Christine Rimmer is the USA Today Bestselling author of over sixty romances. She writes for HQN Books and a number of Silhouette and Harlequin imprints, most notably Silhouette Special Edition. In March she steps into mainstream with her first sizzling hot romantic mystery, RALPHIE'S WIVES. It's fun and quirky and with good shoes! Lots of readers have remarked that it brings to mind Desperate Housewives. The whole kind of "let's have coffee and dish and don't mind that body in the living room..." thing. How long have you been writing?
Since I was about five. My first book was eight pages long. A novella in the truest sense. It was called The Little Sun-and yes, it was romance. The Little Sun was in love with the Moon. They triumphed over the whole day-person, night-person issue and lived happily ever after, as I recall. I've been writing romance professionally for a long time, too. I raised my son writing romances in my home office. Before romance, my plays were produced at the Back Alley and Group Theaters in Southern California and published by Dramatists Play Service and West Coast Plays. My short stories and poems appeared in a number of small literary journals. How many books did you write before you sold your first book?
I actually sold my first book. But I had definitely paid my dues studying romance like mad, and trying to break into the writing game for several years as a playwright and short story author. I loved reading romance and as I moved into my thirties I began to realize that writing was the work that could bring me fulfillment. I tried my hand at playwriting, poetry, and short stories. And then I decided to write a romance. I read hundreds of series romances as "research" for my new career as a romance writer. (Hey, nice work if you can get it, huh?) I analyzed those books, cross-indexing them, on 5X8 cards, one file by title, and one by author. I would put down character names, a short rundown of the plot, what struck me about that particular book, and the hero and heroine's occupation, stuff like that. I still have those file boxes somewhere around here. I remain very proud of the background work I did to become a romance novelist.
Finally, when I thought I was "ready," I wrote my first book, targeted at Silhouette Desire. It took me six months to write that book. I sold it about a year later-to Harlequin Temptation. It took place in-surprise, surprise-a tiny town in the Sierra Mountains. I think I called it SPELL OF THE SIERRAS. It was released under the title THE ROAD HOME, my only Temptation. Who are your favorite romance authors?
I loved so many romantic authors early on. Anya Seton and Frank Yerby come immediately to mind. I loved those old CATHERINE books. Anyone remember them? Catherine and Arnaud were the heroine and hero. Those books were not in the least politically correct. Poor Catherine. Always getting thrown in a dungeon somewhere. But did she ever clean up beautifully.
Let's see. I also loved GONE WITH THE WIND
. When I discovered it, I was twelve. I faked illness for a week so I could stay home from school and read it all day long. And what else? FOREVER AMBER
. And REBECCA. When I became a romance writer, my favorites, in no particular order, were Jayne Ann Krentz (in all her many guises), Karen Robards, Barbara Delinsky, Sandra Brown, LaVyrle Spencer, Susan Howatch, Rosie Thomas...well, okay. The truth is, there are many more than I can possibly name. I'm always discovering new writers I love. And I do learn so much from all of them. What were you doing when you got "The Call"?
I was writing. I remember standing in the tiny hall of the dinky cottage I lived in then, crying out with joy and saying yes, yes, yes--and then trying to backtrack and get a bigger advance. Didn't get that advance hike. But boy, was I thrilled. Have you won any awards?
I have won Romantic Times
's best Silhouette Special Edition. I've been nominated three times for RT
's Series Storyteller of the Year and twice for the RITA
. What do you love best about being a writer?
I love playing all day with my "imaginary friends," my characters. I love that when I'm writing, I pretty much run the world I create on the page. I love that during my average working day, I don't wear pantyhose. And I love my readers. I'm so grateful to be able to do what I love and make a living at it, and I'm ever mindful that my readers are the ones who make that possible for me.
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at her website
for more information, including excerpts of her recent and upcoming releases.