Class of '85 series. Her novella Transatlantic Loving is part of the series. Here's Rachel's bio:
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press. She recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel hopes to have a further two novels, one contemporary and one Victorian published in 2012.
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. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…
And here's my interview with Rachel...
Jana: Both of us live outside of the US. Do you think it’s harder for writers such as us to break into the American market? Do you ever find any resistance to UK settings by agents or editors?
Rachel: I actually found it easier to break into the US market than the UK market! In the UK, there are very few, if any publishers that will look at your work without an agent. I struggled to find a UK agent and after endless rejections, decided to approach some US publishers direct. The rest is history!
Jana: According to your website, you write in a variety of romance sub-genres, including historical and contemporary. Do you plan to continue to branch out in different sub-genres or will you concentrate on one type of romance in the future?
Rachel: I am writing the “historical from hell” at the moment so feel as though I will never write another full-length historical again, lol! Whether that will change if and when I sell this one, we’ll have to wait and see. I love writing across the sub-genres but I am sure there will come a time when I have to stick to one but until my agent advises me to do so, I’ll keep going as I am.
I have a romantic suspense under consideration, a contemporary romantic comedy on my agent’s desk waiting to be read and I will be handing in my latest historical to her next month.
Jana: I also read that you secured an agent about a year ago. Congratulations! Does having an agent change the way you write, or what you write? What are your goals for the future? Will you continue to epublish?
Rachel: Having an agent doesn’t change the way I write but it’s certainly improved my writing! I have a fabulous agent who was once an editor so she goes through two or three rounds of edits on all her authors’ manuscripts. She is thorough and it is a lot of work but I have learned SO much from her. I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful agent championing my work.
My goals are to produce better and better books and hopefully one day break into the big commercial market. I will continue to epublish as well as print because epublishing is here to stay and I truly believe every author should embrace it.
I love my Kindle and I can’t see them ever going away now they’re here!
Jana: What do you do to market your books?
Rachel: The majority of my promotion is done online with interviews such as this, guest blog posts as well as daily updates on my Twitter and Facebook pages. In addition, I host two or three authors every week on my own blog, which generates new traffic to my site all the time.
Jana: Where do you get ideas for your stories?
Rachel: Most of my story ideas come from newspaper articles or stories from the past that I remember and affected me on a deeply emotional level. As a romance writer, emotion is key so you have to be able to ‘feel’ the story or problem in order to write it well.
Another great way to gain new story ideas is to watch your favorite TV shows and if you liked a particular episode, ask yourself why and if you would have written it what would you have done differently. Et voila, your next story idea!
Jana: What’s next for you? Tell me about your next or newest release? What are you working on now – your current WIP?
Rachel: My newest release is Paying The Piper available now from Lyrical Press – here’s the 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?
She sat bolt upright. “Where are you going?”
“To the soup kitchen. Four of my kids have been helping out down there today, so if you don’t need me ‘til seven--”
“Can I come?”
“What?” Gerald echoed.
Jimmy stared at her. Was she serious? But knew he wouldn’t refuse her when her eyes were wide with that damn innocent doe-eyed look again and her cheeks flushed pink. He swallowed, clenched his hands into fists inside his pockets.
“You want to come to the soup kitchen?” he asked, hoping against hope he’d gotten the wrong end of the proverbial stick.
She winked, and it had as much the same effect as if she’d wrapped her hand around his penis. “Why not?”
He opened his mouth. Shut it. Opened it, took a breath, but still nothing came out. Her smile widened. “Cat got your tongue, Jimmy Boy?”
Just a few short days ago at her mother’s pub, he’d wanted to ravish her, possess her, let her know what she did to him. And now the same desire coursed through his veins again. She never stopped surprising him and it just added more fuel to the already burning fire.
“And why would you want to do that?” he asked.
“Beats going into the club early,” she said, brushing past him.
She wandered across the room. Her slender body sashaying around the furniture and then her piece de resistance was to snake all five feet nine inches of it across the oblong dining table to grab her bag--the sight of her perfect ass and even better legs sent Jimmy’s senses skyrocketing. His nostrils flared. Grace by name, Grace by nature. She was beautiful, sexy, funny, and he didn’t doubt for one minute she knew exactly what the sight of her did to him.
She turned around and hitched the bag onto her shoulder. “My life is sad. I’ve got nothing else planned for the afternoon. Come on, Jimmy, help me show my father I have a life away from him. Even if it is a complete lie, for now.”
He threw his hands in the air. “Fine.”
As for what’s next? I have a new romantic suspense doing the publisher rounds as we speak. My agent is hoping is sells as part of a trilogy, so watch this space. As I said before, I am working on the “historical from hell” right now and really hoping and praying my agent like it a whole lot more than I do right now, lol!
Jana: How can readers connect with you online?
Jana: What keeps you motivated?
My need to succeed! I have been writing seriously for six years now and would really love to make this my vocation. I’d love to think I could earn enough one day to support my family on just my writing income. That is the dream.
Mostly though, I don’t need any motivation to write – it’s a compulsion. I HAVE to do it. If I don’t write for two days running, I become scarily savage – ask my kids, lol!
Thanks for joining me today, Rachel!