Coffee Time Romance has great pleasure in welcoming Rayna Vause to talk about a few things, as well as her debut novel, Only In Her Dreams. Hi Rayna, thank you for taking the time out for this interview. First, congratulations on publishing your debut novel with The Wild Rose Press. What an achievement realizing your dream. Tell us, how does it feel being a published author?
Thank you so much! It's very exciting to be published and maybe a tad stressful as well. Getting the email from my editor was an amazing feeling, finally having my writing out there is both nerve wrecking and really cool at the same time. Of course, doing it all over again a bit stressful. You never know which way the wind will blow in this industry.
What inspired you to write a book based on the paranormal?
A number of factors led to this decision. First, I've always been fascinated by the ghost stories and such. When I was younger I read a fabulous paranormal suspense YA by an author named Christopher Pike entitled The Witch. I loved this book, even today quite a few years after reading that book, I remember the impact the story had on me. The other inspiration was my mother. She used to read tarot cards all the time and taught me how to read them as well. I was never anywhere near as good as she was, but the whole idea behind tarot card reading was pretty cool in my opinion.
How difficult or simple was it structuring the paranormal, romantic and suspense elements together in a story?
I had many false starts in trying to get the romantic story to gel with the paranormal and the suspense. The paranormal, the suspense, the action, I won't say it's easy, just that it's easier for me to craft those scenes and make them mesh, it's the romance scenes where I struggle. I'm always concerned that every romance scene I write will sound trite or flowery. Inevitably, I'll rip them down to the bare minimum and then when I have a friend critique my work, she'll kick me in the pants until I fix the problem. This usually involves lots of banging my head against the wall, but eventually it comes together.
Your characters, interestingly, all have strong and determined personalities. Was this an important factor for your story or were the personalities intentionally crafted this way?
Honestly, that’s just how they all came to me. As I made my way through the story the personalities just felt right for this particular story. I wanted Rachel to be independent and self-reliant, Jack needed to be stubborn and fiercely protective to hammer through Rachel's walls, and Robin needed to be stubborn, sometimes a bit of the spoiled rich girl, but at the end of the day nobody's pushover. The characters having these particular personalities helped to guide the story forward. So, yes having strong determined characters was an important factor.
How difficult or easy is it to manage writing a book in conjunction with working full-time?
Well I'm not working full time right now. I'm working part time while I attend school. Balancing work, classes, and homework time isn't easy. I grab what time I can, but writing is done in fits and spurts right now.
Have you commenced writing another novel, and if so, when are you planning to publish it?
I have a number of works in progress, but I've settle in on one that I'm working on finishing. I still have to sell it so that might take some time, but I'll let you know if and when it's scheduled for release.
I note that you are a Disney enthusiast. Who is your favourite Disney character and why?
Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swan are my favorites. Elizabeth, because I love gutsy heroines and she was a force to be reckoned with. Captain Jack because he was too funny and, as much as he wanted to be a hard core pirate, he had a streak of goodness in him.
How many times have you visited the Walt Disney World?
I've been there more than twenty times. I usually go at least once or twice a year, more if I can manage. I just love being down there.
How many hours do you spend playing video games?
Probably more than I should admit to and not as many as I 'd like. Honestly, I don't know precisely in hours, it differs on what's going on. When I have a new game I'm really excited about, I tend to get swept up in the game action. It's like I have to purge the initial excitement before I can go back to just playing in moderation.
Would you like to share any further information with us about your books, events and endeavours?
I will be at the Romantic Times convention in Pittsburgh next month. I'll be participating in their eBook Expo signing Only in Her Dreams.
Thank you, Rayna for sharing your thoughts with us.