Video: I flew a plane!

This summer when I was home in San Diego, I went on a very special research trip.

I took a flying lesson over La Jolla in an experimental airplane built by the pilot, Jeremiah D. Jackson. The plane — the Urban Coyote — had recently been rebuilt after crashing in the mountains, an accident that Jerry describes in his gripping book Four Minutes.

My lesson was part of my research for my own book, Tempting the Player. It’s about Matt, a professional rugby player who’s terrified of flying, and his best friend Libby, a commercial airline pilot who helps him overcome his fear. In this video, you won’t hear Jerry or me talking (in fact, the sound seems to have disappeared completely, but trust me, it was LOUD in that plane) but you’ll see beautiful views as we leave the Pacific Ocean, fly just north of the Coronado bridge and come in to land at Montgomery Field. Also, I have NO IDEA why the thumbnail is gray. I chose a different thumbnail for the video, but it’s not showing up. Technology, eh?

We flew over the ocean (which I tried to video but my phone froze and the video didn’t save). It was so beautiful, but I was really nervous. I used to love being in planes when I was younger, but when I was in my early 20s I suddenly developed a terrible fear of flying.  These feelings helped me get inside Matt’s head, but I decided to take a flying lesson to find out more about what he would feel when Libby hands control over to him.

Answer: scared as shit.

Jerry and I my dad have been friends since second grade, so I know he has about as much experience flying as he has walking. He’s also a scuba diver and a skydiver. When I was in high school, he helped make science relevant and fun for me. I remember when I had to do a project for my chemistry class, and Jerry came over with a bottle of soda and explained how air embolisms form in scuba divers. Basically, he’s brilliant, and he showed me how cool scientists can be. He also showed me around his work as an environmental engineer one day and encouraged me to consider engineering as a career. (I studied English instead.)

Kat and Jerry

I was waaaay more comfortable when Jerry was in control of the plane, but I still managed to execute a turn over the ocean.  Let me tell you, when you’re staring down at the ocean, a thousand feet suddenly doesn’t seem very high. In fact, it seems like you could close that distance in about a second. And I really felt for poor Matt and all I made him suffer in the book.

Want to know more? You can read about my flight in December’s issue of RT Magazine!

Have you ever flown a plane? Did you enjoy it? Have you ever forced yourself to do something you had a phobia of?

P.S. I wanted to share a really cool article about Tempting the Player on one of my favorite blogs, Romance Novels for Feminists. Jackie Horne wrote about Matt’s fear of flying and traditional masculinity. Hope you’ll read it and maybe leave a comment!

Meet me in San Antonio tomorrow!

RWA literacy signing - Meet 500+ romance authors! July 23, 5:30-7:30 pm

If you live anywhere near San Antonio, please come along to the Romance Writers of America’s Literacy Autographing tomorrow evening (Wednesday July 23) from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Rivercenter. There’ll be hundreds of romance authors (including me!) selling and autographing our books to benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide and several local literacy organizations.

I’ll have print copies of Mine Under The Mistletoe and Knowing the Score. Even if you’ve already read them, this is your one chance to get them in print! And I’ll have some fun London Legends swag and British chocolates for you, as well as an excerpt booklet for Tempting the Player.

So come meet your favorite authors and say hello to me – please don’t make me sit there all on my own!

Never been to an RWA literacy autographing before? Here’s a behind-the-scenes video from last year’s event.

And here’s me reading (badly! I’m terrible on camera :/ ) from Mine Under The Mistletoe. I’m really not sure this will tempt you to come see me, though!

Interview with RITA finalist Kat Latham (me!) – & giveaway!

Okay, I hope this isn’t too narcissistic, but since I asked all the other RITA® nominees in my category to submit themselves to an interview, I figured I should do it too.

So today we welcome…me!

Kat Latham is a California girl who moved to Europe the day after graduating from UCLA, ditching her tank tops for raincoats. She taught English in Prague and worked as an editor in London before she and her British husband moved to the Netherlands, where they are surrounded by miles and miles of green pasture, canals and Shetland ponies. Kat’s slowly adjusting to life in a place where bicycles and cows seem to outnumber people.

With degrees in English lit and human rights, she loves stories that reflect the humor and emotion of real life. Kat’s other career involves writing and editing for charities, and she’s had the privilege of traveling to Kenya, Ethiopia and India to write about the heroic people helping their communities survive disasters.

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1. Which of your books has been nominated for a RITA, and in what category?
Mine Under the Mistletoe – Romance Novella

2. How do your hero and heroine meet, and what are their first impressions of each other?
Ashley’s a San Diegan who has always dreamed of spending Christmas in London, so she arranges a house-swap through a website…she’ll stay in a stranger’s house while he goes to San Diego and spends the holidays in hers.

Except that a snowstorm shuts Heathrow down before Ollie’s flight to San Diego can take off, so he goes back to his own house and crawls into his bed exhausted, completely forgetting that Ashley is there. Oh yeah, and he’s naked. So she reacts the way you’d probably expect her to.

Here’s one of my favorite passages from their meeting.

Oh, crud. He was polite even when she’d nearly smashed his family jewels. Maybe that was a British way of coping with agony. Would he kick her out of his house? Surely he would understand that she’d thought he was an attacker. She’d saved for this trip for five years and she was finally here, ready to live her childhood fantasies of snow, figgy pudding and men who called each other guv’nor, but she’d just gouged the man’s testicles for heaven’s sake. Hospitality only went so far.

3. What are their best and worst characteristics?
Ashley is very optimistic and sunny, but she can come across as a bit naive. She’s not naive; she’s suffered a lot of hardship in her life. But she’s determined to triumph over it and not to let life’s challenges overwhelm her.

Ollie can be grumpy, but he has shouldered an incredible amount of responsibility and would do absolutely anything for the people he loves. He has made huge sacrifices for his family, but that also makes the holidays difficult for him.

4. Where is this book set, and what makes the setting special?
It’s set in East London, which is one of my favorite places – especially at Christmas. But in the last several years, London has experienced more snowy and icy winters, and it’s not set up to cope with weather like that. Every few years, loads of flights are canceled and pretty much the whole city shuts down.

But there are worse things than being stranded in London at Christmas. 🙂

5. Is this the first time you’ve been a RITA finalist? If not, what books have previously finaled?
It is, and it’s the first year I was eligible! I’m so incredibly excited.

6. Have you read any of the other books that are finalists in your category? If so, which ones?
I’ve read all but one, and I’ll be reading that one before the ceremony. I’m amazed and honored to have been nominated alongside such amazing authors.

7. What was the first thing you did when you found out you were a RITA finalist?
I was out having lunch with a friend and found out as I was leaving the restaurant, so I called my editor, Angela James, and then my agent, Laura Bradford. Then I called my husband.

8. Do you write in genres other than the one you finaled in? If not, are there any genres you would love to write in?
I only write contemporary romance, but I wish I could write historicals, too. I tried once, and it took me weeks to write five pages because I kept looking up historical facts – what clothes would they be wearing? what room would visitors be taken to? what parts of London would’ve been built-up in 18th century London, and what would still have been fields and farmland?

I totally admire historical romance authors!

9. If you win the RITA, who’s the first person you’ll thank in your speech, and why?
My husband for his incredible patience. And my mom, who has been SO supportive – though she swears that she skips the sexy parts of my books.

Speed-dating round

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
A town called Cesky Krumlov in southern Bohemia, Czech Republic. If you ever get the chance, go there!

If you were stuck on a desert island, what ONE book would you want with you?
Laura Kinsale’s Seize the Fire because it has the sexiest desert-island sex scene EVER.

If you could bring one of your heroes to life for a day, who would you choose?
Spencer Bailey from Knowing the Score (though Matt Ogden from my upcoming book Tempting the Player also tempts me).

Which of your characters is most similar to you?
Caitlyn Sweeney from Knowing the Score…which is funny because I’ve read a few reviews that say she’s really annoying.

Maybe funny isn’t the word I’m looking for. Painful? Yeah, that.

If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream career?
My other career is pretty awesome. I’m a writer and editor for charities working in the development and humanitarian sectors. It’s incredibly inspiring.

What kind of dessert are you hoping they’ll serve at the award ceremony?
I’ll be happy with anything, since I’ve been trying to limit my sugar intake to lose some weight and get healthier. Basically, anyone sitting at my table better watch out because I’ll eat their arms if they get too close to my dessert.

What’s the best compliment a reader could give you?
“Your book made me laugh out loud.”

How would you describe your books?
They reflect all the love, humor and poignancy of real life.

Thanks to a transatlantic house swap, California girl Ashley Turner is finally going to fulfill her lifelong dream of a proper English Christmas. Her holiday plans did not include a sexy stranger climbing into her borrowed bed in the middle of the night. But in the light of day, Ashley can’t help but wonder if Santa has delivered early…

Game designer Oliver Stansfeld can’t wait to leave dreary London—and all its difficult holiday memories—for sunny San Diego. But a freak ice storm and a grounded plane have forced him back to his already-occupied flat. To make up for the mix-up, the least he can do is show his pretty houseguest where to get the perfect Christmas tree before he leaves.

The more time they spend together, the more their attraction grows, and soon Ashley is tempting Oliver to give in to the spirit of the season and snuggle up for the rest of the winter. As the ice melts and flights start taking off again, he must choose between giving in to the past or risking his heart on a chance at love.

Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Giveaway!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be announced on Monday July 21. Good luck, everyone, and make sure you come back on Monday when I’ll be revealing my cover for Tempting the Player (London Legends #3)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nominate my books for DABWAHA!

Knowing the Score coverEvery March, the awesome Jane and Sarah from Dear Author and Smart Bitches Trashy Books put together a tournament unlike any tournament EVER in the history of humankind. It’s the Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hella Authors – or DABWAHA for short.

They break the romance genre down into eight categories and they start off with eight books in each category. The only thing is, this year they have announced seven finalists per category, and they’re leaving the eighth up to readers to nominate.

The books have to have been published in 2013, so although I’ve gotten involved in DABWAHA as a reader before, this is the first time I’m eligible as an author. Friends, I would LOVE it if you nominated one of my books for DABWAHA.

If you enjoyed either of the books I had published last year, here’s what you do:

1. Go to the DABWAHA nomination form.

2. Under “Contemporary Romance Nomination” write the title Knowing The Score, my name (Latham, Kat) and this ISBN: 9781426895920

3. Under “Novella-Length Romance” write the title Mine Under The Mistletoe, my name (Latham, Kat) and this ISBN: 9781426897603

4. Submit the form and go tweet about it with the hashtag #DABWAHA!

Nominations close on the 15th, so make sure you get your nominations in by this Saturday!

Thank you so much for your help! I’ll be back tomorrow to announce the winners of my Contemporaries to Covet giveaway and the winners of my Playing It Close giveaway. (Yes, that means those giveaways are still open until the end of the day, so go enter if you haven’t already!)

New year, new books, new author photo!

Thank you so, SO much to everyone who stopped by over the weekend to help me choose a new author photo. It was really tough to choose – especially since my two favorites seemed to be your two favorites, too. But there was one that came out slightly ahead of the others, and it’s one I love. So here it is, my new author photo.

Kat Latham

I have more exciting things to announce. First of all, book 2 in my London Legends rugby series, PLAYING IT CLOSE, is coming out on April 14. I’m so eager for you guys to read this book, and I should be able to share the back cover copy and the cover with you soon. You can already preorder it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes & Noble.

Secondly, Carina Press has offered me a contract for two more London Legends books! Hurrah! More smokin’ hot rugby players! No word yet on release dates for those, but I’m typing my fingers to the bone writing what will become book three of the series.

Lastly, I wanted to say a big thank-you to all of you who read and follow my blog. Your comments and the fact that you keep coming back for more make this so much fun for me.

For those of you who like statistics (me! me!), here are some that WordPress kindly emailed me about my blog.

The people who left the most comments were:

  1. 1. Patoct
  2. 2. Wanda Barefoot
  3. 3. catslady
  4. 4. miki
  5. 5. Suz Glo

Thank you so much! As a special thank-you, I’m going to send Patoct a $10 gift certificate to the online store of her choice and I’ll send each of you a copy of either Knowing the Score or Mine Under the Mistletoe. Email me at romancingkatrina [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know which book you’d like and what digital format you’d like it in.

I’m going to try to blog more regularly this year and to share more posts about contemporary romance, sports romance and the authors (and rugby players!) I love. If there are certain types of blog posts you want to see more of (e.g. author interviews, contemporaries to covet, videos of rugby players stripping off for the good of charities, etc), let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to deliver.

What does 2014 have in store for you? What books are you most looking forward to this year? Do you have any goals or resolutions for yourself? Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s a year full of love for you all!