Rachel Brookes is an Australian set to debut her novel, Just Breathe (July 5th) Martini Times was lucky enough to be able to interview Rachel and get to know the new kid on the block. We've got a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of her.
Congratulations on the publication of your first book! Firstly where did you get the ideas for your story?
Life is never easy and sometimes things happen to the best people that make you question everything and I wanted to explore that, basically you can either sink or swim in those situations. Not to go into my personal life too much but I have definitely experienced emotions that Sav has experienced and I wanted to write a story to show people that even when life isn’t going to plan, you’ve still got to have hope that things will get better if you give it a chance and that’s how Just Breathe came about. I hope that’s what readers get out of it.
How did you get started as an author?
I had an idea and I ran with it. I had these two incredibly persistent and stubborn characters in my head that were begging to be released so I opened my laptop and started typing. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea where the story would go and whether I would even finish and to be honest I thought I would be the only one reading it but then I joined twitter and met the most amazing community who encouraged me to write and here I am releasing my debut novel.
When you write, do you plan or does the story develop as you write?
I am notorious for going off track. Just Breathe started completely different to how it is now. I try and plan but the story usually develops as I write. I had an idea of how Just Breathe was going to end and thankfully the ideas came and I got to the ending I wanted. I have started planning the next book for Sav and Tate and I am excited about where it will go…Tate and Savannah like jumping into my head and changing where I am going so you never know what will happen.
How important is music in your writing?
Music is SO important, when I wrote Just Breathe I had over 50 songs on my writing playlist. Music helps me with an idea, encourages an emotion with me and the characters and is the perfect medicine for writers block. My life revolves around music, I always have music playing. Life would be boring without it.
What was your favourite scene to write? What was the most emotional/hardest?
I loved writing the Ferris wheel scene / Santa Monica Pier scene, it was a moment in the book where we first got to really see their personalities and I think that was a big turning point in Sav and Tate. It showed a side of Tate that readers hadn’t seen before. The most emotional was the scenes where they both spoke of their pasts. Each of them had experienced something that either I have directly or people close to me have experienced so it brought up emotions within me so it was hard to write yet very therapeutic.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced you?
I love the New Adult and Contemporary Romance community and so many books and authors influence me in so many ways. I adore Abbi Glines for her ability to show emotions that makes you want to cry, scream, coo and be overwhelmed with happiness. Abbi Glines would definitely be a major influence to me.
Being an Australian, why did you choose to base your story in the US? Was it important to include some of your Australian ‘heritage’ in this story?
It wasn’t a conscious decision to base Just Breathe in the USA but I knew that I wanted to show another vulnerability to Savannah. Her life has not been a clear destination and I think throwing the move from Australia to the USA into the mix would make her sink or swim. I will always incorporate Australia into everything I write, whether it be a character, the country, a food, a band, something. Oh and I love American accents so Tate just needed to be American so I could swoon over him while I wrote about him. It was quite selfish of me.
One adjective to describe Tate & Savannah?
Tate - Unpredictable
Savannah - Sassy
What are you working on now?
I am working on the next instalment of Sav and Tate which will be released before the end of this year however there could quite possibly be an announcement regarding Sav and Tate in the coming weeks. I also have another book that I am working on which will be released early 2014 unless I get typing quickly. Looks of characters are floating around in my head at the moment just begging to be released.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
Marilyn Monroe – she was a fighter, she didn’t give up and she was unique. I adore her.
Getting to know – Rachel Brookes
3 things you can’t live without? My family, chocolate and my lap top
Motto in life? I’d rather live with regrets than what if’s
Favourite Book Boyfriend? I have way too many… at the moment its Woods Kerrington… he makes me swoon all over the place!
Playing on repeat is... Daisy by Brand New has been the album that been on repeat.. an oldie but goodie
Latest Obsession? Tim Tam’s, I really cannot get enough. It’s more an addiction
Favourite Vacation Spot? My family go to a secret camping spot every summer… fresh water creeks, no electricity, no phone reception, absolutely perfection.
Lacy or Comfy undies? Lacy, a girl should always feel sexy.
Sweet or Savoury? Savoury
Coffee or Tea? Can I say hot chocolate?
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Summer or Winter? Summer (Australia summer days)
If I wasn’t writing I’d be... laying on my couch with my kindle and swooning over all of my latest book boyfriends….. hang on I already do that.
Thanks for having me, this has been awesome :)