What is your writing process?I have school age children which means, at best, I have between 09.00 and 14.45 to fully concentrate on writing during term time. If I give myself 45 minutes for essentials like cups of tea, lunch, the loo and the doorbell, that gives me a maximum of five hours writing time as long as I do nothing else.
So it goes like this: 07.00: boot up lappy, reply to urgent overnight emails that I haven’t dealt with by Blackberry the previous evening and check my sales statistics (unnecessary, but I can’t stop myself). By 8.30 I am child free, so I might go mad and have a shower. I begin working at 09.00 to 09.30 (I have long hair, it takes ages to blow dry), often typing up stuff I’ve scribbled in a notebook the night before. I then just try to keep going until 14.45, but social networking and fascia salesmen are evil …
From 15.30 to 20.30 I deal with the housework, children, The Exec if he’s at home and do a bit of Twitter/Facebook on the move if I can. There is always a notebook and pen within reach – I have a new one with each manuscript and there’s usually a glass of wine somewhere in the mix after six in the evening. :0)
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?Um, I shout at myself sometimes if I really am faffing about, but if I need a break, or shoes, I have them. Writing has taken over my life for the last five years and I know in the back of my mind that it probably isn’t healthy to be so obsessed, but it’s how I function. Even if a day goes by without actually getting some words down, I’m thinking about the current WIP, the next WIP, the WIP after that and I scribble like a lunatic. Always. Even on holiday. So I rarely beat myself up about slacking because I find it hard to switch off.
Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?Ah, that … the answer would have to be no, BUT, I have a whole load of excuses. Here we go: an hour in the gym would lose me 20% of my writing day (not including travelling) and I’ve never set foot inside one either – would probably turn into a pillar of salt or something.
During the daily 3.30 to 8.30 domestic shift I literally don’t sit down and must spend at least an hour carrying laundry up and down the stairs. And loo rolls. And school bags …
I do my very best to get out and about with the family at weekends and school holidays- walking is great exercise and it’s not boring if you go somewhere nice (with a camera and notebook of course just in case.)
My G.P. says I’m just as active, if not more so, than someone who sits in an office all day (just before I beg him not to weigh me).
But I should do more. Tell you what, when I get that villa on the Amalfi, I’ll make sure it has an infinity pool and I’ll use it every day. And I’ll get in a young Italian gardener to chase around … Hehe!
Do you believe in writer's block?No, not as far as I’m concerned. You can get through any problems with your manuscript if you work at it hard enough. Concentrate hard. This might mean ripping it all up and starting again, but no pain no glory, right? If your job and childrens’ next meal depended on writing a report for the CEO of your day job, you’d just get on with it wouldn’t you? Writing is the same. One of the things I shout at myself (see above) is JUST DO IT! Works for me. Shout it really loudly.
Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?Not entirely. There have been loads of real life incidents and personalities that have inspired certain things in my books. For example, I got lost, hot and bothered in Lindos village once – it gave me the idea for my heroine’s torturous arrival at Lindos in Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire – I didn’t want to waste all my bad temper! The most outrageous incidents haven’t made it near an editor’s desk yet, so I’m safe. I’d always be very, very careful though; it’s a small world …
In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?It’s really not that glamorous and you have to work a whole lot harder to earn the same as you would in a ‘normal’ job. Until this year, shelf stacking in Sainsbury’s part time had the edge. Really.
And Beryl in the Post Office is still rude, she’s never heard of Rachel Lyndhurst …
Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?The usual stuff, really. I’m published digitally at the moment, so there are no book signing events and this means the Internet is my big friend. I blog, have a Facebook account and Tweet. I think the best thing you can do is to make yourself accessible and interact with people as much as you can. Being nice costs nothing.
Having said that, I’m incredibly fortunate to have a dynamic publisher that invests in and promotes their authors. Entangled pay for advertising, give you a publicist who organises blog tours and interviews and the Entangled ‘family’ are amazing. You can never have too many friends out there; a tribe can do wonders spreading the word about you and your book.
What is your top promo tip for other authors?See above! From personal experience: interact with as many people as you can, be nice, be humble, stay out of politics and never, ever think you can ignore the US market – you can’t.
What did you learn while writing this book?The learning came after I wrote Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire. Personally I don’t think you can overestimate the value of an experienced editor – a good one can turn manuscript straw into gold. Working with someone who really knows what they’re doing has given me knowledge that I didn’t get from any of the craft books I have piled up. I have learned that I still have an awful lot to learn!
What was the most fun part of writing this book?The most fun part of writing Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire was getting it published and seeing it sell. Everything up to that point was actually quite painful!
And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?Andreas is a bit of a globetrotter in his day job actually, so I think he’d like to honeymoon on his private Greek Island. Naturally, if Kizzy objected, he’d take her anywhere she wanted. Or buy it for her. God, I love Billionaires!
Or that’s what it feels like to Kizzy Dean when a business disagreement with arrogant Greek lawyer Andreas Lazarides leaves her no choice but to accompany him to the Greek Isle of Rhodes. It doesn’t help matters that this sexy brooding stranger, who is unaccustomed to the word No and the very idea of commitment, shows her what it feels like to be truly desired.
Amidst the ancient myths and alleyways, tensions run high as Kizzy feels an immediate attraction for the man she wants to both ravage and strangle.
Accustomed to gold-digging women, Andreas is mesmerized by Kizzy’s feisty nature and Gypsy beauty. Guilt and sorrow have been his only bedfellows since his sister’s death, but Kizzy stirs up a desire he’s unwilling to succumb to . . . until she makes him an offer he simply can’t refuse.
You can pick up Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire (because picking up a Billionaire has got to be fun!) with the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Connect with Rachel on her blog, Facebook, and on Twitter.