Sunday, October 31, 2010

Patricia Snodgrass

Please help me welcome Patricia Snodgrass to SR this week :)

Do you have travel when researching your books? If yes, where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
Yes in fact I prefer it. There’s nothing quite like first hand experience of a place to make the scenes real.
When I was working on Glorious, for example, my husband went to the site where Overton, the fictional town in Arkansas, was. In reality the area is Corp’s of Engineer land and a wildlife refuge, but it wasn’t hard to imagine a town there.

Did you have any other careers before devoting yourself to being a full-time writer?
I worked in restaurants, as a punch press operator in a machine shop, as a painter, a bondo girl at a car body shop (that job lasted 2 weeks, I couldn’t take the fumes) I worked in a candy store, a mess hall, worked as a secretary at an army ammunition facility. I also was a certified nurses aid and worked in a couple of nursing homes as well as a home health provider. In the early 80’s I ran my own house cleaning business. During these times, I never stopped writing.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has had a profound influence especially on my writing life. It’s the one book I read consistently every year. Stephen King has also been a tremendous influence, especially with novels such as Hearts in Atlantis. JK Rowling is also a great influence, I can relate to her financial struggle as a fledgling writer. I hope I can be half as successful as she. I am also a fan of the classics, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Charlotte Bronte. Coleridge.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
My husband and son are extremely supportive. So is the rest of my family. I have a few friends who think I should give up this foolishness and get a ‘real’ job. But for the most part, everyone is very accepting.

When not writing, how do you relax?
I paint, play guitar, spend time with family and friends. And go on walks.
What’s the perfect romantic evening?
Dinner at Johnny Carino’s with my husband, and afterwards, a long moonlit drive in the country with the radio playing classic rock.

What’s your favorite curse word?
Frak. Compliments of Battlestar Galactica. I use it all the time. It’s so frakkin’ versatile.

If you could have three wishes granted, what would you wish for?
1. for my books to sell well
2. to buy a house in the country
3. go to California via train. I think trains are very romantic.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?
A computer with wifi
My husband

What’s number one on your list of things you hope to do before you die?
To meet HH the 14th Dalai Lama

Check out Patricia at the locations below :)

You can find me on face book under Patricia Snodgrass

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rachel Brimble

What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?

Everything! I seriously love every part of it. The planning, the writing, the editing, receiving the cover art, everything. I dream of being able to earn enough to write full time because I really don’t want to do anything else.

I have a wonderful family around me, friends too, and their support and belief me is all the motivation I need. I have my wonderful husband to drag me away from the laptop when my eyes start to cross and put a crisp, chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc in my hand. What more could a lady ask for? So with a successful writing career added to the mix, I will be in heaven.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A plotter – an idea usually comes to me through a character. I tend to hear either the hero or heroine speaking in my mind and then I spend the next few weeks listening until I figure out, firstly where their story belongs – i.e: contemporary or historical, suspense or comedy, traditional or erotic…

Once I have that sorted in my mind, I have a rough premise of the story and then I will sit down to start the painful process of writing a two or three page synopsis.

With that done, I break down the chapters and then the writing begins – but things always, always change so there is a definite bit of a pantser in me too!

Do you write under more than one name? Why?
I do. My mainstream/category romance, both contemporary and historical are written under my real name, Rachel Brimble but my erotic romance is written under the pseudonym of Rachel Leigh.

I did this for two reasons – firstly, my daughters are at the age they are starting to be interested in what I write and asking when they can read it. My Rachel Brimble novels are often rated as ‘spicy’ on my publishers’ websites so it is bad enough they are asking questions about these books but if they were to find out about the Rachel Leigh books? Well, now…

And secondly, I wanted the two to be marketed separately so that my Rachel Brimble readers know what the sensuality level will be between the pages as will my Rachel Leigh readers. But of course, ideally, I’d like my readers to buy and enjoy both…hint, hint!

Describe to us your typical day
I usually wake at seven am and get my daughters up and ready for school. Once I have dropped them off, I rush home and take the dog out for a walk before squeezing in half an hour on the laptop. This half an hour usually entails answering emails or if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, I use this time to upload my guest authors’ blog posts.

Then it’s a quick change of clothes and off to work from 10am to 2.30pm – then back to school to pick the kids up and then home.

Now, this is where I can either be good or naughty – do I get on with the pile of ironing, cleaning and chores I need to get done or do I grab a couple of hours on the laptop while ignoring all that and the kids?? Mmm, no comment.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
The rule of thumb I try to live by is one Rachel Brimble project and one Rachel Leigh going on at any one time. That way I can flit between the two, depending what kind of mood I’m in.

I really enjoy this method and hope it shows in the finished results that I never become the slightest bit bored with what I’m writing – it keeps my mind alert and fresh and hopefully the same goes for the readers’.

Future Projects/Upcoming Releases

Rachel Brimble – My next release is likely to be from The Wild Rose Press and it is my first novella-length story entitled Transatlantic Loving. I am so excited to have signed the contract on this one! It is part of a new series from The Wild Rose Press, called the Class of ’85.

It is a series set in the town of Summerville and each story revolves around characters who are invited to attend the high school reunion. The first book was released August 11th but my date has yet to be confirmed. I will update my website as soon as I know.

My next novel is due out January 2011, a contemporary romance about second chances entitled Getting It Right This Time with Lyrical Press.

Rachel Leigh – a short story called Explicitly English contracted once again with The Wild Rose Press. This is my first erotic romance and I am excited beyond belief! Still waiting a release date on this one too but I really hope it will be available soon.

What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
With the risk of being judged as the worst mother in the world – there is nothing I like more than paying my daughters’ to rub my feet while I sit back enjoying a glass of wine and catching up on my favourite US dramas! (I know, I know – terrible, terrible mother!)

Which is sexier? Boxers or briefs?
Boxers every time for me!

Who’s more fun, bad boys or perfect gentlemen and why?
Mmm, perfect gentlemen – bad boys are out there for everyone to see, but a perfect gentleman is like a Christmas present. Surely there is nothing sexier that drawing open the ribbon and slowly peeling back the paper until you find the raw, hot-blooded male who will take you when he wants, how he wants, make you scream out his name while…ahem…yes, perfect gentlemen are my thing!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?
A copy of Gone With The Wind – only book I have read more than three times!
Pair of tweezers – don’t ask!
Pen and paper (is that four??)

What’s the number one on your list of things you hope to do before you die?
Make a comfortable living as a romance novelist!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Susanna Ives

Thank you so much for hosting me on Seriously Interviewed and Reviewed. This is a great site, and I’m pleased to be a part of it.

What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
I’ve always had stories playing in my head, but I never thought I could write them down, especially considering the grades I received in high school and college composition. After several years in corporate jobs and then staying home with my babies, I decided I had to write a story and that I didn’t care if I were a good writer or not. For several years, I studied writing and craft. I joined writing groups and made friends with other writers. Slowly, I began to feel I could articulate my stories and my imagination onto the page…and that is my favorite thing about being a writer.

Do you have travel when researching your books? If yes, where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
I’ve traveled in Western Europe a great deal. Luckily, when I was writing Rakes and Radishes, I got a chance to visit London. I took lots of pictures to help me visualize what my characters would see and feel as they moved through the London streets. I tried to visit museums in the London row houses to see how the floor plans were laid out.

Is there anything special you do to get in the mood to write?
I react strongly to music. I had jazz by Chris Botti and Diana Krall playing in the background when I wrote Rakes and Radishes.

If I need a mood or certain emotional response for a character, I find a song that expresses that emotion and repeat the song, trying to hold the emotion long enough to write how it feels. When Kesseley was spiraling down into rakedom, I listened to Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” over and over. Henrietta seemed to prefer songs by “The Sundays.”

On my website is the Rake and Radishes playlist (

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That your past and your past mistakes don’t have to dictate your future.

I think what I love about my characters is their resilience. They make terrible mistakes and must deal with the consequences of their decisions both on others and on their own psyches. Henrietta must realize the pain her childish schemes have on Kesseley. Her selfish love for Edward falls away for a mature love for Kesseley. There is even a point in the book when Henrietta realizes she might not have Kesseley’s affections again. She has to let him go to another woman with wishes for his well-being. I think that has to be the hardest, yet most compassionate love of all -- letting someone go.

Meanwhile, Kesseley has spent a lifetime defining himself as what he is not: his father. During the course of the story, Kesseley has to travel into his fears in order to come out his own man. A man ready to truly love Henrietta.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
Yes, I’m a little more stressed (laughs). In truth, it’s made me more protective of my creative space, as well as forced me to define what I want as a writer.

*Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.

I’m working away on a Victorian romance. I won’t say much because I’m afraid of jinxing myself.

You can find me on the web at On twitter I am @SusannaIves

What song would best describe your life?
Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.”

If you were a superhero, what special power would you have?
Super Mixologist Chick. I would arrive on the scene and create the perfect mixed drink. Actually, I’m terrible at mixing drinks. It’s a gift I don’t possess.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?
iPod, a power supply, laptop – I’m a wired girl.