Great to have you here, Rachel! I see your latest release is with Noble Romance, I have been hearing better and better things about them. The cover is great!
1) Where do you write?
Wherever I’m comfortable. I work from home but don’t have an office, so I spend most of my time writing at the kitchen table or on the living room couch. Occasionally in bed, if I wake up at 4am with an idea burning to get out. Right now I’m writing from the deck of a cruise ship, which I highly recommend :D
2) What is the best & worst part about the writing process for you?
The best part is definitely the end, when you’ve got this lovely finished piece you’re so proud of, that was exactly the story as you pictured it in your head, right there on the page(s and pages). Of course it doesn’t always work out that way, and sometimes it takes fifty edit passes and some great betas to make it happen, but there’s no denying the satisfaction of that moment. Tied with that moment is the first moments of conception, when that new idea crawls into your head and sinks its claws in. You start fleshing out the world, the characters, maybe the plot, mapping the shape of the book in your head. It’s like meeting someone new, going someplace new; there’s such excitement in that creative process. Alas, that leads to the worst part, which is actually trying to get that vision down on paper, especially on days when maybe the muse isn’t speaking too loudly, but you’ve got a signed contract and a due date and you’ve gotta get your words done for the day whether you feel like it or not. It’s all worth it in the end, though.
3) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I’ve probably thought of myself as a writer since I was six or seven and wrote my first pages-long story about a killer ceiling fan that came down from its moorings to chase (and decapitate) a family down the street. Yeah, I was a twisted little kid. (Actually, I still am.) But from that moment I knew this was what I wanted to do. Getting paid for it is just gravy.
4) What is the best & worst advice you’ve received about writing?
People who’ve followed my round the internets will already know the answer to this. I’ve gotten a lot of really excellent advice, but the best is to learn grammar. Know the rules inside and out so you can break them with clarity and purpose, rather than with carelessness or ignorance. Readers can tell the difference. The worst advice is to write for yourself. Or, at least it’s the worst advice if you want to get published. Of course you need to write things that excite (and incite) you, but you can’t afford to lose sight of your target audience if you want to sell your work.
5) Which comes first? Plot or characters?
Almost always characters, though beneath that umbrella I also count the world. So sometimes—actually, rather often—the worldbuilding comes first, and then the characters and/or plot.
Here’s a bio if you want to post that:
Rachel is an M/M erotic romance author and a freelance writer and editor. She originally dipped her toes into cable news and book publishing, decided the water was cold and smelled kinda funny, and moved on to help would-be authors polish and publish, write for websites and magazines, and ghostwrite nonfiction.
Her first novel, an M/M fantasy erotic romance titled Counterpoint: Book One of Song of the Fallen, released in August 2010 with Guiltless Pleasure Publishing. Her second novel, an M/M alternate-history erotic romance titled Anchored: Belonging Book One, released January 17 with Noble Romance Publishing. Her third, Crescendo: Book II of Song of the Fallen, will release in the fall of 2011. In between, Rachel is writing shorts and novellas, including the M/M BDSM collection Sublime: Collected Shorts, and a not-yet-released cyberpunk novella titled Break and Enter, co-written with Aleksandr Voinov.
You can find Rachel tweeting as RachelHaimowitz, chatting in the Goodreads forums, and blogging at Rachel-Haimowitz.blogspot.com. She loves to hear from folks, so feel free to drop her a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.
And here’s the blurb for my latest release:
Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder—being a slave—makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company who's owned him since childhood, decides to lease him on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.
Daniel's not stupid; he knows there's only one reason a man would pay so much for what little free time he has, and it's got nothing to do with his knowledge of current events. But he's never been made to serve like that before, and he fears he won't survive the experience with his sanity intact.
He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him time and again when it comes to ordering Daniel to bed. Daniel knows what Carl wants, but it seems as if Carl isn't willing to take it, and Daniel's not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, love just might flourish where once there'd been only fear and pain. Can Carl become the anchor in Daniel's turbulent life, or will he end up the weight that sinks his slave for good?
Rachel and I would love to hear from you!