INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR *Camryn Rhys*
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Well, it’s a foodie romance, so food plays a huge part in the book. I even include Leo’s recipe that he walks Mindy through in order to help save her job. So the foodie element is a big one. But the erotic element is the main thrust (pun intended). Like all erotic romance, the characters start having sex before they’re in love, and it’s their sexual connection that draws them into a lasting (or the promise of a lasting) romance.
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?
Erotic romance, unlike regular romance, does not hold the expectation that love (or even the promise of love) will occur before sex. Most erotic romance is about people just climbing into bed when they feel the urge, and then discovering something that could make them happy for a long time. I generally only write in this genre. It’s been my personal experience that this kind of journey is real-to-life. So I will likely always write in this genre.
When did you start writing toward publication?
About a year and a half ago. I’d been writing literary short fiction for several years and gotten it published. But I’d never tried to write a romance novel until the fall of 2009. It was magic, as soon as I tried it. I fell in love with love and I’ve never looked back.
Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
I didn’t send anything out before I sold. I sold my first submission.
Why have you become a published author?
Because I love to write stories about people finding love. I think there’s very little in this world more beautiful than that moment when you know you love someone. I’ve grown up reading these books and now I want to write them. I want to help other people believe in love, no matter what their journey to its doorstep.
Do you have any rejection stories to share?
I am a complete and utter chicken. I don’t like to send stuff in unless I’m pretty sure it’s going to get accepted. So people freak out that I sold my first submission. But I had several completed projects that I never submitted (and some that I still haven’t). I’ve gotten full requests from several contests and editorial pitch sessions, but I’ve never sent anything in until Breathless. And if they had rejected me, I may never have submitted anywhere ever again! : ) I’m only half joking. But I’m learning to handle rejection. I’m entering contests and not finaling, which is helping me learn how to get rejected. And I’ve got great critique partners who don’t pull punches. So I think I’ll be submitting again in no time. I just need to get better at getting rejected.
What is your writing routine like?
I use #1k1hr on Twitter constantly. It’s a group of people who get together to write 1000 words (1k) in 60 minutes (1hr). But it’s not a race. Technically, you’re supposed to write until you hit both. So if you get 1K before the hour’s over, you keep going until you hit 60 minutes. And vice versa. It’s an attempt to get us into the habit of writing for an extended period of time, but also not agonizing so much, we don’t get any word count. I love it. On my days off, I try to do at least five of them, and I usually write about 7-9K on my days off. On work days, I try to do one #1k1hr, and I get quite a bit done. It’s been a lifesaver. @Patrick_Alan, the #1k1hr creator, is a genius.
What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
The only promo help I have is a ton of authors in my networks with way more experience than I have. Plus, I belong to a group blog (which Sarah also writes for, yeah NKotWB!), which had a ready-made platform when we all joined, and has doubled since then. Those are the big areas. Plus, both my boyfriend and my friends are giving out my promo items. : ) It’s great to have that kind of support.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
The most rewarding thing has to be getting a chance to hear what other people think about my book. When my editor writes back and practically glows in her emails, I think… this is worth it. Having people get what I’m doing, enjoy my stories, and genuinely approve of what I’ve done is a huge bonus. I got tastes of that before I was published, but it’s absolutely intoxicating. Even the not-so-glowing reviews are worth it so far. : )
Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I’m a member of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, which is one of the most supportive places I’ve ever seen before. Also, I belong to ESPAN (the Electronic and Small Press Author’s Network), which is an absolutely incredible way to get connected with electronic authors and publishers. That’s how I first heard about my editor.
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
You find the right person, and it’s all cake from there. It feels like a lot of work for nothing at first, and there are plenty of times when I wanted to quit. But it’s all worth it in the end.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on several different projects—some that my editor wants to see and some that I’m going to pitch other places. But I like Breathless Press a lot, and part of my career will be there as long as they want me. I’m excited to see what we can do together. My editor is amazing, and very encouraging of my ideas. I’m hoping to get another foodie erotic romance or two out this year if I can. Probably all novellas. But I am working on a foodie romance erotic novel as well, that I’m calling Gentlemen Prefer Bombshells about a woman who finds her own power through being a chef and then is challenged by an old lover who used to control her. It’s a lot of fun. We’ll see how it goes…
Mindy Edwards can't bake to save her life, but with no where else to go, she returns to the one place she'd avoided for six years. Her boss's son, Leo—still strictly off-limits—doesn't help her starved libido, and what's a girl to do when she could barely keep her job as the cook?
Leo Fortiss has never quite gotten over his first love nor did he expect her to return and pretend they didn't have a heartbreaking past, but that didn't mean he couldn't save her from all the other cowboys--who definitely weren't after her burnt buns and horrid cooking. He proposes a trade: he'll teach her to bake bread if she'll come to the big Barn Dance with him.
Mindy accepts, but when things heat up in the kitchen, she finds history repeating itself. Will she run or risk her heart a second time?
A little bit about the author
Camryn Rhys grew up on the border of Canada and the US, and still hasn’t decided which country to call home. She splits her time between the Alberta and Montana Rocky Mountains, with friends and family in both beautiful locations. After running her own restaurant for several years and acquiring advanced degrees in writing, foodie romance seemed the only logical option. When she’s not watching the Food Network, she’s reading a romance novel, or if absolutely necessary, working as a consultant. Someone has to put really excellent food on the table.
That was the only way she could think about it. They were like animals, in their lust, and they needed to slake it. Otherwise, if they got into feelings and hearts and futures, it was just too complicated. And Mindy didn't do complicated anymore.
He glanced at the front of his pants and colored. She'd never seen Leo blush before, but it was really beautiful—a deep, dark mahogany color that spiraled through his face in patches.
"It's okay, Leo. I want you, too. You just can't see it."
His eyes traveled down her body and rested on her chest. "I can see it."
Self-consciously, she grabbed her breasts and felt the pebbles underneath her bra and shirt. Leo hissed and closed his eyes.
"Do not do that, Min. Please, God, don't do that."
She looked down at her hands, cupping her small-ish breasts, pressing them up into her ribcage. It wasn't a sexual movement, but obviously, Leo wasn't being discriminating at this moment. So she released them.
His gaze didn't move from her breasts, and they tightened under his watchful eyes. The charge in the air left her without breath. All she could do was picture Leo stretching across the counter, and her jockeying his hips like a bronco rider at the rodeo.
If he was having similar fantasies, he didn't let on. "Can we just make these rolls so they can rise? Then I'll get out of your hair, and we can both walk this off?"
"Do you have to be here while I do it?"
He laughed. "No, you're right, I don't. I'll just…let me do one, and then you can do the rest by yourself."
Leo walked around the edge of the kitchen, careful to keep his distance from her. He pulled one of the flat cookie sheets from under the counter and took a paper towel from the roller next to the sink.
"You want to make sure to grease these pans. Dad probably would prefer butter, but I think lard works the best."
Mindy resisted the urge to ask if his mother taught him that. Last time, he'd shut down so quickly after she mentioned May. And she was secretly hoping that his lust wouldn't abate, and he'd just throw her up against the counter and pound into her.
She could use a good pounding.
How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at http://www.breathlesspress.org/Book/327.
You can find more information about Camryn Rhys and her book, The Barn Dance, by visiting her blog at http://camrynrhys.blogspot.com/.