Rachael Richey is a romance writer I met in a critique group I’ve participated in for several years. (I highly recommend joining a group like this, for many reasons.) I’ve been able to read two of her novels, pre-publication, so far. I recently got her to answer a few questions about writing, publishing, and about her new book.
Tell me about your most recent novel. Who is your audience?
My most recent novel, Practising for Christmas, is a romantic comedy set at Christmas. Olivia and her friends are spending Christmas in a remote coastal cottage, and before the others arrive, Olivia discovers an unconscious and very handsome stranger on the beach. She takes him home to patch him up and it’s when her friends arrive the next day that things begin to spiral out of control due to a case of mistaken identity. It’s basically a feel good seasonal romcom. My audience will probably be mostly female, but I do have some stalwart male fans who read all my books.
What kind of writer are you? Do you insist on daily word counts? Do you edit as you go or force out a whole first draft first? Do you write in silence or with music? In the morning or at night? What do you do when you get stuck in the writing process?
Wow. A lot of questions! Right. I write when and where the mood takes me. At the moment I’m going through a bit of a dry patch, but when I’m in the zone (for example, nearing the end of a book), I have been known to write about 20k per week. Definitely no insistence on a daily word count – that would put me off. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t and you just have to go with it. I usually read back over my previous day’s work and do a quick edit, but save most of the editing until I’ve finished. Sometimes I like music when I’m writing, but I’m equally happy writing in silence. I have been known to do it with the TV on in the background if all the family are in. I have to fit my writing in around everything else (I long for the day when it is my main job), so I write anytime. I wrote a lot of my first book at night, between midnight and 4 am, but these days I don’t seem to stay awake so well, probably because I have more early mornings now. If I get a bit stuck on a plot, the best way to sort it out is in the shower.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Daphne du Maurier, Kate Morton, Kate Atkinson, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Linda Fairstein, Barbara Erskine, David Baldacci, Sophie Kinsella, Elizabeth George
When did you decide you wanted to be published? How did you go about making it happen? What is the biggest challenge of being published? What’s the best part?
I’ve always wanted to write, right from when I was a small child. I used to write stories all the time and just assumed that when I was grown-up I would be a published writer. That didn’t happen for a very long time and I kind of got caught up in other things, then one day in early 2012 I resurrected a story idea I had had a few years earlier, and once I started I couldn’t stop! As soon as I had finished that one, in about three months, I started a sequel, at the same time editing and then submitting the first one. By the time I finally got an offer from a publisher (actually from three in one week), in early 2014, I was part the way through the fourth book in the series. You really do have to be prepared for a lot of rejections though. I must have had at least twenty, if not more, for the first book. Don’t be put off. It’s worth all the rejections when you hold your first published book in your hand, and realise that other people will be getting to know your characters, and hopefully getting to love them.
What are you working on next?
I’m currently working on another romantic comedy, but I have ideas for several other books all fighting for my attention as well. I’m not sure which one will win yet, but it’ll be exciting finding out.
You can find out more about Rachael Richey here.