Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please welcome my guest, Rachel Brimble

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…

         Sounds great!  Can you tell us a little about your next project?

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!)


  1. Making my way through emails and blogs so very slowly and noticed you're here. I hope to read this one as soon as I have 'me' time again, Rachel. Nice post too. That cover is awesome.

  2. Hi Rachel! Great interview. You have your writerly fingers in a lot of pies don't you? :-D I loved that you write sitting on the couch with your dog beside you. I tend to do that too. In fact, I'm there now. There's something soothing about them being there. Good luck on your future endeavors!

  3. Hi Rachel!
    8 out of 12, huh? :P I know how you feel. I am currently creeping around in the dark, trying to find the horse in the field every evening lol. (He has trouble find me, too. Ran to the wrong "mom" the other day, realized his mistake and came looking for me lol)
    I'm going to head to Bath to borrow your log cabin. It sounds wonderful. :)
    And I envy you your teacher. Mine wasn't quite as...lovely.

  4. Loved the interview, Rachel and Katherine. I have Lily Curtis on my Kindle and need to find time to read it! I can't wait.

    Now off to finish that "crappy" first draft!

  5. Hi, ladies! Great interview, and I'm gasping with out and out jealousy over that log cabin!

  6. I'd write a whole lot faster if I let the first draft be crappy, but I have control issues! LOL I, too, write suspense, contemporary and historical. Maybe we were separated at birth, Rachel.

  7. well i am glad you like the way you do t he book and then you would not be writing if you di d not want to but the book sound great and it stand out with the cover thanks for being who you are

  8. Yay!! I put a call out and all you lovely ladies turn out to keep me company :) I was getting worried I'd draw nobody to the lovely Katherine's site. Don't you just love her? I wish all the best with your new release, Katherine. I will be downloading it to my Kindle as soon as I finish here, Promise!

    I think we were separated at birth, Jannine! We seem so similar - the more I get to know you, the more alike we like. I'm an Aries, by the way... ;)

    Silke & Liz...hands off the cabin!! Grrr - lol! It's a mess at the moment, I usually start the big clear out around May time and then get ready for a few months down there. It's mummy's hideout.

    Hi, Calisa & Lynne - i don't know how you two always manage to find me, lol! Thanks so much for being here. As always. Lynne, hope you enjoy "Lily" it was one of my favorites to write. I am just revising my next historical novel to hand in to my agent. it's my biggest yet at 95,000 words.

    Cassiel, my dog is my best behaved baby - well, sometimes... he's with me all the time unless it's bedtime. Then he sleeps downstairs. I'd be lost without my fella!

    Nice to see you again, desitheblonde - we've met before, i'm sure :)

    See you all later - time to put the kids to bed!

    R x

  9. Hi Katherine and Rachel,
    Great questions and answers! I felt like I was sitting down chatting over coffee with the two of you. Love the advice about allowing yourself a crappy draft. I agree! Best wishes for continued success and congrats on The Arrival of Lily Curtis.

  10. I'm taking time from my crappy first draft--dialogue mostly--to check in on a few blogs. Good luck with your sales.

  11. Hi Rachel,
    I hope you enjoy Impetuous as much as I'm sure I'll enjoy The Arrival of Lily Curtis. I'm about to start my writing day and have posted "Crappy first drafts are okay" next to my writing space. Hopefully the words will flow faster. :o)

    Thanks for being my guest today.

  12. Hi, Rachel and Katherine. Rachel, crappy first drafts are what I'm all about, so it's good to know that at least I'm sort of doing the right thing. And being able to disappear for a while in a cabin at the bottom of the garden sounds like sheer heaven. Much luck with The Arrival of Lily Curtis. And thanks to both you and Katherine for a terrific conversation.

  13. Rachel, you sound so energetic and motivated, it's like a breath of fresh air. I agree about keeping the writing going, no matter what rubbish you put on the page in that first draft. You can't edit a blank page but when you have some words, you can work on them. How much of each day do you spend editing your own work?

  14. So fantastic to see so many of you here! Thanks for the luck with sales for "lily". This book was released in 2010 but i thought as Katherine writes historical... :)

    I'm also glad for your enthusiasm regarding the crappy draft, lol! whatever gets the words on the page, huh, ladies??? Seriously, it works! To answer your question, Beth - i dont edit at all until that first draft is done. i just keep pushing on :)

    Have to log off until the morning or hubby will not be happy (9.30 pm here) - see you tomorrow!

  15. Hi, Rachel, I tried to leave a comment earlier, but got kicked off. Great interview! Like you, I also went from being a stay-at-home mom to writing. I was not going back to working in a office again. It was also great to be home when the boys got home from school each day.

    Your book cover is absolutely gorgeous! Best of luck with the book!

  16. Thanks for stopping by, Susan - I can't wait to get to Cassidy's War!

    Rachel x

  17. Fab interview, Katherine and Rachel. A log cabin? I'm so jealous! But I hear you about the long cold spells we have here.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Lily', and can highly recommend it. :-)

  18. Great interview! I love the cover.

  19. Rachel, great interview! I loved the excerpt and wish you godd sales with it.

  20. Rachel,
    it was great to learn more about you and your writing, your books. Gee, I'm jealous of that little summer cabin, too. But like you I write on the sofa with a laptop, but usually have a cat at my feet. Ha, ha. Warmly, fellow author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

  21. Hee hee! I've certainly caused a stir with my log cabin, haven't I? I think I'll post a pic on Twitter for everyone to see...


    Thanks so much for your company everyone - and a special thank you for Katherine for letting me stop by. I've had a great time! :)

    Rachel x

  22. You're very welcome, Rachel. It was my pleasure to have you as my guest.

    Katherine :o)