Kate Walker was born in Nottinghamshire, England, but the family moved to West Yorkshire when she was just 18 months old, and she has always regarded Yorkshire as home. She was the middle child in a family of five girls, growing up in a home where books were vitally important, and she read anything she could get her hands on.
Even before she could write she was making up stories. At the age of four she was telling the tale of The Three Little Raindrops to her two younger sisters. She can't remember a time when she wasn't scribbling away at something, and wrote her first "book" when she was 11.
But everyone told her that she would never make a living as a writer, and that she should work toward a more secure career. So she decided that if she couldn't write books, at least she could work with them, and settled for becoming a librarian.
On leaving school she went to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth to study English and librarianship. While there, she met her husband, who was also studying at the college. They married and moved back north, eventually settling in Lincolnshire, where she worked as a children's librarian until her son was born.
After three years of being a full-time housewife and mother she was ready for a new challenge, but needed something she could do at home, so she turned to her old love of writing. Her first attempts at writing novels were done at the kitchen table, often working late into the night when her son was asleep, or during a few snatched hours while he was out at nursery school.
The first two novels she sent off to Harlequin Mills & Boon were rejected, but the third attempt was successful. She can still remember the moment that a letter of acceptance arrived instead of the rejection slip she had been dreading.
She must have read that letter over and over a hundred times before what it said sank in, and for days she kept checking it just to make sure she hadn't been dreaming. But the moment she really realized that she was a published writer was when copies of her first book, The Chalk Line, arrived just in time to be one of her best Christmas presents ever.
Fitting in hobbies around writing and being a wife and mother can be difficult, but Kate always finds time to read. She loves all sorts of fiction, especially romance, obviously, but she also enjoys historical novels, detective fiction, and long, absorbing biographies, and she can spend hours in bookshops, just browsing.
During her working hours, her four cats, all adopted from the RSPCA, keep her company in her study, though they have to be dissuaded from sitting on the piles of papers that they are convinced are there just for their benefit.
Kate is often asked if she's a romantic person because she writes romances. Her answer is that if being romantic means caring about other people enough to make that extra special effort for them, then, yes, she is.
Romance is about making the important people in your life feel valued and letting them know that you care. But she also writes about relationships and the difficulties people sometimes have in understanding each other, or expressing their feelings, or overcoming problems.
Sometimes, when the right words won't come, or an idea hasn't worked out as she thought, she wonders why she doesn't have a regular nine-to-five job--but only sometimes. When the story's flowing and the characters come alive, she really can't imagine doing anything else. And there's a tremendous satisfaction in knowing that she's doing what she always dreamed of and proving wrong all those people who said she would never make a successful career out of her writing.