I introduced Raechel Monday. Today, she gives some insight to her writing methods. She sounds just like me, writing by the seat of her pants!
What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel, article or book?
Planning? Do people really plan to write? Maybe I should try that. I just get an idea and let it flow out. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden inspiration. I roll it around in my head so I can remember what it was about, so I can write it as soon as I get my fingers on the keyboard.
Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft? Do you have a certain procedure that you follow?
When I’m working my first draft, I do very little editing. The first draft process has been different for each book. Sometimes I fast forward to the action, the high points and when I know where the story goes, I can go back and fill in the spaces, build the characters and make the whole work. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to say and the story builds as I write. Sometimes I have too big of an idea and I have to find a way to make it more compact. I always set the book aside for a month or so after I think it’s finished and then do a very critical review. Margarita on the Rocks evolved from a short and spicy romance into a novel of depth and intrigue. I guess my writing is very much like endurance riding. I go where the trail leads and do whatever it takes to finish the ride. Sometimes the ride takes me back to base camp and I find that the next loop is more challenging than the first. Other times, the ride is point to point. The stories reflect my love of the sport of endurance riding, regardless of the content within the novel.
How long does it normally take you to write a book?
I started writing Dance in June of 2007 and it was published in November that same year. Since then I’ve written nearly 600,000 words in the other 4 novels combined. Since I switch between books, it’s hard to know just how long it takes to write a single book. But the hours logged are well over 2,000 for each. I anticipate publishing one book each year.
What was your favorite scene/chapter from a book you’ve written?
In Margarita on the Rocks, I LOVE Adam, the old Indian who guides Mike Conner in his search for love. This character evolved from a couple of old codger’s I’ve known over the years. Near the end of the book, Adam explains how the natural life of a man can be explained by the teeth he has as he lives his life. Admittedly, I’m jabbing fun at men a little here in this satirical scene. But if I can snicker when I’m writing a piece, it makes my day.
Tell us how you come up with characters.
My characters evolve from people I’ve known in my life. I change the names to protect the innocent (and guilty). By using my friends and family, it is easy to keep characters true to form. You may find yourself in a book someday… or not… or is that really you? My best friends are sometimes not portrayed in flattering roles. But since the names hide their true identities, they are thrilled to find themselves in my stories, in spite of the roles the characters play.
What are you currently writing?
I’m currently working on three novels in different stages of completion. All are part of my Intriguing Trails Series. I’m fairly well focused on the next in the series; Edge of Sunset, a coming of age story. I find that it keeps my work interesting and I can better develop the characters by moving between books.
How do you reach new readers?
That’s the tough part. I go to craft fairs, horse shows, endurance rides, and talk to everyone about my books. I’m starting to explore ways to make my website work for me and reach out to horse lovers everywhere. I target horse lovers because I think that this is a large group of people who have been ignored for many years. I realize that horse owners, especially endurance riders, have precious little time to read. But there are so many horse lovers who don’t have a horse and want to touch and smell horses. If I can reach them, all the better. Now, that doesn’t mean that other people won’t be equally intrigued. One of my biggest fans just likes interesting books to read. She can’t wait for my next book. That is when I know I’m on the right trail!
Tell us again how readers can contact you.
Check into my website Intriguing Trails. My email address is there. I welcome emails and love to exchange ideas with anyone who is willing to come along the trails!