Today on Musa Monday, I have Rhea Rhodan, Goodreads friend extraordinaire.
Welcome to the Taverna, Rhea!
- Your debut release is Finding Grace published by Musa (congratulations!). Can you describe this book for us?
Finding Grace is an edgy, contemporary romance with a paranormal twist. Unlike most recent traditional romances, readers get to hear from a couple of main secondary characters—not just the heroine and hero. There’s more action and drama, too, than in most contemporaries. I’ve received several positive reviews from readers who aren’t big romance fans. Not that romance lovers haven’t expressed their satisfaction, as well :>).
The characters are larger than life, their conflicts intense. At the same time, they all felt remarkably real to me while writing their stories. I’ve been told characterization and a compelling plot are the strongest elements of this book.
Check out the blurb below, and if you think you might be interested, click the link to first chapter on my website.
- Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
Finding Grace isn’t the first book I’ve written. It is, however, the first book I submitted for publication. For the first two years after I began writing seriously, I spent almost as much time educating myself about the industry as writing. By the time I was ready to submit, I had a short list of e-publishers to try. I’m a fan of small presses (fresher, more unique stories), and my pleasure reading (mostly romance) is all e-book, so going with an e-publisher was a natural choice for me.
After one prompt and polite rejection and another through lack of response, I’d decided that while Finding Grace would eventually be published, it might not be the ideal debut novel (too much foul language for a non-erotic romance, multiple points of view, etc.).
I’d been keeping up with the shenanigans over at Aspen Mountain Press and was delighted when Musa rose from the ashes. I’d intended to submit my current work-in-progress to them. A friend of mind gently nudged me to submit Finding Grace instead of waiting to finish the new one (good thing, too, since I’m just finishing with that now, a year later).
- Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in between?
I’m a combination of the two. I spend most of my up-front time developing my characters and their (internal and external) conflicts, rather than investing in more than a vague outline of the whole story. I have never known precisely how a story will end until I’ve written it. Scenes are sometimes written out of order (to be adjusted as necessary), and developed with the aid of tarot cards.
However, when I actually sit down to write a scene, I do outline very specific goals for it to accomplish.
- What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Rhea Rhodan?
I recently completed the rough draft for The Legacy of Buchanan’s Crossing, also a contemporary romance, but with a touch of magic this time. The charming little heroine is a full-figured witch who’s into goth, spending time with her grandmother, and preparing for the precious legacy she will inherit—Buchanan’s Crossing. The hero is a clean-cut ambitious owner of a small green construction company who becomes involved with a treacherous developer. As you can imagine, they’ve got some dangerous ground to cover before attaining their happily ever after.
It should be ready for my cherished beta readers’ hatchets within the next week or so.
- What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
Getting to know my characters, making their lives difficult, watching them grow, then giving them their well-deserved happily-ever-after.
I actually don’t mind editing, either. Until the characters for the next story get impatient for me to move on and tell theirs. My first experience with a professional editor (at Musa) was a fantastic experience for me.
- What are you currently reading?
Another in a string (more like rope) of historical, paranormal, possibly erotic and kinky, often small-press romances. Go to Goodreads and click on “Rhea’s Bookshelves” for more precise info. I rarely read vanilla contemporaries because there’s not usually enough plot outside of the romance to keep me interested.
Kidnapped by human monsters, Grace Thorne was ripped from her quiet intellectual life and left deeply scarred. She’s hidden herself for five years, but there’s no escape from the nightmares of the past, or visions of the future. When one foretells tragedy, she gambles her fragile defenses on a haunted man to prevent it—only to discover love is the biggest risk of all.
Dagger has no idea why the foul-mouthed little server of questionable gender bothers him. But he does know that living with the ghosts of his past was hard enough without being tormented by the mysterious thorn in his side—or finding how much he needs her.
To read the first chapter: http://www.rhearhodan.com/finding-grace-excerpt.html
Please check out Rhea's links.