Blogoversary Day 28: Rachel Leigh

Jen: Our blogoversary celebration continue with a visit from Rachel Leigh. Rachel, will you please share a short bio with us?

Rachel: I live in the UK and am married to my own sexy hero. Even though Explicitly English is my first erotic romance novella, I have another one “Coming Back” due for release next month. When I’m not writing, you can find me reading, walking the beautiful English countryside, running around after my two young daughters…or playing with my husband.

Jen: Tell us about Explicitly English and where it can be purchased.

Rachel: The easiest way to tell you about Explicitly English is to post the blurb so here it is:

Laura Markham needs to forget – just for awhile. Be someone else for change – live as her parents will never have the chance to. And for Laura, that means leaving the City for the English countryside and doing just what the hell she feels like…wherever she feels like doing it…

British stockbroker, Stephen Cambridge knows by going home to his country retreat two days early, he’s likely to surprise his contracted interior designer. And when he finds out she’s the woman who performed the solo masterbation show for him on the inward bound journey, Stephen will do anything to further convince her to miss the outward bound train and stay with him forever…

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Rachel: I have been making up stories for years and years, even as I child I usually had a notebook with little jottings and ideas in it. My first short stories were published online and UK women’s magazines around 2004 when my youngest daughter started nursery.

But it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to try something longer and wrote my first novella which I submitted to The Wild Rose Press on a friend’s recommendation and I am happy to say was accepted, yay!

I was thrilled when I got ‘the call’ email because erotic romance is hard to get right and I spent the whole six weeks it was under consideration wondering if I had made a massive mistake thinking I could actually do it. Lesson? Just go for it!

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Rachel: I tend to go with the flow – I usually have a setting in mind and the heroine’s ‘problem’ or goal and then write the first draft from start to finish without looking back. The detail and layering come in the following drafts when I learn more about the characters and their voices.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Rachel: First and foremost I’m motivated by the pure need to write – it’s a compulsion. I have to write something, anything daily or I am not a nice person to be around (ask my family!), but of course, I’d like to think that one day I will earn enough for this to be my living, my job and everyone else around me to take what I do seriously.

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

Rachel: Love, possibility, happiness and understanding with a man who ‘gets’ you. Isn’t that what we all ultimately want? If you watch any movie whether it is promoted as action, horror or adventure, I guarantee there will be some sort of romantic thread in there somewhere. It is what we all want to see – male or female.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?

Rachel: For me, the most challenging aspect is plotting that’s why I tend to write the first draft without too much agonizing. The easiest is the second draft when I have words on the page and I can then tweak and play, hopefully improve and deepen. This is without doubt my favorite part of the whole process.

Most rewarding? The day your cover art drops into your inbox – I love that! The story’s done and ready to go out into the big wide world, nothing beats that feeling.

Jen: How much influence does the editor have over the story or characters?

Rachel: If you are lucky enough to be match up with a good editor (as I am!), they have less influence than inspiration, I think. When you are a writer you can get so close to your story that you cannot see the things that need to be deleted or indeed strengthened. That’s what a good editor can spot for you. They help you to see what is missing, what can go and result in a stronger, more satisfying story for your reader.

An editor should be your first cheerleader throughout the entire process.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Rachel: The heroine, Laura Markham, is my favorite character – she is gutsy and bold yet vulnerable and afraid at the same time. After a tragedy that has influenced her life for far too long, she decides to make some changes and the results are explosive yet resulting in the ultimate happily ever after.

Jen: What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?

Rachel: Nora Roberts, Jilly Cooper, Jennifer Jakes, Angela Anderson (my editor) and Desiree Holt.

What would I like to say to them? Thank you!

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?

Rachel: “I read your story last night and wondered if you have done EVERYTHING you write.”

My response? No comment ; )

Jen: What’s next for you?

Rachel: My next release is out August 12th from The Wild Rose Press. Here is the blurb:

Kelly Hampton loved once…and lost. After two years of looking for Sean McKenzie in other men–and failing miserably–she takes a vow of celibacy. No sex until she finds love. Then Sean strolls back into her bar, reigniting old flames. No one has come close to understanding or satisfying her like he did. Her body burns for the passion they once shared, but her heart still remembers the pain.

Sean escaped Jessop Hill and his father’s fists in the middle of the night without a word–even to his love, Kelly–to protect his battered mother, but he never forgot the explosively erotic relationship he left behind. Now his father is dead and Sean is back for the only woman he’s ever wanted. Their reunion is full of fire – but can sexual attraction and noble intentions overcome years of heartache or will Kelly walk away to protect her heart this time.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Rachel: (author guests every Tuesday & Thursday)

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Rachel: I’d love to know what types of erotic romance you like the most? Ie: Western, contemporary, historical?

Contest details:

  • The prize is a download of Explicitly English.
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  • The contest ends on Sunday, July 31.

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