A Yankee transplant via the UK and other wild journeys, Rie happily landed in Charleston, South Carolina, with her English artisan husband and their two small daughters–one an aspiring diva, the other a future punk rocker. After earning her degree in Fine Arts, Rie promptly gave up paintbrushes and canvas for paper and pen (because she decided being a writer was equally as good an idea as being an artist, of course it was). That was fifteen years ago, her writing career started! With a manuscript of super epic proportions! Safely stored under a lace doily in a filing cabinet. Possibly in England . . .
Since then she’s done this and that, here and there, usually in the nonprofit arena, until she returned to her dream of being a writer. Even though Rie basks in the glorious southern sunshine as often as she can, she’s mostly a nocturnal creature adjourning to her writer’s atelier (spare bedroom) in search of her next devious plot twist or delicious passionate tryst.
No matter what genre or gender pairing she’s writing, she combines a sexy southern edge with humor and heart–and a taste of darkness.
What inspires you to write?
What really inspires me to write is the idea that I can connect with readers through my stories. The challenge is to create characters people feel compelled to know more about and to write a plot that makes readers stay up all night. Because the most awesome thing is when someone messages or tweets you to say they laughed or cried or couldn’t put the book down because they just had to know the ending.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is incredibly complicated. It would take an entire thesis to cover it, y’all! To get to the heart of it though, I start a book’s plot while working on the previous book in the series. I make a massive document to include EVERYTHING from characters (looks, ages, attributes, quirks, profession…) to settings, to snippets of dialogues and scenes. When it comes time to plot, I pull that doc out and put it all in order adding all pre-written bits to the chapter-by-chapter outline. I flesh out each chapter with where/who/why. I dig into the black moments. I only use Word and even though I thoroughly plot, I’m also a pantser because some of the best ‘booyah!’ ideas come during the actual writing. And then it’s time to rock it out! It usually takes me three months to write a 90K novel from start to finish.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh gosh, yes! Sometimes they just won’t keep quiet. They usually make me laugh until my stomach hurts. The worst part is when they wake me up with ideas in the middle of the night, or I get that ‘lightbulb moment’ while I’m in the shower with no pen and paper handy. I also find myself imitating their speech patterns, or doing their gestures, or pulling their facial expressions. All of this keeps me very in tune with my people.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is easy. Keep writing and decide on your goals–your personal writing goals and your overall professional goals. Do you want an agent and why? Do you want to Indie or trad publish? How many books can you realistically write a year, keeping in mind you will be responsible for most of your promo too.
Your first book will never be the best, don’t beat yourself up over it. If you get rejections…KEEP WRITING, but try a new story. Take the advice given to you by critique partners–but don’t let them run away with the story as you know it should be in your guts.
It’s super important to surround yourself with supportive fans, friends, authors–it takes a village and then some. Drop the naysayers. Follow a few helpful writer blogs because they always provide a different perspective or fantastic tips on everything from keeping balance to marketing to plotting.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve taken just about every publishing road now. Different paths work for different books or different periods in your writing career. I’m a hybrid author with a Big 6 deal, I’ve worked with a smaller publisher, and I just self-pubbed my first book.
Self publishing is awesome if you have all the tools to do so and to turn out a professional looking–and edited–book! But I believe those that are most successful have a base following of fans to support them.
You grow with every book you put out there in terms of writing, editing, managing your time, and learning how to market.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is WIDE OPEN! This is such an exciting time with so many different options available to writers. It’s important not to become overwhelmed by advice, but to carefully consider each possibility as it pertains to you and your novels.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
contemporary romance, m/m romance, paranormal romance
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print