What inspired you to start writing?
I wanted a job where I could work from home and be with my children, work for myself, and do something I absolutely loved. Writing absolutely fit that bill and I’m extremely grateful that it worked out for me.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing “seriously” with the intent of publication since 2002 and I was first published in 2006.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Just not to give up. Expect rejection. Expect to hit the lowest of lows and don’t expect things to happen overnight. If you have a realistic view of the big picture, then you won’t experience as much letdown or disappointment.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I find if I’m not writing, it’s because I’m being lazy and because I don’t want to write. The cure is to make myself sit down and do it and plow on, no matter what. That method hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve never said to myself “I really WANT to be writing but I’m so blocked!” because if I really want to be writing, I find quite simply that I do.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Good story telling, hands down.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I don’t develop them. They pretty much develop themselves and I figure it and them as I write.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Depends. Sometimes plot. Sometimes characters.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
I just finished up Theirs to Keep which is the first book in a new trilogy called Tangled Hearts Trilogy. It’s set to release October 16th and as mentioned will be the first of three books that follow the same characters. I’m really excited about it. It’s a story that’s been haunting me for four years and only this year did I finally figure out how the story needed to be told.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Julie Garwood taught me everything I know about writing. She taught me to make every single character in the story count, no matter how little page time they get. Make them interesting, fully developed and three dimensional. I carry that over into all my stories, no matter what genre.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Very, very painfully. I’m terrible at coming up with titles, so it’s not a fun process at all.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly I’m not sure I consider myself a writer even now. I’m always surprised when I manage to create a story and I’m always afraid that I won’t be able to do it again.
Describe your writing space.
My writing space changes with my moods. I get tired of working in the same area all the time so I rotate around my house. Currently I’ve been working in my bedroom in my “nest” of pillows that I prop behind my back on the bed.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Having the discipline to sit down and write even when I don’t want to, don’t feel like it, or would just rather be doing something else.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I write long hours and usually whenever I can grab the time. My best time to write is usually between 10pm and around 3am. That’s when I get the most done.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to travel and I also spend a lot of time at the ballpark with my daughter’s softball schedule.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?
That I can actually create an interesting, well developed story more than once!
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’m up close to 50, I believe, and a few of my favorites are The Darkest Hour, Shades of Gray, Sweet Addiction, Never Seduce a Scot, Stay With Me and Amber Eyes.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I hear from my readers all the time via email, Facebook, Twitter etc. It runs the gambit!
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
Not a darn thing. I’m very zen about past mistakes and choices. If things hadn’t happened exactly as they had, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I’m very happy and content with where I am presently.
About the Author:
Find Maya online at www.MayaBanks.com
Rachel Kelly has traveled a long, hard road in her journey back to her husband, Ethan, and the Kelly family. Now, as she and Ethan are poised to move into their new home, safe behind the walls of the Kelly compound, Rachel wonders if she’ll finally be free of the ghosts that have haunted her for so long and if she’ll step into the sun after a past steeped in darkness.