Monday’s Friend: Rachel Brimble

Today I am pleased to welcome romance writer Rachel Brimble, on her second visit to my blog.

Why I Write Romance
By Rachel Brimble

Why do I write romance? That’s the question!

My love affair with romance novels started when I was around nine or ten when I discovered the Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal. In fact, that’s when my love affair with all things American started, lol!

I was the dreamy-eyed bookworm of the early 1980s – yes, the big glasses, the big hair and the big clothes, that was me. 🙂  The adventures of twins, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield and their endless boy and friendship problems drew me in and steadfastly kept me there for a couple of years until I discovered the books that inspired me to put pen to paper…the Sweet Dreams books!!

Please tell me you remember these books and it wasn’t just sad little me who devoured them one after another. I already had my favorite librarian at our local public library but with these books, I specifically remember her keeping back the new ones for me whenever they arrived. She was my first heroine!

I wrote my first book around the age of twelve and remember punching holes in its “spine” and holding it together with pink ribbon, lol! How I wish I’d kept it – the hero was Brad and the heroine, Claire. That’s all I remember. 🙂

After that, it was a few years of sneaking my mum’s Mills & Boon novels (Harlequin) into my bedroom and reading way past the light being turned off. There was one story in particular that moved me enough to make me decide I wanted to write when I grew up. Snippets of that book still linger in my memory but I have no idea of the author or the book. I can’t even really remember the plot but what I do remember is the emotion, the way it made me feel. For me, as romance writers our job is to do equally that, evoke emotion.

To make the reader really feel – make them laugh, make them cry, make them feel. If my readers tell me I have moved them in any way, I am a happy, happy lady. My job is done. 🙂

Nowadays, my favourite romance or women’s fictions authors are Nora Roberts, Jean Fullerton, Tami Hoag, Sophie Kinsella, Robyn Carr & Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Big shoes to fill, huh? Of course, what would be the point of writing, of all that blood, sweat and tears if we didn’t reach for the stars? I want to deliver bigger and better books with each novel I write – how about you?? 🙂

Thanks having me here today, Sara-Jayne!

Rachel’s latest historical romance is The Arrival of Lily Curtis available now from The Wild Rose Press. Here’s the blurb:

At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of three and twenty….so she hatches an escape plan. She will reinvent herself as a housemaid. Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily…

Viscount Westrop wants nothing more than his legacy to be passed to his own son one day. Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right. But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray. Lily is funny, feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth – Andrew is thunderstruck. But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew’s lineage will be in peril. And he cannot let that happen…

Buy it here!

Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press. She recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel hopes to have a further two novels, one mainstream contemporary and one romantic suspense published in 2012 as well as two novellas.

When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…

Find Rachel online here:
Twitter: @rachelbrimble


6 comments so far

  1. Diane Carlisle (@pyrosama) on

    Great post, Rachel! I too am a product of the 80’s. My friend’s mother gave me a grocery bag full of Harlequins (a few of them would be considered erotica). I was glued to those things like warm, marshmellow goop!

    I can’t say I’m a romance fan today, only because I haven’t found one that has pulled me in. I think as I got older, I seem to call the BS flag whenever the man isn’t a steel-hearted womanizer who becomes mesmerized by the heroine. I think I’ve become stuck in the 80s in that respect!

    Help me! Is there a line of romance novels that does the alpha male justice? I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the romance genre, and that very well might be because I don’t know where to look for my fix.

  2. Rachel Brimble on

    Ah, now I write mainly Beta heroes so I’m probably not the best person to ask this question – I think if I had to hazard a guess for your best chance of landing a steel-hearted womanizer type of hero, you’re best bet is the Harlequin Presents line…but I might be wrong!

    Anyone help Diane out??

    Thanks for stopping by and keeping me company – getting kind of lonely 😦

    R x

  3. Isabella Macotte on

    What a great post! That was me too: big glasses, bigger hair, and my nose stuck in a romance novel! Loved reading about your romance reading and writing experience.

  4. Lynne Marshall on

    Hi Rachel!
    The only reason I remember the Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Dreams books are because my daughter read and loved them! I didn’t read Harlequin back then, so she didn’t sneak my books – I made sure she had a good and constact stock of books to read. We also were very familiar with the local librarian – otherwise I would have gone broke!
    I see we have several of the same favorite romance authors.
    I’m so glad you fell in love with all things American back then, and that I’ve gotten to know you through the Wild Rose Press!

  5. Vonnie Davis on

    I love that pic of you, Rachel. I see you’re holding a pen. Do you write any of your stories by hand? I’m too impatient. I need to see the words flow onto the computer screen. Lovely interview ladies.

  6. Rachel Brimble on

    Sorry I disappeared yesterday! For anyone who follows me on Twitter, they know I had one crisis after another with friends and family that has resulted in two people being in intensive care…. 😦

    Anyway, I’m back now and giving a big wave to Isabella as I don’t think we’ve met before, have we? Glad you enjoyed the post, i could talk about romance novels all day long, lol!

    Equally big wave to Lynne and Vonnie, two of my favorite ladies 😉 Don’t you love librarians, Lynne? We have so many closing down in the UK, is it the same in the US? I can’t stand it! Taking “One For The Road” on holiday with me, by the way so I’m be sure to leave a review!

    Hi Vonnie! No, most of the time it’s the laptop all the way – I was planning or making notes when that was taken. I can’t remember which. I usually use pen and paper to make notes when I have ideas brewing. It helps me figure out whether the premise will work or not for some unknown reason!

    Great to see you here – speak soon!

    R xx

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