After having the huge pleasure of reading Bridesmaid Lotto, the first of the McMaster the Disaster series and having reviewed Sugar Rush you can find here. I am thrilled to have Rachel Astor with us today. With her funny, charming and fascinating style, she stole my heart. She is that kind of author you cannot miss.
Rachel, welcome to Confessions.
- Tell us a little about yourself. What turned you to writing and why the romance genre? What do you find appealing about contemporary romance?
Thanks so much for having me; I’m so glad you enjoyed the books! I grew up on a farm outside a tiny town (population 500), and promptly moved to the city as soon as I graduated high school. I began writing seriously a little later on than most people, I think, in my late twenties, as a kind of escape from the stresses of daily life. Contemporary romance—both reading it and writing it—really fit the bill for taking me away to a fun, lighter place where I could forget about the worries of the day and just have fun.
- How you come up with the funny style you are using? If the McMaster the Disaster trilogy was inspired by at least one of the embarrassing moments of your life, what or who inspired you to write Sugar Rush?
It’s funny, when you’re writing, you never know if something is going to come off as funny as you hope. When I write contemporary romance, I try to keep it in a really conversational style, which is what I personally enjoy reading too, since it comes off as more accessible for me, more true to life. As you may have noticed, I tend to lean toward the more underdog character fulfilling their big dreams. Both Josie in the McMaster trilogy, as well as Dulcie in Sugar Rush fit this category.
- What gave you the idea to write about chocolate? It’s not a subject I read about in many books, so what was your inspiration?
I try to think about what might make my readers happy, so my plots tend to be closely related to jobs or events that I think would be tons of fun—like running a candy store! What better way to fall in love than when surrounded by chocolate?
- What is your process for character development? You give each of your characters such tremendous depth I can’t help but become immersed inside your stories. Their individual color makes them appealing and real and I loved them all. How do you build your character arcs and keep track of them?
Thanks so much! I do brainstorm with character sheets when starting a novel, but a lot of their personality and uniqueness evolves while writing various drafts of a book. I like to get a clear picture in my mind what everyone looks like as well, which certainly helps keep everybody straight in my head. As I edit, I tend to focus more on if everyone is keeping true to their personalities, once I’ve spent some time with everybody. J
- Where did you found the recipes you used in the book? To be honest, all of them are so yummy they left me drooling. And what about the cookie recipe from the end? Is it your own recipe?
As you can imagine, the research for this book was so much fun! I browsed through lots of cookbooks, a ton of websites, and I love to watch cooking shows like Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genius on tv. I don’t have extensive experience in candy making personally, but I have lots of experience eating it! The recipe in the book isn’t mine (I wish I could take the credit), my lovely team at Entangled Publishing thought it would be a great addition to the book and I definitely agree!
- What do you feel the moment you publish a book? Could you share with us that emotion?
Fear… lots of fear, lol. It’s really exciting and a relief to be finished and have it out there in the world, but I have to admit, a lot of time is spent wondering if people will like it. Every writer hopes they will find people who their books speak to.
- What are your writing plans for the future? And when will we see a new release from you? Can you tell us a little bit about what’s in the works?
I’m going a bit off the usual path for the next little while as my agent and I are working together to polish a middle grade novel. I really love writing in various genres/age groups as I find after a certain type of project, say a darker mystery, switching gears to something like a light, fun contemporary romance helps me “stay in shape” writing wise, and certainly keeps things interesting. There will definitely be more romance to come though!
Thanks for coming, Rachel. It was a pleasure having you here
Thanks so much for having me!
You can contact Rachel Astor on her:
Entangled is giveaway one copy of Sugar Rush to one lucky follower of Confessions. Just follow the rafflecopter and you’re entered
a Rafflecopter giveaway