Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Interview with Rachel Brimble, A REBEL AT PENNINGTON'S

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
A Rebel At Pennington’s is book 2 in my Pennington’s Department Store series (both books can be read stand alone) and I have two more I want to write. The series theme is ‘female empowerment’ and in each book I tackle a women’s issue in the early 20th century. In book 1 (The Mistress of Pennington’s), I focused on women in business, A Rebel At Pennington’s is set against the backdrop of women’s suffrage and book 3 (coming in the Autumn) is about women and divorce.

In A Rebel At Pennington’s, Esther Stanbury (the heroine) is estranged from her father for deciding to continue her dead mother’s mission to do all she can to secure the vote. She is the head window dresser at Pennington’s and uses her creativity and passion to bring all she can to her suffragist campaigning. The story is about tenacity, equal rights, Esther’s personal growth and, of course, finding love.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes! In fact, Esther started as a secondary character in The Mistress of Pennington’s (book 1) but it wasn’t very long before I knew I had found the star of book 2. I love writing series, and this is usually what happens as I write. A secondary character in a previous book always seems to capture my attention more ardently than others and my instinct is to listen hard to that character because they have something to tell me which almost always leads to my next book idea.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I was very blessed to have my first ever novel accepted for publication by The Wild Rose Press – since then I have had at least one book a year published over the last 14 years. I am currently working on novel number twenty- four which is unbelievable!

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
All my books are traditionally published, and I hope that continues into the future! I am currently under a four-book contract with Aria Fiction (for the Pennington’s series) and have one more book to write. I also have a contemporary romance currently under consideration with a different publisher. The only reason I haven’t considered self-publishing is because it terrifies me, lol! Lots of my writer friends are self-published and love the control it gives them so it’s definitely something worth pursuing if an author wants to go that route.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I have worked with the same three critique partners for years now and they are invaluable. I truly believe it is vital for every author and inspiring author to have at least one critique partner they trust and respect. It sometimes takes a while to get the right fit but having someone else look at your book as you write helps so much with plot holes, continuity and many other aspects.

My partners and I exchange a chapter at a time during the first draft stage – I love working this way as it means any weaknesses can be spotted early and ironed out.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
A little of both – if I’m working on promotion tasks or emails, I tend to have the radio playing through my laptop, but if I’m working on my novel, I need complete silence. Which sometimes proves incredibly difficult when my daughters are home!

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I am a total plotter! I start each book trawling the internet for pics of my hero, heroine and villain (if I have one) and then write out their character sketches. This usually provides their goals, motivations and conflicts. After that, I write a paragraph or two for each chapter and a 3-4 page synopsis. I then write the first draft from start to finish without stopping – the hard part comes in the following drafts!

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I love social media! Probably too much, if I’m honest, as I spend WAY to much time on it that should be spent working. I would say Instagram is my favourite these days, but I also have a Facebook author page and a Twitter account. Any of these platforms are my preferred way to connect with readers and authors because it’s so instant.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I have a process that really works for juggling my time between books – As I’m lucky enough to write full-time, I split my days (Monday to Friday) to certain tasks and find that I am a lot more productive. For example: Monday – blog posts/interviews/social media planning Tuesday – Novel writing Wednesday – Novel writing, Thursday – blog posts/interviews/critiquing and so on.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer –
dogs or cats? Dogs
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Talk or Text? Text
Day or Night? Day


1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington's Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women's progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. 
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.

When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life's challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. 
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists' determination to secure the vote.

Will Esther's rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018 with book two coming February 2019.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers from all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website:
Amazon Author Page:

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