Jen: Today we welcome Rachel Brimble to Romancing the Book. Rachel, will you please share a short bio with us?
Rachel: I live with my husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. I started writing toward publication when I was pregnant with daughter number two and managed to sell my first novel to The Wild Rose Press in 2006. Since then, I’ve had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press.
My next big goal is to secure that elusive agent! When I’m not writing, I am either reading or walking the beautiful English countryside with my family. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…
Jen: Tell us about Getting It Right This Time and where it’s available.
Rachel: This is my fifth full-length novel and is a contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Foxton, England. It is a story about a widow who returns to her hometown to build a secure future for her child. What she doesn’t expect, is to fall back in love with her first true love…or come up against the people who will do everything to keep them apart.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Rachel: I was very young when I started writing, maybe eleven or twelve when I knew I wanted to be a writer. As I said in my bio, I was thrilled to sell my first novel to The Wild Rose Press. After my lovely editor at the time, Ally Robertson, patiently guided me through two lots of revisions, she sent me an email in the first week of 2007 with that wonderful contract attached. I screamed, then danced, then sent her back a pathetically sad and grateful email…crying the entire time!
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Rachel: No, none. But my family is so excited that I am the first! They are so supportive and their enthusiasm grows which each new book. My husband is my biggest support, he knows when I’m feeling down about my writing and always, always knows just the right thing to say!
Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Rachel: My laptop! Unfortunately, I am not one of these writers who can pick up a pen and paper and write. It never flows for me that way. I can write down notes and ideas on paper but I know writers who can take a pad and pen and write a whole scene while waiting for their kids to finish sports practice! I wish I could do that but I write complete rubbish unless it’s on my computer.
Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Rachel: What’s not to like? I think the diversity is amazing. There is something in the romance genre to suit every taste. History, suspense, paranormal, western, erotic, it’s all there. Everyone (male and female) loves the idea of falling in love – every ‘male’ movie has an aspect of romance in it, they just choose to ignore it most of the time, LOL! Three cheers for romance, I say!
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Rachel: Most challenging – Keeping faith. You truly have to believe in yourself and your writing if you are going to succeed. You will receive knock backs, but you just read what advice you are given, take on board the stuff you agree with and learn from it, ignore the stuff you don’t. Then you brush yourself off, re-write and re-submit. It is sometimes so hard but it will be worth it in the end – promise.
Easiest? Ummm…making writer friends! I have honestly never met such welcoming and friendly people as other romance writers. I belong to the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association (UK equivalent) as well as lots of online groups. I have so many good and supportive friends, there are too many to mention. The best thing is the friends I have made from all over the world, I love it.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Rachel: It has to be when an editor contacts you wanting to buy your work – it is the ultimate validation and it feels amazing each and every time.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Rachel: I have written in all the genres I want to write in now – historical, contemporary, suspense and the genre with the ‘more mature’ heroine so I feel really happy. The only genre I feel I won’t write (but never say never!) is paranormal. Only because I don’t tend to read these books and truly believe you cannot write what you don’t enjoy reading.
Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
Rachel: Does the year I was pregnant with my first baby count? All that time I wasted! Little did I know how much time my kids would take up. Oh, the naivety. I would take my computer, a phone and a picture of my husband. Nothing else needed.
Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Rachel: After a VERY prolonged happy dance, I organized a book launch from our front garden. It was an amazing day. I sold thirty books to friends, family and neighbors while sipping champagne, eating lovely treats and having lots and lots of laughs. Perfect.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Rachel: I sold novel number six to Lyrical Press just before Christmas and hope it will come out before the end of 2011. It is another contemporary romance set in the UK, called Paying The Piper. It is grittier than any of my other books and I love it. Just hope my readers do too!
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Rachel: I’d love to know which of my books is your favorite? Or failing that, which sub-genre is your favorite? I am starting to think about novel number nine and have no idea what to write next. Number seven is an historical, number eight a straight contemporary.
Jen: Readers. Rachel is giving away a signed paperback copy of one of her first four books (winner’s choice) to a random commenter. There are no restrictions on who can enter and win. To enter, you need to leave a question or comment for Rachel and then you MUST leave your email address in your comment to complete the entry. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, January 23.