Author of novels, novellas, and short stories, Rachel Rossano balances her time between the chaos of raising and homeschooling her three children and the world of drama and high adventure in her head. With her faithful husband and chief consulting editor by her side, she dreams of many more adventures to come in both of her double lives. Check out her work at: http://Rachel-rossano.blogspot.com.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Stories were my world even as a child. I was constantly pretending to be a princess in distress, a space ship captain on a mission, or Robin Hood’s side kick. The stories didn’t make onto the page until I was in my early teens. Even then, the process took so much work that I tended to not enjoy writing. It was only when I began my third novella that I realized I was hooked.
I didn’t seriously consider being a writer as a career until I was in the midst of college. I promptly rejected the idea of trading my wise choice (accounting) for something with such low marketability as writing. After all, I wasn’t interested in journalism, just creative writing.
Years later, looking at the prospect that I might never realize my dream of being a mother, I decided to pursue another dream, writing. That was when I began seriously considering writing as a career. Here I am, mother of three and writing part-time between mothering, keeping house, and homeschooling.
What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality?
My first experience with publication was very disappointing. I fell in with a publisher more interested in selling my book to me than to anyone else. But I wasn’t willing to give up on the dream of seeing more of my stories in print. So I researched, read, listened, wrote, edited, and learned. Unable to write anything that fit publishers’ submission criteria, I discovered Lulu.com and joined the indie revolution by accident. Now one novel, two novellas, and two short stories later, I think I am committed.
What 3 adjectives best describe you?
Talkative, busy, happy
Tell us a little bit about your books?
The Mercenary’s Marriage is a novella about the relationship between a mercenary warrior and a slave girl who fears men. He physically represents everything she fears. Can he get her to see past his career and his exterior and earn her trust?
The Crown of Anavrea (Book One of The Theodoric Saga) is novella about a man running from his past. He finds hope in a woman without a future. While on the run, Labren falls injured. Before his pursuers find him, he is discovered by a slave woman named Eve. She convinces him to not give up on life. Together they face difficulties of their pasts.
Exchange is a science fiction short story. Isolated on a distant planet, she is incarcerated for a crime she doesn't recall. She has no name, no idea where she came from, or why she is injected with drugs daily to hold these vital facts from her grasp. Despite small rebellions, she wastes away, worn and losing hope of ever being whole again. Then he arrives. Claiming to hold the answers burned daily from her brain, he offers her a way out. But at what cost?
Word and Deed is a medieval short story. Death or an arranged marriage, Verity refuses to accept the choices. Verity Favian's father dies unexpectedly. Her half-brother, Verdon, lays claim to all their father left behind: title, castle, and her. Verdon cannot touch the land set aside for her dowry so he offers her hand for sale to the highest bidder. Verdon locks her away in a tower. She is not sure if he seeks to prevent her from fleeing the marriage or spreading the truth only she seems willing to speak: Verdon killed their father. Either way, her time is running out.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I have two new releases this year. This February, Duty: a novel of Rhynan debuts. Written in eight months, the fastest I have ever written a book, it began as the winning opening line in a contest. “’The red one is mine,’ he said.”
Brielle is a woman familiar with hardship. She has lost her mother to disease, her father to old age, her title due to lack of a brother, and her comfort because of a greedy cousin. When she finds out she lost her freedom thanks to her cousin’s political maneuvering, she figures she will have to make the best of it. …Except her cousin isn’t done with her or her new husband.
Sometime around August, I am expecting to be releasing another novel. Wren (A Romany Epistle Novel) is part of a unique project. Eight of my friends and I developed an idea of writing nine novels about nine siblings that began in the same spot and ended in the same spot. We would each write a sibling’s story and then publish all the books. Years later, four of the books are written, two will not be written, and the remaining three might be finished someday. Wren is my contribution.
Wren Romany lives by her skills as a hunter, a bounty hunter. But, after a year and a half on the road, she wants to settle down for the winter. Finding a nice quiet valley, she falls in with a band of veterans from the wrong side of a recent civil war. She quickly realizes that there is more going on in the valley than what meets the eye. The focus of the turmoil and tension is the former nobleman and owner of the crumbing castle where she now resides. Not one to do nothing, Wren sets about trying to improve the situation.
My writing/editing plate is almost always full. I have two short stories in the works. One is a mystery/romance about a maid of all work in a Regency boarding house who gets caught in the secrets swirling around the two male residents.
The other is a side story related to Duty: a novel of Rhynan. It is not going to be a happily ever after romance, though. I wanted to explain the significance of a certain prop to a secondary character in Duty.
Then there is the epic prequel to Exchange I have planned. Romance, interplanetary intrigue, and politics are on the agenda for that one.
How do your values show up in your writing? What do you want readers to take from your writing?
I write Clean or Sweet Romance, which means there is no sex on the page. I believe there are some areas that need to remain intimate between husband and wife and not on the page for everyone to read. My characters also watch their language, usually. If they do swear, I don’t write the words on the page. I want to write books that I can hand to my children when they are old enough to appreciate them.
I hope my writing reflects my beliefs and values, but I work hard not to preach at the reader. I also seek to entertain, edify, and lift up the reader. I want them to walk away from my books feeling encouraged.
What do you look for in a good book?
An interesting premise, quality writing, solid characterization, a plot that moves the book along, and a satisfying ending make up a combination that is hard to find. I find I value topics that interest me, writing style, and characterization highest when evaluating a book, though the other aspects need to be there in some measure.
What are some of the best social media, marketing, and publicity tips you’ve come across?
First, have a great product. Edit, take criticism, revise, and learn. There is no such thing as perfection and writing is a journey.
Second, on your social media accounts, offer similar things or information that touch on the interests of your audience. For instance, I write fantasy based heavily on history. So I post on my Facebook page and twitter account about historical articles that interest me. I am a writer and some other writers follow my page. Adding articles, pictures, quotes that interest them draws them to interact on my page and make it something they look for when they log on to their account. The same goes for reading related quotes and extras.
I begin promoting a book while I write it. Offering quotes, new sentences, and other tidbits as I write invites the followers to invest in the book even before it is finished.
In all areas, I try to be helpful, engaging, and supportive. Going out of my way, I can make a new friend, someone to share the publishing or reading journey with me.
Also, once you finish one book, start writing the next. The bigger you back list the better your income. Keep growing by adding quality new novels, novellas, and short stories to your list of published work.
Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon.
Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king. When that same king demands Tomas marry the impoverished daughter of the late Lord Wisten, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.
Duty: a novel of Rhynan follows their journey from strangers to friends as they face complications from their pasts and the shaky politics of a changing regime. Then Brielle is implicated in her cousin’s treasonous activities. Can a marriage of duty survive treason?