About Chantel Rhondeau:
National and International Best-selling Amazon Author Chantel Rhondeau once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Chantel is author of six romantic suspense novels, a Christmas novella, and the new McCallister’s Paradise contemporary romance series. She lives in the western United States, and when she’s not writing she loves playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.
What inspires you to write?
I love escaping into the world of my books and letting the story unfold. I’ve never been a plotter, so it is fun to see what happens while it is happen, just as though I were reading the book. Also, interacting with fans is so much fun! I love hearing what they think and discussing things with them, just getting to know them. I’m very shy by nature, so writing has opened a whole new world for me through use of the internet, where it is much easier to interact with people.
Tell us about your writing process.
The only writing tools I use are my laptop and Word. Since I’m not a plotter, I don’t need anything more than that. Sometimes I will daydream scenes while doing other things, but I never write anything down. I figure if it is important to the story, it will still be in my head when I go to write. If it wasn’t important, I’ll forget it. Honestly, I know that is very bad according to all the writing classes I’ve taken. You’re supposed to write things down, but if I wrote down every plot idea I had in my head, I’d spend all my time making notes and never write 😉 I also like to edit as I go. First thing in the morning, I read through what I wrote the day before, making fixes to grammar or awkward sentences, deciding if what I wrote is really the right direction for the story, and then I move on to my day’s writing. It actually helps my editing process at the end immensely.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, goodness! If only I could get them to be quiet! They talk all the time (part of the reason I never write down what they say – LOL. They never stop!). Funnily enough, my spouse was talking with someone at work who reads my book and said something to the effect of, “She talks about them like they are real people.” The coworker responded, “She writes about them like they’re real people. That’s what makes her books so good.” My characters are more like friends to me, I suppose, than imaginary people in my head.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep going, even when it is hard. I’ve seen so many people give up on this career. I’m not going to lie, it isn’t easy. Don’t get caught up in how many sales you are or aren’t making. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Write for the pure joy of writing, and everything else will eventually fall into place.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I really thought I wasn’t going to self publish. The one self-published book I’d read was horrible… bad grammar, bad plot, not worth the 99 cents I paid for it. So, I thought that was what self publishing meant. When I actually got together with a wonderful group of Indie authors who showed me that it didn’t have to mean horrible books, that you could get editors and critique partners and beta readers and put out real quality books, that’s when I started considering it. It was an agonizing decision before I published my first book, but once I did it, I’ve never looked back. I’m happy to be in charge of my own career, making decisions for myself about what I want my books to be. It’s actually quite wonderful!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m not sure what the future holds. It seems to change so much that it is hard to keep up. I don’t think Indie authors will be going anywhere. I’m not sure about traditional publishers. So far, it seems they are here to stay too, but I also know several formerly traditionally published authors who are switching to Indie, realizing they can make their own decisions and make larger profits while charging less money for their books. It’s interesting to watch, for sure.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print