In 2011, I moderated a romance event for the City of Sydney Libraries. I promoted the event and lots of people, especially from the then still new and fresh online world of Twitter had booked in to come along. There was a bit of a buzz amongst tweeps as we were all excited to be meeting each other. Kate, living in another city, on the day of the event contacted me. “Is there room for me to come along with my baby”. My answer of course was “Hell Yeah!”. Most impressively, Kate drove for near 3 hours with her baby all the way to Sydney to be in the audience. She (and her gorgeous bub) totally blew me away! And this is Kate through and through! She is a total personification of the deep commitment and love and knock-me-out-effort to romance fiction. Even though we met in this way, Kate has since become a great and supportive friend.
Can you describe yourself?
KATE CUTHBERT is Managing Editor of Escape Publishing, the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Australia that she established in 2012. When Kate is not reading manuscripts, she is working on her PhD, tweeting about grammar, and probably procrasti-baking.
What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?
I read mostly submissions and the internet, though I keep a ready supply of aspirational books and newspapers should I suddenly find myself with some unassigned time.
What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?
Historical romance is my first love, and when I need a boost, I often reach for an author that I know can deliver the right balance of romance, humour, and hope. I read and re-read Anne Gracie, Amanda Quick, Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, and many others. I do have a handful of contemporary romance authors that are joyful reads for me: Victoria Dahl, Sarah Mayberry, and recently Sally Thorpe’s The Hating Game.
Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?
I really really really like stories that involve friends becoming more. The emotional stakes are so high in these stories and the consequences are life-altering. I also really like siblings of friends stories: that growth from annoying to suddenly very noticeable.
I have a very hard time with stories where children are harmed or in any kind of peril. I have to read them for work, but they are plot lines I studiously avoid in all other contexts.
Why do you/don’t you use a public library?
I love my public library! The story times are great for my youngest daughter (and she always sleeps so well afterwards) and I have a small addiction to cookbooks that is mitigated by taking them out from the library first to see if they are worth adding to my collection. Our public library here has a great park out the front as well, with a climbing wall and slides, so going to the library becomes an outing, where the kids can entertain themselves and I can read my borrowed books. I also worked for awhile in the library industry, and the role that libraries can play in people’s lives is truly extraordinary, so even if we didn’t use ours, I’d make sure we were all members to help boost the numbers.
Do you RUI*. If so, what?
I have visions of one day having a bathtub big enough to drown in, with a dedicated shelf for a glass of wine, and basically living in there with my books, but that hasn’t happened yet 🙂
Do you have a favourite reading spot?
I really love reading in bed, and there’s a spot on my couch that catches the sun on warm afternoons that I occasionally retire to, under one of my selection of quilts.
b) Only my own books/phone/tablet/ereader
(I have two children under 6. Sometimes I escape to the bathroom just to have a minute to myself!)
Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?
Lover. Cynicism is cheap and plentiful. It takes courage to see the good in the world, and to celebrate those elements that are happy and optimistic and hopeful.
What would you give up reading for**?
Oof. I mean, if the lives of my children were in danger? Otherwise, you can take my books from my cold, dead hands (and even then I have some books I’ve earmarked to be included in my coffin).
Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?