Happy Saturday my lovelies! Today on Meet the Author we’re talking to the lovely Rachel Brimble about going back to the Edwardian era, being rescued by helicopter, and her new book Christmas at Pennington’s…..
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live with my husband and two daughters near the beautiful city of Bath, England – when I’m not writing I like to read, knit and watch TV. I’m the author of over 20 published books across a variety of romance genres from contemporary to romantic suspense to historical.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve wanted to write books since the age of eight or nine but went on to work in a bank and then stay at home with my two daughters. It wasn’t until my youngest started school full-time in 2005 that I had my ‘now or never’ moment. My first novel, Searching For Sophie, was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007 and I haven’t looked back since!
How many books have you written and published?
I have had 22 novels and 2 novellas published with number 23 coming out in Spring 2020. I have just one unpublished novel on my computer that I intend revisiting in the New Year!
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Each book has been my favourite as I’m writing it BUT I have to say with my current series, Christmas At Pennington’s is definitely my favourite of the series so far!
How do you choose the names of your characters?
With an ease that is probably not true of a lot of authors! I am not a writer who holds a lot of indecision when it comes to names – I often trawl through baby names of the period and pick the one that jumps out at me!
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I have lots of favourite authors, but I would probably have to say Nora Roberts as I have read more of her books than any other author – although she has written more books than most authors! I love them all, but my favourite series was the Bride Quartet. Fabulous!
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I can remember writing my very first book when I was about nine years old – I wrote the words, drew some accompanying pictures and then hole punched it before tying the pages together with ribbon. I so wish I still had it!
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I had a Saturday job in a beauty discount store when I was teenager and then worked in a bank for 10 years before I left to have my eldest daughter – I was lucky enough to be a stay at home mum until I became a full-time novelist.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Ooh, definitely backwards! At the moment, I would love to go back to the Edwardian Era and see all the amazing clothes and hats in real time – I would also love to speak to the women and hear their societal struggles first hand. That would be amazing!
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably Nora Roberts – I’d love to pick her brains about plotting and planning a character’s internal journey. She seems to nail it EVERY time!
What are your favourite things to do?
Next to writing (which I would do all day every day!), I love to knit while catching up with my favourite TV programmes or walking the Cotswold countryside with my beloved chocolate Labrador and my family.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
The scariest was my family and I being rescued by helicopter from a hotel clubhouse during the 2010 French floods…
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
The best advice that was given to me about eight years ago – ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.’ So liberating and something I’ve held firmly in writing process ever since.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My latest release is Christmas At Pennington’sand it’s the third book in my Pennington’s department series, but all the books can be read as single titles.
Here’s the blurb & buy links:
Gripping drama as Pennington’s department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.
Christmas sees Pennington’s at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.
For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.
For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington’s is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph’s first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.
For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?
Thanks so much Rachel for a brilliant interview! It must have been so scary being in the floods and having to be rescued! I’m so excited to read Christmas at Pennington’s and will hopefully get round to it soon – it’s definitely the best time of year for it!
I’ve also read another of Rachel’s books: A Rebel at Pennington’s – you can read my review for it here.
Any comments/questions for the lovely Rachel, the let us know below or pop her a message.
Have a wonderful day everyone – I’m now off to do housework!