I am delighted to have Rachel Brimble on the blog today. Here is a little bit about Rachel, and her path to publication so far…
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 six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
She also recently signed with a UK agent so is represented both sides of the Atlantic.
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.
Hi Rachel, thanks for coming to chat to us today!
Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?
I am currently plotting book 8 of my series with Harlequin (Templeton Cove Stories). This will be a mainstream romance and will feature a new hero to the Cove, but I’m giving an existing character the starring role of heroine. It is a story which will fill in the background of a favourite character of mine who has appeared in almost all of the books so far. Marian Cohen is the town matriarch and came to the Cove under pretty unexplained circumstances. All the books can be read stand-alone, but it’s fun exploring Marian and sharing more about her with existing fans of the series.
Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?
After Templeton Cove book 8 is done, I plan to either write the second book of an Edwardian series (my agent is currently reading book one). Alternatively, I have a single-title romantic suspense in my mind that is getting harder and harder to ignore!
Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?
I have led a very sheltered existence workwise! I worked in a bank for ten years before giving up to become a stay at home mum to my two daughters. Once the youngest started school full-time, I had a ‘now or never’ moment and began to pursue my dream of becoming a published novelist. The Wild Rose Press published Searching For Sophie in 2007 and I’ve had at least one novel published every year since.
Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?
On a good day, I am usually up by 7.15 am and packing the kids off to school and at my desk by 8.30am. I usually spend the first hour or so on admin, then the next hour on promotion work. I then take a break and walk my beloved chocolate Lab, Tyler. I usually read when I walk him so it’s always nice having a little time to enjoy other authors’ work! Then it’s on with the writing or plotting until I break for lunch around 1.30pm. I then work another hour or so before taking the dog out again and then it’s back to my desk until around 5.30pm.
As I am lucky enough to write full-time (not including the various demands of a husband, two teenage daughters and a dog!) so I am very disciplined and work all day as I don’t take my opportunity for granted. In the evenings, I spend time with my family whether we go out or sit in front of the TV.
Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?
Not really – it’s books all the way! I am a complete bibliophile and terrible when I discover a new author that I love. I HAVE to go back and buy their entire backlist…much to my husband’s despair!
Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?
The most infuriating aspect of pigeon holing for me is some people’s reaction when I tell them I write for Harlequin. People either assume the books are all akin to the 1970s bodice-rippers OR that I have been let in on some industry secret and churn books out with little thought because I know the ‘formula’. Drives me mad! Writing is a hard slog most of the time and it never gets easier. Right now, I am plotting my twenty-first book and desperately trying to remember how I wrote the others, lol!
Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?
It would probably be crime or women’s fiction – I read a lot of both genres as well as romance. Two of my favourite crime writers are C J Sansom and Alex Grecian so I think I would like to write crime set in an historical period. Most likely Victorian. As for women’s fiction, I love ‘dilemma’ type stories written so fabulously by Jodi Picoult and would love to tackle something like that one day.
Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?
Write, write and write! The only way to learn the craft is by doing it over and over again until you find your voice and have the confidence to write the stories you want to write, not what you think you should write or what will sell. Also, the best piece of advice I ever received was ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.’ This boosted my daily word count overnight.
Q9. What are you reading currently?
I usually have two books I am reading at any one time – one is usually a hardback for reading in bed and the other is a paperback for reading in the bath or when I’m walking the dog. I’m currently reading Black Magick by Nora Roberts and a biography of Queen Victoria called Victoria by Elizabeth Longford.
Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?
My next goal is for my agent to sell my new Edwardian book and series to a big UK publisher for an astronomical advance, lol! Isn’t that what every novelist dreams of??
Here is more about the book, and where to buy!
How can she forgive him for what he didn’t do?
Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they’re forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable.
Izzy knows it’s not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn’t something she’s prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JFHYGQW
Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B01FQX473Q
Rachel likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. She would love to hear from you!