in the middle. And as a writer, that’s so much fun to just literally use it, they, you know, check cleanly and rubbing your hands together. Now these two you’re gonna get it. Yeah. But, yeah, I going back to the sex thing. Yes, it’s I want because the power is kind of, you have to have the consent. And you have to have, you know, when you want to, and, you know, do you want to do this? And then I think that’s something that’s changed even in the last five years, probably. So circles is that you want that, even if it’s, you know, not explicitly but it can be implicitly it’s got to be there that you’ve got to feel that there is nobody’s taken advantage of anyone else. Certainly not in this I mean, you can get that you can cross the line a little bit in sort of more contemporary in the hotter kind of erotica kind of romance, because that power and control is is what they’re playing with. But I think in something like this, which is kind of standard is Yeah, you will not balance between the two of them.

Elle
Right. Okay, next bit. Here is his brows at her and laughing question. feeling relaxed now. Miss Brown? Oh, maybe I should go. She was, I think, yeah, he he gave her just to jump to that. We know what we’re talking about. He gave her an orgasm. Correct. Right before this. Yes. I’m trying to remember.

Kate
Oh, yes. Here we go. Okay. Yes, yeah.

Elle
Yes. Okay.

Kate
So he’s also

Elle
Feeling relaxed now. Miss Brown. I am indeed Mr. Wolf. Thank you can take more she holds his gaze. Yes, I want everything. He made a sound of pleasure and moved over her. She reveled in the glorious weight of him pressing her into the bed. She’d never felt more cherished more protected. He propped himself on his forearms to relieve her of some of his weight and his hair rough and thighs lit against her as as he settled between her hips. With a shutter she felt him slick and solid at the entrance to her body. He took her hand laced his fingers through hers and spread them wide against the bad. It should have been alarming, a position of utter submission. But instead on you felt powerful, beautiful, like some glorious sacrifice to the pagan gods, she chose in this desired it above all else I loved I did love how you’re playing with submission through really through the whole scene with him then with her, you know, it’s not but it’s not a BDSM book like but this is this is something that sort of is a push and pull going on through this entire scene. I’m kind of curious, why does that work within their relationship?

Kate
I think it’s because of those social constraints that we talked about earlier. Because she technically is she’s a predecessor, she is above him. And in fact that all tight spoiler this ties into right at the very end of the scene where he asked her to marry him. And she says she says no. And for a second, he’s like, completely thrown in. She says, No, you can’t ask me because I’m the princess, I have to ask you. So she asks him, so it’s that kind of the whole relationship as is. Yeah, it’s like, and it’s about her discovering, she’s been this ice princess. And so she’s got power in the sense that she’s rich and beautiful. But she hasn’t fully discovered the power of like, it says as a being a woman and there can be power in in, you know, accepting help and powering over a man who is physically superior to you, you know, he could technically just overpower her and take it. So that’s where that kind of trust issue and, and the female kind of intuition and power comes from and I like exploring that I want that in my relationships, I want to know that there’s some kind of if not physical quality, in terms of muscle mass, then at least there is that concern of if I ask you to stop your stock kind of thing. And enjoying it, you know, just just sexual is enjoyable. It’s part of his body. Like it should be really enjoyable.

Elle
Yeah. Okay, last bit. she slid and blah! Start over.

Kate
To read myself aloud. It makes me cringe. I didn’t know why. But go.

Elle
I know I hate hearing my own stuff. I’m so sorry. Because I know this is so hard originally because I one of the first podcasts I did ages ago, when podcasting wasn’t even a thing. And it was for my urban fantasy. I was I did a podcast interview. This is a big aside. And I had to read it. Part of the part of the interview was me reading 20 minutes of my book. Oh, me 20 I was dying. I was when I started envisioning this, because I was like, I want to sort of like pick out scenes and talk about it. And I was like, Oh, I should have the writers and then I was like, Oh, no, you need to read that yourself.

Kate
I can’t listen to the audiobooks of my books ever. I’d literally heard about five minutes of one book. And that’s I’ve done because it’s just not how I hear it in my head. And it’s not the words that I mean it to be and it’s fine. Once you’ve written the book, it’s out there and it’s not mine anymore, and anyone can read it how they like, but for me, it’s always what’s in my brain is the word exactly the way I read it through. So yeah. Okay.

Elle
Okay, last bit

Kate
Sorry for the side.

Elle
He’s slid in beside her and gathered her in his arms turning her so her back was curved into his chest, and you let out a deep sigh of contentment. She’d never been naked with another person before, but it felt so natural to be with him like this. She smiled into the darkness and closed her eyes. The heat generated between their bodies was incredible. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and her heart gave an odd panicked flutter. She might have been ice before, but she was well and truly melted now. Hi, there it is. I love how you ended the scene because it was just like we had the tension, the push the pull that the the eroticism and all of that going out. And then all of a sudden, we had this big sigh moment, right? They were all wound up. And this is the the end and I loved it because sometimes ending these can be so awkward.

Kate
Yeah, no reality, the technicalities of sex are usually really awkward. I mean, if you’re not using a condom, you know, there’s general cleanup. And, in fact, a lot of my heroines have that moment of like, when it’s done, they’re like, well, now what do I do? Like, I don’t know what to do. They often say in their heads, you know, like, well, he’s done this before, but do I just lie here? And I suppose to use some, you know, wash up? I mean, what do I do? So I kind of liked that vulnerability as well. And it’s realistic. I mean, yeah, I want it to feel like it could actually be happening. And I think a lot of sex scenes are very glamorized, almost like the porn version of reality, real sex. You know, it’s, it’s different. Nobody, everyone’s gorgeous and shaved and perfect, but it’s not real, and really sometimes funny and sometimes messy. And so yeah, I want to kind of reflect that, but yeah, it should be this is the emotional connection of the end of the physical, you know, discovery, this is the whole moment where she’s like, Oh, shit, like I’m actually in trouble and, and again, that our overarching theme of heat and this is this title. In here with the theme of she’s melting and she’s getting in trouble. And is that going to destroy her? Is that going to be like the making of her? So yeah, it’s like, while they’ve had, they’ve had a great sex session, there’s still things to be it’s like dot dot dot, it’s like, oh, she’s melted now, but now what what’s going to happen next, and that’s the point of keeping your reader wanting to read more after they kind of done it like they’ve done everything sort of physically, that they can pretty much do still have a book to go so that they are still going to draw out their attention and make the next time better or deeper or more interesting than the one they just had?

Elle
So what is your I’m curious, what is your process? Are you an outline? Or are you are you discovery writer?

Kate
I hate the thought plotting but I after now, what 10 books, I’ve realized it’s a lot easier if you have a vague idea of where you’re going. I mean, it does. I used to overwrite massively, and then have to cut like 15 or 20,000 words of just stuff that didn’t need to be in there. And so now as they kind of get more and more deadlines, it’s, it’s a case of just don’t write those 15,000 words to start with just just, you know, know, so I vaguely outline, but it’s pretty vague. It’s like, you know, yeah, it’s like, three act structure basically a midpoint, you know, all is lost moment, duck tee time of the soul kind of thing. But, and then then I have the theme. So usually, there’s a word or two that sum up the characters or that in my head, I kind of know what they are. And that sometimes takes a little while into the book to kind of get.

Elle
Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s funny, because I’m working on a novella right now. Not my favorite, I find I struggle more with the shorter works than longer ones. I’m like, halfway like, I’m sort of almost done with the first draft, I probably got, like, maybe one more chapter to go. And all of a sudden, I realized, Oh, wait, her hands need to be rough, you know. And so it was like that sort of process of discovery of like, she can’t have soft hands. And this has to be a thing. Now you got to go back and put that all the way through. And so, but I would have never really caught on to that in an outline process, you know what I mean?

Kate
I do a kind of cheat sheet for each my characters before I start, which is kind of the identity in essence kind of theme of the outside thing that they share the world and what’s their actually their wound, or, you know, what’s the thing that’s shaped them? And what do they really wish for that is not the thing they say they wish for but what do they actually need? So I do that and it’s usually to do with the professions of the heroines is a good starting point for like, so I play with that and what that makes them so like the counterfeiter you know, that whole theme of it was what’s real and what’s fake, you can fake money you can fake money is just a promise. It’s not the actual gold, it’s a promise to pay the bearer, and you can fake love and you can counterfeit love. And so that leads them into the ideas of the whole book and like the relationship and the I have a mapmaker, you know, what does that mean? Because do she she’s opens and she’s lost, which is just funny because mapmakers shouldn’t be lost, they know where they go, hey, there’s lots. So I love playing on those things. So this was, she’s a Russian princess. So she’s, you know, she’s titled privilege, but she’s cold and icy. And that was the kind of thing for her and then he’s this kind of slightly cynical kind of hottie, which works really well when you mash them together. Because they can either melt each other or she’s gonna freeze them out. Or, you know, that kind of works really nicely. So that I guess that is how I start flooding in that goes with the, I just put out major seems like there’s two or three major scenes that usually probably start booking I have in my head, which is funny. It’s just the scene that I’ve read, that’s from the research that I think that’s going in the book and everything else is just linking those five or six scenes together, and then it kind of naturally comes together in this, like making bread dough. It’s a big old mess, and then all of a sudden, it comes together and everything sticks. And you’re just left with a ball of dough, and you’re like, ah, I’ve got a book.

Elle
So I’m so relieved to hear you say that the big old mess because I feel like when I’m like sort of do it, and I picture all the other writers being so elegant with it, you know, that sort of drafting the perfect book as it goes along. And I’m over here like sort of like fighting with it, beating it into submission, you know,

Kate
I have a wall of crazy so I it’s literally a wall of post it notes, you know how in films, they always have the serial killer has got this wall of pictures and and to stuff and strings going to everything. That’s my wall of crazy and it’s on a wall of my office. And that’s how every book starts. And I do post it notes and I’ll move them around because all I’ve got at these big scenes on the post it notes like I want this one, the big scene, I guess I think there was a couple of Russian superstitions that went in there that I wanted to, I could see very clearly the scenes that we’re going to have. And that kind of shaped them, but I know they get moved around a lot. And I you know, I curse a lot. I’m about to start the second in a new. I’ve written the first book of a new series. I’m about to start the second book in the new series and I have no idea because when you sell the book, it’s basically on a one paragraph synopsis or two paragraphs notice it’s so You send it in and it’s like yes great and then I oh man I’ve no idea like literally oh no there’s two things that’s going to happen in this book and otherwise the the only kind of overarching thing I bought is it’s like bringing up baby in a black and white film bringing up yes yes that in the Regency that’s all I have in my head pitch there’s a dancing bear that’s it’s gonna be whatever is in it.

Elle
Yeah, I love it. There’s a dancing bear.

Kate
Like a dancing bear they have to play music to to law and obviously there’s there’s an escape bear from a circus., that’s not the good bear. That’s like an evil bear. And I don’t know how this is going to turn into a book. It has to in six months time because I have to hand it in but right now we’re in the fun plotting stages. But what will happen is I will I start I do a Pinterest board that’s quite useful for me because I’m very visual. So, I would do Pinterest and I will find like visual clues and stuff and then I’ll that will then lead to a look up was there really a dancing bear? Was there a circus in town? I’m in Wales, the foothills of Wales at Mount with two families that hate each other. Which is great because that’s in built conflict. This is like 500 years of like the Montagues and the Capulets, that’s got inbuilt tension and I’m just…And tropes I love tropes are there for a reason. You know, like I love I’ve done them all enemies to lovers is one of my favorites because that’s what I love. Friends lovers, or best friend’s little sister. I love it. I’ve done Hades and Persephone kind of mess kind of thing. Under the awkward kind of thing. Marriage of convenience or inconvenience. I’ve done that a couple of times. So I mean, they love for a reason people like that’s why we read romance. You know, it’s going to have a happy ending. The only question is how what adventure you’re going to have on that journey, you know?

Elle
Yeah.

Kate
So it’s endlessly fun. I’m not bored of it yet. Let’s Let’s leave it at that.

Elle
Thank God. Okay, where can where can people find you?

Kate
In all the usual places. I’m just starting out on Instagram. I’m pretty useless on Instagram. It’s mainly on my new dog at the moment my puppy. I wanted to go out KC underscore Bateman. I’m on Twitter at at Kate Bateman. Facebook, I’ve got a Facebook group called Badasses in Bodices, which is there’s a lot of fun, there’s giveaways and stuff, or you can just generally find me as Kate Bateman on on the internet. And I’ve got a website, KC bateman.com. And all the usual places you buy books, wherever books are sold, you know, silly, usually.

Elle
And I will have links in the show notes to all of these places. Kate, thank you so much for doing this. It was really amazing to have you and so much good nuggets here. So I appreciate it.

Kate
As always, I mean, it’s nice to talk to another author that actually kind of understand it as well, because I can talk about, you know, stuff I love, which is romance genre all day long.

Elle
And you’re gonna have to come back. Yeah.

Kate
No, I don’t have the title. For today. That would be fun. Thank you for having me. It’s been it’s been really good to. And strangely, I never do this deeper dive into my own into my own sex scenes. Really, once it’s edited and gone. I kind of forget about it. So it’s kind of been nice to revisit this one because obviously this one was out last week, but I’ve written another whole book and a novella since then. So you kind of he kind of rediscover it. It’s kind of nice. Occasionally you’ll get angry like, I like that. That’s a really good sentence. I wrote that. That’s impressive. That was that was a two cup of tea day. That was

Elle
It’s a wonderful book. Kate, thank you so much.

Kate
Thank you so much.