Welcome to another Legends on LoveCats. Today we are excited to have the wonderful Christine Rimmer as our guest. Christine is a USA Today Bestselling author and writes for Harlequin Special Edition.
1/ Please tell us a little about your journey to first getting published?
It was years and years ago. I was young and adventurous. After giving up the acting career I’d pursued without much success into my 20’s, I tried my hand at a number of different writing disciplines. I was a playwright and had my plays produced in Southern California; I wrote and published poetry and short stories. But you can bet at the end of the day, a great romance was always close at hand for my reading pleasure. I finally got smart and decided to try to write what I loved most to read. I bought a book on how to write a romance and followed the instructions, which sounds quite simple but really was an interesting journey. There was research that lasted for months. I had to read and catalog and analyze 200 romances. I enjoyed every one those love stories and when I got down to the actual writing of that first book, I found I loved writing romances as much as I loved reading them. And so I’ve been writing them ever since. I started out in series/category romance and I’ve written a few mainstream stories, but in the main, my career has been in category, which I still love to write.
When I wrote my first series romance, there were several other category romance publishers here in the USA. I tried them all, avoiding Harlequin because I had some idea that a beginner like me would never have a chance there. Finally, after several rejections, I decided to go ahead and query Harlequin, though I was doubtful anything would come of it. They asked to see my book! I was so thrilled. And then, months later, I got the call. What a day that was! I walked on air for months after.
2/ How many books have you had published so far in your career?
Oh, 80 or so.
3/ The world of publishing is ever evolving, how have you stayed on top of trends and continued to give your readers what they want?
I read, read, read. And then I read some more. I know, that’s not particularly surprising, it’s just what all authors do. We are, all of us, readers first and foremost.
When I’m reading, I stay open to how the syntax and rhythm of the language keeps changing. I watch for new turns of phrase. I pay attention to how social mores develop and our perceptions of what’s desirable in life and love alter. I try to keep current on how people talk and behave.
That said, so far in my romance writing career, certain beloved storylines have remained consistently popular: the Marriage of Convenience, the Secret Baby, Hero or Heroine with Amnesia, the Sexy Single Dad, Reunion Stories, Runaway Brides, Alpha Heroes—all these and more never seem to lose their appeal. And I happen to love writing such stories. It’s the place where what I love to write intersects with an audience, and that means I’m fortunate to have wonderful readers all over the world who enjoy a book by Christine Rimmer.
4/ What has been the highlight of your publishing career so far?
I honestly can’t name just one. Though I enjoy the satisfaction of making bestseller lists and winning awards for my writing, I do think I love the process of writing most of all. So the highlights are those days when everything is working and the words just seem to flow into my head and out my fingers onto the screen. My dear friend Susan Mallery and I have a sort of salutation we share. “May you write like the wind.” That’s it. That’s as good as it gets. When I write like the wind.
5/ Which of your books is your favourite, and why?
Sorry. Can’t name a favorite. The others might get jealous. ;) I am thoroughly enjoying writing my Bravo Royales series now. It’s fun, for a change, to write about princes on the Cote d’Azur instead of American heroes in Texas. Or Wyoming. Or California...
6/ Are you a plotter or a panster?
Er, both. Probably more on the plotter side than the panster.
I work with a plot group and love the plot/brainstorming process. Twice a year I meet with Susan Mallery, Kate Carlisle and Teresa Southwick in Las Vegas. For four days, we brainstorm each other’s plots and get the sessions on tape. I get two taped sessions per plot group. Of course, when I sit down to write my proposal, a lot changes from whatever we worked out in the session. But I always get so many more ideas from those three other brilliant brains than I could if I were working completely on my own.
By the time I’ve put the story into outline/synopsis form, it’s pretty thoroughly planned out. But then I’m always changing it up once I’m writing the manuscript, discovering new things about the characters and the story. Often the second half of the book will be different in some ways than planned. But the general arcs of plot points and character development usually remains, well, if not the same, definitely close.
7/ What’s the one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Read, read, read and then write, write, write. Write a whole book. And then write another one. I know, I know. It’s not very original. But it works.
8/ What do you love most about being a romance author?
It still comes down the work for me, the satisfaction I get when a synopsis finally clicks, or when I finish a book and know I’ve written the best book I could for this moment in my life as a writer. Beyond the writing process, I love when the paperback author’s copies of my latest release come in the mail. I love to hold my latest book in my hands and grin at the sight of my name on the front and think, “I did that. And I can do it again.”
Please leave a comment to go into the draw to win a copy of Christine's latest Harlequin Special Edition Her Highness And The Bodyguard