Interview with Rebecca Avery

Welcome to JBR.  Today we have Rebecca Avery with us.

First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?

For fear of sounding completely crazy… I’m a little hesitant to answer this question… but here goes.  I have all these characters in my head and they tell me their stories.  My job is to write down the details as best I can.  They’ve always been there but a couple of years ago my Mother-in-Law encouraged me to try writing so I did.  Now that a few of these characters have their own stories, more have come to take their place.  Crazy, right?  I kind of feel like the kid from sixth sense, “I hear book characters!”

Newest release?

My first series, Riding with Honor, is set to release the sixth book in the series, Spirited Ride, on March 30th 2014.  This series centers on a group of men who all work together at a motorcycle repair shop.  These guys work together and play together but are not your suit and tie wearing, dripping with money kind of men.  They are a little rough around the edges but straight forward and the kind of people you would want as friends.  They each find love when they aren’t even looking for it and along the way become each other’s family.  These guys are a sexy and a whole lot of fun but you better hang on for the ride!

My newest series, Man Maid, will be coming out through Harlequin’s new e-book line.  The first book in the series will be out May 1st 2014 and is called Maid to Fit.  This series focuses on four Army buddies who’ve decided not to re-enlist.  While trying to adjust to civilian life and decide what they want to do for careers, they all begin working for a company called Man Maid.  Man Maid is a residential and commercial cleaning business that one of them inherited.  So if you’re tired of working after spending a whole day in the office, check out what ‘services’ Man Maid has to offer.

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts?

My stories are emotional, drama-filled romance novels that combine humor, wit and camaraderie amongst the entire cast of characters to address some pretty serious subject matters.  Each book in the series introduces you to a new hero who manages to find romance, sometimes with a very unlikely heroine.  However, every story also incorporates the characters from previous books in the series that you’ve grown to love.

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?

I’ve often heard other authors say it’s hard to choose a favorite character.  That’s because it would be like choosing your favorite child… you love them all!  They all have different personalities but after spending so much time with them and writing down their story, you grow very attached to them.  A fan favorite though, is Chuck Reynolds from my Riding with Honor series.  He’s an all-around great guy with a troubled past.  His road to redemption is shared with Meredith Johnson who’s overcoming her own obstacles.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

I had four of the books in my Riding with Honor series written before being convinced to actually publish them.  While looking for covers for them that would help me tell the whole story, I came across a guy who does photography work for several motorcycle magazines.  He was instrumental in helping me create the ‘look’ for this series.  Oddly enough he shares many of the same traits as the group of bikers from these books… probably because he is one and has been for more than fifty years!

As for the Man Maid series, I’m not supposed to say who helped with my research on this series.  That’s because they would “never live it down” if anyone found out they answered questions for a romance writer!  All I am able to do is send them care packages every couple of months.  I’m forbidden to name names, ranks or even their unit.  However, they know who they are… and they know how much I appreciate it. 

Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?

I’ve not collaborated with any other authors on my stories, but I am an avid reader and am not loyal to any specific type of romance novel.  If you write it, I will read it… cover to cover.  I’m not a band wagon reader (meaning I do not read what everyone else is reading or what is popular at the moment) but instead tend to dig at the bottom of the clearance bin looking for that special book that will stick with me long after I’ve finished it.  I’m kind of like Bastian Bux from the Neverending Story.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Whether you’ve just read one of my books or the whole series, if you liked it, then tell a friend about it or leave a review.  Word of mouth is how authors thrive and survive.  I love to hear from my readers so they can always visit me on Facebook or my website at www.rebeccamaverybooks.com.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

If you’re a romance writer… give your story to your boyfriend or husband and have them read it… especially if they aren’t the romance reader type.  They are often brutally honest but that can make your story better… if you listen to what they are telling you.  Once you’ve got your manuscript where you want it… pick a publisher that you want to write for and go after the dream.  I wanted to write for Harlequin because I read their books.  I researched their requirements, took my first manuscript in the series, polished it up, and sent it off.  I expected rejection but was pleasantly surprised.  However, it took me nearly a year to get up the nerve because I feared rejection.  Writing is like going out to get the mail completely naked… at least one person in the neighborhood won’t appreciate what you have to offer… but some of them might.

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?

That is like asking me to pick a favorite song… there are so many that I love it’s impossible to name just one.  I like Lori Foster, Sarah Mayberry, Michelle Willingham, Terri Brisbin, Nora Roberts to name a few and have recently started reading some Jill Shalvis books.  Books are my television.  Since TV shows often make me fall asleep… books are my form of relaxation… me time, if you will.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?

Hmm… The first thing I ever wrote was a historical romance novel that was supposed to be the first of a 3 book series.  However, the mass amounts of research involved had me re-thinking that avenue of writing a little bit.  I do remember the feeling of actually completing it though and thinking… “Oh my God!  I just wrote a book… like a real book!”

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

Music and pictures.  I can get complete characters and complete storylines from a single song.  Pictures (especially photographs of people) can also inspire a whole series of characters.  I’m a Facebook stalker in that I will look at other people’s photos if they catch my eye.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?

I have a dog, his name is Sparky and he is a menace.  He stands by my chair when I’m writing, whining and staring at me out of the corner of his eye.  After a while it gets really annoying so I have to take a break and take him outside.  I also enjoy pretending to be a rock star within the confines of my minivan.

Favorite places to travel or visit?

I like visiting the places in my dreams… it’s always different scenery and very entertaining.  Dollywood would be a close second.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us (Include links to where we can find your work)

Excerpt from Rough Ride (Book 1 of the Riding with Honor series) ie. Bobby Jackson and Lilly Warner’s story;

“Have you ever been on a motorcycle before?” he asked skeptically.
“No, this will be my first time,” she answered.
“Keep your feet on these pegs at all times,” he said, kicking a pedal with his foot.
With that he kicked his leg over the bike and stood it up.  Unsure of how she could possibly sit on the seat behind him since her skirt was straight and the hem hit right at her knees, she stood there.
“You’ll have to pull your skirt up to get your leg over the seat and also to sit down.  Use my shoulders to balance yourself,” he said and then turned his head away from her and wiped his chin on the upper sleeve of his shirt.
Between his words and the heart-stopping grin that followed it, she could feel herself blush all the way down her neck.  She could do this.  Oh God.
She approached close enough to the bike to step on the peg, hiked her skirt up to mid-thigh and held it there with one hand while placing her other hand on his shoulder.  In one graceful move she stepped on the peg and slid one leg over the seat.  Finding the other peg she quickly sat down.
The skirt was tight but did manage to at least cover her bottom, though an excessive amount of her legs were showing for all other motorists to see.  Scooting back in an effort to put some space between his back and her front, she wiggled around until she was situated.
“Are you comfortable?” he asked, glancing back at her with his dark eyes.
Was that amusement in his voice? “Yes, thank you.  I do appreciate this,” she said.
Bracing the bike between his powerful legs to ensure it was steady, he reached around behind both of them.  Suddenly he cupped her bottom with both hands and slid her forward flush up against his back.
“What are you doing?” she asked in shock, before she could stop herself.
“Making sure you don’t fall off,” he replied.
With that he grasped her hands that she was trying in vain to find a place for and wrapped them around his powerful chest.
“Once I start the bike, lock your fingers together right here,” he said.
She had never been this close to any other man besides Darren.  Heat seemed to burn her each place that her front touched his back.  She could feel the muscles of his chest bunching as he moved.  This was entirely too intimate a position to be in with a stranger. 
She had seen other people doubled up on a motorcycle before and didn’t realize how close the back passenger would be to the one in front.
As she struggled to control her racing heart and slow her breathing, she noticed that his heart beat fast under her hands.  Did he possibly feel this same heated sensation she did?
“Ready?” he asked.
“Yes,” she nearly whispered.
With that he stood and kicked a lever on the side of the motorcycle and then jumped on it which started the motorcycle.  It was so loud she jumped at the noise.  He sat back down and she carefully positioned her hands around him as he had indicated and locked her fingers.
Suddenly they were moving and excitement unfolded in her stomach like she was on a roller coaster.  It was exhilarating and even with his broad back and shoulders blocking most of her view she could still see where they were going.  It felt like she was flying or riding downhill on her bicycle like she had done as a child.  It was amazing!

Thank you for stopping by.  We wish you success.

Julie Ramsey
Adm, JBR

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