What made you decide to be an author?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I discovered Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven around the age of seven or eight. I devoured the series and then went on to read the Famous Five series and many, many more of her books. I used to spend hours penning stories and tying the pages together to make my own library. I wish I had kept a few now!
Becoming a writer was always a dream until my youngest daughter started school and then I had a ‘now or never moment.’ Eighteen months later, The Wild Rose Press published my first novel, “Searching For Sophie.”
What do you like best about being a writer?
First and foremost, is that I get to stay at home and do what I love all day! As far as the writing process, my favourite part is when I have the first draft written and can then dive back in to make the original story better. Love that part
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing Contemporary and Victorian romance?
I am often asked how I prepare to write my Victorian novels compared to my contemporary work – there is very little difference because romance is all about the emotion of the story and its characters. Love, hate, joy, sadness, greed and empathy would have been felt in just the same way in the 19th century as they would today. The same is true for how my personal experiences work in my writing. Rather than using real events, I use the emotions of how I felt during certain circumstances and hopefully it relates well onto the page. The only real-life experience I’ve used in my writing was being rescued by helicopter from a holiday camp during the 2010 French floods (A Man Like Him).
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?
Ooh, I LOVE when that happens! It hasn’t happened with an entire book, but I would say it happens with at least two or three chapters in every book. For The Temptation of Laura, one of the ‘dictated chapters’ was chapter 6…
You’ve written fifteen novels and two novellas and are working on your sixteenth novel. What’s your favorite time management tip? Demanding “me time” – that’s it in a nutshell. If you want to be successful at anything, you have to make the time. Family, friends, the housework etc will all take as much time as you give them so sometimes (no matter how hard), you have to say no. If you want to be an author, you need to act like one and write. Trust me, your beloved family and friends won’t hate you for it, they’ll love you…as for the housework? Who cares?
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
I am a plotter…to an extent. I start each book with the hero and heroine’s goals, motivations and conflicts and then write a short paragraph for each chapter. From those chapters, I write a three to four page synopsis. Once I have done that, I have a good feel for the book I want to write and the dive straight in. I write the first draft from start to finish without looking back. Usually the pantser in me sways from the original synopsis, but that’s okay!
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
See my time management tip above!
Do you listen to music when you write? Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it, or as you write, in general?
As a rule, I never listen to music because I need absolute silence to work – the only story I used music to ground me in the time I was writing about was Transatlantic Loving (novella with The Wild Rose Press). Gotta love the 80s!
Laura Robinson has always been dazzled by the glamour of the stage. But perhaps acting and selling one’s favors are not so different—for Laura must feign pleasure with the men she beds to survive. Now, with her only friend at death’s door and a ruthless pimp at her heels, escaping her occupation seems impossible. Hoping to attract a gentleman, she attends the theater. Yet the man Laura captivates is no customer, but a rising star and playwright…
Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams…?
How about an excerpt from The Temptation of Laura?
What was she doing inside Adam Lacey’s house, sitting upright and rigid upon a settee she could never afford? Laura crossed and re-crossed her ankles as she glanced around his drawing room. His home was masculine, bare of trinket or flower, but compared to her and Bette’s place, it screamed of achievement. He’d left her to go upstairs and change out of his wet clothes. She glanced at the wall clock. The ten minutes she’d been alone could’ve been an hour.
She needed to leave. Get out of there.
Standing, she stepped toward the door just as it swung open and Adam entered. Her breath caught. The man was ridiculously handsome. His dark blond hair was darker than usual, after his unplanned swim, and his face scrubbed clean. Her gaze drifted, of its own accord, to the smattering of chest hair just visible at the vee of his open-necked shirt. The man was unfairly relaxed. Laura inhaled. Handsome—stupidly, stupidly handsome.
He halted, his smile dissolving. “You’re leaving?”
He moved to touch her, seemed to think better of it and dropped his hand to his side. Their eyes locked and silence descended. Her heart beat fast with the knowledge she would’ve given the world to stay there. Eye to eye; toe to toe with a man who fascinated and intrigued her.
She stepped back. It was too dangerous. The atmosphere between them too potent. Her attraction to him kicked and punched at her heart. It was strong enough to make her want to kiss him, touch him and bring that dazzling smile to the surface over and over. For little more than another breath, she would risk everything to run her fingers over his biceps and up to the plane of his wide shoulders…
Laura blinked as her mouth drained dry. What had she been thinking by coming here? She hadn’t been thinking. In that moment when he asked her to accompany him back to his home––nothing but desire had whipped through her. Nothing but interest had leapt in her veins and obliterated her common sense. The fervor and lust in his eyes bespoke of a man who clearly had an agenda entirely different to hers.
Laura blinked and looked past him to the door. “I have a friend. She’s sick. She needs me and the medicine I bought before I came upon you at the park.” She brushed past him, through the door and into the hallway. “I shouldn’t have come here. I’m sorry.”
Ignoring him, she hurried toward the closed front door. She had to get out of there. If she looked at him again, she’d falter. Her rationale already hung on a hair’s breadth. His footsteps sounded at lightning speed behind her and when she clasped the door handle, his hand closed over hers. She stared at their joined hands and her body heated.
“Laura. Please. I need to talk to you.”
Swallowing hard, she forced herself to meet his gaze. His dark brown eyes shone with a pleading she hadn’t expected. How was she supposed to refuse? He was the first man in forever to make her heart pick up speed and flourish her hope for something more. She slowly pulled her hand from beneath his.
About the Author Rachel lives in South West England, just a short drive from the famous Georgian City of Bath. She is married with two teenage daughters who keep her busy when she isn’t writing. A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association, Rachel writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical.
When she isn’t working she likes to read, knit, watch too much TV or walk the beautiful English countryside with her beloved black Lab, Max.
Thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.