The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday with Rachel Brimble!

Well, it's raining out. That's okay because today I think I'm going to work on priming my office and our dining room. It's unusual to have Talkin' Tuesday on a Thursday but, unfortunately, a 65 foot limb off my neighbors LARGE Maple fell on our roof and took out the power lines. Everyone was safe and that's what we're thankful for. Yeah, there was extensive damage to the roof but at least it wasn't to the section of roof the contractor had already done. So, there you go! Talkin' Tuesday on Thursday due to not having phone, cable or internet for quite a few days. *huge sigh* What a ride this year! And, what a story to be told

Today on Talkin' Tuesday I have my patient friend, Rachel Brimble visiting me even though my home is a constructional mess! She also sharing her highly hailed story, Paying the Piper.

-Hi Rachel! The last time I saw you was in May. What the heck have you been up to?
Writing, writing and more writing as well as running around after my brood! Does it ever end, I think not!
LOL I ask that same question with my three

-Okay, I’ve been waiting months to hear this story about your family being rescued by helicopter from the roof of a hotel during the French floods last year. I’m so glad all of you are okay!
We are all fine – It was the most terrifying and emotional experience of my life. Fifteen months later, I am just thinking about the story I will be using it in. People assumed I would write about the flood straight away but I think it’s taken this long to be able to think about it with emotional detachment.
When you are woken by rushing flood waters at 2am and then waiting to be rescued on a hotel roof for twelve hours, it certainly puts your life into perspective…all's well that ends well!
I believe I speak for everyone when I say we can appreciate you needing to detach from it. What a wild and scary thing. Thank you for sharing it. :)

-When writing your stories, do you have story boards which you work off of?
No. I tend to let a story idea percolate for a few weeks and when I know I’ve got it stuck firmly in my mind, I write a 2-3 page synopsis. I then write in-depth character sketches for my hero and heroine and re-write the synopsis incorporating what I’ve learned about them.
Then I start writing – the first draft is my ‘crappy’ draft. I just write straight through to the end, only going over once what I have written the day before. Once that draft is finished, the synopsis is rewritten again and the hard work starts in draft two.
By the time I write The End, I have a polished manuscript AND synopsis. 
WOW. I never thought of doing it that way. Hhmmm I just might steal that idea?

-You’ve written many novels. How long does it normally take you to complete one, start to finish?
Each one took a different amount of time – the goal I set myself is two full-length novels and one novella per year. I managed that in 2010 and will again this year. Wish me luck for 2012! The most important thing is getting the story right – my agent is making sure I learn this sooner rather than later, lol!

-What surprised you most when it came to becoming an author?
The amount of promotion involved AND the amount of writing time it takes up! The most important thing is to get organized. I tend to devote one hour a day to promotion and the rest creating or editing. It is very easy to get embroiled in the promo and risk not having anything new to promote. I LOVE completing interviews and blogs, chatting to my readers but it can get a little obsessive.
Isn't that the truth! LOL
-Do you read your own reviews or do you say, “The heck with it, I don’t care!”?
Yes, of course! And I’ve been known to Google myself from time to time *shame*
Every writer can expect the bad reviews as well as the good because we are creating a piece of work that is bound to cause different reactions and emotions in people. It’s all subjective and that goes for editors and agents as well as readers and reviewers.
Read it, learn from it and move on!
heeheehee I look myself up on Google too.
How’s the doggy?
He’s gorgeous as always! My baby boy is coming up to seven now so he is finally slowing down a little from the hyperactive, eating machine he was before. He is happy to sit with me all day under the desk or on the settee while I write. I take him out for two walks a day and that’s when he lets off steam and runs wild with the other dogs on the walk. He’s my best boy! J

Hot bubble baths or hot tub?
Bubble bath – nothing else to say…

Are the girls enjoying school this year?
Yes! Very much so, probably more than they did last year. They both seem to really like their new teachers and have hit that age where I am giving them a little more freedom. I can feel the apron strings stretching as they reach pre-teenage and it’s time for mum to let go a little.
Fingers crossed, things will keep going well for the rest of the year!

What do you like to do for enjoyment when it’s just you?
Read, walk Max, watch lots of US TV – I am obsessed with Big Love, Rizzoli & Isles, Grey’s Anatomy…the list goes on!

If you could have any car, what would it be?
Hmm…not really into cars. I’m just happy as long as it gets me from A to B and doesn’t break down, lol!

Perfect typist or chicken pecker?
In between – I have my own way of typing but my kids say my fingers sometimes blur when I’m working so I guessed I’m pretty fast!

What’s the largest/strangest pet you’ve ever had?
The one I have now, lol! – Max is a very large, very strange Labrador…

-How do you get to know your characters?
See above – character sketches and then writing their story. More often than not by the time I get to chapter five, they are different people than I started with. I either go back and make a few small changes or if the changes are bigger I make notes as to what I want to change in the second draft and carrying on writing through.

-When you were younger, did the voices in your head (because lets face it, all us writers do hear them) make you feel different from everyone else?
Yes, and I can remember feeling very frustrated making myself understood. Of course now I’m a writer, people who have known me for years often say, “I knew you’d tell stories.” I wonder if they knew I’d be a writer or thought I lied a lot, lol!
-Who’s your own favorite character and why?
That is such a hard questions! I love Hannah from The Sharp Points of a Triangle because she was so much fun to write but I also love Jimmy from my latest release Paying The Piper, just because he’s so damn yummy and good.

-Do you get to have your own writer’s office, or is it a community place full of noise and clutter which you work?
I am lucky enough to have a log cabin type of garden office which I use as much as possible but often, due to the UK weather, I tend to be on the sofa with Max sleeping beside me. Either works.

-What inspires you to write?
Everything! Writing is a compulsion not a choice.

-What’s the first thing you’d do if your stories catapulted you to celebrity status?
Oh, lord, I can’t even think about that! I don’t know if I’d ever want to be a recognizable face because then I’d worry about my family life, but the money would certainly be welcome!

-Advice for aspiring writers on what not to do?
Never believe other people when they tell you are aspiring to an impossible dream or you’re never going to make it. The only people who don’t make it are the ones who give up. Fact.
Awesome! Those people are such downers!
Paying The Piper – Blurb:

Nightclub manager, Grace Butler is on a mission to buy the pub where her mother’s ashes are scattered – except the vendor wants to sell to anyone but her. And the vendor happens to be her father…with a secret Grace will do anything to uncover.

Social worker and all-round good guy, Jimmy Betts needs cash to buy a house for three special kids before their care home closes. In a desperate bid for cash, he agrees to a one-time ‘job’ for bad-man Karl Butler. But in a sudden turn of events, Jimmy finds himself employed by Karl’s beautiful, funny and incredibly sexy daughter, Grace.

Their lives are so different except for one unifying thread – they are both trying to escape the binds of their tyrannical fathers. But is the key to their liberty each other?

 Thank you so much for coming back to see me, Rachel! I can't wait to read Paying the Piper. 
Everyone, please Have a Sparkling Day and I'll see you on Tuesday when I have Marianne Stephens. 

Rebecca Rose


  1. Very fun interview! Love your positive attitude, Rachel!

  2. Look at that, two of my bestest girls turning up to say hi! ;)

    Lovely seeing you here - i'm off for a bit of a bbq and a glass of wine in a bit but i will be back!

    R x

  3. The roof of a hotel? For twelve hours? Were there any hot, hero-types stranded with you?

    Great post ladies!

  4. Great post, ladies!
    We have a yellow Lab, who by all indications, is going to be HUGE! Gotta love the big lug, even tho' he's at the puppy-chewing stage and nothing is off limits. :(
    Wishing you many sales!

  5. That's a great story premise, and I like the title. I was glad to hear you say that partway into your writing, you often find the characters change from what you originally wrote in your outline and character exploration. I think the writing process itself unfolds things we don't always expect. Outlines are wonderful for keeping us on target, but sometimes we have to give in to a story that seems to want to be told. I try to keep a balance, though I know I need a little more discipline with the outlining. Your method seems to keep you on target and productive. Good luck with your novel!

  6. Isn't it interesting how some characters are still our favorites long after their story is told. BTW, I love your titles, Rachel. They're very clever.

  7. Nice post gals.

    I'm curious, did you come up with the titles before you wrote your tales or did the clever titles come to as you wrote?

  8. Wow, thanks for stopping by everyone! It's interesting you are asking about my titles...I struggle with titles SO much, lol! Most of the time I come up with them after the first draft. I know the characters, the theme and what I want to say by then and the title usually pops into my head when I'm least expecting it.
    I have yet to have one of my titles changed which I am very proud of, lol!

    Calisa - do you really think I was looking at guys during those hours?? Only joking, I did notice the lovely French accents of a few, I must admit ;)

    You are all added to my list to be in with a chance to win my entire backlist - good luck!

  9. Thank you all so much for coming by! Rachel, you're always a fun guest. Good luck to everyone in the contest. :)

    Have a Sparkling Day!
    Rebecca Rose