Please describe ‘What Belongs To Her’ in twenty words.
Love and revenge against the backdrop of Templeton’s fairground - someone will win and someone will definitely lose…
What is your writing process from inspiration to your book being ready for publication?
The pain starts with coming up with the ideas, lol! Ideas are everywhere, in newspapers, TV, conversation, past stories of my own and the people I know…the difficulty comes in taking a nugget of an idea and moulding it to stretch 90,000 entertaining words.
Once I have an idea in place, with the hero and heroine’s goals, motivations and conflicts firmly established, I write a two-three page synopsis. I then write their characters sketches, which more often than not, gives me more conflict to use throughout the story. I then write the first draft from beginning to end without looking back. The hard part comes in drafts two and three!
The process from idea to finished final draft usually takes me four-five months – I then send the manuscript to my agent or editor, depending if the book is contracted or waiting to be ‘shopped’.
You have some fascinating sounding characters in your book, from the determined Sasha Todd, who is ready to take back her family’s fairground from the local crime boss, to her attraction for his son, John Jordon. Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind these characters?
This book began because of a character, Kyle Jordon, in the debut of the series, Finding Justice. He is Templeton Cove’s crime lord but readers loved him! He is a criminal with a big heart, albeit his morals aren’t too great. I wanted to bring Kyle back but in a smaller way, so I gave him a son who comes to the Cove after their estrangement.
John Jordon is tough, but very different in every other way from his father—he comes to the Cove to avenge Kyle, only to be faced with Sasha. A woman he didn’t bargain for. I had to create Sasha to be equally as tough and determined in order to give John a run for his money. To say there are sparks when these to meet is an understatement!
What research did you need to do for What Belongs To Her?
Not much! The fairground was inspired by a fairground that came to my village each Easter when I was a child. I’ve always loved the chaos, noise and smells of the fairground and as Templeton is a UK seaside town, it was the perfect place to set Sasha’s story. My books are entirely based in emotion so I often draw from my own feelings as well as those of the people I love.
Do you have a favourite writing place, or a writing routine that you follow?
My ‘writing place’ tends to move around the house within the day – I usually start on the sofa, then the kitchen table and finally locked away in my bedroom. I have no idea how or why this routine began except for the locked bedroom. This usually happens when my teenage girls arrive home from school and start hollering at each other!
I work from 8.30-3.30pm every day and then whatever time I can grab at the laptop until 7pm – after that it’s family time…this can also be known as TV and knitting time ;)
Can you tell us a little bit about your route to publication?
I have always wanted to write and when it neared the time that my youngest daughter was about to start school full-time, I had a ‘now or never moment’. I started writing short stories and when a few were published online and in women’s magazine, I attacked my dream of becoming a published novelist. My first book was published in 2007 and now I have 15 novels either contracted or published. To write for Harlequin and Kensington is a dream come true J
What do you think is the most important tip you’ve ever been given about writing a book?
“Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.” This is singularly the best advice ever to any aspiring novelist. Getting through the first draft of a book is incredibly hard after five, ten, even fifteen books, but the first is the hardest. Just write. Get it finished. You can play around with words once they on the page, but a blank page…not so much. Good luck!
Thank you, Rachel, and all the best for the success of your book.
She's ready to take back what's hers.
Since the moment a local crime boss claimed ownership of her family's fairground, Sasha Todd has dreamed of righting the wrong. Now it's time to act, and backing down from the man's estranged son is definitely not an option. After all, giving up her legacy to hot-blooded John Jordon means losing the chance to finally heal the wounds in her past.
Stopping John in his tracks—and resisting the sizzle between them—is Sasha's best defense. But there's more to him than she thought, which changes everything. With what matters most at stake, she'll have to risk a brand-new future with John, or walk away from the man whose heart belongs to her.
Rachel is offering a fab giveaway: One signed copy of What Belongs to Her plus a tote bag featuring the cover of The Temptation of Laura.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rachel likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers and would love to hear from you!
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