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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Learn Your Craft: Author Interview with Rachelle Paige Campbell

What made you decide to write that first novel and write romance stories?
I'd been a romance reader for about a decade when I finally got up the courage to write my first story. I love romance novels! The genre empowers women and inspires hope that even insurmountable odds can be overcome.

How long did it take you to write your first book?
The first book took two years to write and another three to edit and rewrite. But I was determined to see my story to completion. Once I finished that book, I had ideas for more and kept going (writing and editing is much faster now).

How did you go about finding an agent/publisher?
I won a publishing contract with Kindle Press through their Kindle Scout program for my first story. They had a very quick turnaround (about three months) but ended up closing the program.

I went on to self-publish three stories before signing a contract with The Wild Rose Press, my current publisher. I've published two novels with The Wild Rose Press and the process has taken nearly a year each time. I continue to query agents and editors if I have a project that lines up with their guidelines. I have a lot of novels I can't wait to release.

You’ve now written two series one in the north and another by the beach. Which of those would be your favorite destination to live?
I would love to live by the beach! I'm a Midwesterner and after nearly two weeks of dreary days, finally had a glimpse of sunshine today.

Did you originally plan to make these a series?
If I write a series, I typically have a plan for each book before I start the first (I'm a plotter!). Lately, I've been writing standalone novels, but I have a few stories with sequels in the works too.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing is silencing my inner critic. The more I write and the more I learn about the craft, the harder I critique myself. I outline a story and get excited. Typically, I have a crisis of confidence halfway through the first draft and then several times through the edits.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve e had in your writing?
That comes from total strangers who tell me they really enjoy my work.

We have all experienced rejection. How have you learned to write past it?
Rejection can be really hard. In any creative field, it can seem impossible at times to separate yourself from your product. Sometimes the rejection rolls off my back. Other times, I give myself a day and then get back to work. My motto is: I can take a break, but I can't quit.

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
I think it's really important to understand that one book won't make you or break you. I've seen friends go from one contract to another with no pause and others who are hustling for the next contract. The hurry-up/wait cycle doesn't end after you sign a contract and that can be frustrating.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
I wished I'd known how many people want to help lift up newbie writers. I didn't join any professional writing organizations until after my first contract and didn't connect with local writers until two years after that. If you are writing, find your community! Don't do it alone.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
My best advice is to keep writing. I think of myself as a pantsing plotter. Once I started outlining my scenes, I've never had a day where "I don't know what to write." I have at least a general idea of where the story is supposed to go and can adapt as needed.

Your newest book takes place on a cruise. Why did you choose this as your storyline location?
I absolutely love cruising! Nothing beats a cruise vacation in my opinion. The ships are luxurious, the service is impeccable, and I feel so pampered on board. An Alaskan Cruise is my dream vacation and was a fun chance to research.

Can you give me a short synopsis?
Forced to share a stateroom with her ex-fiancé, Caitlyn fakes amnesia to stay on board her dream Alaskan cruise. Torn over deciding his future, Cruise Director Gregory tumbles into helping her. As they grow closer, unspoken secrets threaten to rip them apart, for good.

I definitely agree with Rachelle that cruising is a wonderful way to spend a vacation. If you can’t do an Alaskan cruise, read about one in her newest book. And enjoy the beach with her other novels. Here are some links to buy those books.

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