Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome, Rachel West

1: Thank you so much for being here, Rachel. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

I actually haven't been writing very long at all. I started writing fanfiction in the summer of 2008, and began with original work about six months after that.

2: What inspired you to write?

Originally, I just wrote out of love for a particular set of characters, and a desire to play with them in scenarios of my own design. But I soon found that I loved the writing process itself, and when I heard that another fanfic author who I loved had successfully transitioned into publishing original work, I felt compelled to give it a try.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

There are so many things I love about writing. I like the brainstorming phase, letting my mind wander to all kinds of unusual places and coming up with new ideas. I like the planning phase, when I put it all together and map out where I want my story to go. I like the actual nitty-gritty putting words on the page, especially when it's flowing well and I'm getting a lot done. I pretty much like all of it.

The thing I like least is probably when I'm not writing at all -- that is, when I get stuck and can't make any progress. That is not fun. For me or for anyone unfortunate enough to be around me.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

I'm a big fan of hiking, or just being outdoors in beautiful weather. I love long drives, especially on curvy country roads. And I like relaxing with my partner and just doing nothing. That may be my favorite activity of all.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

For romance, it does not get any better than K.A. Mitchell, as far as I'm concerned. I'd read VCR programming instructions if she wrote them. Boy, I guess that dates me -- okay, TiVo programming instructions. :)

For everything else, man, I like a lot of things. My tastes are a bit eclectic. But some of my favorites are Jonathan Safran Foer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Andre Dubus III, Jane Austen, Amy Tan, Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, Philip Roth, Annie Proulx, and when the mood strikes, a little Candace Bushnell.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

Goodness. I have no idea. That I don't know how to answer this question?

Um... that I'm new to all this. And that I love to hear what people think of my stories (good, bad, whatever) more than I can adequately express.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

My current book is Everything Under the Sun, and it comes out as an eBook today, May 19. It should be available at many different online booksellers, but some may take some time to stock it, so the easiest way to buy it now is to go to the Dreamspinner website. You can also always visit my blog to learn more.

The book is a love triangle of sorts with three main characters: Chris, a 19-year-old lifeguard in southern California; Seth, Chris's old high school classmate (and more), now returning from his first year at college; and Alex, Chris's new 26-year-old neighbor. Chris is drawn in multiple directions both in life and love, and the story follows his journey to figure out what, and who, he wants. With a lot of m/m sex along the way.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Ha, it's a little weird to be on the other side of this question, since this is my first book, so I'm unaccustomed to being thought of as anything other than an aspiring author myself. But okay. The best advice I can give you is to stay true to your own voice and to find some smart people to help you shape it -- I would be nowhere without the amazing group of folks who read this story as I wrote it and were generous enough to give me their thoughts. If you can find a bunch like that, you're golden.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Nope. But then again, no character is truly original, so they're probably all at least partially composites of various people I know.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

I get my ideas from a big green steamer trunk under my bed. Which is also where I keep my underwear.

No, I don't know. I just start thinking and see what comes out. This story wasn't inspired by anything in particular, except that I wanted to try writing a romance that had a bit of uncertainty in it in terms of who the protagonist was going to end up with in the end.

11: What are you currently working on?

Well, my next book is coming out this summer: a novella called The Cellmate, about two guys who meet in prison and find themselves falling in love much to their mutual surprise. As for what I'm writing, I'm working on a new book that doesn't have a title yet, which focuses on two young guys in a relationship who travel across the country together for the first time.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Ha, see question 6. I'd love to hear from you! And thanks.

Excerpt can be found at:

No comments: