For today's interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with Rinelle Grey, author of the Dragon Ruins series, A Baren Planet Romance series, and Twin Gems series. Just to give you all a heads up, each first story in the series are free, so grab your copies while you can!
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Welcome to PNRLovers, Rinelle.
First up, I’m from Brisbane, Australia. I’ve lived around this area my whole life, and in fact, have only been out of my state a couple of times. I have travelled internationally once, to Japan, on a semi-business trip.
If I had to pick one place to live though, this would probably be it. The weather is good, almost anything will grow, and while we complain about winter, it’s actually pretty mild. The one downside is that I’ve never seen snow! It did snow about 3 hours south of me this year, but by the time I heard about it, it was all melting!
I grew up in an isolated area, doing school of distance, and living without electricity or running water. I wouldn’t change that either. I had a great childhood, and a pretty carefree one. That said, I love my electricity and indoor plumbing now! But, I have gone on to homeschool my own daughter, and definitely lean towards the unconventional in most of my life.
Other than writing, what other life-long dreams do you have? Any fun bucket list items that you can share, and do you have any plans to make them happen?
Writing would definitely be my number 1 life dream. Other than that, I’d love to travel a bit more, see some of the awesome places in Australia, as well as some in Europe. I’d love to go on a cruise one day.
Mostly though, I’m pretty content with my life. If I want something badly enough, I usually figure out a way to make it happen.
If you could sit down and talk shop with any one author (past or present), who would you love to spend a few hours speaking with? Why?
I’m really rather shy, so I suspect that if I came face to face with any of my favourite authors, I’d probably have no idea what to say! That said, I’d love to meet Georgette Heyer, and find out where she got inspiration for her books, find out which one is her favourite (is it the same as mine?), and how she managed all that research!
Ohh, or maybe Anne McCaffrey. I’d love to chat about Pern with her.
Right now, it takes about 6 months to write, edit and publish a full length book. Mostly that’s because I have so many other things going on. Between homeschooling my daughter, growing a garden, being a full time parent, and just general life stuff, I struggle to find time to write some days.
I can actually write a full length book in about 2 months. If I had more daily writing time, I’m sure I could get that down to 1 month. Editing takes a lot longer for me. Because I’m a pantser, that is, I write without an outline, it usually takes me a month or two, and the help of an editor and beta reader, to get the manuscript into shape. Then it has a line edit, and my husband does the final proofread for me. I like to make sure the final proofread is after I format, to make sure I haven’t missed any chapters or paragraphs in the transition.
You may have noted that the times I’ve given don’t add up to 6 months. Yeah, well, that’s my ideal timeline. Truth is though, life always seems to get in the way, and things take longer than I expect.
What was the hardest/most unexpected thing you found out when writing your book?
Most unexpected to me was that I’m actually enjoying marketing my book. I enjoy chatting with readers, I enjoy looking at new promotion sites, and I really enjoy keeping track of sales and the effect these actions have on them. I LOVE spreadsheets…
There’s a fine balance between writing and doing all the other things any author needs to do. How much time do you devote to marketing for a new release?
I usually spend at least a week doing intensive marketing after a new release. I have to send out a newsletter, post on facebook and twitter, update the backmatter of all my other books, update my webpage, update all my forum signatures, and of course, keep track of all those sales.
Some people love them, other people hate them. What’s your take on cliff-hanger serials?
Hmm. I think this is a loaded question, since I’m writing one right now.
I’m not a fan of cliffhangers in longer books, and try not to write them. I like my books to be pretty much standalone, and in each of my books, the main couple’s story is wrapped up (although Marlee and Tyris’s story does carry over two books, Reckless Rescue and Reckless Rebellion, they have a happily for now in the first book).
For the shorter serials, that come out more quickly, I don’t mind some unresolved issues. At least then I’m not waiting quite so long for the next book. In my own serial, I like to make sure the main issue is wrapped up, then introduce a new issue near the end of the story.
I do find though, that like them or not, open ended endings are more likely to bring the reader back to the series. If everything is wrapped up too tidily, then why buy the next book?
And now for the silly… if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere and a genie offered to supply you with one book, one person, and one kind of food, what (and who) would you choose to have with you?
I think I’ve read this question before. The answer is something along the line of a raft building book, someone who can navigate you home, and probably some trail rations for the trip.
Or cheesecake. Let’s go with cheesecake.
Right now I’m writing Reckless Remedy the fourth novel in my sci-fi romance series. This one involves a human/alien relationship (never thought I’d be writing that, but it just happened, as most of my books do). I’m actually really enjoying it, but then again, I haven’t hit my 20k writers block yet. It’s right on target to arrive sometime next week.
I’m also editing Healing the Dragon, the fourth installment in my dragon shifter serial set in the Australian outback. I’ve always loved dragons, so I’m really enjoying these stories. And since they’re nice and quick, I’m managing to get one out a month (almost).
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
My two upcoming novels still need a lot of work, so I’ll share an excerpt from my Christmas novella, Bringing Christmast to the Dragons, which is coming out on November 15th as part of the Sugar, Spice and Shifters box set.
“Come on in.” Gretchen unlocked the front door. “Sorry it’s a mess, I wasn’t expecting to have guests over.”
Unlike her car, Jayrian wouldn’t have described her house as a mess. There were scattered piles of books in the corners and some cushions on the floor, but it smelt fresh and clean, and a breeze blew through the open windows.
Jayrian was the one who felt out of place. He was dusty and sweaty, and though dragons didn’t smell as bad as humans, he was aware of an unpleasant odour from his own body.
He was about to apologise when he heard a low growl and sensed movement in the room.
Instantly, his senses were on the alert.
The growl erupted into furious barking, and a little white ball of fur raced towards Jayrian from one of the other rooms, barking as hard as it could. It didn’t try to bite, just stood out of arms reach, the hackles rising all down its back. Jayrian bit back a smile.
“Sugarpup, what’s up with you?” Gretchen scooped up the little dog, who gave a surprised yelp, then barked at him anew from her owner’s arms. “Sorry, I don’t know what’s up with her, she’s not usually like this with strangers,” Gretchen apologised.
Jayrian knew what was up. He might look human, but the dog could smell he wasn’t as surely as he would be able to smell another dragon.
Unless he could win her over, she’d keep barking until he left. And if Gretchen became suspicious, it could jeopardise his plan to convince the elders to trust her.
“May I?” Jayrian held out his hands for the dog.
The little dog pulled back, still barking furiously, and Gretchen hesitated. Jayrian couldn’t fault her for it. In fact, it just made him more certain she was the right person for this job. She was protecting her pup. She didn’t know him, why should she trust him?
But her hesitation only lasted a minute. Then she handed the little ball of fur to him.
Instantly, the dog stopped barking. Jayrian could feel her trembling all over and smell her fear. “Hey, little girl,” he said in his most gentle voice. He didn’t know much about dogs, but he guessed they were like most animals. He scratched her behind the ear. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt you.”
Gretchen watched them both for a few minutes, but since Sugarpup was no longer protesting, she assumed the dog was okay. “I’m just going to go find you something to put on while we wash those clothes,” she said and disappeared out of the room.
The dog stiffened as soon as she left, burying her head in Jayrian’s arm, trying to pretend he wasn’t there.
He gave a short laugh. “Don’t worry, I’m not your enemy. We can be friends, can’t we?” He tickled the dog under the chin.
She looked up at him unwillingly.
“Just stop the barking, huh? Otherwise, this is going to be a long hour while my clothes wash.” He bent down and put the little dog on the ground, still scratching her. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she scrambled away under the lounge chair.
Jayrian sighed. At least she was quiet. Maybe she’d get used to him in time.
Where can our readers find you online? Do you have a newsletter they could join?
Readers can find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rinellegreyauthor/, my twitter name is @RinelleGrey, and can sign up for my newsletter at http://www.rinellegrey.com/notify/ I always love hearing from readers!