Thursday 1 May 2014

Author Interview ~ Rachel Brimble.

Today I welcome the lovely Rachel Brimble to the blog in an interview. Rachel is a fab romance author and you can check out my review of her latest novel, What Belongs to Her, here.

Tell us about yourself and your books.

I’ve been writing obsessively for about ten years and now write contemporary romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mum to two teenage daughters which means I get to write every day as well as being there for my family. I am a lucky lady!

When I’m not writing, I like to read, knit, watch TV and socialise with friends and family – one of my favourite things to do is walk the beautiful Wiltshire countryside with my husband, kids and beloved black Lab.

What’s the best thing about being an author?

Getting to disappear into a fantasy world of my own making every day! I am living my dream of writing series set in the same town and with interconnecting characters. I have just started my fifth novel in my Harlequin series set in the fictional UK town of Templeton Cove, as well as polishing my third Victorian novel set in and around Bath.

What do you love the most about writing romance novels?

It’s all about love! There is so much doom and gloom in the world, it is so nice to be able to concentrate on building long-lasting relationships that evolve through conflict and problems to lead to the hero and heroine’s happy ever after. As I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense and historical romances, it gives me a lot of scope and freedom to tackle issues that matter to me too.

Tell us about your latest released book.

My latest release is book three in my Templeton Cove series. This book introduces two brand new characters to the Cove, as well as featuring many cameo appearances from characters who appeared in the first two books. Here’s the blurb and buy links for What Belongs To Her:

She's ready to take back what's hers

Since the moment a local crime boss claimed ownership of her family's fairground, Sasha Todd has dreamed of righting the wrong. Now it's time to act, and backing down from the man's estranged son is definitely not an option. After all, giving up her legacy to hot-blooded John Jordon means losing the chance to finally heal the wounds in her past.

Stopping John in his tracks—and resisting the sizzle between them—is Sasha's best defense. But there's more to him than she thought, which changes everything. With what matters most at stake, she'll have to risk a brand-new future with John, or walk away from the man whose heart belongs to her.

Amazon UK | Amazon | B&N

Which Templeton Cove book did you find the most enjoyable to write and which one was the toughest?

Ooh, great question! The most enjoyable AND toughest to write was A Man Like Him (book 2) because it was inspired by a real-life (and pretty terrifying!) event in my life. My family and I were rescued by helicopter from a hotel roof during the 2010 French floods and although it took me two years to find the right story, it gave me an amazing outlet for what happened.

The first three chapters are an almost hour-by-hour account of what happened and through the book, I was able to pay respects to the amazing staff and also remember the people who lost their lives over those 24 hours. I wanted to do something to marked the tragedy and this book is my way of doing that.

Who has been your favourite character from your Templeton Cove series? Did you base them on anyone you know?

My favourite character, without doubt, is Marian Cohen who features in every book except A Man Like Him. She is the town’s matriarch and all round busybody with a heart of gold. She is wise, funny, caring and always there just at the right moment a character needs her. As for who she is based on…that would be telling!

I loved the fairground setting in What Belongs to Her - how do you decide on the settings in your books?

I always seem to draw on childhood memories for my settings – Templeton Cove is actually a combination of UK holiday destinations I used to visit. The fairground came from very vivid pictures I still have from a travelling fair that used to come to my hometown every Easter. The sights, smells and sounds are still very clear to me and I wanted to get them down on paper! Plus, there’s always a fairground at UK holiday places :)

I plan to write a big romantic suspense novel at some point this year and that will be set in and around the town where I grew up – I want to include my primary school, the local cemetery and a street where every kid would come to play and adventure. I can’t wait to get started!

Can you tell us a bit about what you’re currently writing?

I have just started the fifth Templeton Cove book – this is a contemporary romance featuring two characters from What Belongs To Her. When I was writing Tanya Todd and Liam Browne wouldn’t stop talking to me and I knew they deserved their own story. Watch this space!

How do you get in the best frame of mind for writing? What is your writing process?

There is no best frame of mind, lol! I have contracts, deadlines and commitments so I no longer have the luxury of waiting for the muse to strike or taking a day off. I treat my writing like a job and everything else in the house is secondary. In term time, I work from 8.30 to 3.30pm every day (with a dog walk in between!) and then as much as I can until around 7pm. The weekends are hit and miss depending what we are doing as a family.

How important is feedback from readers to you personally?

Very important – I like to know what is and isn’t working for readers so I can improve my craft. I am always true to myself when I am writing but never forget I am writing for an audience too. If I get consistent feedback about an aspect of a story, whether positive or negative, it gives me food for thought when considering my next project. I would love to think I’ll write for the rest of my life, if my readers are happy so am I!

Do your family and friends read your books? What do they think of them?

My mum and mother-in-law always receive the first copy of my books and so far, so good – I try not to think about them reading the love scenes, lol! My friends are amazing and SO supportive because they all know how hard I’ve worked to get to the point I am now.

Do you get much chance to read? Who are some of your favourite authors?

I try to read every day – I am renowned around my town as ‘the girl who reads while walking the dog’. I manage to read 30-40 pages while my dog sniffs every blade of grass en-route, lol! I also like to read in the bath and before bed, although that doesn’t happen every day.

My favourite authors are Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and Philippa Gregory.

Do you prefer ebooks or physical books?

Both! I tend to have at least two books on the go at any one time (sometimes three) – hardback for bed reading and a paperback or ebook for when I’m walking the dog, in the bath or waiting to pick the kids up from somewhere. Drives me loopy when people say they haven’t got time to read – everyone can manage a few pages a day, surely?? Or is that just me? :)

If you had to read and write a genre that wasn’t romance, which genre would you choose?

I would love to write a woman’s fiction novel one day and tackle a controversial issue of some sort – for me, Jodi Picoult is the queen of women’s fiction. I bow down to her talent…

Thanks for joining us Rachel!

Rachel lives with her husband and two young 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. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013 and she has since signed for three more.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. 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!

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  1. Hi Sophie!

    Happy to be here today to chat with your visitors - I am going through line edits for the fourth Templeton book and its pouring with rain outside so a nice chit-chat is welcome!

    Rachel x

  2. Anonymous1/5/14 13:02

    Great interview Sophie and Rachel :] I don't read much romance but I do think 'What belongs to her' sounds interesting.

    Grace x

    1. Thanks Grace :) It's a great book I think even if you're not a massive lover of romance.

    2. Hi Grace!

      Thanks for stopping by - hope you'll try Sasha and John's story - Templeton Cove is my dream place to live!

      Rachel x

    3. Anonymous2/5/14 09:37

      I will check it out! :] x


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