Please welcome author Rachel Brimble. I’ve known Rachel via the Internet for several years and consider her a friend even though we’ve never met in person. I’m sure you’ll find her books welcome reads and will also enjoy getting better acquainted with her. If you’re like me, you enjoy a book more when you know the author is a nice person.
Caroline: Where did you grow up? Siblings? Locale? Were you considered a “bookworm” or a jock?
Rachel: I am a Brit, born and living in South West England. I am married with two young daughters (13 & 11) and a third child in the form of my beloved black Lab, Max. I was considered a bookworm when I was a child but not geeky. I had lots of friends and spent a lot of time out in the street playing but with the long British winters and dark nights, reading was my lifeline.
Caroline: As a bookworm, I love to read anytime. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Rachel: Favorite authors are Nora Roberts and Jodi Picoult - favorite genre is of course, romance! I read contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, inspirational, the only genre I don't read is paranormal. I've tried and tried but just can't get into it - although someone did suggest I try J R Ward. Apparently, I'll be hooked from book 1 of her Black Dagger series. I'll let you know how I get on!
Caroline: I also love Nora Roberts. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
Rachel: Reading or knitting - I am always clicking away with my needles while watching TV!
Caroline: I admire you. When I’ve tried to knit, it’s taken all my concentration. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
Rachel: "Set it up the way you want it to be." Iyanla Vanzant
Simple but effective :)
Caroline: Yes, effective. How long have you been writing?
Rachel: I started writing toward publication in 2005. I am very proud that my first novel, SEARCHING FOR SOPHIE, was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007. I have written and had published at least one novel every year since then with the exception of this year because the three novels I've finished were being 'shopped' by my agent. I am happy to report all three are now sold, one to Harlequin Superromance (coming Feb 2013), one to Omnific publishing and the third to Kensington, yay!
Caroline: Congratulations! Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
Rachel: I write on a laptop at the kitchen table, on the sofa, in bed or in the garden - dependent on the weather and my mood. I have to have complete quiet to create the words but can edit with the household in chaos around me. Kids, TV blaring, dog barking - that can all be going on and I'm quite happy :)
Caroline: Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Rachel: A bit of both - I complete character sketches for my hero and heroine, then a two to three page synopsis and then I dive straight in. I write the first draft from start to finish without looking back, let it rest for a couple of weeks and then start the real work in draft two. This method really works for me although I know a lot of writers edit as they go along.
Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Rachel: I never have before the book I've just finished but that one was inspired by me and my family being rescued by helicopter from an hotel rooftop during the 2010 French floods. Yes, you guessed it, it's a romantic suspense, lol!
Caroline: I remember that, and you were kind enough to share it on this blog. Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
Rachel: I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom so I write all the time the kids are at school. I am very strict with myself and work from 8.30 to 3.30 every day during the week and again during any spare time I have on the weekends.
I like to write at least 1,000 words a day in the week - sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less but I am always happy with 1,000 because I know I should have a first draft done within four months. With editing and polishing, I am to write about two and a "half" novels each year.
Caroline: With so many books soon to be released and the demand for more certain to follow, you have to be disciplined. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Rachel: Enjoyment! I hope that readers enjoy my books from the very first page through to the end. I hope they close the book and feel satisfied and happy for my hero and heroine's happily ever after. Then, I hope they go out and buy another one of my books, lol! ;)
Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Rachel: I hope to go from strength to strength! I am absolutely thrilled at my success this year - it is a dream come true to be writing for Harlequin and Kensington. I never would have thought it possible a couple of years ago. There is a lot to say for taking baby steps - I started small, learning my craft and enjoying every single minute. Now I have deadlines that are challenging but I'm absolutely loving it!
Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Rachel: I am just started working on my next historical novel, which is the second book in a two- book deal with Kensington. I am linking the two by making a secondary character in book 1, the heroine in book 2. I am struggling getting the goals, motivations and conflicts sorted right now but I'm sure I'll get there in the end!
Caroline: I’m sure you will. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Rachel: I'll pass on the best advice I was ever given, "give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft." Best advice EVER - my output quadrupled overnight once I tossed the internal editor out the window and just wrote. Try it!
Caroline: What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you?
Rachel: I am addicted to jelly donuts - I can eat five, one after the other, and proud of it, lol!
Caroline: Now you’ve made me hungry for one of those cream-filled ones with chocolate icing. Yum. What’s something about you that would surprise or shock readers?
Rachel: I have a phobia of bridges - much to my husband's chagrin…
Caroline: So do I. We had to turn around on Lake Ponchartrain in Louisiana because I couldn’t stand the sight of all water and no land around us. Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?
Rachel: No - LOVE’S DEBT is a stand-alone novella
Caroline: Can you give readers a blurb about your book?
Rachel: To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.
Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers. Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.
As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?
Caroline: How about an excerpt:
Joseph Jacobs closed the tavern door behind him and paused a moment to take in his surroundings. As a man used to looking over his shoulder and sensing trouble, experience taught him to be aware of others before they became aware of you. He narrowed his gaze. The meager number of patrons at the tables surprised him at an hour when he expected the bar to be fairly busy. He glanced at the clock; maybe it wasn’t time for the workers yet. He shifted his gaze to the woman standing beneath the clock and his heart kicked. Her green-gold eyes held him where he stood. She stared and Joseph swallowed, willing some words to come forth from his frozen tongue or at least a smile to curve his paralyzed lips.
She lifted her eyebrows and slowly pulled a cloth from her shoulders. Her hair was a mass of fire-tipped curls around her oval face, her skin creamy-white and her parted lips, a soft delicate pink. Joseph cleared his throat and belatedly removed his hat. “Good evening, miss.”
Her smile slipped easily into place. “Good evening to you, sir.” Her voice was smooth, clear and full of confidence. “Are you looking to quench your thirst or just planning on soaking up the atmosphere?”
Joseph inhaled a long breath through flared nostrils as if trying to smell her. Something told him she’d smell of lavender…or maybe musk. Something to throw a man off guard, to lower his defenses.
He stepped forward. “Neither. I am looking for the landlord. Would you happen to know if he’s available?”
Her gaze lingered on his a moment longer before she looked to the four glasses at the table beside her. She grasped them expertly between her fingers and carried them behind the bar without answering his question.
Joseph couldn’t take his gaze from the natural sway of her hips beneath the deep burgundy dress she wore, the bustle a little too prominent for the current fashion showing her lack of money to afford better. Why else would a woman with the features of an artist’s model be working in a tavern unless necessity demanded it?
Caroline: What’s the buy link?
Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?
|Rachel Brimble and daughter Jess|
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Rachel: I love to hear from readers and I host romance authors on my blog every Tuesday and Thursday - pop by for some great conversation and prizes!
Thanks for sharing with us today, Rachel.
Thanks, readers, for stopping by!