Rachel was generous enough to answer a few questions for me. So, let's get to know her a little better.
Do you have a usual writing routine?
I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom and now my kids are older (12 & 10), I have most of the day to myself through the week. I am at my laptop at 9am and work through to 2.30 pm (with a dog walk in between!), five days a week. Once the kids are home I am out and about most of the time before dinner, but still sneak back and forth to the laptop until around 7pm.
Then it’s family time which often involves slumping in front of the TV, lol!
What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult?
I find dialogue and characterization the easiest – very early on in a draft I will hear the hero and heroine’s voice in my head. Once I know who they are, it’s like I am taking dictation when they are speaking.
The difficult aspect for me is the plotting – keeping the characters apart through their internal motivations, that’s the hardest. Too often my characters just want to be together and will fight for their relationship far too soon!
What does it take to be a successful author in today’s publishing world?
Tenacity! Anyone can succeed at anything. The trick is whether or not you are prepared to take the rejection, brush yourself off and try again. Writing is a craft, it can be learned BUT you have to be open to constructive criticism, accept that your first attempt isn’t going to be on the NY Bestseller list and that some readers/reviewers are going to hate what you get published.
This is a business.
Who has helped you along the way?
SO many people I don’t know where to start! My husband is my biggest support and believer, he’s always said I will make it and often makes a point of telling me I am his retirement fund ;)
Professionally, every editor I have had (5 for 6 different books) has taught me a new aspect to the craft which has helped me improve. I am also a member of Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association (UK equivalent). The tips and skills I have picked up through meetings and conferences have also been invaluable.
Most of all, I have learnt more than I ever thought from my agent and we have only been working together ten months. I am excited about the future!
Boxers or briefs on your man and why? Boxers – just plain sexier!
Dog, cat, or neither? Dog – my black Labrador is my third child and my shadow J
Favorite movie and why?
When A Man Loves A Woman – it has everything. Tears, laughter, personal growth and sacrifice. I wish I’d written it!
Favorite television shows?
Even though I am a Brit and lived in the UK all my life, my favorite shows are all US dramas – I love Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Big Love. On the crime side, I love Rizzoli & Isles – such great characters and chemistry.
Salty, sweet, or both? Hmm…bit of both I think. Depends on the mood ;)
By the way, I have to say, I LOVE that cover! Go-o-o-rgeous!
Here’s the blurb:
She's back, but this time she’s a mother…intent on protecting her young.
Two years after her husband’s death, Kate Marshall returns home seeking security and stability for her three-year-old daughter. But when her path crosses with ‘the one who got away’…her husband’s best friend, she has to fight the desire to be with him for the sake of further heartbreak for her and her daughter.
A tough, straight talking theatrical agent, Mark Johnston is dangerously handsome, exceedingly rich, irresistibly charming – and branded by the tabloids as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors. So even though Mark lost the girl of his dreams to his best friend, he finds no hardship in being single. Or so he thought.
Determined not to lose her a second time, Mark has to find a way to convince her they can work. But can Kate cope with the media interest and ruthless, money-hungry clients surrounding him, being anywhere near her daughter? Or accept that Mark Johnston is really the family man he claims to be?
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press. She recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel hopes to have a further two novels, one contemporary and one Victorian published in 2012.
When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…