Today I'm interviewing Romance author Rachel Brimble. Here's a little bit about her before we start the interview.
Rachel writes a wide variety of romance sub-genres including suspense, historical, comedy, and contemporary. She lives in England near the Georgian town of Bath with her family.
Welcome Rachel, I'm glad you could join me.
How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career?
I have been writing with the view to publication since 2005 but have made up stories all my life. I have memories as young as five when my teacher would make me stand up in front of the class and ‘tell one of your stories, Rachel.’ :)
I decided to pursue a writing career when my youngest daughter started school full-time and I had a now or never moment. Plus, I wanted to stay home with my children and not have my husband ask what I was going to do next. The idea of going back to an office job pained me!
Do you have a writing routine? Where do you usually do your writing?
As I am lucky enough to write full time (around the children, house and dog!), I start work at 9am five days a week and don’t stop until 2.30 – after that it is usually kids, house and everything else. I still manage to snatch minutes on the laptop in between though. :)
I work mostly on my sofa with the laptop in the cold months (my black lab fast asleep beside me). As I am in the UK, that is eight out of the twelve. In the summer, I have a log cabin at the bottom of the garden where I can disappear in peace. Bliss! :)
I'm starting my writing day just as you are ending yours. A cabin at the bottom of the garden! I'm jealous. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do? Any plans in the future to write in a different one?
I actually write in three! I write straight contemporary, romantic suspense and Victorian historical. I like alternating between the three with each new story. It keeps the writing fresh for me—and hopefully my readers too!
No plans to venture anywhere else…I think my agent would have a breakdown, lol!
I'm in awe. I've only written historical myself, but plan on branching out to contemporary. Who is your favorite author? (I know, an unfair question. I couldn’t name just one myself.)
Hmm… very tough indeed!
I’d say, Nora Roberts – who else? Jodi Picoult for her ideas - fabulous and Jean Fullerton for the heart in her Eastend romances.
But my favorite, favorite read throughout 2011 was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It blew me away. I can still hear the characters clearly in my head. Wonderful book…
I loved The Help too. Definitely a great book. How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?
I have never suffered and don’t believe I ever will. Please don’t hate me. I MAKE myself work, ALL the time. Any plot problem can be solved, you just need to write through it. Just write.
The best piece of advice I ever had is allowing myself to write a ‘crappy’ first draft. Once you free your mind and just get the words on the page, it flows – the crap can be fixed later. Try it!
That's a great way to look at it. I know I sometimes get caught up in worrying if that certain word is just right. Do you have a critique partner or partners? If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc?
Yes, and only over the last eighteen months which I find ridiculous now! How did I live without them? Lol! Critiques partners, especially the good ones, work with you on a project from start to finish and want to see it published as much as you do.
You can bounce ideas off one another, they’ll see plot holes and mistakes that you wouldn’t, characters that aren’t consistent – the list goes on. The manuscripts that I’ve worked on with my partners are doing the rounds as we speak. I cannot wait to see them contracted so I can write some well-deserved dedications!
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?
See above – allow yourself to write a ‘crappy’ first draft!
I'm going to post that on my writing board. Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
I am here to promote The Arrival of Lily Curtis although it isn’t my latest release – it is my latest Victorian release though.
I wrote this book entirely with my heart, it is very special to me. The reviews have been great and best of all, three separate readers have said the book made them cry. Music to a writer’s ears, lol!
Here’s the blurb:
At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of three and twenty….so she hatches an escape plan. She will reinvent herself as a housemaid. Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily…
Viscount Westrop wants nothing more than his legacy to be passed to his own son one day. Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right. But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray. Lily is funny, feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth – Andrew is thunderstruck. But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew’s lineage will be in peril. And he cannot let that happen…
My next project is currently with my agent and it is my first romantic suspense for three years – I am so excited! I picture it as a three book series but we’ll see how the sale of this one goes first ;)
It’s set in the fictional town of Templeton Cove on the south coast of England. It’s about two separated friends reunited to find a killer after their mutual childhood friend is found murdered. I love writing it and hope my readers enjoy it too!
It sounds really interesting. Anything else you’d like to share?
Just places where your visitors can find me if they want to chat, follow…buy! (Hint, hint!)