October 5, 2010

Writing from across the pond

Today's guest blogger is multi-published author Rachel Brimble.

Don't forget to check out her website for more information on her and her books.

I have just come back from my local Romantic Novelists Association (British RWA equivalent) chapter meeting and as usual had a wonderful time talking books, writing, publishers and every other writing topic you can think of. And then I was asked why I write for American publishers when I live (and always have) in the UK.

Great topic for my latest blog post – thinks me!

The reason I write for the American market is simple – after failing to get as much as a short story published for years in the UK, an online friend (American) told me to give the US market a try. I was dubious. I couldn’t help thinking if my own country didn’t like my voice, why would a foreign one? What if the crux of it is, I just can’t write? Doubts swarmed around my head, my self-confidence plummeted. But when I told my husband I was giving my writing up, he told me no way (he’d just paid £200 for a writers course!).

So I thought, OK, America, here I come! I logged onto Google and started looking at US publishers for my very first novel, which was written, and languishing in a living room drawer like a dirty secret. The first one that caught my eye was The Wild Rose Press – I liked the name, it was fairly new, the covers were amazing and after emailing several of their authors I knew they were wonderful to work with.

So, I pulled out the manuscript, gave it a damn good polish and sent it off – within six weeks, I had been offered a contract! I was in heaven – I cried, I laughed and then cried some more. Searching For Sophie was published in 2007 and I’ve not looked back since. I now have three novels with Wild Rose, another with Eternal Press and another due for release in January 2011 with Lyrical Press – all US publishers. God bless America!

The great thing about this is I only know England and worried that sooner or later one of the publishers would want me to only write American characters. How would I make the characters authentic if I was British?? But the good news is, my concern was unfounded and I have had four years of writing for the American market with British characters telling my stories.

Until now.

My latest release is a mix of American and British – yay! Transatlantic Loving is my offering to The Wild Rose Press series, Class of ’85. The story is the journey of American school soccer coach, sexy Aaron Taylor and visiting Brit, Lisa Cavendish. Here’s the blurb:

In a desperate bid to escape the bitter reality of her children accepting her ex-husband’s new – and younger – fiancée, Lisa Cavendish travels from the UK to accompany her friend to a high school reunion. Forced to dress as Madonna in her hey day, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with the school’s coach, who seems to hold as much regard for his child as her ex did when he walked out…

Aaron Taylor can’t believe his eyes or ears when he is introduced to Lisa – sexy and funny, she has no idea how her accent enhances the heartbreaking wait he endures waiting for his daughter to call him back to the UK. But after spending just three short weeks with Lisa, he sees the answer to his pain in the eyes of the most phenomenal British lady he has ever met…

I LOVED writing this story (my very first novella) – mixing British and American against 1980’s music and memories background, fabulous! Lisa is feisty, secretly insecure but with a great sense of humor. As for Aaron? All I can say is YUM!!!!!

I’ll leave you with an excerpt and buy link – enjoy!

Once they arrived at Sips, Aaron felt grateful to be alone with her again. He gestured her along the small path leading to a grassy area with small tables and chairs that overlooked the water. As he sat, he unconsciously swept at his dirty knees, feeling like a teenager trying to impress his date. She looked immaculate and he resembled a down and dirty jock trying to court an upper-class lady. Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley came to mind.

“Lisa? I’m sorry.”

She turned, her forehead crinkled in a frown. “What for?”

He gestured toward his clothes. “Maybe I should have followed the boys into the showers.”

She took one of his hands and brought it to the table. “Can I give you a bit of advice?”

It was his turn to frown. “Sure.”

“You really shouldn’t say things like that in public, people might get the wrong idea and before you know it, you’ll be strung up by your boy bits outside the town hall.”

Boy Bits? It took a second before a bubble of laughter shook his diaphragm before bursting from his mouth. “That’s not funny, you know.”

She grinned. “I’m only teasing. You look fine.” She paused, then winked. “I don’t mind slumming it every now and then.”

His groin twitched and his gaze fell to her lips. God, what he’d give to lean toward her right there and then and

A shadow fell across the table and Lisa snatched her hand from his as though she’d been stung. Aaron cursed inwardly and turned to look up into the beaming face of Sips owner, Maggie LaMonica.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Sarah – really looking forward to talking to your readers!

Thanks for visiting today, Rachel. 

Check out more of Rachel's books at her
Purchase your very own copy of her book,
Transatlantic Loving.


Sarah Grimm said...

Rachel - Welcome. Thanks for visiting with me today.

The more I hear about the books in TWRP series, Class of '85, the more I realize I'm going to have to check the series out. All of the books from this series that I've read about so far sound wonderful.


Jannine Gallant said...

Aren't you glad you didn't give up! It's a good lesson for everyone out there who doubts themselves. Congrats on your well deserved success!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your success in the USA. We love the Brits--as you can see. I love that you did not give up, and especially that your husband said you couldn't either. My kind of man.
The plot for the '85 series sounds just perfect--a great love story.
I'm glad to meet you--even though I've seen your name around earlier. Celia

Debra St. John said...

Hi Sarah and Rachel,

Rachel, so glad you didn't throw in the towel. And I have to agree with you about TWRP...it's really a great place to grow...I've been nothing but satisfied with my experience with them.

Kathy Otten said...

I don't think you need to worry about having to write American characters. I have a couple of friends who were told their historical novels would sell better if their characters were British and their stories took place in England. I suppose most Americans are fascinated with people from other countries. Nice to meet a fellow rose.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Rachel,
I am a bit like you. My stories are set in Australia with Australian characters and I am published with American publishers TWRP and WCP, I thought my Australian settings would hold me back but that wasn't the case. I couldn't get an Australian publisher to read my work.
Strange isn't it?
Great excerpt.


Lilly Gayle said...

Kathy's right. Americans love people from other countries, esp. the Brits! And American authors have been writing Regencies and publishing with Mills and Boon for years. So, keep writing great stories and we'll keep reading them.

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Wow, Rachel, your story sounds great. Thanks for sharing your insights. I'm an American who occasionally writes about British characters. Years ago, I thought we spoke the same language until some of my English critique partners set me straight. :)

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Rachel. Transatlantic Loving is in my TBR pile just waiting to be read. The excerpt made me laugh, too. I haven't heard anyone say "bits" since I left England five years ago (no, I didn't live there but spent several months doing research and had picked up most of the slang before I left).

Wishing you great sales.

Rachel Brimble said...

I'm here!!!! So sorry about not checking in yesterday, the day went a little crazy starting with my nine year old at the school gate crying with earache and then got progressively worse as the day wore on!!

Anyway, here now and wanted to thank you all for such fantastically encouraging comments - it is so appreciated. Self-doubt and worry is the main reason people who want to write, don't. I truly believe anyone can write if they keep at it.

I don't think I will ever stop writing for the American market now and plan to start looking for an American agent next year. Wouldn't it be fun it we could meet up at the RWA conference one day? Mmm, now I'm thinking how can I persuade my husband that the cost is an investment??? LOL!

Thrilled that my book is on your TBR pile, Keena and looking forward to having you visit on my site soon. Right, time I looked up your guys websites and blogs, me thinks!

Rachel x