I am happy to welcome Rachel Kenley, a romance author who says she embraces the power of passion. She writes for Ravenous Romance and definitely weaves hot tales of passion. Her most recent release is WAVES OF PLEASURE.
Rachel, do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?
I do. I am so very lucky to be able to tell friends and family what I do and what I write. My mom usually reads my second or third draft and gives input at edits (and she’s even written three short stories for anthologies I’ve edited. She writes under Holly East). My sons stand at the computer and cheer when I send a manuscript off to my editor. I have a writers group I attend weekly where all forms/genres of writing are supported and even community friends know what I write. I consider myself very blessed.
(Starla) You do have a wonderful support group behind you, and, yes, you are blessed with that. Many writers don’t have so much support.
How long have you been writing?
I don’t remember when I didn’t write or want to write, but I got serious in the year before I turned 40. I knew being published was something I wanted and I knew it was important to focus on this while my kids were still relatively young, not something to add into all of our lives later. After years of starting and stopping different works, I finished and polished my first novel (novella), Roll Play, which was submitted to Ellora’s Cave eight weeks after my 40th birthday.
What is your main writing genre?
My main genre is erotic romance and within that I write both paranormal and contemporary (and most of my paranormals have a contemporary setting, like Waves of Pleasure). I love watching how people – especially women – grow and change in their lives and how relationships influence their journeys. I would love to write women’s fiction some day.
Is there a general theme or message in your books?
What a great question! The tag line on my web site is “embrace the power of passion” and I think that is a theme I return to again and again. It’s not only about the passion between two people, but personal passion as well. When creating characters I always ask myself what will make my hero and heroine happy – separate from a relationship – and what will they have to go through to achieve that? How will this relationship help and support this goal? What will need to be given up? Passion makes going through the journey worth it.
(Starla) I love your answer, clearly you give depth to your characters.
Describe your working environment.
A few years ago for Mother’s Day my gift was a shed in the backyard. And once it was built, everything in the garage went into the shed, and my writing space became the garage. I love having a place of my own – fondly referred to as the Muse Salon – where I can focus on writing, but still be accessible to my family when they need me. I have two bookcases filled with books on writing and copies of my books as well. There are two different types of desks, one with my laptop and one where I do freehand writing and journaling. And most importantly – I can close the door when I want to.
Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?
I tend to prefer getting up early in the morning to write before my family is awake. I homeschool my sons so I try my best to keep to my schedule and if not – to my word count goal of the day, which is a minimum of 1,000 words. I think what helps is I remember that my priorities are my marriage and family so I take care of those first, which helps when life’s surprises (and deadlines) come sneaking in. Because my family knows how important they are, when my writing needs more time, I can usually take it. As writers, we are fortunate that our work “travels” with us. I can do reading, research, and editing while at sports games and other kid events. I never go anywhere without a pad and pen.
(Starla) You have a lot on your shoulders with homeschooling and writing and everything else, but it sounds like you handle it all well.
How do you deal with rejection?
Oh, about as well as anyone I suppose. J It’s certainly not fun, but it is definitely part of the business and you have to know it’s going to come along with the acceptances. When it happens I do my best to remember that nothing was “rejected.” The manuscript was passed on by a particular agent or editor and another one may adore it. I love a quote that I keep on my bulletin board by Barbara Kingsolver which reads:” This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it “To the editor who can appreciate my work” and it has simple come back stamped “Not at this address.” Just keep looking for the right address. I’m always especially grateful to have other writers I can call to commiserate with when it happens.
(Starla) The quote was great!
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Buy Link: Ravenous Romance
What was unique about this book?
I think having a mermaid come on land at the Jersey Shore is pretty unique. Usually mermaid stories are set where it is always warm. I wanted to do something different and in a place where people would be more familiar.
Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?
When I first started writing it I thought Lyria was a diplomat back in her world. Turns out, she was a healer. I had to go back and do a bunch of editing after discovering that. Of course, it was the right thing – the character is almost always right.
Will there be any sequels to this book?
I’m hoping that if readers love this book I will have a chance to write Lyria’s sister’s book, Waves of Desire. Cadence came into the story to help readers learn more about Lyria, but she has her own journey to take and something of the Sea Dragon’s to find. Also, I have ideas for Fiero – the Sea Dragon. I love a good villain turned hero.
(Starla) Both follow-up stories sound intriguing.
Mermaid Lyria, knows her legends. Humans – especially men – are not to be trusted. They can be played with and enjoyed, perhaps, but no more. But to keep the Stone of Fate hidden from Fiero, the Sea Dragon, she will need to lose herself in their world. To keep it safe, she chooses a place she has secretly visited since she was young – the Jersey Shore. There she meets Drew Crawford, a man she’s watched from afar for years.
From when Drew and Lyria meet and speak for the first time:
The combo was in full swing when Drew noticed the gorgeous woman at the bar. Her very long red hair was hard to miss since it hung loose to the center of her back with strands curling around her face. She turned as if sensing his attention and he was riveted by her features. Her mouth was full and lush, begging to be kissed, and her eyes were almost doll-like in their size. He wished the room wasn’t so dim so he could see their color, but even from a distance he noticed an uncertainty.
He watched her sip a margarita. The pleasure on her face as she swallowed made him long to keep her pleased. It was the strangest reaction, but too strong to ignore. She wore a light blue sleeveless dress that appeared to be made from a material so thin he wondered if in the ankles. He was dying to see her legs.
He saw other men noticing her and, with a sudden feeling of possessiveness, he moved to introduce himself. He was glad for the noise because it gave him an excuse to lean close to her when he spoke.
“Welcome to The Siren. I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. I’m Drew Crawford.” He held out his hand and she slid hers gently into it. No businesslike handshake from her. Instead the touch had an intimate feel as though she were caressing the most available part of his body.
“I’m Lyria, and no, you haven’t seen me here before. I only arrived in town today.”
“How did you hear about us?”
“I didn’t hear about you. I heard the music and came to hear more.”
“You like it?”
“Yes, very much. It has a beautiful flow and harmony.”
“We only started hosting jazz nights a few months ago.”
“Clearly it’s popular,” she said, gesturing to the crowd.
It was the most casual conversation he’d experienced in a while, but as long as her attention was on him, he didn’t care. “So, what brings you to the area?”
She paused before answering and he hoped her reply wouldn’t mention a man. “I needed some time away. I’d visited years ago so when I was looking for a place to disappear to, and this seemed like a good choice.”
“It’s still early in the season. Wait until schools are out. Then it gets really crazy.”
“I can handle a little crazy,” she said with a smile. The uncertain and distant look in her eyes disappeared when she smiled. It was as good a reason as any to keep her smiling. Unfortunately, business took the opportunity to intervene in the form of one of his servers.
“Hey, bossman, there’s a problem in the kitchen. A clash of wills—or won’ts—again.”
He shook his head. Drew’s two lead chefs were at each other’s throats at least once a night, more often if he was unlucky. He had come to understand the literal meaning of too many cooks spoiling the broth.
Something needed to change and soon, or it was going to be a long and painful summer. Tonight, however, was not the night to do it. For now he’d calm the waters and get back to Lyria as quickly as possible. “I need to take care of this personally. I hope you weren’t planning on leaving.”
“I’m enjoying being here, so I expect I’ll be staying.” A stray piece of salt clung to her lip and she licked it away. Drew wondered if standing up without attracting attention was going to be an option.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
Author Blogsite: The Gypsy Muse
Facebook: Rachel Kenley
Twitter: Rachel Kenley
Amazon Author Page: Rachel Kenley
Email: [email protected]