Fellow ROSA member and writer, Rebecca Crowley, has just had her holiday romance released. She actually hails from the US but now lives in sunny, although lately very rainy, South Africa. This book looks so readable. Her debut novel, The Striker's Chance, was excellently written and I would recommend it so I'm sure her novella is wonderful, too, seeing she says it was truly written from her heart. She has also answered my interview questions, so let's start with that and then go onto all the juicy bits about her new book.
What is the best thing for you about being a writer?
Definitely my characters – I love getting into their heads, working up their back stories, and getting to know them as they grow through the story.
What is the hardest thing for you about being a writer?
This may sound funny considering I’ve had a very successful debut year, but I still struggle hugely with self-belief. Whenever I hit “send” on a submission I feel sick to my stomach, and I spend the period of waiting for a response constantly re-reading the manuscript, rethinking the conflict and prose, and generally convincing myself it’s the most terrible thing ever written. I think the ability to be self-critical is essential to producing publishable work, but equally I need to learn to give myself a little more credit!
What genre/s do you write and what genre is your latest release?
I primarily write contemporary romance, but my first romantic suspense will release in March.
What essential things have you learned about writing in the last year?
Considering it’s been almost exactly a year since my debut novel was acquired, I feel like I’ve learned everything! One of the most important lessons has been that you can’t please everyone – what one reader loves, another will hate, and there’s nothing you can do except write the story you want to read.
Who is your favourite heroine from your books and why?
I love all of my heroines and feel slightly traitorous picking one over the other, but my favourite is Regan Hunter, the professional tennis star who appears in Love in Straight Sets, my second sports romance releasing from Carina Press in April. Regan is so fiery and so flawed, and I love her dearly!
What type of hero do you like? Super alpha, wounded or somewhere in between? Or even something totally different? You could give an example from a movie or well-known book.
I’m not a great fan of the alpha hero, actually. I do like my heroes to be strong, but I also love to see their vulnerability and gentleness. Chris Tate, the hero of my holiday novella Hero’s Homecoming, is a perfect example. Blinded in combat, he’s gone from a confident, charming Army officer to needing so much help simply to get through each day that he questions the worth of his survival. Chris goes on a tremendous emotional journey that I’m so proud of having written.
Tell us about your journey in writing this book.
I was 15,000 words into 2012’s NaNoWriMo project and seriously flagging on my story idea. I spotted Carina Press’s call for holiday anthology submissions, one of which was a military homecoming theme. I started writing with very little idea and virtually no plan, and 35,000 words later I had a novella I’m so, so proud of and which marks a turning point in my maturity as a writer.
Tell us three quirky or interesting things about yourself.
Although I ultimately turned it down, at one point I was offered a place to do a PhD on romance novels.
When I was 24 I moved to London with the intention of living there for a year – I stayed for six!
After so many years taking public transportation in NYC and London, the biggest adjustment in moving to Johannesburg has definitely been the traffic!
What rituals do you use to help you focus or get the words down on the page e.g. music or a snack?
I prefer to write either with total quiet or white noise. Sometimes I write in front of the TV but it’s a terrible habit – I don’t get as many words down and I don’t absorb what I’m watching either! And I can’t write sex scenes without lots and lots of wine.
Mention something unique about your books and your writing style.
I’d like to think that my heroines are unique in that they’re fierce, flawed, and don’t always understand themselves or their own actions. They’re not perfect-perfect, and they know it.
What book would you like to work on next?
At the moment I’m working to finish my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, which is currently at about 53,000 words but probably has at least another 10,000 to go. It’s very quirky, with a hot Mormon hero – and no, it’s not inspirational!
Thank you so much, Rebecca. Your answers had me smiling and laughing!
Carina Press * Amazon * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble * ARe * Audible
Or as part of the GIFTS OF HONOR duology: Carina Press * Amazon * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble * ARe
Author Bio:Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca recently relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Find her on the web at rebeccacrowley.net or on Twitter at @rachelmaybe.