Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rachel Brimble's here today!

Happy Launch Day, Rachel! 

Love's Debt is now here...
I extend a hearty welcome to fellow romance author, Rachel Brimble. I asked Rachel to update us on what's been happening to her lately, since she's had some fantastic developments in her writing career.

What work is it that you're mainly promoting just now?

I am here to promote my latest novella, Love’s Debt – it is a Victorian romance set in the English maritime city of Bristol. I loved writing this story! The hero, Joseph, is quite possibly my favorite hero so far. 

Here’s the blurb:

To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern.  The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies.  Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.

Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison.  Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers.  Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.

As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?

It's a fantastic cover Rachel, and she looks quite a character! But let me ask you a few more questions.  

Have you any new tips to give to fairly new authors?

‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft’ – best advice I ever received from a fellow author.
Once you release yourself from the pressure of a perfect first draft and just create, you will be amazed how much easier the words flow and how many pages you can write in a short time. Remember, everything can be edited – enjoy the process!

Are you a plotter who has the framework made first before you start writing chapter 1?

I am to a degree – I tend to write to fill out a character sketch for the hero, heroine and villain and then that will more often than not bring up their goals, motivations and conflicts. Then I’ll write a two to three page synopsis. After that, I dive straight in and write the first draft from beginning to end. Once I type ‘The End’, I let it rest for a couple of weeks and then draft two is where the real work starts….

Ah, the dreaded draft two and maybe three and more! Do you ferret out a photo of a possible hero/heroine and use that for inspiration?

Yes, always – I need at least a picture for my hero, heroine and when I need one, a villain. I use the picture to keep me grounded in hair color, eye color, build etc but little else. I know some writers who use a picture to kick start the character themselves but that’s never happened for me. I don’t know who these people are until they start talking to me. That only happens when I fill out their character sketches.

I now choose my images first, as well, and find it a great strategy. What about settings? Do you tend to write about places you’ve been to…or just ones you would like to visit?
I tend to set my stories in places I know well although I do sometimes give them fictional names so I can add and subtract landmarks at will, lol! My historicals are set in Bath and Bristol, both of which I know and love. My contemporaries tend to be the town where I live and the surrounding villages, although none of the names are real.

I think I’ll always do this so I have a clear picture of the geography in my head at all times = I suppose it’s a bit lazy in that there isn’t much research involved!

Were there any triggers in your personal life which led to the plotline for a book?

Funny you should ask that! For the first time ever, I have used a real life event in my own life as inspiration for one of my novels. The story is finished now so I hope will be my next romantic suspense with Harlequin. The event is my rescue by helicopter from the 2010 French floods.

The holiday park my family and I were staying at was submerged by a freak flood – how could I not use that to give an explosive opening to a new book? ;)

How do you interweave secondary characters into your writing?

My secondary characters usually come along when I need an additional character to bring out something from the main characters. By that I mean, a bit of backstory, or getting them to right a wrong, or make them realize they are making a mistake…the list goes on. I think secondary characters have a definite role of support –they’re an important tool enabling the author to ‘show’ something rather than ‘tell’ it.

You've got some excellent news about the progress you're making with new writing. What's your biggest writing related challenge in the coming year?

To deliver the book that is yet to be written but contracted with Kensington (yay!!) and also at least one more romantic suspense for Harlequin. Having said that, me being me, I won’t be happy if I don’t manage to write at least one more after that before Christmas 2013.

That's a lot of work lined up there, Rachel. Best wishes from me with all your projects

Thanks for having me here today, Nancy – I really enjoyed answering these questions!

Excerpt and buy link for “Love’ Debt”:

Joseph Jacobs closed the tavern door behind him and paused a moment to take in his surroundings. As a man used to looking over his shoulder and sensing trouble, experience taught him to be aware of others before they became aware of you. He narrowed his gaze. The meager number of patrons at the tables surprised him at an hour when he expected the bar to be fairly busy. He glanced at the clock; maybe it wasn’t time for the workers yet.
            He shifted his gaze to the woman standing beneath the clock and his heart kicked. Her green-gold eyes held him where he stood. She stared and Joseph swallowed, willing some words to come forth from his frozen tongue or at least a smile to curve his paralyzed lips.
She lifted her eyebrows and slowly pulled a cloth from her shoulders. Her hair was a mass of fire-tipped curls around her oval face, her skin creamy-white and her parted lips, a soft delicate pink. Joseph cleared his throat and belatedly removed his hat.
“Good evening, miss.”
Her smile slipped easily into place. “Good evening to you, sir.” Her voice was smooth, clear and full of confidence. “Are you looking to quench your thirst or just planning on soaking up the atmosphere?”
Joseph inhaled a long breath through flared nostrils as if trying to smell her. Something told him she’d smell of lavender…or maybe musk. Something to throw a man off guard, to lower his defenses.
            He stepped forward. “Neither. I am looking for the landlord. Would you happen to know if he’s available?”
            Her gaze lingered on his a moment longer before she looked to the four glasses at the table beside her. She grasped them expertly between her fingers and carried them behind the bar without answering his question.
            Joseph couldn’t take his gaze from the natural sway of her hips beneath the deep burgundy dress she wore, the bustle a little too prominent for the current fashion showing her lack of money to afford better. Why else would a woman with the features of an artist’s model be working in a tavern unless necessity demanded it?

Bio & Links:

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, embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with small presses as well as securing her first contract with Harlequin Superromance in May 2012 and a two book Victorian romance contract with Kensington in August.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, 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…

Thanks for coming today, Rachel.



  1. Fabulous interview, ladies.

    Happy Release Day, Rachel! You must be so excited. :-)

    Just got my copy. Now I need to find the time to read it. Early night, methinks...

  2. What a fun 2013 writing outlook. Congrats on your release - It looks great!

  3. Wonderful interview ladies! Rachel, I just love your new cover and enjoyed the blurb and excerpt. And HUGE congrats on all your success this year. How exciting for you :) Also, I'm going to try and borrow your advice about writing a crappy 1st draft, that's still hard for me to let that internal editor move aside until I type the end. lol

  4. Hello to Cathie, Lisa and Christine. Thanks for popping in to congratulate Rachel on her fantastic new release! Let's get going on those crappy first drafts-I definitley must do!

  5. Good morning, ladies!! Sorry for the delay, i have been manically completing interviews and blog requests this morning, but now i'm free to chat all day. Well, in between the start of my newest 'crappy' first draft, of course, lol!

    Cathie, you are fabulous - hope you enjoy "Love's Debt" (nervous now!). Let me know what you think :)

    Hi Lisa and Christine, and thank you for your good wishes - I am so excited about the year ahead but also know it's going to be a lot of hard work. I am checking my inbox endlessly right now waiting for one of the editors to tell me what's next. No doubt, both manuscripts will come back with edits at the same time *sigh*

    Thanks for hosting me, Nancy - so good to be here!

    Rachel x

  6. Love that cover! I've been waiting to read this book and now I have it. Good luck and great sales.

  7. Great interview! And it's so cool that your career is going in such exciting directions, Rachel.

  8. Hi Sandra, you are a SWEETHEART! Thank you so much for buying a copy of Love's Debt :) Really hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks, Liz! I'm thrilled...if not, a little scared. Even when things like this happen, the self-doubt never goes away. Am I good enough? What if I can't write another story they will like? Horrible!

    You ladies are really making my day - thank you :D

    Rachel x

  9. I'm excited LOVE'S DEBT is finally out. But, more importantly, I'm proud of your recent successes. Yay you. This couldn't be happening to a nicer writer. Good luck with sales, darlin'.

  10. Wow! Congrats on your new release. Sounds like SUCH a great story, Rachel! Super and fun interview. :)

  11. Aww, thanks, Vonnie - you are one of the nicest writers around too! I wouldn't be where I am without your encouragement to sign with Dawn. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    Rachel x

  12. Oops, we crossed over there, Joya! Thanks for your best wishes - you know how much I loved Beneath the Surface. I just hope i get half as good a review as you from RT Reviews mag one day. That's one of my missions!

    Rachel x

  13. Hello to Sandra, Liz, Joya and Vonnie. I'm so glad you've stopped by to wish Rachel mega success. Roses support is fantastic!

  14. Rachel,

    You have been busy. Congratulations on all the upcoming books and best of luck with this current one. Love the cover and the excerpt.

  15. Hi Margo!

    Long time, no speak! Thanks for the congrats and yes, I have been busy but things will certainly be slowing down now i've got so much editing to do, lol! The new work in progress is about to get its first bashing today so we'll see how I get on - hope to write the opening 2,000 words, at least :)

    Thanks for hosting me, Nancy - i am thrilled to have spoken to so many friends!

    Rachel x

  16. It's been lovely having you here on your release day, Rachel. I wish you the very best in sales, and happy writing!


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