Tension hangs in the air. If you listen closely, you can hear it – a soft, but chilling piano tune. As Raquel Byrnes faces her fears and steps forward, the volume increases until it’s almost deafening…
Welcome to the HOT SEAT, Raquel!
Raquel joins us from Southern, California, where she lives with her husband of sixteen years and their six children.
So, Raquel, let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write?
I write romantic suspense. I like to call it Edge of Your Seat Romance because my books have a lot of drama and action in them as well as a love story.
Tell us about your newly released book, Purple Knot, in 25 words or less.
How about a haiku?
With broken heart she fled.
Her friend’s mysterious death
Love or truth; must choose.
When her best friend, is murdered, Reyna doesn’t believe the police’s report. Teaming with her ex-fiancé, can their rekindled romance survive what she uncovers?
[CJ: Ooh, sounds very suspenseful!]
Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
I have six kids all of whom I homeschool so my time is spent with sugar cube pyramids, science experiments gone awry, and hunting down spelling tests.
[CJ: Wow, sounds challenging. Good on you!]
Tell us a little about your writing process.
I am a planner through and through. I have entire binders devoted to outlines and character questionnaires and the like. I feel that all the plans let me relax and just write because I’m not afraid of forgetting something.
[CJ: Me too! I spent a whole year just plotting my first book!]
Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?
I guess that would have to be the people I love. A lot of what I write is influenced in some way by tragedy and triumphs that have touched our lives.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
Perfectionism. I would fiddle with the first draft until it wasn’t recognizable anymore. It took the fun out of creating. I’ve learned to limit my revisions and let it go.
[CJ: Sounds like we have a lot in common. I’m a terrible perfectionist. Just ask my work colleagues!]
And now for the HOT SEAT questions!
[CJ: Sorry Raquel, but since the last two interviewees have claimed that the HOT SEAT ‘wasn’t that bad’, I’m going to have to make it super tough for you!]
Finish this sentence from your main character’s perspective:
Something from my past I’ve had trouble getting over is… the tragedy that tore my body apart and destroyed my relationship with the love of my life, James Corbeau.
Now finish the same sentence from your perspective.
Something from my past I’ve had trouble getting over is… not being able to help a friend who was in a dangerous situation. I could only watch as she spiraled out of control and it was the most helpless, hopeless feeling ever.
[CJ: That would be very difficult. I know how tough it can be when a close friend is struggling and nothing you do makes a difference. Hope your friend is doing well now.]
If you had to give up either reading or writing for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
I think I would give up reading. I write for more than pleasure. It keeps me sane. All the people in my head would never shut up if I stopped writing their adventures.
[CJ: People in your head, hey? I think you need to read this blog post by Leah Petersen about why all writers are schizophrenics ;). Thanks so much for braving the HOT SEAT, Raquel!]
If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀