1. Welcome Imelda! And congratulations on your release with Destiny Romance. Can you tell us a little about RULES ARE FOR BREAKING?
Rules are for Breaking is a contemporary romance set in Melbourne. It’s a story of two people who’ve been successful in their professional lives, but less so in love.
Jo, my heroine has had it with men. After a long run of trying to find a diamond in the rough and ending up with cubic zirconias, she’s decided she’s going to give them up altogether and find her bliss – whatever that means.
But Declan, my hero, has other ideas. He’s decided that Jo is the woman for him and he’s not about to let her round-the-world cruise-sized set of baggage get in the way.
They’re both determined and good at getting what they want, but they have to learn that they can’t run their love lives the way they run their businesses if they want to make it to a happy ending.
2. How long have you been writing for? Did you always want to be a writer?
I have wanted to be a writer on and off over the years but for most of them it wasn’t a serious goal, more of a dream. It wasn’t until I had been copywriting for 10 years and learned how to persist through writer’s block that I came back to the idea of writing fiction. I’ve been writing fiction seriously for about five years.
3. Do you have a writing schedule you follow, or are you a ‘write whenever I can’ type of author?
I do better when I follow a schedule. When I’m on a roll I will get struck with inspiration in the middle of other things and I’ll end up writing on the backs of envelopes and bus tickets and bookmarks and whatever comes to hand. But the backs of envelopes only take you so far. I get most done when I show up reliably at the same time each day.
4. Do you write detailed character profiles before starting a new book, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?
I usually start with characters (rather than situations) so I always know some things about them before I start, but it’s only the things that relate to the story. The details get fleshed out as I go. So, for example, I might know that a character doesn’t get on particularly well with her mother. I need to know that at the start, because it affects her relationship with her daughter (say) – but I might not find out till well into the planning, or even the writing, why that is. The thought of filling in one of those hyper-detailed charts where you know everything down to what their favourite colour is, horrifies me. I like to set up the fundamentals and leave the rest to Jenny Crusie’s ‘girls in the basement.’
5. Describe yourself in three words:
Do I have to? I always feel like saying Huey, Dewey and Louie, or Larry, Curly and Moe. But if you insist…
Strong, Generous, Impatient
6. How important do you think it is for authors to be actively engaged in self promotion?
Ooh, hard one. In the current publishing environment, I think a certain amount of self-promotion is expected, even if you have a traditional publishing deal. I think it would be a rare author these days who didn’t at least have a website and many do a lot more than that.
Having said that, though, it is still true that the best promotion is to write a good book. And then another one. Engaging with other writers and readers can be great fun, and can help you build a profile, but the jury is still out on how much that genuinely helps your sales. Do what you enjoy and energises you, but not at the expense of finishing the book!
Write as often as you can. Write more often than you can. Finish the book. Enter competitions. Submit. Write more. Go to conferences. Read craft books. Write more. Don’t give up!
I suppose the short version is that the road to success is paved with hard work!
The only other thing I would say is once you have written enough to find your voice, trust it. Listen to advice you’re given – especially if a lot of people are saying the same thing – but always filter it through your own feelings about the story, the characters and your voice.
8. What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two projects. One is a companion story to Rules are for Breaking, tentatively titled Rules of Engagement, which tells the story of Jo’s brother and sister-in-law getting together. The other is a longer story which is not so much a romance – although it does have a very tasty policeman in it – as a funny, girly thriller. It’s about a group of women who come together for a craft weekend and find themselves caught up in something much darker.
I also have roughly half a million other brilliant ideas of stories I’d like to do, but I am taking my own advice and firmly sitting on them until these ones are finished!
Thanks for joining us, Imelda!
To WIN an ebook copy of RULES ARE FOR BREAKING, comment below and tell us a rule that you think is meant for breaking. Winner will be drawn on Fri 30th Nov and notified via email. Winner has one week to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen. Good luck!