Today I’d like to welcome contemporary romance author, Rachell Nichole to Creekside Café.
Welcome Rachell, is this your first time in eastern North Carolina?
Rachell: Thanks for having me. No, I’m from the East Coast, so I’ve been up and down the area. Never spent a lot of time in the Carolinas, but a day here and there. We had a stop in Charleston, South Carolina on the honeymoon cruise we took.
Sherri: Ah yes, you’re still honeymooning.
Rachell: Yup, Mr. Nichole and I have been married just over two years now. So we’re still newlyweds.
Sherri: We’re getting ready to celebrate twenty-eight years and my husband says we’re still honeymooning. We’re a little more sedate about it now that we’re older. You describe your books as contemporary with a little kink. That sounds interesting.
Rachell: Wow, that’s an amazing run! 28 years. Congratulations. I have some books that I consider Kink Lite, but some are really quite kinky. Right now, I’m focusing on some heavier kinky books. I’ve also got several different flavors of books that don’t have kink. I have F/F and menage, and multicultural books out as well. All of it is steamy. I’ve also written paranormal and romantic suspense as well, but those are not published yet.
Sherri: I read the excerpt on your blog, A Love Affair in Las Vegas it’s very heart warming. I felt a connection with Barnaby. Like Sylvia Day, you weave real life and emotions with steamy sex.
What are you working on now?
Rachell: Aw, that’s so sweet. I can’t believe I was just compared to Syl Day! That is one of the best compliments ever! Thank you. And yes, I love Barnaby. He’s such a sweetheart. Right now I’m working on Bound by Submission the second in the ABCs of Submission series, which is connected to the K Club series, that is in this anthology. I also just got ideas for the next two books directly in the K Club series, so I’m simmering those right now and trying to not get pulled into the brand new shiny projects.
Sherri: We met through The New Romance Café and the Love in Bloom anthology. Tell us about your story for the anthology.
Rachell: Yes, I love that group. It’s such a great place for romance readers and writers to connect. I’m so glad to have met folks just like you there. So, for this story, I really found it hard to fit Syenca and Jensen’s piece into only 10,000 words, but I also really really loved writing it. I titled it Blooming for Sir because it serves as a prequel story to To Sir, and starts out in the K Club, where the rest of the books in the series really take place. It’s also just got a touch of kink in it, and is about Syneca kind of trying this whole kinky thing out. Syneca and Jensen are both from old money New York families from the Hamptons, and Syneca was arranged from an early age to marry Jensen’s older brother, Jackson. She and Jensen shared a friendship as kids and a few kisses in their youth, but then Syenca broke things off with Jackson and moved away. The story starts out in The K Club during an auction to raise money for Syneca’s foundation to help LGBTQ homeless youth who have been disowned by their families. Jensen offers to buy her for the night, even though he knows she’s not for sale. I love love loved writing this short piece and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Here is the official blurb:
It’s springtime in Spartan Nevada, and that means it’s time for the K Club’s 2nd annual fetish ball to raise money for a good cause. This year, one of the club’s owners has chosen a cause close to his heart – the Madison Foundation that helped him when he was a homeless LGBT youth. Syneca Madison Lexington is delighted Dusty wants to help her foundation, particularly since she’s quickly running out of the trust fund money she could still access when her own parents disowned her for being bisexual. But a submissive auction? She doesn’t know if that’s something she can get behind or not. When Jensen Elmwood enters the K Club, intent on purchasing himself a submissive for the night, the last thing he expects is to run into the one woman he’s loved since he was a kid, the same woman who’s been engaged to his brother since high school. When the sparks reignite between them, can a springtime romance bloom into something more? Or will their past hurts and old family influences tear them apart?
Sherri: Well, I can’t wait to see what happens with Syneca and Jensen. I’m sure things are going to heat up.
You’ve been a published author for several years now. Are you traditionally published or indie?
Rachell: A bit of both, actually. I have been published now for 7 years. I started with a small press, and indie pubbed a few titles, but the small house I was with closed in 2018, so I’ve since republished my backlist all on my own, with the help of my writer-editor husband. So, with those titles all republished, and with three new titles I wrote and published last year along with the relaunch, I currently have 12 titles out. The story in the anthology will be lucky number 13.
I’ve been writing for as long as I could string sentences together, and I was writing romance fanfic in high school but didn’t start my first original paranormal romance novel until I was 18. I got my first novel publishing contract at 21, which is really early for so many people, and I feel so lucky to have started my career out that way, with the help and support of the editors, cover artists, and the rest of the team at Loose Id.
Sherri: You hold several degrees, do you use these in your writing?
Rachell: All the time, actually. Two of my degrees are in writing. So I feel like I use things I learned in those degree programs every day. The other degree in French is something I pull from in a lot of different ways. I’ve set books in France, and French culture and language end up in several of my books.
Sherri: Do your hobbies and interests show up in your writing?
Rachell: Languages and travel definitely make it into my writing, as does my love affair with food. My characters are eating quite a bit, or cooking for each other, or talking about food. I guess “food” isn’t really a hobby, but I really love cooking, and I think that bleeds into my writing in a lot of pieces.
I grab most of my recipes online, so here’s one I use a lot that I adore. It’s just some great good, comfort food! https://www.thekitchn.com/roasting-how-to-cook-a-whole-chicken-dinner-in-the-dutch-oven-254129
Sherri: Do you write full-time or do you hold down another job as well?
Rachell: Hah! There isn’t a job I’ve encountered I haven’t also worked! Currently, in addition to writing, I work a normal 9-5 (though those aren’t my exact hours) four days a week at a law firm and I teach writing for an online college. I also do some tutoring on the side, but not very steadily, just in between things.
Sherri: Oh wow, and I thought I was busy. When do you find time to write? You must really enjoy writing to be able to do it as well as work two, sometimes three other jobs.
Rachell: Sometimes, it’s really hard to balance, but right now, I block my writing time, usually on Fridays-Sundays when I’m not at the firm, and then i work my teaching around those 6-10 hour blocks of time where I’m writing. I’m fortunate that I can work on a piece for multiple hours without a lot of breaks. I love the excitement of a new project rattling around in my head begging to be let out. I also love talking to people about my stories. These characters are so real to me so when I talk to others about them like they’re also real people, the feeling is amazing.
Sherri: Oh yes, I feel that way too, especially when writing a series, you feel like they’re part of your family. Is there anything you don’t like about writing?
Rachell: Writing. Hahaha. I mean, I love it, but I hate it all at the same time. My very least favorite is the final edits and doing the formatting on a book.
Sherri: You’ve been writing several years and have a dozen books out. What do you feel your writing strengths and weaknesses are?
Rachell: I write cleanly. This comes back to my work as a writer and training, but also the fact that I learned to type when I was 9 and I can type by feel entirely. This makes typos less likely. I write what I call a dirty draft, where I can kick out 50,000 words in three weeks, and then dig in and revise it which I’m only able to do because I can type so quickly and without having to stare at either the screen or the keyboard. As to weaknesses, I overuse the shit out of words and I repeat things. So I have themes and names and things that crop up in each manuscript that I then have to revise out.
Sherri: I think we all have our pet words that show up in our writing. Even some of the more famous authors have said they have to go on a search and destroy mission from time to time. Who are your favorite authors or your go to genres?
Rachell: Hah, pet words. that’s a great way to describe it. As to my favorite authors… that’s really hard. Right now I’m obsessed with Roan Parish, Stephanie Julian, Priscilla Oliveras, and Alyssa Cole, in romance and Juliet Blackwell, who writes mysteries and general fiction. I read almost exclusively romance, but am sometimes looking to branch out. These are insta-buy authors for me right now. That list used to include a lot of other names, but I’m rather irate with a particular author who shall remain unnamed for killing off the heroine in the last book of hers I read. She was an author I always always loved, and I don’t know that I’ll ever read her again.
Sherri: I feel that way about a certain author. He writes beautifully, great characters you just fall in love with and then he kills them off or leaves them in a state of flux. NO! I want my happy ending. Life is hard enough without killing off the characters I love.
Before you go, give us a little insight into you as a person and as a writer.
Rachell: Well, my husband would say I’m perfect… hahaha, okay, that’s a total lie, but he would say that I’m worth it! He is the second biggest fan of my writing (my mom still holds the first spot) and he tells me all the time how talented he thinks I am which just means so much. As a writer, I like to think I’m a lot like I am as a real person. As to my overall personality, I’m loud, and crass and constantly busy. I flit from project to project, and have an inability to sit still.
Sherri: Rachell, it has been lovely to have you at my virtual café, maybe someday I can make it a reality and you can come back for a real visit. I look forward to reading your story in the anthology and hope to do more projects with you.
Rachell: That would be so much fun, Sherri. I’m definitely game. Thanks for inviting me.
Here are all of Rachell’s links. If you enjoyed our chat and her excerpt for the anthology, “Love in Bloom,” you buy your copy with just a click. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P6FHS1R
Author website: www.RachellNichole.com
Author blog: www.RomanceAccordingToRach.blogspot.com
Author Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/RachellNichole
Author Twitter: @RachellNichole
Author Goodreads Profile page: http://bit.ly/1vZrGId
Author Amazon Profile page: http://amzn.to/1Cy4qE1
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