When I get the chance to meet a new-to-me-fellow-author, and she’s a Wild Rose Press sistah, well, my day is just about complete! Today, I’ve got author Rachelle Paige Campbell visiting me, talking about stuff in general, and in her newest release from WRP, A PERFECT PICTURE OF US.
So sit back, have a cup of liquid warmth and get to know all about this prolific author.
Rachelle: The Writer
- What drives you to write? I love to write. I’m one of the classic I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid authors. Writing is an extension of my soul and I can’t imagine taking away that part of myself.
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write sweet contemporary romance. I am intrigued by what makes people tick and why we make the choices that define our lives. I love coming up with a concept and fleshing out the motivations. Often I start from a what if scenario and let my imagination run. Writing sweet is a complicated dance between sexual tension and innuendo. I like the challenge.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Regency set stories were the books that led me into the wonderful world of romance. I love romance books and I read a little bit of everything: contemporary, historical, paranormal, inspirational, etc. The books I pick up have varying levels of heat. I never say “I don’t read” about any book in the genre because that’s not true?
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I’m blessed to stay home with my kids. My youngest started kindergarten this year. I work during the week while they’re at school and enjoy my evenings and weekends with my kids and husband. I am always working on something. If I’m not actively writing a first draft, I’m outlining another project or revising.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I used to write in the laundry room. (I converted a closet into a desk.) Recently, my husband bought me a desk and set me up in front of the window in our guest room. I am no longer fighting piles of dirty clothes for real estate and have a door I can shut (and lock).
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision? I can work with noise, but not with my family talking. If a television is on, I can focus and tune out the distractions. But if my husband or children are speaking (even if it’s to each other and I’m not involved), I can’t ignore them.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? When my kids were home and I could only get maybe thirty minutes of writing in at a time, I trained myself to write to music. I utilized the music to cue my brain to turn on and work. I listen to a lot of instrumental music (I love Ramin Djawadi’s soundtracks). On some projects, I listen to a specific playlist designed with the characters preferences in mind.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? When I planned my wedding eleven years ago, I started looking for inspiration on the Internet. I came across a ton of lifestyle bloggers around my age planning their own weddings. I became a fan and read their entries. After the weddings, many had kids the same time I had my first. I shared in the commiseration of parenting’s ups and downs. I noticed a fascinating trend of bloggers gaining traction (and income) from major companies and growing disconnected from their audiences. When you are selling the image of a lifestyle and being just like you, but now have means far exceeding the target demographic, how are you relatable? This story starts with a blogger eager to get out from the expectations she created.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot comes first. I usually have an idea of the “type” of story I want to write (holiday, second chance, etc.) and come up with the outline. As I develop the bones, I think of the characters. I continue to refine the hero and heroine long after I finish my first draft. I give myself plenty of time to revise because I understand them even more after I’ve written the end.
- What 3 words describe you, the writer? Persistent, passionate, and optimistic I love writing and work hard every day. I am blessed to have the ability to pursue my dream and I don’t take the opportunity for granted.
Rachelle, The Gal
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
- When I was 22, I moved to London for graduate school and lived in a dorm run by nuns.
- Who was your first love and what age were you?
- My kids aren’t reading, right? (They asked me to list my boyfriends before their father the other day!) I’d say real first love was college around nineteen.
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
- I love the holidays and if I had to choose one, I’d pick Fourth of July. In the morning, our street holds a breakfast block party, the parade goes right by my house, we spend the rest of the day grilling and running through sprinklers, and end riding our bikes to the park to watch the fireworks.
- Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?
- My beauty routine is fairly slim (and most days non-existent). Maybe I’d give up my concealer because no amount of disguise can hide my Mom-exhaustion.
- What three words describe you, the person?
- Family-oriented, hard working, and again persistent. I don’t give up easy and was taught to value effort more than anything else.
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
- I would sing his song “Idiot Boyfriend.” But maybe I’d stick to playing the drums, my singing voice is admittedly terrible.
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?
- I think Lydia Bennet is probably a lot of fun. She makes bad choices, but she has a good time doing so. I’d take her shopping on Michigan Avenue. She’d buy something outrageous and hit on every guy she passed. We’d laugh the whole day.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
- Favorite sound My kids’ laughter
- Least favorite sound Alarm clock
- Best song ever written Every song on O.K. Computer
- Worst song ever written Remember that song “Friday” on Youtube?
- Favorite actor and actress Actor: Edward Norton Actress: Claire Foy
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I’m so fascinated by what makes other authors tick. I’d love a glimpse inside Julia Quinn’s brilliant mind.
- What turns you on? Consideration (ha—can you tell my heroes are betas?)
- What turns you off? Sleazy lines.
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “What is your friend’s name?”
- What’s your version of a perfect day? A perfect day is sleeping in (7am, ha), drinking coffee someone else brewed, taking my dog for a long walk, writing for a few hours, then spending the afternoon with my family on a bike ride, a picnic, working on a puzzle, anything we do together.
A PERFECT PICTURE OF US
Chicago lifestyle blogger, Jess Edwards, built a successful brand based on the pursuit of perfection. From throwing a party to decorating a home, every post is magazine spread worthy. Leo Martinelli, the law school study partner she never mustered the nerve to kiss, shows up in the middle of a photo shoot, and she’s thrilled for the reunion—until he serves her with a lawsuit.
Attorney Leo never thought he’d see Jess again, not after she disappeared halfway through the first semester. For the past ten years, he’s measured every woman who’s crossed his path against her. This meeting is his chance to say good-bye and finally move on from his unrequited crush—before relocating overseas.
To salvage her reputation, Jess has no intention of settling. To obtain the future he’s worked hard for, Leo can’t lose.
“Jess, I shouldn’t have come. I really can’t give you too much information,” he said, suddenly unsure.
Still gorgeous. Still unattainable. Sitting prim and proper, with her legs and arms crossed, Jessica Edwards was every inch a lady. He remembered being in awe of her the first semester of law school. He’d never have approached her. He’d never been exposed to a person like her. The woman was so sure of herself, so perfect, and yet, so kind. She shouldn’t be real. She should have some terrible hidden secret. But he’d never found any during their time as study partners when she’d asked for his help.
“I’m being sued, right? You’re here to serve me papers?” she asked, shaking the envelope.
He scanned her big blue eyes, searching for any hint of what she might be feeling. Her words, delivered without any emotion, gave him no hint about what turmoil might lie beneath. He’d been good at reading people but oddly never her. “Jess, have your legal team review the case.” He lowered his voice, softening his words. He’d never been sued, and he’d never put himself in the position of the other party, until now. He rubbed the palm of his hand against his heart. Something ached at her reaction. “The papers are in order. The process is fairly cut and dried.”
“Maybe to you, but to me? I don’t need drama, Leo. I don’t need complications right now.”
Rachelle Paige Campbell writes contemporary romance filled with heart and hope. No matter the location–big city, small town, or European kingdom–her feel-good stories always end with a happily ever after. She’s grateful for the support of her family, her robot floor cleaner, and her reluctant writing partner (her dog
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Peggy here: Rachelle, thanks so much for dropping by today. Your books sounds amazeballs and I’m sure it’s gonna do amazeballs!