I am happy to have sci-fi/romance author Rinelle Grey on my blog today to talk about her debut novel, Reckless Rescue.
Where were you born, and where do you call home?
I was born in Brisbane, Australia, about 50km from where I now live! I love it here in Brisbane, it’s pretty warm all year round (we call anything under 20 degrees Celsius cold!), there are some great beaches within easy travelling distance, and everything grows well. (Except stonefruit, which is sad, but something I’ve learned to live with.) We live on three quarters of an acre, which is perfect, plenty of space, not too much to mow. We’re frequently visited by a local mob of kangaroos, the odd koala, and some very cheeky cockatoos that like to eat out of my vegie garden.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a very interesting question. In some ways, I’ve always been a writer, but I really only realised it when I read “You are a Writer” by Geoff Goins, which reminded me that writers aren’t about being published, they’re people who write. Being published does give one a certain legitimacy though, when telling others.
How much of your personality, or your experiences, are in your books?
That’s a tricky question. Overall, my books are a lot like me. They’re optimistic, deep without being confusing, and make you think a little. Many of my personal experiences, such as keeping goats, growing vegies, and spinning and knitting, have made it into my novel, Reckless Rescue, but there are many things I haven’t personally experienced too, such as being trapped in the snow, and flying in a spaceship!
My characters, though some of them might have a little pinch of me, are mostly their own personalities. Each one is different, and one has their own story to tell. That’s why I enjoy writing them so much, it’s like getting to know them.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write, and how do you find time to write?
At the moment, with a plan to release two more books this year, I certainly focus a lot of my time on writing, editing and marketing my books. However, I’m also a mother, and since my daughter is homeschooled, we spent a lot of time together during the day. Another slice of my time also goes to my main income making activity, selling stock photography.
Finding time to write is always a challenge, and how I manage it changes from week to week. I wrote a post last year on what was working for me then (you can find it here – http://rinellegrey.com/finding-time-to-write/), but since then, things have changed. Lately, the only thing that’s been working has been to get up a couple of hours before my family, ban myself from Facebook, and make sure I make my word count/editing goal before I do anything else. Next month, who knows what I’ll be trying!
What’s the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
For me, the best thing about writing is discovering new stories. I’ve always loved to read, and writing is one step better. Not only do I get to discover a wonderful new story, I can have a part in shaping it, and make sure it goes exactly the way I think it should. None of my pet peeves (relationship problems that would be solved if only the characters would TALK to each other, people dying for no reason other than to shock the reader, or surprise tragic endings) appear in my books.
The worst thing would be how long it takes! Writing a book takes a lot longer than reading it, and even when you reach ‘the end’, you need to go over it a couple more times to polish it. I have more stories in my head than I have time to write, and sometimes I worry that I might forget them before I have the chance to commit them to paper.
Please tell us about your current release.
I currently have one book out, Reckless Rescue. It’s a twist on the classic ‘shipwrecked on a desert island’ tale, in that my ‘ship’ is a spaceship, and when my hero, Tyris, lands on his deserted planet, he discovers that a group of people have been surviving there for twenty years. He needs the help of a young woman, Marlee, who is desperate to get off the planet, to try to fix his ship, and navigate the community rules.
Of course, there’s also a slowly building romance, some scenes about surviving without technology, and some lessons for both characters to learn.
How did you come up with the title?
I always find titles hard. When I began this story, I had what I thought was the perfect title. I called it ‘World’s Apart’, since my characters are literally from different planets, but also from planets on the opposite end of the technology spectrum. Unfortunately, when I did a search on my title, I wasn’t the only person to think of it!
So I did a lot of brainstorming, coming up with as many words related to my story as I could, and eventually, settled on Reckless Rescue. This title had the bonus of leading really well into the title for the sequel, Reckless Rebellion.
If this book is part of a series, what is the next book?
Reckless Rescue is followed by Reckless Rebellion, the next stage in Marlee and Tyris’s journey. Having fixed Tyris’s spaceship, they head back to his home planet, expecting to settle into their happily ever after. Of course, their welcome isn’t exactly what they expected, and they run into far more difficulties than they expected.
I’m currently editing this book, and hope to have it ready for release in September.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had a certain image in this book, a young girl standing at the doorway of a spaceship, looking out on a world she’d never seen before, in my mind right from the beginning. Then, of course, I had to figure out what she was doing there, and how she had gotten there? The rest of the story just fitted in around it. A lot of my stories start out this way, with a single image or feeling, and then the story emerges to bring them into being. Sometimes, in the course of this, the original image changes, sometimes it doesn’t. I tend to follow where the story leads me, and discover along with my characters.
Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?
A lot of this story followed the path I predicted it would. I knew where the turning point would be, and mostly how I would get there. What did end up surprising me was the depth of the secondary characters. Since Marlee lives in a village of only around one hundred people, it was necessary to give many of them names, and as I did, many different personalities and stories emerged. I loved getting to know each of the characters, and finding out where they were going next. In fact, one of them, Tyris’s brother Kerit, is going to have his own book next year.
The biggest surprising moment though, came in the sequel, Reckless Rebellion. I don’t want to give too much away, but in the middle of writers block, I decided to throw in an unexpected character to get the story moving again, and he ended up being instrumental to the plot. Those sorts of moments really make writing worth it!
Marlee’s people are dying—the valuable anysogen gas that covers their planet is making the entire population infertile. When the council tells her she must leave her partner and choose another to improve her chances of having a baby, she’s devastated. She swears she’ll never love again—it hurts too much.
Tyris thinks he has everything he wants, despite his world suffering from overpopulation—until his wife leaves him because he is forbidden to have children.
In an attempt to convince his world, and his wife, that he’s worthwhile, Tyris goes hunting for a lost planet said to contain untold riches in the form of anysogen gas.
When he crashes on her world, Marlee and Tyris agree to pretend to live together while they try to repair his ship and escape from the planet. But as they battle the harsh winter on the planet together, keeping their distance becomes even more challenging than the snow, the council and the risks of a real relationship…
Rinelle Grey is no stranger to alternate lifestyles. She grew up in a variety of different homes, including a riverside shack with no electricity or running water, and even a tent. She and her sister spent their childhood chasing goats, climbing trees, eating peas and corn out of their mother’s vegetable garden, and occasionally rushing to get their correspondence school work in on time. Despite the difficulties of this lifestyle, she wouldn’t swap it for all the luxuries in the world (though she is rather fond of her running hot water and indoor plumbing now!)
She met her husband in ‘Family Therapy’, an elective they were both taking as part of their psychology degrees. It took several years for them to get together, in fact, their roleplaying characters got together before they did!
They married on the beach at sunrise in 2002, two months after Rinelle popped the question.
Although she had always loved to write, it wasn’t until her daughter was about eighteen months old that Rinelle started writing seriously. Probably not the best stage in terms of having spare time! And time only became scarcer when her daughter gave up her day sleep six months later. But by then, Rinelle had well and truly caught the writing bug, finding time somehow to continue with her passion. Her fast typing speed learnt from spending way too much time chatting on IRC, and the investment in an iPad when they came out, helped immensely.
Rinelle now lives on acreage with her husband and homeschooled daughter. In her spare time, she sells stock photography through an online site to support her family, and is hoping that writing will be able to add to that.
You can find out more about Rinelle on her website.
You can purchase Reckless Rescue on Amazon.