Rachel Brimble: Interview and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rachel Brimble whose newest book, The Mistress of Pennington’s, releases on July 1. Leave a comment for a chance to win a £20/$20 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Rachel said the best advice she was even given, which helped her enormously, was to “give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.” She now embraces this mentality with every book she writes and her output has quadrupled.

“A filled page can be edited after all. A blank page, on the other hand…,” she said.

The difficulty of writing for her is when she has a germ of an idea for a book or series, but can’t think about how to sustain it for 90,000 words. Then, she tends to get writers’ block about the halfway point when she starts to think that the entire story is rubbish or her characters go off in a direction she hadn’t planned on. I asked her what she did when that happened.

“Write, write and write some more! The only way through writers’ block is to keep working. The solution will come in the end and, if not during the first draft, it most definitely will in a later draft. Trust me!” she assured me.

Even though starting a series can be hard for her, it’s also her favorite thing.

“I think series writing allows the writer and reader to really get to know the setting and characters in a way that isn’t possible with a single-title. Whenever I start planning a new book, I am always thinking how it could pertain to a series. My Harlequin series, the Templeton Cove Stories runs to eight books and is very special to me.”

“How do you come up with the titles to your books?” I wondered.

“With supreme difficulty! Titles are my nemesis and I’m most definitely not a writer who gets precious over her titles. I love it when the marketing team of a publisher have precedence on titles – totally gets me off the hook,” she said with a laugh.

Rachel told me that she’s lucky to have a home office. For many years, she wrote at the kitchen table or on the sofa with her laptop on her knees. But, about three years ago, she commandeered an upstairs bedroom as her office.

“I have a huge white, antique-look desk and bookshelves, the walls are painted a pale blue and I have two corkboards above my desk which house pictures from my work in progress and ideas for my next book,” she explained. “I am a very visual writer and pics of my hero, heroine, villain and where they live is vital to my creativity.”

The most surprising thing she has discovered about writing her 23 novels is that it never gets any easier.

“Each time I start a new one, I cannot remember how I started the others,” she told me. “I literally freeze. I also do the same thing when editors’ revisions arrive in my inbox – I have this complete mental stand off, ‘what now??’ The only way through these times are to attack and hope you get it right!”

I asked Rachel about the scariest moment of her life.

“My family and I were caught up in the 2010 French floods – we were on holiday in a caravan park when the flood hit. We had to be evacuated and rushed to the clubhouse roof. We were there for 16 hours before we were rescued by helicopter. We were cold, then sunburned, hungry and tired. It was definitely the scariest time in my life so far.”
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“Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book,” I said, “where would you most likely want to go?”

“Italy,” she answered promptly. “I’ve been to Venice and Verona, but would love to explore Rome, Florence and Tuscany. I’m really keen to write an Italian set series but don’t feel I’m qualified enough until I’ve explored the country, eaten the food, drank the wine and spoke to the people. Yes, Italy is most definitely on my wishlist!”

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

About the Author: Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s, will release in July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Website | Blog |
Twitter |
Facebook | Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers |
Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon UK, Amazon US, or Kobo.


  1. I like the advice. I do that when I write papers.

  2. Great interview and advice!

  3. Sounds like a good read, I enjoy the time period.

  4. Rachel Brimble says

    Good morning, ladies!

    So glad to have you join me here today 🙂

  5. Audrey Stewart says

    Wow! Rescued by a helicopter? Do you have ant photos of the flooding? I bet you were so scared.

  6. Rita Wray says

    I love books set in this time period. Sounds like a fabulous read.

  7. Diane Sallans says

    I imagine it’s very intimidating to face a blank page & it makes sense to me to just get something on it, even if there’s a good chance the final version will be completely different.

  8. Martha Lawson says

    Your book sounds awesome! It looks like something I’d enjoy.

  9. Linda Romer says

    Looking forward to reading The Mistress of Pennington’s. Thank you

  10. Melissa Basnight says

    I have read several books and they a recall good. The rescue story is in one of your books, I didn’t realize it came from an event in your life. Visiting Italy is on my bucket list too.

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