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Writer Wednesday Welcomes Rachel Brimble!!

So, I have the great honor of being lit sisters with the lovely and talented Rachel Brimble. I am so excited to have the opportunity to introduce her to any of you who might now know her, Rachel lives across the pond and chatting with her is doubly fun for me :) I know you’ll love her. It’s conference season around the world and people everywhere are taking the plunge to call themselves writers and pitch their latest WIP. Rachel did too, and she’s stopped by to tell us all about it! First, meet Rachel :

Bio

Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  Having always believed there’s someone for everyone, Rachel started writing her own tales of love once her children were at school.  Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press.  She has recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel cannot imagine her life without romance or writing!

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 in the evening?  Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…

 

My First Pitch

When Julie invited me to guest blog on her site, I initially had no idea what to write about but then being the lovely lady she is, she helped me get through my nerves of my very first editor pitch. I knew Julie had pitched at a conference this year and asked if she would mind giving me a few tips…or at least warn me about what to expect!

She sent me an email telling me about every step of her experience and it really helped put me in a better frame of mind. If nothing else, I have learned that writers are HUGELY generous with their time and experience if it helps other aspiring writers. Please always ask any writer, anything and nine times out of ten they will be more than happy to help.

Nerves are, and also have been my downfall in progressing with regard to my writing career but this year I made a New Years resolution to fight through them. Hence why I signed up for a one-to-one pitch session with a Mira editor at the UK’s Romantic Novelists Association annual conference (RWA equivalent).

Held in Wales’ Caerleon university, my pitch was scheduled for the first day of the three day conference – an hour after I arrived. I was petrified. And not only that, my nerves veered to fever pitch when the organizer came to find me half an hour before my allotted time as the two appointments prior to mine never showed up.

I realize now that my unexpected thrust into the interview room was probably a good thing, although there was no telling me that at the time, lol!

I followed the editor into the room babbling about my nerves and sweaty palms, which I’m sure didn’t do me any favors but the editor was lovely and soon put me at ease telling me how much she loved my first chapter (we had to submit this and the synopsis before the conference).

After ten minutes of discussing plot, where I saw my career in five years and had I any ideas for a series (!!), the bell dinged indicating the end of the session. My brain was still spinning and the whole thing passed in a panicked blur.

But then the editor scribbled her personal email address on her business card and asked me to send her the full manuscript whenever I was ready! Yes, I nearly passed out and then followed her back out to the reception area babbling even more than when I’d followed her in…sad, but true.

So, the moral of the story – grab those nerves by the scruff of the neck and go for it! These opportunities are everywhere and us writers are never going to get our show on the road unless we take them when they show up. After six years of writing I have had some fantastic success and I am very proud of every book I’ve had published but I’d like to think one day I will hit the big time. How am I going to do that?

By pushing myself forward and waving my hands in the air shouting, “Here I am!” wherever and whenever I can! How about you?

 

Rachel’s latest release is Getting It Right This Time, published by Lyrical Press.

 

Getting Time Right by Rachel Brimble

She’s back, but this time she’s a mother…intent on protecting her young.

Two years after her husband’s death, Kate Marshall returns home seeking security and stability for her three-year-old daughter. But when her path crosses with ‘the one who got away’…her husband’s best friend, she has to fight the desire to be with him for the sake of further heartbreak for her and her daughter.

A tough, straight talking theatrical agent, Mark Johnston is dangerously handsome, exceedingly rich, irresistibly charming – and branded by the tabloids as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors. So even though Mark lost the girl of his dreams to his best friend, he finds no hardship in being single. Or so he thought.

Determined not to lose her a second time, Mark has to find a way to convince her they can work.  But can Kate cope with the media interest and ruthless, money-hungry clients surrounding him, being anywhere near her daughter?  Or accept that Mark Johnston is really the family man he claims to be?

http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_25&products_id=296

Thanks again Rachel for coming by and sharing your experience with us. I for one have no doubt you’ll hit it big one day soon!

Rachel loves to hear from readers and writers alike, you can find her here:

www.rachelbrimble.com

www.rachelbrimble.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/rachelbrimble

Binge Reading at My House Requires a Bounce House

I have been blessed with reading goodness galore as of late. Yesterday I was on page 50 of Lauren Kate’s Passion, a book I waited for months to release. I borrowed the tome from the local library but no sooner received it than I had to begin edits on a manuscript. Then, I got an ARC in the mail from a twitter pal. I devoured that upon receipt, Vanish by Sophie Jordan. (I reviewed Vanish HERE.)

So, I was 50 pages into a 420 page book when I got a nice email from the local library saying the book was due back the next day (today). Well. Um. I have three kids and no break and 350 pages to read in 24 hours. I tried to renew and was denied. Passion is a new release and someone else was waiting for it. I chewed my nails. What to do? Keep it and pay the fine? That would keep another reader waiting. Let it go, and buy my own copy? Who knows when I’ll get to a store because I try to lay low with all these kids in tow. I went with the third option.

Binge Read.

 

There’s only one way to get some time to read with all these kids home all day arguing and wanting fed. I called forth The Bounce House!

THAT’S HOW I ROLL. LOL

*Huge thanks to Abby Jones for suggesting I wrote on this topic*

Should Writers Review?

The Internet is abuzz about reviews lately. I recently blogged about the importance of book reviews and how much difference they make for authors and readers alike. The concern for and from aspiring authors and even a few new ones I know is “Should WE review?” On the one hand, they want to help their friends books rise up the lists and be discovered by the masses. They also want to shout about the books they loved and want to others to love. BUT what about the ones that didn’t suit them? How about the ones they tried and vomited in before returning to the store and demanding a refund?

What. About. Those?

Well, I speak on precisely zero authority, but my OPINION is, stick it in your hat. If you don’t like it and you’re a writer….maybe skip reviewing that one. After all, there are infinite books of awesome to boast about. Why not focus on what you LIKED. We want to know what you LOVED. I for one don’t want to miss out on anything awesome! Do I want to hear a bad review? No. Not really. I mean, where does that get me? I think no reviews can speak volumes, don’t you? Also, I recently posted about rejections. Writers know what it feels like to get a scathing rejection one day and an offer for representation from an agent who love-love-loves & wants to marry their work the next.

The biz is fickle. So are we. Tastes change. I talked about this with my critty  gal Christie Koester recently. A book we can’t get to page three on one day might be a book we read in a weekend a few months later. State of mind and life changes what we enjoy or don’t enjoy. So, writers…if you hate a book, just put it down. Walk away. You can even vomit in it, but please don’t return it to the store that way.

Bottom line: Giving an awful review for something you hated isn’t worth the possible backlash on your own books or career AND unless you’re a review site, why bother? Writing reviews takes time and while I don’t mind sparing the time to write a review for something I want everyone to love with me, I just can’t spare the time I could be writing or editing to write up a review for something I didn’t even enjoy. It just doesn’t make much sense.

Thoughts?

* Thank you Chris Schillig for suggesting a blog topic this morning when my brain had a total fail. Thanks Chris!*

My Head Fell Off.

People ask me all the time how I  keep up with everything in the writer life. The answer is I totally can’t. Totally. Can’t.

Let me give you an example *a-hem*

On July 18th I had the incredible, awesome, honor of being interviewed by TWO amazing women on TWO fabulous writer/reader sites. I jumped at both opportunities and carefully answered their every question. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone to look me up and say “Hi!” so I could interact and maybe bring a few bookish people and blogs together.

When the 18th came around….I forgot it happened.

When the 19th came around….no idea those interviews had come and gone.

When the 20th came around *cricket cricket* No idea I missed it.

When the 21st  came, and dinner time approached, a small shimmer of a light, like the one from your faulty flashlight, the one you have to whack with the butt of your hand, THAT one, THAT kind of light flickered in my empty head and my mouth fell open.

HOLY COW! GOOD GRIEF! OMG! MY interviews! I missed my interviews!

And THAT my friends is how I roll….just like a square tire.

It’s very little and very late, but I’d like to show both of these amazing ladies as much love as possible and direct you to their sites. If the mood strikes, stop and see me. Both blogs are phenomenal. We reader, writer, bloggers gotta stick together ;) And if you ever wonder how the writer next to you keeps it SO Totally together…they don’t. LOL.

A Storybook World Blog from Deidra

Once Upon A Time Blog by Cristina DosSantos

Thank you  BOTH so much for having me! I really am kicking myself for being SUCH a Dork!

Look Out Local Librarians.

It’s taken a day or two to sink in. Honestly its been months of denial for me. I know my bookish friends will get this: I’m sad, like actually sad. Border Books closing has changed things for me personally, as well as for my children and my community. The impact here is big. I don’t think everyone can understand that. First there are those who haven’t read a book since high school or college, maybe not even then. Then, there are those who live near a Barnes & Noble – the last remaining book chain. I will even entertain the option of book lovers who simple order all books online and therefore never went to Borders anyway. I know they’re out there too.

But for me and my kids, this is just plain old-fashioned sad.

Wandering around Borders sipping coffee and stroking fresh new tomes is what I do. It’s an oasis, a tiny vacation from everything else. My mom is still like this with cooking or baking outlets. For me, it’s books. I like the low murmur of friends and family reading favorite passages or telling secrets in the aisles. I like the spatter of college kids lying on the floor, heads propped on book bags like pillows, books in the air.

Our local store had signings, author meet and greets, and featured local talent. It was a community. I was part of that community.

My kids are young and loud to be sure, but they were home schooled until last month and I took them to our Borders a lot. It was more exciting than the library (which we visit every Tuesday). There was a childrens area with books they could touch and I would read. Last time we were there, my Kindergartner read a board book to my toddler. Like, he really read it to her. I taught him to do that. My heart completely exploded. My 2nd grader and I talked about the order on shelves, and store arrangement. I’d give him something to find and when he returned with it, we got cookies for everyone.  We have memories tied to that store, the only chain store like it within an hour of me. I had plans to make more memories there.

So, I’m just letting it out all over you guys today. I’m sad. I’m losing a friend and life in the in the future for me and my littles will be different than I had hoped. I know my love for books will continue to impact them, but at their ages, a place like Borders brought our tastes together in a really nice way.

Now, a note to our poor librarians: Be prepared for the Lindsey tribe shall be headed your way more frequently now, and I will most likely be smuggling in my coffee.

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