Kate Keedwell is a debut novelist and long-time romance novel enthusiast. At age thirteen, she downloaded a selection of free ebooks that Harlequin offered in celebration of their 60th anniversary. It was love at first page. When she’s not reading or writing, Kate enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her dog, and visiting new places. While she’s lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and New York, her home state of Massachusetts will always have her heart. You can find out more about her on Twitter (@keedwellkate).
Harlequin: Tell us about yourself. Our readers want to know!
Kate Keedwell: I’m a recent New York City transplant, proud New Englander, dog lover, and bookworm. Beyond romance novels, some of my favorite things include long walks, early 2000s WB dramas, coastal towns, and hockey games (go Bruins!).
H: Why did you want to become a romance writer?
KK: I fell in love with the romance genre as a pre-teen and have never looked back. Even as a kid, I wanted every story I consumed to have at least a little romance. Romance novels are so joyful—I can always count on the tropes, the meet-cute, the chemistry, the connection, and the ‘happily ever after’ to raise my spirits. Romance fiction has helped me through hard times over the years and has made good times all the better. I hope my stories bring others the same breathless joy I find in Harlequin novels each month!
H: What were the big steps in your journey to becoming a published author?
KK: After college, I spent a couple years drafting a young adult romance. Long story short, I queried it, got a few full requests followed by kind rejections, and ultimately shelved it. When I started considering what I wanted to write next, I realized that—though I still adore young adult fiction—the stories I was interested in telling were better suited for adult romance. I’m grateful to that draft for helping me to develop a daily writing routine and better understand myself as a writer.
Enter 2020. Like so many others, I struggled with anxiety throughout the pandemic. I found particular comfort in Love Inspired novels. For much of 2020 and 2021, I was living with my parents in a small New England town, so the family-focus, small town settings, and optimism featured in that line were exactly what I needed. Eventually, I felt drawn to write my own inspirational romance, and the words immediately started pouring onto my laptop. I hadn’t experienced that kind of inspiration since pre-Covid times.
I had just begun working on that same inspirational romance when I saw The Great Love Inspired Author Search announced on the Write for Harlequin blog. I’m so thankful for that synchronous timing and opportunity—and, of course, to have received a call from Katie Gowrie, offering to buy my novel, as a result!
I also have to give credit to my family and boyfriend for their support. They’ve never faltered in their faith and encouragement when it comes to my writing. That has been a huge blessing.
H: What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
KK: It’s surreal to offer this advice myself, after reading so many of these posts over the last year! At the risk of sounding cliche, prioritize joy in your writing. Think about the archetypes and tropes you love in your favorite books and movies and television shows, and fill your stories with them. You can’t control whether every single reader will fall for your novel, but you can make sure you do.
H: What did you do when you got the call from Harlequin?
KK: I couldn’t believe it was happening. Truly. When I think back on that conversation and the news that a Harlequin editor had decided to publish my work, I still feel like I dreamt it.
Afterwards, I called my family in (joyful!) tears to share the news. Later that evening, my boyfriend surprised me with a congratulatory cupcake and flowers, as well as takeout from one of our favorite restaurants. And, naturally, I treated myself to an order of Harlequin novels to celebrate!
Now let’s hear from the editor, Katie Gowrie:
It was such a pleasure to find this story during The Great Love Inspired Author Search. Kate’s fresh and engaging voice drew me in from Chapter 1! I fell in love with the characters, the charming setting, and the warmth and good humor this romance offers up. I hope others will feel as satisfied reading it as I did.