Tell us about yourself.
Up until two years ago I was a harassed English teacher, running my own department in a busy Surrey comprehensive and my life could not have been more stressful. A short illness made me re-think my lifestyle and I took the plunge to give up teaching and focus on my life-long ambition – to be a writer. Of course I felt I’d always been a writer; ever since I was first able to write I was penning little stories and losing myself in fictional worlds, but this was for real. I wrote all day and every day, and even made money from it! I began as a freelance writer and editor to subsidize my creative writing and from there, my first contemporary romance, ‘The Apple Tree’ was born.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
It has to be the beginning because that’s what makes or breaks a novel. Those first few paragraphs are crucial as people often scan those to get a ‘flavor’ of the rest and if they don’t like them, they won’t read on. The first three chapters are also vitally important – if you can hold your reader’s interest through those, they may feel more committed towards reading the rest.
Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
I can’t imagine any writer answering ‘no’ to that question! In the same way that there is usually one character we feel more about, in my novels there are always experiences taken from real life. And why not? Writing about what you know best usually enables you to produce your best writing. One of my upcoming novels was so much about me and my experiences that it was a pretty vehement polemic at one stage and required a good deal of ruthless editing to weed out my grievances and tone things down to make them more appropriate to the characters!
Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
I know erotica sells well as some of my best friends write it, but for my own stories, I prefer to leave the sex scenes to the readers’ imaginations. I like reading to be an active process and every reader is more than capable of using her imagination to fill in the details. I did try writing a graphic sex scene once but it made me feel like a voyeur, peeping through the keyhole at a private event. Since then, I’ve left the erotica to those who prefer to write it and do it so much better than I would.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And why?
Can I cheat and have two, but for very different reasons? I like Nicholas in ‘The Apple Tree’ because he’s so gorgeous and sure of himself and has girls falling over themselves for him – but he doesn’t yet know his heart and really has to find out the hard way that it won’t be ruled by his head. My other character is Rhia in my WIP ‘Unworkers’. She started out as a very minor character but wrote herself into a major role. She’s a complex and tragic character – quite different to how she initially appears.
Tell us about your newest release.
‘The Apple Tree’ was released just before Christmas after winning first prize in Inspired Romance Novel’s writing contest. Inspired Romance - and available at multiple retail outlets in all ebook formats.
THE APPLE TREE
Escaping from your past is never easy, as young hospital doctor Juliet discovers when she tries to start afresh, leaving both her marriage and her career behind. Love blossoms rapidly when she meets the mysterious and forthright Nicholas, who seems to herald the new beginning she craves. The past quickly dissolves into insignificance as their all-consuming romance propels them forward but Juliet has to learn the price of happiness in the cruelest way possible. Will she be able face the painful roots of her past in order for her future to grow strong and healthy?
She gazed at his beautiful hands with their long, sensuous fingers and fought an overwhelming urge to seize them in hers and hold them to her cheek and lips, to nibble and kiss each finger one by one...feel them touching her, caressing her, just as they used to. His beautiful gardening hands, if only that was all they had been. If only it had been so simple. She tried to cure herself by imagining them doing intimate things to Antoinette’s body. The punishing thought almost brought tears to her eyes.
He was still holding onto her arm and she looked at him, almost despairingly.
“Why are you always so kind?” she demanded, fighting back the tears. “Why do you do it?”
Their eyes met for an instant but he was guarded now, his mask of indifference firmly back in place. He shrugged and looked off into the distance as they began to walk back to the cemetery gate along one of the narrow gravel paths between the rows of graves, many of which were adorned with huge flowers in their varied autumnal shades of rust and yellow.
“It’s nothing,” he replied dismissively and they walked the rest of the way in silence, leaving Julie wrestling with her emotions. She wanted to shout, ‘But it is! It is! How can I bear your kindness when I know you have such a low opinion of me?’
Just for fun–
What is your favourite colour(s)?
Yellow – such a happy colour.
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
Villain (I have a wicked streak!)
What is your favourite movie? And why?
‘Groundhog Day’ – That idea of needing to get things right (and being given the opportunity to do so) really fascinates me, and Bill Murray is an excellent actor who deserves far more recognition.
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? And why?
J. K. Rowling – just for a day. Simply to see what it feels like to be such a successful writer, irrespective of talent!
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
I hope to have a string of publications to my name – hopefully in diverse genres and a few contented readers.
Thanks for stopping by, Lynette. It was great to have you here. I wish you the best of success for the future. ~ Blak Rayne