For today’s All Things Romantic Suspense Tour we have Rachel Brimble who is the author of, Getting it Right this Time, Reluctant Witness and Searching for Sophie. Hi Rachel–so glad you could stop by and chat with me today.
Let’s get right to the questions. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Rachel: I used to make up stories at around six years old and my teacher would ask me to stand up at ‘carpet time’ and tell them to the class. Ha ha! I was so proud of myself.
Then a few years later when I was eleven, I decided I would one day be a journalist or novelist. So my obsession with writing started at a very young age.
Jerri: I used to tell stories too, it just took me a long time to start writing them down. So, where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Rachel: Ideas usually come to me from watching TV dramas or the news – there are so many amazing stories out there that a writer can use to speak their imagination. If I am struggling for an idea (which is next to never!), I take a drama or news story and think of what would happen if the protagonist made different decisions, took different action.
No two writers would come up with the same story which is fantastic.
Jerri: So true, Rachel. I saw that years ago when I was on a writers prompt list. We all got the same set-up and we have to go from there. Every writer had a different take on that short intro.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
Rachel: Read, walk, see friends and family – I am very happy in my own company much to the bemusement of my family, so a lot of my leisure activities are quiet and solitude.
I live in the middle of the English countryside so I am never happier than walking the fields, lakes and historic sites with my beloved Labrador, Max, my husband and two daughters. And then of course, the evening is shared with a glass of wine and some good TV.
Jerri: It’s clearly a small world, Rachel since I too have a lab named Max and I like being alone. Some people find that strange, including my husband and kids.
So, what do you think makes a good suspense?
Rachel: When a writer successfully creates that ‘edge of the seat’ feeling, there is nothing better. A reader knows exactly when they have been well and truly pulled into the story. It is that moment when you can’t put the book down or when you are forced to, you can’t stop thinking about the characters.
I think the ideal way to create great suspense is to know your audience and write stories they can relate to – that’s why Searching For Sophie was about a daughter’s abduction and Reluctant Witness about the shooting of a popular member of a close-knit community.
I figure my readers are most likely women with families, living in a community and caring about the people they know and love. What would those women do if any of those people were in danger…
Jerri: Fantastic answer. I don’t think I’ve thought of it that way before. But I will now. Speaking of characters you can’t stop thinking about, which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what way(s)?
Rachel: This is such a hard question for me to answer because there are aspects of me in ALL my characters – male/female, young or old! I think most writers create characters without consciously adding parts of themselves to their make up but it’s there. Hmm…if I had to chose one, I would say Melanie Royal, my heroine from Searching For Sophie. She evoked a lot of emotion in me. Because I have two young daughters of my own who were only seven and five when I wrote this book, I was TOTALLY invested in the emotionally turmoil if one of them was abducted.
I hope that comes across on the page and the reader has as much of an emotional journey reading it as I did writing it.
Jerri: As a mother myself, I think that is one of our nightmare scenarios. Which of your characters would you most/least want to invite to dinner, and why?
Rachel: Most – Well, the heroes of course! Keiran (Searching For Sophie) and Daniel (Reluctant Witness) would be a meal in themselves, yum!
Least – The two villains, end of.
Jerri: All great answers, Rachel. Now would you care to share a little of your current work with us?
Rachel: My latest novel is not strictly romantic suspense but it most definitely has suspense in it and a female villain who I’d like to smack! It’s contemporary romance called Getting It Right This Time and available now from Lyrical Press.
Here’s the blurb:
Two years after her husband’s death, Kate Marshall returns home a widow, seeking security and stability for her three-year-old daughter. But when her path crosses with ‘the one who got away’…her husband’s best friend, she has to fight the desire to be with him for the sake of further heartbreak for her and her daughter.
A tough, straight talking theatrical agent, Mark Johnston is dangerously handsome, exceedingly rich, irresistibly charming – and branded by the tabloids as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors. So even though he lost the girl of his dreams five years before to his best friend, Mark finds no hardship is being single. Or so he thought…but now Kate is back.
Determined not to lose her a second time, Mark has to find a way to convince her they can work. But can Kate cope with the media interest and ruthless, money-hungry clients surrounding him being anywhere near her daughter? Or accept that Mark Johnston is really the family man he claims to be?
Getting It Right This Time from Lyrical Press
Searching For Sophie from The Wild Rose Press
Reluctant Witness from The Wild Rose Press
Again, thank you so much for coming by my blog, Rachel. I feel like I know you a little better now.