WELCOME to Chantel Rhondeau! Her new novel, Always and Forever, has been released this month and she took her time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed by me. Hope you enjoy!
1. What sparked your interest in becoming a writer?
I started out as a reader. That’s always been my great passion. However, I’m also a BIG daydreamer - LOL. I used to lie awake for hours at bedtime, just coming up with imaginary stories in my head and then getting so excited about the story, I wouldn’t go to sleep until really late!
I don’t even know why I decided I might be able to write a novel. Mostly, I was looking for more books about dragons portrayed in a certain manner, and I couldn’t find any. The idea for that story took a hold of me, and thus a writer was born. Well, almost. Honestly, that was probably the biggest piece of junk ever written, but it got me started. When I found out about romantic suspense, there was no turning back and no stopping me from writing Always & Forever.
2. How did you come up with your ideas for Always & Forever?
I was reading a romance novel, and the hero said something sweet and romantic to the heroine. I set the book aside, and the phrase, “I’ll love you always and forever,” went through my mind. Immediately following that, I wondered what would happen if that wasn’t really used as a term of endearment. Lilly’s life and horrible past flooded my thoughts, demanding hers was a story I tell.
3. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Oddly enough, what I learned wasn’t from the book itself, but from the people associated with helping me make my dream a reality. I have met so many amazing people. Critique partners, beta readers, other authors from Facebook groups. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful, and I’ve been amazed. I’ve been called gullible and too trusting in the past, because I generally think most people are basically good. Being involved in the writing community has help prove I’ve been right all along about that. There are a tremendous amount of wonderful people out there!
4. Any advice for indie authors?
Wow - so much advice. My first piece would be to join a critique group like www.critiquecircle.com Get honest opinions about your work so you can improve your craft. After that, you must hire an editor before publishing if you want to build a brand and make a good name for yourself.
Also, never give up. No matter what your skill level is at now, I believe writing is teachable, something anyone can learn. It takes years to master the craft, and even then you will keep learning more. The important thing is to always follow your dreams. Surround yourself with people who support you and want you to reach your goals.
5. What are your future plans as an author?
Right now, I’m working on my second novel. It’s still in the genre of romantic suspense, but this one is a murder mystery. My characters are more sarcastic than Zach and Lilly and I’m having a great time writing them. Donovan has been quite the ladies’ man in his life, and that is not okay with Madeline. Lots of misunderstandings going on, and it is a joy to write.
Thank you so much for inviting me over for a chat, Melinda. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule, and also that you’re reading Always & Forever. I hope you truly enjoy it. Oh, and congratulations on getting signed with a publisher! I cannot wait for your book to be released!
Thank you, Chantel, for stopping by!
More information about Always and Forever can be found at these links:
Please continue on Chantel's blog tour by visiting J.A. Beard on September 27.