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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Interview With Rebecca J. Clark

Please welcome fellow TWRP author Rebecca J. Clark, here to talk about writing and her first release, Borrowed Stilettos, ranked in the top ten books at Fictionwise.

Tell us a bit about you :)
I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband of 22 years and two usually fabulous teenagers. We have a German Shepherd beast, 2 cats and a gecko to round out our menagerie. When I'm not writing, my "other" job is a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world with two fascinating, fun and and exciting careers. Most people can't honestly say they love their jobs. I have two, and love them both.

What neat careers you have! What made you decide to become a writer?
Since reading my first Harlequin Romance at age 11, I've wanted to write romances. It just took me a while to start pursuing it seriously. I love how I feel when I finish reading a good romance, and that's what inspires me to write them. I want my readers to get that satisfied, happy feeling at the end of my stories, too.

How long did it take you to write Borrowed Stilettos?
You know, I actually have no idea. I originally wrote it many years ago, but the line I wrote it for folded. I put it aside until 2007 when an agent suggested I write really hot. So I completely rewrote the whole thing with a much steamier twist (you can't just add sex scenes. Well, you COULD, but it probably wouldn't be authentic to the story), and submitted it. My guess is that if I wrote it start to finish with no side trips, it would've taken me 4-5 months.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser?
Neither. I'm a mess. :) Seriously, I'm probably more of a pantser, although being a plotter would probably be quicker and less frustrating. I generally will know a bit about the characters, some of the turning points, the setting, then I'll write a really fast and ugly first draft. I mean REALLY ugly. Then I go back and fix it. I'll probably go through 5-6 drafts, if not more. Never less.

What advice would you give to new writers?
Read a lot in your genre and outside your genre. Write what you love, not what you think will sell. This business is hard and frustrating, and can take years and years to sell. You don't want to spend all your time writing something you're not passionate about, do you?

That's a great point, LOL. What promo advice would you recommend for newly published authors?
Man, I am the wrong person to ask about this. Promo is my least favorite part of this business, but it's a necessary evil. :) (I say this because I'm somewhat introverted by nature. I hate talking about myself. My mom always said it was rude...) I guess the first thing I'd do is get a simple website (I use Homestead and it was super easy to put something together, especially considering I'm techno-challenged). Then I'd get onto Facebook or MySpace, and Twitter, and just start putting yourself "out there." Get some name recognition.

Any tricks or tips you can share in terms of writing/craft?
Buy and read James Scott Bell's book Plot & Structure. It's helped me so much. Also, while you're writing the first draft, don't worry or stress too much about getting everything right. Just get the story down. You can revise later. My muse works much better when I hand her the reins and let her run free.

What's surprised you the most about publishing a novel?
How much time it takes to do promotion. I don't do nearly as much as some other writers do, but it still takes a big chunk of my time. I'm not the most organized person, but I really need to learn to schedule time to do this. I'll get on Facebook or Twitter or various loops, just thinking I'll check in. Next thing I know, I've spent an hour or two there when I really should have been writing

What are you working on now?
I always work on several projects at once. Right now, I'm working on a follow-up to my debut novel, Borrowed Stilettos, and also a romantic suspense novella. And a story I plan to submit to Harlequin.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Don't ever give up. This is a tough business. It'll break you if you let it. So don't let it. :)
Ooh, you just gave me goose bumps. I hope to see many more releases from you in the near future!

Thank you so much for the interview, Rebecca, and we'll look forward to your sequel. To purchase a copy of Borrowed Stilettos, visit Rebecca's website, or The Wild Rose Press.

14 comments:

Katie Reus said...

Great interview and that's an awesome cover! Makes me want to break out my heels instead of standard flip-flops today ;)

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Thanks so much for having me here!

Katie--they did a great job with my cover, didn't they?

:)Becky

Cheryl said...

Hey Rebecca,

Great interview! I loved learning more about you--I didn't know you were a personal trainer!!! I NEED YOU, REBECCA!!! LOLLOL It's wonderful you have two fantastic jobs like you do, you're right--not many can say that. Love the over of your book, too.

Cheryl

Cate Masters said...

Wonderful interview! Congrats on your success with Borrowed Stilettos, Rebecca! Of all the writing books on my shelf, that's one I don't have so thanks for the tip. And I could you use too, as a personal trainer! Maybe you could start a virtual group for writers. :)

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Hey Cheryl and Cate--Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to be your trainers! And kick your booties into shape. :)

If I had more time, I'd do a fitness blog for writers. Periodically, I post tips on my shy writers blog, but it's nothing regular.

:)Becky

Beth Trissel said...

Awesome interview. I love that you're 'a mess' too. :)

Debra St. John said...

I go tmy start reading Harleguins as well! My favorite line back then was the American Line.

Promotion does take a lot of time, that's for sure.

Fun interview, ladies.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Hey Beth--You're a mess, too? So nice to hear. :)

Debra--I appreciate you stopping by. I always like the American line of Harlequin, too.

:)Becky

Kaylea Cross said...

Hi gang! I was all dressed and ready for the gym, but then I got bogged down in more work and received another dreaded "R" in my inbox. Long story short, I'm not gonna make my workout today.

Becky, I adore your cover. Now I've just got to load the book onto my Sony reader for my upcoming trip to TX next week. You'll be traveling with me in spirit :)

Margaret Tanner said...

Great interview Rebecca.
Loved the cover and the killer heels. Wish I could still wear them.
Best of luck with all your ventures.

Regards
Margaret

Catherine Bybee said...

What can I say? I just LOVE this book. Write faster, Rebecca! lol

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Kaylea, I'm sorry about your recent R. Hang in there and keep writing.

Margaret--I borrowed my sister's stilettos for my first booksigning and was fine...unless I stood up or tried to walk. Yikes.

Catherine--You always know just what to say. :)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Love the title, and am looking forward to the read. Awesome. :)

Personal Trainer, it's just what I need. lol.. want to visit Australia. :)

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Suzanne--you just want to visit Australia or you're going to? If it's the latter, I'm so jealous.

:)Becky