Hello everyone! Pull up a chair and get comfy. We have with us today author Rayne Forrest. Let's give her a big Coffee Time welcome and make her feel right at home. Hi Rayne and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. We are so pleased to have you here with us today to talk about your books, Truest Treasure and Loving Luke.
Thanks. I’m glad to be here.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and when you began writing?
I live in beautiful western Maryland. I was born here and I’ve been here all my life. I have a love/hate relationship with my day job as an administrative assistant. I’ve got the house, the guy, the dog, the hi-def television. All the normal, boring things that say middle-class American.
I started writing a story that had been in my heart for quite a long time on Super Bowl Sunday back in 2003. The game didn’t interest me that year and I was bored so I started typing. I’d always joked with my mother about writing a book and it seemed like the time was right to do it. What came after writing that first story was the surprise. I never had getting published in mind, it wasn’t in the plan, but here I am.
I've read Truest Treasure and also The Curiosity Shoppe and loved both of them. Where did you come up with the characters of Zebadiah and Semele?
I don’t have a pat answer for where the characters come from. They just sneak in during the night or something. I like mixing human males with alien females. For Semele I wanted a woman who could do all these fantastic things so she became a telepathic, shape-shifting sorceress with alien thought processes that fascinate her mate. Zeb is just a good old boy from the Bayou at heart ready to indulge his beloved’s every wish. I have a few excerpts on my website at http://www.rayneforrest.com/TheCuriosityShoppe_TruestTreasure.html
Do you find it tough to write in the science fiction genre compared to others?
Not at all. Creating my own worlds is pure escapism on my own terms. I love science fiction and/or futuristic. I always have. When I was about ten I read Moon of Three Rings by the late Andre Norton and I was hooked. Strangely enough, that book had a shape-shifting element to it. Anyway, that story, coupled with Star Trek: TOS, opened up the universe to me. I’ve never looked back.
As much as I love sci-if, I like writing contemporary romance, too. Every so often a location will catch my fancy, like New York City, and I’ll want to write about a couple that lives there. Other times I simply want to tell a story with elements of my own life and times, such as having a couple visit a summer carnival, and I build a story around that element.
I want to enjoy what I’m writing because I may be the only person who ever reads that story when it’s finished. And that’s okay.
Will we see more of Zeb and Semele?
It’s possible. I’d like to see Semele settled down in her new Bayou home. Zeb is convinced she’ll be fine once she decides the local voodoo queen isn’t going to mess with her crystals.
I know you have an upcoming release, Loving Luke, could you tell us a little about this story?
Loving Luke is a contemporary romance set in a medium sized town. The community is much like my own, retaining that small town flavor while experiencing a lot of big city growth. Chere is the girl next door. She works, goes out, has supportive family and friends. What she lacks, and hasn’t had much luck with, is finding a decent guy. Luke is fellow with some secrets in his past. He made some serious mistakes in his youth and doesn’t think any woman will want to get involved with him. He compounds his mistakes by not telling Chere about them until it’s too late, leaving Chere to figure out how she feels about him.
Loving Luke has just a touch of someone I know in it in that a few years ago we met a young man who made a few mistakes and had a hard time trusting new friends with that information.
The Loving Luke page on my website is under construction, but I hope to have an unedited excerpt up before the November edition of my newsletter, Forrest Whispers, is posted. You can check it out at http://www.rayneforrest.com/LovingLuke.html
I see on your website that Gerard Butler was your inspiration for Luke. Did you have inspiration for Chere as well?
Gerry Butler is my not-so-private obsession. His is the face that’s launched a lot of romance novels and fan fiction. He’s got the look I like tall, dark hair, blue or green eyes, with the scruffy beard. Did you check out my other Guilty Pleasures Gallery entries? Girls just want to have fun, you know.
There are a couple of actresses that have my leading lady look. Julie Pinson, Cote de Pablo, Anna Belknap, Eva LaRue.
Do you have any other releases coming soon that you would like to tell us about?
I’m currently playing a waiting game. I’ve got several submissions out, a few older stories I’m reworking now that I’ve improved the technical of the craft, and two novels in legal limbo due to a publisher bankruptcy. My writing had to take a back seat in 2006 due to my husband’s battle with cancer. I don’t regret the lay off at all. Supporting him will always come first. I want to thank those wonderful readers and fellow authors that stood by me when I wasn’t writing and doing promotion work. I feel like my writing is back on track now and I just need to get the pipeline flowing again.
Website, blogs and myspace, you can be found all around the web, would you please share your web addresses with us and our readers?
I love the Internet! Having the world at my fingertips is such fun. I suppose I’ve gone a bit overboard but in a good way.
My website is at http://www.rayneforrest.com
To subscribe to my newsletter, Forrest Whispers, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/authorrayneforrest
Add me to your friends list at http://www.myspace.com/rayneforrest
Read my writing blog, Through a Glass Brightly, at http://rayneforrestsblog.blogspot.com
Read my just for fun blog, Rayne’s Ramblings, which is a sort of irreverent, tongue-in-cheek look at life at http://www.rayneforrest.wordpress.com . Oh, and if some of the words there look a little skewed, it’s my voice recognition program. I’ve learned it’s easier to let those words like there, their or they’re to pass than try to fix them and lose an entire blog by saying scratch that and having it all disappear. It’s so not a good thing to have that happen.
I’m also part of the Amorous Authors, a small group that came together for a little moral support. We share a blog at http://amorousauthors.blogspot.com/ . The Amorous Authors are Brenda Williamson, Monica M. Martin, Twyla Dawn McNight, Ann Cory and myself. We have a lot of fun when we get together.
Do you have any appearances or chats you would like to tell us about that are coming up in the near future?
I blog the 29th of every month on the Whiskey Creek Press Torrid Temptations blog and generally post my newsletter on or about that same day. I have an author day scheduled on the Romance Excerpts Only list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romanceexcerptsonly) on November 23, 2007.
The best way to see where I’m going to pop up next is to visit my website at http://www.rayneforrest.com/rayneforrest . The Aspen Mountain Press authors are scheduling a few list days and those dates will be posted on that webpage.
I toy with the idea of starting a chat group. Maybe if I hear positively from enough people I will. I like getting out and talking to folks but I can never remember all the rules and rules and still more rules on all the lists so I tend to shy away from them so I don’t get yelled at.
How do you and your family celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday?
The times have changed. My grandparents are gone. My dad’s been gone for twenty-four years. My beloved’s parents are both gone now. Siblings travel to their in-laws. My mother has reached the stage where she doesn’t want to cook a meal or be any part of the clean-up crew. If it turns out that only she and my step-dad, and my honey and I, are going to be home for the holiday, we’ll probably save the traditional family gathering for a big dinner at Christmas, when everyone will be around, and have a more modest meal Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps I’ll have them over for breakfast then start decorating for Christmas. Not having the big Thanksgiving Dinner is not anything I feel sad over. Life moves us in other directions sometimes and that’s just the way it is. No matter where I end up physically, my heart will be with my mom and she knows it. She’s a cool lady.
If you were told you could walk into a library and choose only one book, what would it be and why?
Moon of Three Rings by Andre Norton. It is the work of fiction that affected my life more than any other work of fiction I’ve ever read. I’ve never forgotten it in the forty years since I first read it.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us today. We appreciate you sitting down to chat with us. Please feel free to drop by anytime.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to stop by and give everyone the chance to know me a little better.