Rachel was instrumental in setting up the inaugural RWAus Bootcampers 101 and the RWA/RWNZ CP Register. Not only that, but she's also editor extraordinaire of Hearts Talk, the RWAus monthly newsletter!
Rachel is generously giving away a book to two lucky commentators today! The winners have the choice between CHBB or TBBSC - just leave a comment to enter! (Contest will close Tuesday evening, Oz time)
Hi Rachel! Please tell us a little about yourself!
I’ve always loved stories and I adore having a big, luscious pile of books to immerse myself in. I live in
- I've been lucky enough to read your debut book already, and I absolutely adore Damon and Lily. Can you give us a taster of what this book is about?
It’s about Damon, who’s driven by some forces from his childhood, and Lily who has left him once already because he couldn’t prioritize her in his life. They come back together because they need each other – Damon has a chance to finally get his father’s company back from his uncle, if he produces a legitimate heir for the uncle to leave his fortune to; and Lily has found she’s pregnant (from when they were together before). So they both lay down their conditions and strike a deal for a marriage of convenience. Of course, Damon’s pretty keen to turn it into a ‘real marriage’ and when he sets his mind to it, he can be pretty persuasive!
- How did the idea for the plot come about?
I was lying in bed one morning in that half-awake state (where you know you’re awake but the imagination is freer) and I was thinking about this man (very sexy, naturally) attending a party thrown by his father, but he didn’t want to be there. And then he runs into his ex-lover. Once I was fully awake and started plotting it, the father changed to his uncle and all the other elements fell into line. It was a fun one to plot!
- I love when that happens! We also love hearing about sale stories here! So can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?
I’d been writing for a few years, but pretty much all over the place – whatever took my fancy at the time, from quirky romantic comedies to category romances. Then, after one of my critique partners, Robyn Grady, sold to Desire, I started reading that line more and found I loved it. Loved the stories, loved the authors’ voices. This was a place I could see myself. So I wrote a story for Desire about Damon and Lily and polished and polished it.
When I was ready, I queried my dream agent, Jenn Schober from Spencerhill. Fortunately, she liked them, took me on and then sent them on a trip to
Then Jenn emailed me to say they wanted to buy the manuscript, and lots of lovely things, including that they want to pay me actual money for it, and that they want to release Damon and Lily into the world in early 2010. They also liked Nico and Beth too and bought it soon after.
My husband saw the ‘call’ email—from my agent, Jenn Schober—when he booted up the computer in the morning (because I’m in
- LOL on paying you actual money! That's a fabulous sale story. Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?
I do write every day, but some days more than others. Some days are ‘writing days’ and they’re the ones I try and get as many words down as I possibly can. On days that aren’t ‘writing days’ I still always do something towards the book, be it polishing up earlier chapters, or brainstorming in the shower. I don’t set goals, but I’m thinking maybe I should…
- Panster or plotter?
Plotter. Though if a new twist emerges that will have flow on effects, I’m happy to change the plot.
- What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?
Deadlines! J And knowing that I worked hard to get where I am, so I don’t want to squander it by giving in when it’s tough. I want to keep moving forward, writing the best stories I can.
- Yes, deadlines are a very good motivator!! Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting published?
I think for me it was when I stopped trying to sell hats to shoe shops. Amy Andrews wrote a fabulous article a few years ago titled, “Give Them What They Want” and she had some great wisdom in there that I haven’t forgotten. I realised if the editor is looking for shoes, then no matter how pretty my hat is, she/he will have no place for it. But show her/him a nice pair of shoes, and the game is on.
- Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?
I treasure my critique partners. Melissa James and I met online. Robyn Grady lives an hour away and we met at a writer’s lunch she organised. Barbara Jeffcott Geris and I met through a crit group we were both in. Sharon Archer and I were email friends first and then began swapping work. My process with each cp is different, and also changes over time depending on needs. But we read work for each other, brainstorm and generally provide support and a cheer squad.
Thanks for having me, Christina!
The Blackmailed Bride's Secret Child
~ Silhouette Desire
North America – February 2010
~ HM&B Desire
Australia & New Zealand – March 2010
ISBN-10: 0373730117 ISBN-13: 978-0373730117
Nico Jordan is about to face the woman who ripped his heart out. When he was twenty-two, he loved Beth utterly and completely – and she left him without a word, for his older, richer half-brother. In the intervening seven years, Beth has borne his brother a son, and Nico has become wealthy in his own right, and a renowned playboy. But the torment of knowing she belongs to his brother, Kent, has never dimmed.
Beth Jordan is relieved when Kent, the man who blackmailed her into marriage, dies – she’ll finally be free. Unfortunately her freedom won’t extend to reclaiming her lost love. Seven years ago, she left the only man she’d ever loved, Nico, to protect him. But now Nico has arrived on her doorstep, wanting to see his nephew for the first time. How will she face him once he realizes he’s the father of her son?