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Following are some interviews I gave a while back. Enjoy!
Permanent link to this article: http://rachel-lee.com/about-rachel-lee/interviews-with-rachel-lee/
June 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm (UTC -7)
Rachel Lee offers deep insight into herself and her writing. Please enjoy the following Q&A with Rachel Lee.
Q: What is it like to write a book?
Challenging. Hair-tearing. Weepy. Fun. Scary.
Q: What are the most challenging aspects of writing a novel?
The level of emotional involvement with the characters. I have to live through it all with them, and some days that leaves me feeling wrung-out.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. That’s the question I’m most often asked, and all I can say is that stories are all around us, both in life and in our minds. Since this question is so often asked, I’m hoping to blog in the near future: “Telling stories — We’re all guilty!” I even have a funny story to tell that reveals how the writer’s mind can work sometimes.
Q: How long have you been writing?
Since I was in third grade. I refuse to say how many years that is!
Q: Is there a real Conard County?
Conard County is real in my mind, and real for many of my readers, but like “Margaritaville”, you won’t find it on any map.
Q: What do you love most about Conard County?
The people and the sense of real community. I think many of us would love to live in a place where we all take care of each other.
Q: Who are your favorite characters in Conard county, and why?
Every character is my favorite. I love them all, and can’t choose between them because they’re all my “children.” No favorites allowed.
Q: Will my favorite characters still be in the books, now that you are starting a new Conard County Series?
Yes, old favorites will return, even though we’re moving on to a younger generation now. Nate Tate may be retired, but he still has his hands in things. Micah Parish, in this new book, will meet a son he never knew he had. (from A Soldier’s Homecoming) And Krissie Tate will meet her match in the third book of the new generation.
Q: What is your favorite memory from childhood?
Getting my first guitar. I saved my money and my mom finally took me to a pawn shop to get one I could afford. I had no music training whatsoever, so I had to teach myself to read music and pick out notes. I played until my fingers bled, and then played some more. Eventually I went on to win some talent competitions in school, and to sing and play in my church.
Q: What is the wildest thing you’ve done in your life?
Travel halfway across the country to meet someone I’d fallen in love with online and on the telephone. We’re still together.
Q: What is your favorite food?
For someone with a weight problem, I actually have little interest in food. I like most foods well enough, but have no favorites. There are, however, what I call “Foods of love,” family recipes that carry happy memories and stories with them. In future blogs I may share some of these stories and recipes.
Q: Do you get writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I get writer’s block all the time. There are only two ways to deal with it: Take a day off or keep writing anyway. Sometimes I take a day off, but if the block isn’t gone by day two, I follow the second plan: keep writing. Anything. Just put words on the screen. The lovely thing about computers is, it only takes a couple of keystrokes to get rid of what you don’t like. Much easier than the days when I had to edit with scissors and cellophane tape!
Q: Are there books you wish you could write but never had the opportunity?
Plenty. I better live a long time… No end of books I’d like to write.
Q: How can I get some of your older Conard County books?
I recommend checking with Harlequin/Silhouette. Many of my old Conard County books are being reprinted and have been reprinted. Be kind to your author . Buy the books new so I can get paid. But if that doesn’t work… sometimes you can find them in used bookstores. Just don’t buy any with missing covers, because that likely means neither I nor my publisher were ever paid for the book.
Q: Do you have a new Conard County book coming out after this one?
Absolutely. It’s about a woman who unexpectedly has psychic visions of a terrible murder, then herself becomes a target.
Q: What was the first novel you wrote?
That was a long time ago. I was in high school, writing Star Trek scripts that were produced as plays at the school, and I took my first real stab at a novel. Moody, angst-ridden, character driven. About what you’d expect from someone who is sixteen. However, my creative writing teacher was impressed and said I should write for a living.
Q: Did you study writing in college or elsewhere?
Only one course in high school. Reading hundreds of books has been my best teacher, along with the world’s greatest editor.
Q: What is the best way for me to start writing a novel? Do you have any advice?
Sit down and write. Don’t worry about being perfect. I wrote plenty of partials before I hit my stride. The thing is, if you don’t actually write, you’ll never write a novel. The thing is not to be afraid, and don’t keep rewriting. Nobody has to see it until you’re happy with it, so just plunge ahead and finish it. Only then should you look back and make changes.
June 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm (UTC -7)
Interview with Rachel Lee about Protector of One and upcoming novels.
Q: How did you get the idea for PROTECTOR OF ONE?
A: I honestly don’t know. As best as I can remember, it was just there one day.
Q: You mention in your preface for the book that you’ve experienced some interesting phenomena when you were younger. Can you talk about one of them?
A: Well, the one I feel most comfortable discussing was a dream about the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Three weeks before the event I woke up from a dream so vivid that I told everyone I knew about it. I saw President Reagan get shot in the chest, and then I saw a candle flame flicker, but not go out. I told my friends about the dream in detail, but assured them Reagan would survive, because the candle flame hadn’t gone out.
Three weeks later, one of my friends called me and said, “Turn on your TV now!” I was probably as stunned as she was when I saw the initial report, but I never doubted Reagan would live.
There’ve been other experiences, far more personal. I don’t feel comfortable sharing them. Sorry.
Q: What do you love most about the characters you create?
A: Getting to know them and falling in love with them. Each book is like a new romance, not just the story, but the journey. I find the same energy as when you fall in love for the first time.
Q: What can you tell us about your next Conard County book? (Title, date,story)
A: THE UNEXPECTED HERO, about Nate Tate’s daughter Krissie, and a darkly handsome doctor will be issued in July. Both of them are emotionally wounded veterans of the military medical corps, but Krissie has a killer on her heels, a killer who doesn’t mind taking he lives of her innocent patients.
Q: Do you have plans for more Conard County books? What are some of the ideas you are kicking around?
A: After THE UNEXPECTED HERO, THE MAN FROM NOWHERE will be next. In this book a man comes to Conard County after having a vision that a woman is being targeted by a killer. He is driven by grief, and a terrible feeling of responsibility because he didn’t heed a vision that he had about his family dying in a plane crash. Goaded by built, he needs to save the woman he sees in his visions. But he can tell no one, for who would believe him?
So night after night he traces the steps he has seen in his vision, hoping to find the killer before the killer finds his victim. And with the woman he has come to save, he finds salvation of his own.
I’ve just signed a contract for three additional Conard County books, so yes, there will be many more. In the one I am working on now, a cranky hermit takes in an injured woman running from an abusive ex-boyfriend. She invades his hermitage, destroys his solitude, and gives him a new purpose in life. They both learn that it is safe to love again.
Q: Can you tell us anything more about The Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Orlando?
A: I will be giving a workshop on Friday titled “Creating your own world and living with it.” I’ll also be at the Harlequin luncheon, at an author chat in the afternoon, an awards ceremony later, all on Friday.
Q: Will you be signing autographs?
A: I’ll be at the book signing on Saturday, hoping to meet many of you
Q: How can I get in touch with you if I can come to the conference?
I should be easy enough to find. If you can’t locate me at one of my engagements, then by all means hunt me up at the book signing. Hope to see you there!
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