Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Rachel Brimble!

Slow and steady wins the race…

I decided to write a little bit about my writing journey today seeing as I am enjoying the status of becoming a new Harlequin Superromance author. My first novel with them will be available January 2013, yay!

To say I am happy would be a gargantuan understatement!

The thing is, this success did not happen overnight by any means and no matter what happens with regards to my future career, I will always shout the benefits and advantages of the quality small presses out there. For me, they are worth writing for and they are worth learning from.

Too many aspiring writers view small press as a last resort. They write their stories and then submit to every agent going, every big publisher that takes unsolicited submissions, every mid-list publisher until they say, “Fine, small press it is then.”

Then wonder why they get rejected from them too.

For me, writing is a craft – a huge robust learning curve that you have to open your mind and heart to if you stand any chance of making it. Reputable small presses are run by people who love books, love writers and especially love readers. They want to deliver good quality stories that will appeal to their genre readers and more than that, they want them to come back for more.

So why would they accept a story that you tossed at them as a last resort? They won’t. They know they deserve more respect than that.

I started writing short stories about ten years ago and gradually moved on to longer and longer novels, until I found my happy place at around 85-90,000 words. I went from being multi-published with the likes of The Wild Rose Press and Lyrical Press to my position now of being a Harlequin Superromance writer, hoping to secure a series of books. Yet, I will endeavor to write novellas for the people who molded my success as often as humanly possible. Why? Because I won’t forget the people who believed in me from the start.

You can do this too – if you believe in yourself and are willing to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible. The editors I have worked with have taught me SO much and I know I wouldn’t be anywhere near the writer I am today without them.

Embrace small press – I do!

Rachel’s latest release is a “Love’s Debt” a Victorian romance novella, available Sept 5th from The Wild Rose Press.

Love’s Debt by Rachel Brimble

To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern.  The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies.  Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.

 

Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison.  Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers.  Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.

As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?

Excerpt:

“No, I take it from here.” His jaw tightened. “I mean it, Milly. I don’t want you in there.”

“Why are we arguing about this? I thought we’d built a trust between us.”
His gaze darted over her face, lingered at her lips. “This has nothing to do with trust.”

“Then what?”
“Pride. If I haven’t got that…if I’ve stooped so low as to put a woman at risk, then there’s no point in going on at all. I won’t do it, Milly. I won’t expose you to whatever is behind that door. If you can’t stay here, then go back to the tavern. I’ll see you there shortly.”

His face was set, his shoulders stiff and Milly’s irritation grew. She poked a finger into his chest. It was like iron. She swallowed. “Have you heard the saying, pride before a fall?” He nodded. “Good, because if people don’t reach out to other people, Joseph Jacobs, they fall further than ever with nobody there to catch them.”

“Milly–”

She raised her hand. “Go. Do what you want. I’ve got more important things to worry about that a man full of so much pride, he looks fit to burst.”

Turning, Milly gripped her bag tightly in her hand and strode away. She did not look back, and she didn’t stop walking. Her stupid heart had let her down. Made her get involved in a man’s life and begin to care about him. Well, the buck stopped there. No more. If Joseph Jacobs ever needed her help again, he could take a long walk off the dock.

Buy Link:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=4967

Rachel’s Links:

http://www.rachelbrimble.com/

http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-Brimble/181873201887441

Twitter: @rachelbrimble

HUGE HUGE Thanks to Rachel, a most wonderful woman, writer and friend. She’s an inspiration to me and I couldn’t possibly agree more than I do with this beautifully articulated post. Small presses are amazing gifts and opportunities for a new author. I sing the praises of mine long and often :) Thank you Rachel for sharing with us today. Congratulations on your new and upcoming titles. I cannot wait to read them!

 

14 comments to Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Rachel Brimble!

  • An inspiring post, Rachel. And so true.

    I’m with you. Starting with smaller publishers is a solid first step on the ladder. You learn. You develop your skills further. And you try different ways. It opens the door to bigger adventures.

    What an exciting time for you! Good luck with Love’s Debt!

  • I agree. I haven’t made it big yet, but small press has been an excellent way to get yourself out there. When I first started writing, which was about the same time as you, the only small presses were erotica publishers. That I knew of anyway. It’s almost a godsend to find smaller presses. I’m grateful for the one who take a chance on me. And I’ve noticed a trend lately. Some of the writers getting picked up by the bigger pubs have solid backgrounds with small presses. Like Cathy said, it opens doors.

    Congrats on the success. Very excited for you!

  • I’m here!! Thrilled to see two of the ladies who have had a personal hand in my success ;) Thank you for your wonderful suggestions, comments and often shoulders to cry on throughout my LONG journey, Cathie & Jo!

    Small press are so important and should never be underestimated – I sincerely hope to carve out time to write a novella or two as often as possible to submit to small press. The exposure is fantastic and they are a sure fire way to meet other talented writers and readers.

    Rachel x

  • I love the personal attention and respect given me by small presses. I had some health issues last year and the owner of the small press I’m with emailed me twice to see how I was doing. I can’t imagine getting that kind of attention from the bigger houses. With smaller presses, you have the amazing benefit of a nurturing environment. I respond well to that. In fact, I’ve recently contracted a short story to another small press. Published is published, folks. And we need to keep our names out there.

  • Ooops! I forgot! Lovely post, Rachel. Hugs to you, darlin’.

  • Fantastic blog. Small press has been an excellent place to start. I’ve enjoyed being a part of quality publishing companies. I’ve learned a lot.

  • Congratulations on your success. I know I’ve learned a lot from the small press experience.

  • Thanks for stopping by, ladies – huge wave to Vonnie who is an inspiration to us all! If you ever need a kind word, she’s the lady to go see :)

    I’ve heard of good and bad experiences with small press but the one thing that is absolutely constant is that they are an excellent route to gain experience, learn the ropes and most of all, guide your writing and make it better. I honestly believe that I have learned a vital lesson from each of my SIX editors, lol!

    Rachel x

  • I couldn’t agree more with your blogpost Rachel. Without the knowledge, expertise, encouragement and kindness shown to me by the BEST small press in the world (IMHO), I doubt I’d be where I am today. I love how completely unselfish they are in guiding a writer’s potential until it shines – and I love how they make you feel no question is too stupid to ask! :) There are no egos – just quality people determined to bring out the best quality books possible. I feel so honoured to be a part of something so wonderful. I can’t wait to buy your Harlequin debut Rachel! I’ve enjoyed watching your career take off. I think ‘Searching for Sophie’ was my very first TWRP book :) It was just the start of the avalanche! :)

  • Allison Byers

    Love’s Debt was one of my favorite books to edit. I wish you all the best at Harlequin. You have a great way of telling a story and a super author to work with. Warm regards. Allison

  • Hi Allison!! (waving madly), you were a wonderful editor to work with and I really hope to be back by the end of the year with another historical novella if Harlequin don’t keep me too busy, lol! Thanks so much for your kind words, they mean a LOT :)

    Hi LaVerne! I didn’t know you’d read Searching For Sophie – it feels like a lifetime since I wrote that, I think i started it in 2005 and it was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2007. Wow, the lessons I have learned since then…glad you liked it enough to buy more from TWRP. They are indeed a fabulous, fabulous publisher!

    Thanks for hosting me, Julie, i’m having a fab time :)

    Rachel
    x

  • I endorse all that’s been said above. The small presses that I’ve had the pleasure of working with have been excellent professional mentors as well as a boost to the morale. Best wishes to Rachel and to Julie!

  • I whole heartedly agree with Rachel on this. I’ve had several traditionally published books, but couldn’t find a home for my longer books – books that didn’t quite fit any editor’s list. Then I found The Wild Rose Press had a line specifically for my style of longer books! I love to write over forty characters in contemporary situations best described as Strong Romantic Elements. I was thrilled to find my home at WRP and to have the opportunity to meet lovely ladies like Rachel B.
    One for the Road and Too Close for Comfort are like my children, and I’m so happy that WRP published them! (well Too Close for Comfort won’t be out until late October, but it will be!)

  • Hi Nancy & Lynne! The other thing that i didn’t mention when talking about the benefits of writing for small press is the friends you make. There is nothing, NOTHING better than voicing your frustrations AND successes with other writer’s struggling along the same path. I have made some friends who I honestly believe I will keep in touch with for years to come despite, in most cases, that I live thousands of miles away in the UK. Thank you!!

    Rachel x

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