Hi Rachel, welcome to my blog. I remember meeting you years ago at the ‘Write From the Heart’ workshop at Cirencester in 2005. Back then, you were just beginning your journey as a romance author. What have you achieved publishing-wise since then?
Wow, 17 years ago?! Where does the time go? My eldest has just turned 18 and I can remember that workshop was one of the first days I left her all day with my husband, lol! Well, my first full-length novel was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007 and since then I have had 17 novels and 2 novellas published. As well as that, I have book 18 coming out in August, book 19 in November as well as two others contracted. I’m constantly busy!
When did you first realise that you wanted to write romantic fiction?
At first, I had no idea what I wanted to write but once I started looking at my chosen reading and how these stories interested me, romantic suspense became the first genre I set out to write. I still regularly write romantic suspense, but also write mainstream romance and historical romance.
Where’s your favourite writing spot?
For the last two years, I’ve had my own home office which I adore – before that I wrote wherever I could. The kitchen table being the usual place to find me! Those days in the summer when I can take my laptop outside are my absolute favorite, though. Bliss!
Tell me a little about a typical writing day for you…
I am lucky enough to be able to write full-time so, as much as possible, I treat my writing as I would a job outside of the house. Four days a week, I work from 8.30am to 5.30pm (with a couple of dog walks in between) and the fifth day I spend visiting my parents. I try hard not to work at the weekends but, more often than not, I manage a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Who inspires you?
So many people! For my writing, it’s Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and Jodi Picoult. Personally, my mum, Maya Angelou and my friends.
Could you tell people a little about your latest release, please?
My latest release is the sixth instalment of my Harlequin Superromance series, the Templeton Cove Stories. SAVED BY THE FIREFIGHTER is a second-chance story where the hero and heroine have to come to terms with loss in order to move on. This book was inspired by the devastation I felt when I lost my beloved black Lab, Max. I just couldn’t seem to move on and poured everything I was feeling into my writing.
The readers and reviewers have loved this book which is fantastic! All these books can be read stand-alone, by the way J
Does your book have a particular theme?
See above – bereavement, strength and overcoming pain
Who is your favourite character in the book and why?
Trent, the hero. He’s strong, capable, loving and, of course, darn nice to look at! He makes this book for me with how he is determined to help Izzy (the heroine) through her trauma, despite struggling with his own losses. A real man!
Is there a villain/antagonist in your book?
No – this one is mainstream.
How long did it take to write and how did you research for it?
My books usually take me around 5-6 months from idea to final draft. As this is book 6 and I know Templeton so well, there wasn’t a lot of research involved. All the emotions I wanted to convey were already inside me.
Do you outline your books before you begin writing or do you write very much by the seat-of-your-pants?
I have found a process that works for me every time nowadays. I start with a premise and then complete character sketches for my hero, heroine and villain (if I have one). Doing the sketches usually brings out their goals, motivations and conflicts. I then compile a full chapter plan of around a paragraph for each chapter which then makes the synopsis writing easier.
After that, I write the first draft from start to finish without looking back. The hard part comes in the following drafts!
Do you have any plans for any future novels?
Always! I have four pages of ideas on a file on my computer as well as a bulging notebook in my handbag. Right now, I am finishing book 8 in the Templeton Cove series as well as working on a new series proposal for Harlequin and an outline for a new Edwardian romance. Busy, busy!
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I am definitely working my dream job, but if I had to choose something else, I would love to work with dogs in some way.
What’s the best thing about being an author for you?
All of it! I love the writing, editing, promotion. You name it, I enjoy it. I feel incredibly blessed to be doing what I love every day.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I am a Twitter nut so that’s probably the best way to keep up with my personal and professional antics, but I love to hear from readers any which way. Here are my links:
Twitter: @rachelbrimble or @templetoncove
And finally, where can readers buy a copy of your latest book?
Amazon US: http://a.co/2QInDDv
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/5vk04Sh
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saved-by-the-firefighter-rachel-brimble/1123750035?ean=9781488006906
Many thanks for an interesting interview, Rachel!