Rachel Rossano has been my favorite historical fantasy author every since I first met her on Goodreads years ago. She's one of my favorite authors, hands-down!
But what, you may wonder, is historical fantasy?
The majority of Rachel's books take place in completely made up places but they have a very strong historical feel to them. There is never magic or strange creatures.
Rachel is joining us today to answer a few questions, some of which may seem strange to some of you. For Rachel and I, this is a normal, everyday conversation. Enjoy!
I'm so excited to have you here with us, Rachel, to answer a few of the questions I've been dying to ask! And I am so appreciative of the fascinating guest posts you've recently done for this blog. (For those of you who may have missed them, you can find them HERE and HERE.) Let's not keep our readers waiting any longer!
Jaimey/Laura: Let's start by talking about your books. Which of your books is your favorite?
Rachel Rossano: Oh, that is like asking which of my children is my favorite child. Each of them is different and I love them each for different reasons. I am most enthralled with Duty at the moment, which is to be expected since that one is the newest, the shiniest, and my best work so far. But Wren comes in close second, with many others, including my current project (Diaspora), moving up the ranks.
J/L: I'm sure many of our readers can relate to that, especially as so many of them are writers too. Are the names of your characters important?
RR: Some of them are important. Like choosing my heroine’s name when writing Duty became a long and difficult process. She wouldn’t reveal herself to me until she had a name that fit her personality. Brielle means “God is my might.” Her family name, Solarius, is more of a nod to her hair color. The name means “of the sun.” Red hair runs in the family, though I don’t really mention that in the novel. Strong, fiery, wise, and red-headed, Brielle’s name grew to fit her better with each chapter.
Other characters, like my hero Lord Irvaine, burst forth almost completely developed and clear, title and first name included. His title is based on the area he oversees, but I chose his first name, Tomas, because of the sound. Also, it is traditional with a twist of unusualness to fit his world and his character. Although Tomas can give the appearance of all the attributes expected of a nobleman. Upon closer inspection, you discover he is very different than the blue-bloods around him.
J/L: Interesting. I've had the same things happen. A character can sort of burst in, already named and fully formed, and then others are very private, only willing to share once they're sure you're able to portray them accurately. I love that about writing! Continuing on the subject of characters, have you ever replied to a character out loud while you were in a crowded room?
RR: In a crowded room, not usually. Out loud, occasionally. In my head, all the time. Am I nuts, most likely a bit, but aren’t we all?
J/L: I can certainly relate to that and even our non-writer readers can too, I'm sure. ;O) Moving on to a slightly different, though still related, subject, Duty's cover is so beautiful! Who designed it?
RR: I did. Book cover design has become a bit of a third or fourth hobby for me. My frustrated artist side revels in exploring and trying out new things to create a visual taste of the story beneath the cover.
J/L: You are very good! If I didn't do cover design myself I would hire you! Heck, I still might. ;O) In regard to the "darker" side of being a published author, how do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
RR: I look at the source, analyze the reasons the reader gives for not liking it, and then evaluate whether or not I need to change anything I am doing. Sometimes I do. More often I don’t. Then I try to move on because I can’t please everyone.
J/L: I believe that's the hardest lesson an author has to learn, that we can't please everyone. It becomes a bit of a chant, a daily reminder. It still hurts when someone dislikes one of our babies but the reminder does help. On that note, what is the most demeaning thing a reader has said about your work?
RR: A reviewer once accused one of my books of lacking depth, using too many distracting -ly words, and said she just didn’t get it. It took me a few days to shake free of that one. Probably because she was partially right, about the -ly words.
J/L: Ooo, ouch! It hurts so much more when we realize they might have a point. OK, let's drop this serious subject and get to the really important questions. Who is your favorite super hero?
RR: At the moment, Captain America is my favorite, but it is only at the moment. I watch a lot of superhero movies. Mr. Fantastic, Batman, the Phantom, and a couple others come to mind as well.
J/L: I lean more toward the anti-heroes, lol. Wolverine is my all-time favorite and has been since I was a kid. Now, if you had a pet snail that could magically grant wishes, what would you name it?
RR: I would name it Gertrude, just because.
J/L: That is the BEST answer, ever. Thank you so much for joining us today and letting us have a glimpse into the quirky mind that creates such wonderful, romantic stories. It has been great fun!
About the book:
Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a winter of starvation if they do not find a solution soon.
Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king. When that same king demands Tomas marry the impoverished daughter of the late Lord Wisten, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.
Duty: a novel of Rhynan follows their journey from strangers to friends as they face complications from their pasts and the shaky politics of a changing regime. Then Brielle is implicated in her cousin’s treasonous activities. Can a marriage of duty survive treason?
About the author:
Author of a growing stack of novels, novellas, and short stories, Rachel Rossano balances her time between the chaos of raising and homeschooling her three children and the world of drama and high adventure in her head. With her faithful husband and chief consulting editor by her side, she dreams of many more adventures to come in both of her double lives.
Rachel's online presence:
Website ~ http://anavrea.webs.com/
Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/RachelRossano
Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/RachelRossanoRambles
YouTube ~ http://www.youtube.com/anavrea
*B/W image clipped from Chivalry by Léon Gautier (1891), p. 195. Google eBook HERE.