Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guest Blogger Rachel Brimble

Rachel Brimble is a fellow Wild Rose Press author, and a fellow alumni from the 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.”

Buy Link:

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?!/RachelBrimble

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!


  1. LOL at scarily savage. I can so relate! Lovely interview ladies. It's a blast learning more about the broad behind the book. ;-)

  2. Good luck with the "historical from hell"! Is it Victorian? "Paying the Piper" sounds like a great read!

  3. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for being my guest today! I can relate to the "from hell" part of your battle with your book if not the historical part. I've got a contemporary story that's giving me fits right now. Best of luck taming the beast!

    I can also relate to your need to succeed. It's pretty much all the motivation I need as well.


  4. Hmmm... maybe it's just historicals. I'm rewriting one I wrote over 20 years ago. I thought, piece of cake, a few edits here and there... It's taking longer than starting from scratch! Best of luck with yours.

  5. Good afternoon, ladies! Well, it's probably morning for you guys but it's 3.34pm here in the sunny (can you believe it??) UK :)

    I am finally coming to the end with the historical from hell, yay! In fact, I hope to be sending it off to my agent tomorrow. Then it will be a case of waiting to see if she agrees with me that it's terrible or totally takes me by surprise and loves it. All together now, "It's all subjective!"

    Are we all writing across the sub-genres?? Once I finish this one I can get on with my work in progress. The romantic suspense which I am loving! Such different stories, you wouldn't believe!

    Talk later,

    Rachel x

  6. Nice to meet you, Rachel. Paying the Piper sounds like a great read. It must be going around. I have a wip giving me fits so I'm taking a break and tackling a novella. Thanks for sharing your agent thoughts as I'm wondering what to do one that front. Good luck with your historical!

  7. Wonderful interview! I enjoyed getting to know you better Rachel. I'm considering subbing for an agent. What are your thoughts on debut authors and agents?

  8. Jannine, I think it's sometimes harder to revise a manuscript than to start new from scratch. Sort of like remodeling a house as opposed to building a new one!

    Karyn, I've been wondering about what to do on the agent front myself. Should I go that route? Rachel what is your advice? Why did you decide to seek representation? And can you give us some tips on how to go about looking for the right agent?


  9. Thanks for the interview, Jana and Rachel. I love getting to know other authors through these interviews. Working with your agent sounds great, Rachel - something for me to think about as I move forward (well, two steps sideways, one back and a hop or two in the right direction). Best luck with 'Paying the Piper' and all your WIP.

  10. And I'm back and it's now evening, lol!

    To answer your questions about agents - even though I am yet to make the 'big sale' I am 100% confident if I'm going to do it, it will be because of my agent's hard work. She is all the way across the Atlantic but I truly feel her belief and enthusiasm for my work. I chose an agent at this point in my writing career because I want to believe I am capable of making a living from doing what I love.
    As much as I love working with my editors at all the publishing houses I have been lucky enough to have work accepted by, I will never earn enough to keep me and my kids!
    The only way to get proper consideration from the bigger houses is through an agent so that's why I started along that route. I approached 20 UK agents and was turned down by all of them, Dawn was the second US agent I approached and we hit it off straight away.
    She is always looking for new writers - check out her website here:

    If you want to ask me any questions, feel free - my email is

    Right time for bath and a glass of wine! :)

    R xx

  11. Hey all,

    A little late getting here. Great interview ladies. Rachel, best of luck. Loved the excerpt. Thanks, too, for the advice re agents. Something to think about.

    As usual, Jannine is right. I'm working, rather re-working a contemporary/suspense from before we all started the Class of '85 series. It would be easier to start from scratch, but I'm already past the point of no return.

    Take care,

  12. Rachel and Jana, great interview ladies. I love Rachel's writing. I'm a sucker for a good historical and I remember just loving "The Arrival of Lily Curtis." I know this new "historical from hell" will be great on the end. Congrats on finding an agent!

    Best wishes

  13. Great interview - and thanks for showing me that writing in different genres is doable (we always hear about the 'brand' and staying in one genre - or creating a pseudonmy for others you want to write). Also thanks for your information on the agent - I look forward to hearing more about your agent hunt and your thoughts on acquiring an agent (re: Jana and Karyn's comments).

    Happy to see that Victorian Romances are starting to make a dent in the market (love them). Best of luck, Rachel :)

    *waves to Jana*

  14. Mackenzie, Jennifer, Calisa, and Steph, thanks so much for dropping by. I really enjoyed interviewing Rachel and she made it very easy!


  15. Rachel, thanks for the information about your agent and your agent search. And thank you very much for being my guest today. Drop by any time!


  16. Margo and Leigh, thanks for being here. Leigh, I know what you mean about the occassional side step! Happens to me all the time.

    Margo, good luck with your rewrites. If anyone can wrestle them to the ground, it's you!


  17. Thanks Janet, for your comment and for the little pep talk online. Sure miss you out on the east coast, my friend!


  18. I have SO enjoyed my time here, thanks so much for all your wonderful support!

    Steph, I have a new Victorian novella just accepted by TWRP that I hope will be out before the summer - i'll keep you posted! :)

    Nice to see you here, Janet! I LOVE Victorian and can't imagine writing any other era at the moment. Although saying that, I keep getting drawn to those cowboys... ;)

    Thanks for hosting me, Jana - would it be okay if I contact you again when my new novella is released? I'd love to come back!

    R x

  19. Rachel, I would love to have you back anytime!

    Thanks for being here.