Author Q&A: Rachel Brimble

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming the fabulous Rachel Brimble to the blog for an author Q&A with me. Rachel is the author of captivating romance, a genre I adore, and so I just couldn't pass up the chance to chat to Rachel myself here on Becca's Books. Rather than me prattling on, let's get straight to it and get this Q&A on the road! Welcome to the blog, Rachel. 

First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
Hi, Becca, it’s great to be here! I live with my fabulous husband, two teenage daughters and chocolate Labrador near the famous city of Bath in South West England. My first book with published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press, since then I have had 16 books published. I currently write mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical Press.


Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
My most recent book is HER ONE TRUE LOVE, a Victorian romance set in Bath. This is a story of second chances and discovering true destiny.
My latest contemporary romance is HER HOMETOWN REDEMPTION which is a reunion story set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove. It is book 5 in my ongoing series but all the books can be read stand-alone.
The best place to find all my books is at my website – here’s the link to my books page:
http://rachelbrimble.com/books.html

Are there any particular themes which you try to incorporate within your books?
I tend to deal with the issue of trust…or more specific, broken trust. I think trust is the most important aspect of our lives and the struggle to gain it, believe in it and keep it, is something we all have to face. I have dealt with all manner of serious and not so serious issues in my books, but everything seems to come back to the issue of trust. Whether consciously or unconsciously!

How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your book?
That anything and everything is possible! From true love, to moving past a devastating event or bereavement. My favourite aspect of writing romance is the inevitable happy ever after. Hopeful -that’s what I hope I make readers feel :D

If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be?
HER ONE TRUE LOVE – inspiring, hopeful and exciting
HER HOMETOWN REDEMPTION – suspenseful, moving and romantic.

When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
I like to think they are all completely fictional as I’ve never had a specific person in mind when creating them, BUT I think every writer uses aspects of themselves or others in all their characters. There’s something of me in my characters, whether male or female, young or old.

How do you choose the settings of your books?
I’m very lucky to currently be writing two series – my Victorian books are set in Bath, which is right on my doorstep and my Templeton Cove stories are a combination of the seaside towns I have visited throughout my life.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
Nora Roberts, Tess Gerritsen, Jean Fullerton, Jodi Picoult and Philippa Gregory.

Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
A combination of the two! I am quite a plotter in that I write out a synopsis, character sketches and chapter plan before I start writing, BUT I willingly follow the characters if they go off course. A novelist has to trust her characters to tell the story the way it should be told!

If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
Nora Roberts – I love her stories, especially the romantic suspense. I’d love to ask her how/if she plots and how she manages to bring just the right blend of romance and suspense. I try and hope I do well…but she is outstanding!

Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
I love when I’ve written ‘The End’ and then get to go back over and make the words and story better. The hard part is getting the words down (the middle is my nemesis!), but once they’re there, I love tweaking and rearranging.

When it comes to the cover of a book, how important do you feel they are?
Very important – it’s the first thing that draws a reader. They should reflect the story in the best way possible so the reader has an idea of what is inside before they part with their hard-earned money.
I have little input with my covers but, so far, I have been extremely fortunate.

How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
I am lucky enough to write full time so I work from 8.30am to 5.30pm with a lunch break and a couple of dog walks in between. Ideally, I like to write at least 2,000 words a day, but with my normal being one book to promote, one to edit and one to write, that isn’t always possible.

Tell us the top three books you’ve read so far in 2016.
The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah
Cross Stitch/Outlander – Diana Galbaldon
The Garden Trilogy – Nora Roberts
(Strictly 5 books, but still…)

When did your love of writing first begin to blossom?
I wrote my first book when I was eight after reading Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series – I knew then I’d found what I was supposed to do. Unfortunately, it took 10 years working in a bank, getting married and having two children, before I got down to business!

How did you celebrate your most recent publication day?
I usually celebrate my publication days partying online with my readers, old and new, followed by a celebratory meal with my family in the evening. My biggest indulgence comes when I type ‘The End’ on the first draft though – I usually treat myself to a new Pandora charm for my bracelet.

What are your thoughts on the book-blogging community?
Love it! Bloggers/reviewers are an author’s lifeline – they help get the work out there and shape your success. Having posts and interviews are a great way to connect with readers you wouldn’t normally get to meet. I wish I had more time to spend visiting and guesting on blogs 

Which, if any, other genre would you like to try and write in?
I would one day like to try a women’s fiction novel along the lines of Jodi Picoult, or a crime novel along the lines of Tess Gerritsen.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your writing career?
There have been many as far as my personal goals are concerned – I was thrilled when I got an agent in the US and published by Harlequin! I am also very happy to have recently secured agent representation in the UK – it would be amazing to see my books on the shelves here too.

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, tell us a little bit about it.
I have so much going on right now! I am revising an Edwardian novel for my UK agent, writing book 7 in my Templeton Cove series for Harlequin and editing book 6. Busy, busy!

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft – Julie Cohen.

What do you class as a successful writing day?
An interview, couple of critiques and 3,000 words – would love that to be the norm!

Writing in an apartment in New York City or writing in a cottage in the English countryside?
Cottage in the English countryside – heaven!

Writing with a cup of tea or writing with a cup of coffee?
Both! It’s coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

Writing with a sandwich or writing with a cupcake?
Cupcake!

Writing with music or writing in silence?
Silence.

Writing outside in the sunshine or writing inside as the snow falls?
Ooh, both!

And lastly, if someone told you that they wanted to be a writer, what would you tell them?
Be prepared to grow a thick skin – the writing industry is tough and can take months from acceptance to your book actually being published. Self-belief is paramount and listening to others who have experience. Join a writing group is fantastic way to alleviate feeling alone in your dreams.

About the author
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had five books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for three more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. 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.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!


You can find Rachel Brimble on Facebook | Twitter | rachelbrimble.com

1 comment :

  1. Hello everyone! It's great to be here and I'm looking forward to chatting and answering your questions :)

    ReplyDelete