Our guest today is Renee Rearden, author of Moonlight Bleu and the soon to be released, Crimson Sunset. Because our birthdays are only 1 day apart and we both love to write fantasy, I consider Renee my Gemini sister from different mister. I’ve wanted to interview her for ages and finally managed to pin her down. Welcome, Renee.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I suppose I have. When I was ten I tried to write a song. Since I couldn’t play a musical instrument and I knew nothing about love—other than a brief fourth grade crush—the result was a miserable flop. But reading had always been my passion. I devoured books. Every librarian knew me by name. Then I grew up. Got married. Started a career. Had children. Learned to play the piano—and still couldn’t write songs. Music doesn’t move me. Words do. So when I ran out of books to read by my favorite authors, I decided to write a story I’d want to read…and I’ve never looked back.
You have a family and a demanding day job. How do you carve out the time for writing?
Any way I can! Finding creative me time is a battle. In my job as an official court reporter, I spend my days in the courtroom creating a record of the proceedings and more time outside of the courtroom transcribing that record upon request. So, time is a commodity I need more of. Thankfully, my husband works rotating shifts and we only have two teenagers at home now. They’re all pretty self-sufficient.
Oh, and the short answer to your question: I’m an insomniac. I write instead of sleep.
What was the most influential book or author you’ve read? Tell us how it affected or influenced you.
The most influential book I’ve ever read? Jaws. I was in the fourth grade when I filched my mom’s Reader’s Digest copy. Read it in one night, under the covers with a flashlight. She never knew…until we went to the beach that summer on vacation. I refused to get in the water. Eventually I came clean. She extracted a promise: I would ask about adult books before I read them so she could make sure I didn’t read anything that would scare me.
That wasn’t what you meant was it? =D
My answer is still Jaws. The action and suspense sucked me into the story. Each character had these personalities that just popped. I cared about them. I rooted for them. I cried for them. And the terrifying shark attacks? They fed my growing interest in the frightening realm of bloody horror.
As an author, I try very hard to bring all of those elements into my own novels. If I don’t create an interesting world filled with characters that draw attention, readers won’t care enough to root for them. So the seed for writing was planted early. Finding my voice came later.
What are your favorite books? What are you reading right now?
Wow, what a tough question. Am I going to duck this? Kinda.
I LOVE to read, and I’m not exclusive to one genre. I enjoy any book that’s well written. Having put that out there, I am partial to anything that falls in the realm of the paranormal, supernatural or fantasy. (I think because my day job is so “real life” the escapism is necessary.)
I’m currently reading Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.
Tell us something about yourself that people wouldn’t guess.
Several days a week I dry my hair in the car vents at stoplights on my way to work. Yes, I’m that driver Allstate warns you about.
Okay. How about I’m an introverted extrovert? No, seriously. Even though I’m an outgoing gal that loves to talk (you already know that), I’m sort of shy. At my job I work around a lot of people, but I don’t really interact with many of them. When I’m in a crowd of people I don’t know, I tend to sit back and watch. Get a feel for the personalities. Of course, once I’m comfortable around a person, watch out!
Crimson Sunset, the second book in your series is about to be published. How many books do you plan in the series?
Right now, there are six plotted. Depending on how the story and characters are progressing, there could be more. I haven’t planned for more. I love books that are a series. But eventually a series reaches an ending point, and I’ll make sure the Tueri Fated Souls series finishes at the right time.
Do you relate to a specific character in your books? Maybe Saari?
Is it that obvious? I definitely relate to Saari. Nearly everyone feels like an outsider at some point in their life. Whether one is searching for their identity or a specific path to follow, that lost feeling and lack of control is familiar to us all.
Do you consider yourself a romance writer?
I didn’t when I started writing. In fact, I was told my stories didn’t have enough romance in them. Do I now? You bet. I love urban fantasies and paranormal romance. The cool part about writing is mashing genres together and adding elements I want into each story. It’s working so far anyway…
What are you working on now?
I have several projects in the works. I’m currently writing a novel for an in-house line with Crescent Moon Press. I’ve already started book three in the Tueri Fated Souls series. I’m also about half finished with a young adult novel. Hoping to have all three of those completed this year. Then there are the two other series and multiple short stories taking up space in my head. Boy, do I hear voices!
What advice do you have for writers? Any mistakes that you want others to avoid?
Huh, advice for writers. Okay, two things.
First, exercise your creativity daily—yes, write something every day. Imagination is a muscle. If it’s not used and flexed regularly, it atrophies. Writer’s block becomes the norm instead of the exception.
Second, read. Read often and vary your genre. Not only is it important to read in the genre one writes in, it’s helpful to read other genres and see what ideas, styles, and voices are resonating with readers. Writing is hard work—but oh, what a rush!
Renee Rearden had such a passion for the written word, she changed her major in college and received a Court Reporting degree. Now, instead of just writing down what everybody else says, she spends some of her time writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she is currently working on her latest novel.
For more about Renee, her books and reviews, please go to her website: www.reneerearden.com.
Her blog: http://reneereardenblog.blogspot.com.
You'll also find her in the following places: www.twitter.com/; ReneeRearden,
www. facebook.com/ReneeRearden and