This Writing Life #7 - Rachel Brimble -
Today, I'm delighted to interview author Rachel Brimble about her writing life. Rachel has written over twenty novels, and her latest book is 'A Rebel at Pennington's.'
Me: Welcome to my blog, Rachel.
Rachel: Thank you so much for having me! It’s great to be here.
Me: My first question is what, for you, is the best thing about being a writer?
Rachel: The best thing about it is that I get to live in my imagination every day! I love writing and truly believe it is my calling – if, for any reason, I can’t write for more than two or three days, I don’t feel like me, like there is something missing, and I become strangely depressed very quickly. Writing for me is a compulsion – one that I love!
Me: Have you always written fiction?
Rachel: I have, even when I was a child. I discovered Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series when I was around the age of eight or nine and the books inspired me to write stories of my own. I used to write them on sheets of paper which I would bind together with coloured ribbon. I’d love to be able to read one today!
Me: As a child, did you want to be a published author when you grew up?
Rachel: I would say I knew there was something about books and writing that started to stir inside of me when I was very young, but it was when I discovered my first Harlequin/Mills&Boon novel around the age of fourteen, that I became convinced I would write a romance novel one day. Life, of course, got in the way for many, many years afterwards, but I got there in the end…
Me: What made you start writing as an adult?
Rachel: I was a stay at home mum and when my youngest daughter started school in 2005, I had a ‘now or never’ moment and told my husband I want to stay at home and write around the kids. Being the fantastic man he is, he told me to go for it. My first book, 'Searching For Sophie,' was published in 2007 and I have had at least one book published every year since.
Me: Can you tell us a little more about your journey to publication?
Rachel: I started out writing short stories and articles and soon managed a little success online, in competitions and, occasionally, in women’s magazines. This gave me the confidence to start writing a novel and when my first book was published I was over the moon. Twenty plus novels later and I still get the same thrill every time I secure a new book contract.
Me: What is a typical writing day for you?
Rachel: I am lucky enough to be able to write full-time so I usually work from 8.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday with lunch and a couple of dog walks in between. I try my best not to work in the evenings and weekends and be present for my family – the trouble is, as my daughters grow older, they’re so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t mind ‘mum is in the office’ again!
Me: Do you aim for a particular word count?
Rachel: Not really, but I’m happiest when I’ve written at least 2,000 words and maybe a blog post or interview. That’s a productive day for me.
Me: Do you prefer silence or music while you’re writing?
Rachel: To actually write, I need silence but if I’m working on promo stuff like blogging and interviews, social media etc, I always have Magic radio playing through my laptop. I love 80s music!
Me: Where do you write?
Rachel: My home office is our spare bedroom – I LOVE my office. The walls are pale blue, and I have bookshelves covering two walls and the wall in front of me is covered with cork. I usually have pictures on there of my work in progress plus the book I’ll be writing next. I am a very visual writer and pictures really help me visualise my characters, their homes, workplaces etc. Every week, I tell myself I’ll take my laptop somewhere else for a couple of hours for a change of scenery but I very rarely do!
Me: If you could give some advice to your younger self when you were just starting out on your writing journey, what would you say?
Rachel: The best writing advice I ever received was ‘give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft’ – as soon as I embraced this mindset, my productivity soared, and I now write every book this way. It gives me the freedom to get the story down and then I have pages and pages to edit and polish. That’s my favourite part of the process!
Me: Thanks so much, Rachel, for telling us about your writing life.
Rachel’s latest novel, ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ was published on 5th February:
‘A Rebel at Pennington’s: One woman's journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for the fans of the TV series’ Mr Selfridge’ and ‘The Paradise.’
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington's Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women's progression and will do anything to help secure the vote.
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.
When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life's challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists' determination to secure the vote.
Will Esther's rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?
To buy ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s,’ please click on the following links or copy and paste into your browser:
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/d/aMjIi3K
Amazon US: http://a.co/d/dAhCQiZ
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-rebel-at-penningtons-rachel-brimble/1130076169;jsessionid=8DABBC4C49B4DD0FB3A1A524685B8BB2.prodny_store02-atgap09?ean=9781788546515
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_Brimble_A_Rebel_at_Pennington_s?id=r5RtDwAAQBAJ
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018 with book two coming February 2019.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers from all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here (or copy and paste into your browser) to go to her website : https://rachelbrimble.com/
Amazon Author Page: