|Rachel Brimble near Buckingham Palace|
Monday, December 08, 2014
INTERVIEW WITH RACHEL BRIMBLE
I’m excited to have Rachel Brimble on my blog today. Rachel is an award winning author who lives in England and writes in multiple genres.
Caroline: Please tell us about growing up.
Rachel: I grew up in the city of Bristol, England with my mum, dad and older brother. Bristol is famous for its maritime history and a great place to live with plenty to do and see. I then married and moved to a small market town near Bath and have lived here for almost fourteen years. My husband and I have two teenage daughters and my third “child”, a black Lab called Max.
I was most definitely a bookworm! Happiest in the library or reading in the park/my bedroom/ the bath, it was inevitable I would write my own stories one day!
Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Rachel: Favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Jodi Picoult and Philippa Gregory – favorite genres are romantic suspense, women’s fiction and historical novels revolving around real life people or events. I also read a lot of biographies of the past British monarchy. I particularly love the Tudor and Plantagenet eras.
Caroline: You included some of my favorite authors. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
Rachel: I watch FAR too much TV but can’t resist US shows like Scandal, Rizzoli & Isles, The Blacklist & Grey’s Anatomy as well as UK series like Downton Abbey, Eastenders, Ripper Street & Call The Midwife. While watching TV, I am always knitting! Gone are the days when I used to watch with idle fingers, haha!
If I’m not watching TV and knitting, I am reading or walking the beautiful English countryside with my family and beloved dog, Max.
Caroline: Your countryside is indeed beautiful and Bath is one of the loveliest cities. 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
I totally believe if you don’t like something in your life or the way it is going, do something to change it. Make yourself happy, don’t rely on others to do it for you. This is YOUR life, go be happy!
Caroline: Excellent advice. How long have you been writing?
Rachel: I started writing short stories when I had my eldest daughter in 1999. I had a little success online and in women’s magazines but my real dream was to be a novelist. It wasn’t until my youngest daughter started school full-time that I got serious. I started writing my first novel in 2005 and The Wild Rose Press published SEARCHING FOR SOPHIE in 2007.
I am proud to say I have had at least one novel published every year since then. At the moment, I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for Lyrical Press/eKensington.
Caroline: The Wild Rose Press author’s loop is where I met you. Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
Rachel: I am lucky enough to be able to write full-time around being a wife and mum – I move around the house with my laptop. Mornings I write on the settee, early afternoon at the kitchen table and when the kids come home from school, it’s in my bedroom. I am in the process of decorating my own office in the spare room – fingers crossed, this will become my domain! I need silence to write, but can edit anywhere, no matter the background noise.
Caroline: I’m the opposite. I write to music and edit with silence. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Rachel: A bit of both! I start each book with a premise, usually something I’ve seen on TV or in the newspaper…sometimes on historical documentaries. I then trawl the internet for “pictures” of my hero and heroine. After that, I sit down and write a rough chapter plan and finish with a 3-4 page synopsis. Once I’ve done this, I am keen to start the writing and tend to write the first draft from beginning to end without looking back.
The pantser side of things comes in the fact I don’t mess with where the characters want to go…which is sometimes a long way from what I had planned. You have to trust the work to come out right, regardless of your ideas. The following drafts are spent clearing up the mess of the first draft!
Caroline: So, you do use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories.
Rachel: See above – a lot of my story ideas come from real life events or people, but by the time the story is written, the original idea is unrecognizable to me, let alone anyone else. I think TV & newspapers are vital sources of inspiration.
Caroline: I agree. When I hear or read a story, I can’t help thinking of an alternate spin on the story. Do you set daily writing goals?
Rachel: I am lucky enough to write every day…although I try not to at the weekend. I am happy if I manage 2,000 words a day but this doesn’t happen if I have editing to do as well as the writing. I start my work day at 8.30am and work straight through until 3.30pm when the kids get home from school. After getting a few chores done, I head back to the laptop for an hour before dinner…maybe grab an hour after dinner and finish about 7pm.
Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Rachel: Enjoyment, escapism and a sense of the happy ever after – I don’t plan to write literature now or in the future. I want people to pick up my books and be hooked for the pure enjoyment. I like writing about lifelike places and people – hopefully I manage to convey that for the reader too!
Caroline: Well said! What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Rachel: I would love to write a big single title romantic suspense sooner rather than later and look forward to seeing which direction that takes my career. I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else so I hope with each book, I gain more readers and more success. Writing is hard work, but the rewards are worth the blood, sweat and tears.
Caroline: We do have the best job in the world, don’t we? Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Rachel: I am currently writing the first draft of my fourth Victorian romance with eKensington – this is set in and around Bath and tells Jane and Matthew’s story, secondary characters in my upcoming release, WHAT A WOMAN DESIRES (Jan 2015).
Caroline: Gorgeous cover and I believe everyone loves a series. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Rachel: Keep going and don’t be afraid to submit your work – too many authors give up at the first ten or even twenty rejections. You have to keep going, keep writing and keep learning. The only author who remained unpublished is the author who gave up. Also, you will never be published if you don’t submit your work. Take a leap of faith and go for it!
Caroline: Correct, success requires persistence. Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
Rachel: I haven’t had my hair cut professionally in almost 16 years – because my hair is so curly, I can get away with my husband or daughters giving it a quick trim, lol!
Caroline: I envy you. Mine usually looks as if I’d stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
Rachel: My family and I were rescued by helicopter from a hotel roof during the 2010 French floods – the most terrifying 12 hour ordeal of my life!
Caroline: I remember that, Rachel. That must have been terrifying. Is your book a series? If so, how long?
Rachel: CHRISTMAS AT THE COVE is book four in my Templeton Cove series with Harlequin Superromance, but all the books can be read as stand-alone stories. I have no idea when the series will end because I have notes for at least three more books on file. Fingers crossed, Harlequin will renew my contract once my editor has reviewed book number 5 which is sitting on her desk right now J
Caroline: Can you give readers a blurb about your book?
More family for Christmas?
Scott Walker doesn't have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.
Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he's not one to shirk responsibility. Scott's issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.
Caroline: How about an excerpt of CHRISTMAS AT THE COVE?
Rachel: Here you go.
She glanced around the garage. “I’m sorry to turn up unannounced like this, but I’m here and we need to talk.”
He stared at her in disbelief as questions, demands and weaknesses hurtled around inside him, battling with the intense sexual frustration storming through his body. “Just like that, you turn up and say, ‘We need to talk’?” He shook his head and turned away from her, lest he get caught in the snare of her wide, impossibly gorgeous eyes. “Go away.”
Keeping his back to her, he uncrossed his arms and planted his hands on his hips. He tipped his head back and smiled as insanity rushed his bloodstream. He wanted to grab her, shake her, kiss her and make love to her. God, he wanted to drop to his damn knees in front of her and beg her to tell him where she’d been and now she was back, was she back for good?
He closed his eyes, barely resisting the urge to cover his ears with his hands and block out her tempting voice, achingly laced with the unmistakable sound of a plea. “Whether you want to see me or not, I have to talk to you, and I won’t leave the Cove until you hear me out.”
Her heels clicked closer and his body tensed, waiting for what came next. The dangerous, musky scent of her perfume wafted under his nostrils and he inhaled. She approached the bench beside him and put down a business card. “My number’s on there. I’m staying at the Christie. Call me when you’re ready to talk. It’s important or I wouldn’t have come.”
He glanced at the card. Carrie Jameson. Producer.
She turned and walked away. He let her go, feeling like a smashed up car after a hurricane, tossed and turned through the air before being spewed crudely across the highway, left to rust and burn.
He picked up the card. His hand shook and the rare sting of tears shamed him. What the hell was he supposed to do now? Carrie was back and his libido told him only too clearly there was no way in hell he wouldn’t go to her. How was he supposed to let her go a second time when he’d lived the last three years regretting he didn’t stop her the first time?
Caroline: Where can readers find your CHRISTMAS AT THE COVE?
Rachel: At these links:
Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?
Rachel: I love connecting with readers so please follow me so we can chat! I am ALWAYS on Twitter… ;)
Thanks for stopping by!