I had the pleasure of meeting New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken at the Moonlight and Magnolias conference this past fall. She graciously agreed to this interview. I am positive you will love her and her books as much as I did:
You are a prolific writer. Why do you write (and how did you start writing)?
I write because my mind won't shut up! I have so many different story lines going on at any given time that I'm pretty sure if I didn't record some of the stuff I'm thinking. My head would explode! ;) I was a school counselor for five years. In between sessions with kids I would work on books in hopes to kind of distress. It was an emotionally trying job and it was kind of my escape from everything. The rest is history!
You write in multiple genres. Is it challenging to adapt your style among historicals, young adult, paranormal/gothic, etc.? Do you have a favorite genre you write in?
At first it was really challenging. I was writing my regency series House of Renwick and I would switch between that and my contemporary Compromising Kessen, and all of a sudden the speech would change. I'd have to go back and delete everything because my characters were saying "Devil take it!" In 2012! Now, I am able to balance it out more. I know how to change my voice a bit depending on what I'm writing. While writing Whispered Music, my regency retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I was also writing a contemporary, The Bet. Both books had interesting secondary characters and some fun love triangles. It actually helped to be able to bounce between stories when I felt drained! I think my favorite genre is regency. I have a weakness for rakes and wounded heroes. I want to see the bad boy get knocked off his feet by the independent woman. The regency period provides the perfect environment for the gentleman to seduce the lady only to find out that the lady plans on seducing him first. It's delicious, and I love it!
What is your writing process? You work on multiple books at the same time what are the challenges and benefits you experience in doing that?
The biggest challenge is remembering your characters names and also focusing on the voice of that certain novel. I think it's important to work where you are inspired. if I'm not feeling the whole historical thing, I switch it up. I think it also makes it easier for me not to hit a slump. When I get blocked I just move on and go to something else, I try not to put pressure on myself. In doing that I'm able to relax and enjoy myself! I also have some readers that prefer the historicals so its always a fun challenge to try to get them to jump genres and enjoy something different!
Why did you choose to submit to Astraea Press? What is it like working with Stephanie Taylor/having an editor who is also an author?
I saw Astraea Press on a blog and noticed that they were a new publisher specializing in sweet romance. I knew that I wanted to be a sweet romance author, so I submitted to them, and was completely shocked when they accepted my manuscript! I love working with Stephanie. I couldn't ask for a better company or a more wonderful woman! She is brilliant with her company and also personally edits most of my manuscripts. I can always trust her to be honest with my work. She makes me as an author want to work harder.
What are you working on?
I'm currently working on my London Fairy Tale series. I'm doing a regency retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It's the third book in my fairy tales series and it focuses around Hunter Wolfsbane Duke of Haverstone. He's a very damaged and hilarious hero who is both Hunter and Wolf. He's also a spy for the crown. His partner is a woman, though he despises the fact that she's of the opposite sex. He finds her not only distracting but extremely attractive, she goes by the name Red. The story has been so fun to write and I'm excited for the finished product this Winter! (The Wolf's Pursuit has an anticipated February 2013 release date).
I'm also working on a contemporary romance about two brothers pulled between the girl next door. It's called The Bet, and should also be releasing soon. :) And because I clearly have too much time on my hands, I'm simultaneously working on a new serial regency that will be up on my
blog in weekly posts called "The Spinster Club," it will eventually be made into a novel. :)
What appearances will you be making in the next year?
I'll be attending RT in Kansas City. I'm also a featured author at RomCon in Denver and I think I'll be attending a few more conventions as well!