Rachel Kenley embraces passion on and off the page!

9 Apr

The Passionate Reads authors are pleased to welcome today’s guest blogger, Rachel Kenley.

 Lena Crane wants one night with a sexy stranger to help her remember the woman she used to be and forget the serious possibility of losing her company. Something to get her creative and sexual juices going. In the arms of a young artist, she does just that.

Unfortunately, Daniel turns out to be anything but a stranger. Daniel Royer met Lena when he was fifteen and she was twenty-eight. When art became his career, he wanted to share his first gallery opening with the woman who introduced him to the field. He didn’t expect the intense night they shared, but now that he’s gotten her into his bed, Daniel wants Lena in his life.

Lena isn’t interested in getting involved with a younger man, especially during a professional crisis. But a potentially lucrative client loves Daniel’s work and Lena must collaborate with him if she wants to save her company. And when their hot fling becomes more, she finds herself fighting for something far more important than her business—her heart.

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9810-peak-experience.aspx

Passionate Reads: Thank you for joining us today Rachel. Writing can be a lonely career choice. Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?

Rachel Kenley: I do.  I am so very lucky to be able to tell friends and family what I do and what I write.  My mom usually reads my second or third draft and gives input at edits (and she’s even written three short stories for anthologies I’ve edited.  She writes under Holly East).  My sons stand at the computer and cheer when I send a manuscript off to my editor.  I have a writers group I attend weekly where all forms/genres of writing are supported and even community friends know what I write.  I consider myself very fortunate.

PR: How long have you been writing?

RK: I don’t remember when I didn’t write or want to write, but I got serious in the year before I turned 40.  I knew being published was something I wanted and I knew it was important to focus on this while my kids were still relatively young, not something to add into all of our lives later.  After years of starting and stopping different works, I finished and polished my first novel (novella), Roll Play, (written as Rowan West) which was submitted to Ellora’s Cave eight weeks after my 40th birthday.

PR: What is your main writing genre?

RK: My main genre is erotic romance and within that I write both paranormal and contemporary (and most of my paranormals have a contemporary setting, like Waves of Pleasure my story of a mermaid who comes on land on the Jersey Shore).  I love watching how people – especially women – grown and change in their lives and how relationships influence their journeys.  I would love to write women’s fiction some day.

PR: Is there a general theme or message in your books?

RK: The tag line on my web site is “embrace the power of passion” and I think that is a theme I return to again and again.  It’s not only about the passion between two people, but personal passion as well.  When creating characters I always ask myself what will make my hero and heroine happy – separate from a relationship – and what will they have to go through to achieve that? How will this relationship help and support this goal?  What will need to be given up?  Passion makes going through the journey – and the challenges along the way – worth it.

PR: What sort of environment do you write in?

RK: A few years ago for Mother’s Day my gift was a shed in the backyard.  And once it was built, everything in the garage went into the shed, and my writing space became the garage.  I love having a place of my own – fondly referred to as the Muse Salon – where I can focus on writing, but still be accessible to my family when they need me.  I have two bookcases filled with books on writing and copies of my books as well.  There are two different types of desks, one with my laptop and one where I do freehand writing and journaling. And most importantly – I can close the door when I want to.

PR: How do you deal with rejection?

RK: Oh, about as well as anyone I suppose. J  It’s certainly not fun, but it is definitely part of the business and you have to know it’s going to come along with the acceptances.  When it happens I do my best to remember that nothing was “rejected”.  The manuscript was passed on by a particular agent or editor and another one may adore it.  I love a Barbara Kingsolver quote that I keep on my bulletin board which reads: “This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘To the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address.’ Just keep looking for the right address.” I’m always especially grateful to have other writers I can call to commiserate with when it happens. Peak Experience was passed on twice before it was strong enough to be accepted by Ellora’s Cave.

PR: Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?

RK: I’ve learned that I have to take time to write because I’ll never “find” it.  I am very specific with my family about what I need when I need it. I tend to prefer getting up early in the morning to write before my family is awake.  I home school my sons so I try my best to keep to my schedule and if not – to my word count goal of the day, which is a minimum of 1,000 words.  I think what works for me is to remember that my priorities are my marriage and family so I take care of those first which helps when life’s surprises (and deadlines) come sneaking in.  Because my family knows how important they are, when my writing needs more time, I can usually take it.  As writers, we are fortunate that our work “travels” with us.  I can do reading, research, and editing while at sports games and other kid events.  I never go anywhere without a pad and pen.

PR: Tell us about the uniqueness of your newest release Peak Experience.

RK: Having an older woman/younger man dynamic isn’t enough to keep readers interested in a book.  With my heroine, Lena Crane, I tried to create a character who is so committed to being normal, having a job and business she can count on, that she doesn’t notice she’s dying on the inside.  Lena’s an artist at heart and a woman of great passion, but she fears the uncontrollable aspects of passion – whether in work or relationships.  She’s already vulnerable when the book begins because her business is failing and when Daniel comes along things fall apart for Lena so they can come back together leaving her stronger and happier than before.

PR: Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?

RK: When I first created the story, there was an external villain but his character was completely two dimensional and while his presence created scenes and action, it didn’t have the depth that the story needed.  Eventually I took him – and 16,000 words – out.

PR: Did you have a scene that was particularly hard to write? Why?

RK: The scene where Lena tells Daniel why she turned her back on her art, why she chose corporate work over creative work, was heartbreaking.  I’ve had those moments when I’ve felt so afraid of going after my dreams that I’ve done whatever I can to ignore them.  The cost is high.  Watching, through my writing, Lena break down those walls was very emotional.

Rachel would love to hear from you…

Blog Site: http://www.theygypsemuse.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rachelkenley

Twitter: Rachelkenley

8 Responses to “Rachel Kenley embraces passion on and off the page!”

  1. Marilyn Campbell April 9, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    So glad you could visit Passionate Reads today Rachel!

  2. Cassandra Carr April 9, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Oh my… I love the older woman/younger man stories. I have one on tap for a new series I’m planning. Good luck!

  3. rileymurphy April 9, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Hi Rachel!

    This sound great. I love the emotional stakes. Good luck with this one.


  4. Tibby Armstrong April 9, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Hi Rachel!

    Thank you for sharing your writer’s story and the news about your new release. I was particularly touched by your explanation of the most difficult scene. I can completely relate.

    Although going after our dreams and chasing our passions can be strangely difficult, I’m glad you did!

    Best wishes,

  5. Grace Bradley April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Great interview 🙂 I think your cover remains one of my all-time faves. Looking forward to working on another book together.

  6. shannonemmel April 10, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Hi Rachel–

    Welcome to Passionate Reads!

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on “Peak Experience”!


  7. Lauren Fraser April 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Hi Rachel,

    Welcome to PR. We’re thrilled to have you.

    “Peak Experience” sounds like a great read.


  8. LizEverly April 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Great interview! The book sounds fascinating. Another one for my TBR list.

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