1. Tell me about your book What A Woman Desires and where you got your inspiration for it?
What A Woman Desires is my third Victorian romance with eKensington/Lyrical Press and is set in and around the famous city of Bath, England. The majority of the story takes places in the small village of Biddestone. I love the theme of women’s independence in my historical romances and Monica is a stage actress. This was a difficult vocation for women to obtain in the 1800s so I wanted to take the reader back to her roots…to how it all began.
2. What is one misconception people have about you?
That I’m confident! I am a very chatty person once I get to know someone but initially very introvert and tend to hold back and let others lead the conversation. One of my goals is to do a book signing/public talk one day but even the idea terrifies me!
3. What is your favourite character from your book and why?
Monica will always be very special to me because she appeared in the book before this one (The Temptation of Laura) and as soon as she appeared I knew she deserved a story of her own. Whenever she spoke to me it was like taking dictation. She was a joy to write. Strong, sensitive, caring and independent…I had a lot of emotion to play with.
4. Have you ever written a book that you loved but were unable to get published?
Fortunately no! I am lucky enough to have had everything I’ve written published although the first book went through many rejections and rewrites until it was eventually accepted by The Wild Rose Press. Since then, I have had at least one book a year released and now write for eKensington/Lyrical Press and Harlequin Superromance.
5. What was the toughest criticism given to you as a writer and the nicest compliment?
The toughest – I was told by a contest judge to give up because I would never be published. What is the purpose of saying that to someone pursuing a dream? I ignored the advice and hope every aspiring writer out there does too.
Biggest compliment – this is either when readers tell me a scene made them cry or when they say they couldn’t put the book down. Music to an author’s ears!
6. Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
My mother. She is a voracious reader and encouraged my brother and I to be the same. I am happy to say it worked, we both read A LOT. Once I discovered Enid Blyton around the age of seven or eight, I knew I wanted to write and set about writing and making my own story books. It wasn’t until my youngest daughter started school that I had my ‘now or never’ moment and fully committed to my dream. The rest is history!
7. What are you ambitions for your writing career?
My biggest ambition is to continue to write for the rest of my life – I LOVE what I do. It’s a compulsion and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I would love to earn enough money to support my husband and kids and be able to travel while working. As for the writing itself, I really want to try the Georgian or Edwardian eras as well as big single title contemporary romantic suspense.
8. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
Yes – I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mum to two teenage daughters so I try to treat my writing like a full-time job and work from 8.30-5.30 during the week. I aim to write at least 2,000 words per day.
9. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I actually write a series of books for Harlequin Superromance – they are either mainstream romance or romantic suspense stories set in the same UK seaside town of Templeton Cove. Writing a series is a dream come true for me. It’s something I’ve always aspired to do. I love bringing previous characters back, either in cameo or as a main character. as well as getting to know the town better with each new book. Templeton Cove is very special to me.
10. What happens when you get half scared to death twice?
Haha! Great question because I’m living proof of this! You walk around far more aware of the world, that’s for sure. The two events in my life that half scared me to death were my daughter being knocked down when she was twelve. She was thrown into the air and on the descent her head smashed the car windshield. After several hours waiting for an ambulance and in the hospital, she walked away with only bruising and lacerations. Miracle! The second was being rescued by helicopter during the 2010 French floods.
From country girl to actress of the stage, one woman dares to live her dreams—but is she brave enough to open her heart…?
Monica Danes always wanted more than the village of Biddestone had to offer. After a failed courtship to a man of her parents’ choosing, she fled for the city of Bath and never looked back. Today, Monica is the undisputed queen of the theater—a wealthy, independent woman. But when she is called home in the wake of tragedy, Monica returns—intending to leave again as soon as possible.
Thomas Ashby has been a groom at the Danes estate since he was a boy—and has been enamored with Monica for almost as long. He knows he isn’t a suitable match for his master’s daughter, despite the special bond he and Monica have always shared—and their undeniable attraction. But now that she’s returned, Thomas has one last chance to prove himself worthy—and to show Monica a life, and a love, she won’t want to give up...
Rachel lives in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013, followed by a second in January 2014 and the third is released Jan 2015.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.