About Rachelle Chase:
I’m a romance author, business analyst, speaker, and model who’s appeared on national television—CBS, as well as “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet”—plus national radio shows, including “Playboy Radio,” the “Hip-Hop Connection,” and the “Jordan Rich Show.”
I have nine published books/novellas. In all of them, I’ve tried to infuse my writing with sexual tension, which is why I was thrilled when an excerpt from “Out of Control,” a novella in SECRETS VOLUME 13, was used in ON WRITING ROMANCE, published by Writer’s Digest Books, to illustrate how to effectively heighten sexual tension in a romance book.
I love to START writing projects, which is why I have about forty works-in-progress that have yet to be finished.
What inspires you to write?
The spark of an exciting story idea, which is usually triggered by my hearing or seeing something and thinking “What if …”
That’s what happened with HOT DREAMS, my latest book. I met a super sexy male dancer years ago and the question flickered through my mind, “What’s he really like when he’s not performing?” That sparked the idea for HOT DREAMS where Tina, the heroine, wonders something similar about Johnny as she stares at the photos on his desk.
The exciting idea is what gets me started. Then, a deadline is what gets me to finish.
Tell us about your writing process.
The first 2-3 chapters are written based on some exciting idea I have for a story. I think this is my way of trying a story out. Because if I can complete the first few chapters and am still excited about the story, then I know it’s a keeper. If I lose interest, then it goes into my work-in-progress file.
If it’s a keeper and I decide to continue working on it, I now have to plan the rest of the story. This process begins with me grabbing my notebook, jotting down questions about my characters and the story, then scribbling random answers one at a time. When I get excited about an answer, I know that is the right one and then I go on to the next question. Once I have enough questions answered to have a basis of a story, I create a chapter outline, then start writing.
When I get stuck, either because I’ve lost the story or my characters are becoming flat and lifeless on the page, I go back to the Q&A process to get answers to what’s not working. This is an iterative process that I continue until the book is done.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters aren’t actively talking to me at the beginning of the process. I come up with the idea and start writing. As I get into the book and write consistently, my characters then become alive. It seems like the more into the story I am and the more consistently I write — as in, writing for hours daily — the more alive they become, whereby they begin chattering nonstop in my mind and I can see and hear them so clearly, that it is all I can do to try to get it all down. My fingers and words can’t keep up with them, with the images in my mind.
While working on HOT DREAMS, for the first time ever, I actually felt like I went into a sort of trance-like state where I was seeing what was in my mind and writing it as I was seeing it, totally oblivious to my surroundings, and when I snapped out of it, I was amazed to find that hours had gone by. I don’t want to spoil the story so all I can say is that this happened while I was writing Johnny’s black moment scene.
What advice would you give other writers?
Take writing classes, get feedback on your work, attend writers conferences, continue to read authors you like, and of course, write. So many people seem to think writing is easy. That all you have to do is put words on paper and then find a publisher or self-publish. While that may be true for some authors who have become successful authors, that’s not the norm.
The second bit of advice I have is, once you’re published, don’t take a long break between books like I did. Due to various things that had happened in my life, I took a break from writing for a bit (I’m writing about this in my humorous memoir, KICKING THE BUCKET LIST, which will be out in 2016). My last book came out in 2010 so I’m kind of starting over. As such, I’ve lost some of the momentum I’d built with my first books.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first books, 2005 – 2010, were published by traditional publishers. The biggest advantage was that these publishers got my books into bookstores. However, all the book marketing was up to me. I did a TON of marketing, including fun reader contests, contests for writers with agents/editor judges, hosting two talk shows, as well as book signings, stock signings, interviews, book club mailings, etc.
Since bookstores are no longer where the bulk of sales are coming from, coupled with the fact that I would most likely still have to do all my own marketing, I got the rights back to some of my traditionally published books and decided to self-publish them, along with my latest book, HOT DREAMS. While I like the idea of having some books traditionally published, I will continue to self-publish my own books. I love the control of self-publishing, of being able to decide what to do or not do, of knowing exactly how my books are doing and the direct effect my marketing has on my sales. And most importantly, I love being able to write what I want to write — and what my readers want to read.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have no idea, other than the fact that it will continue to change. It will continue to be harder and harder for authors who do not have a huge platform/reader base to get book deals with traditional publishers. Self-publishing will continue to grow, flooding readers with a plethora of book choices, forcing authors to writer better and better books and become more and more creative in getting their books noticed. These are exciting times. I look forward to seeing what the future of book publishing holds.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I am published in contemporary erotic romance. In 2016, I will have books coming out in memoir, nonfiction, and contemporary romance genres as well.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.