Indie Author Interview with Rusty Blackwood - Author of the Contemporary Romance Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary.
From the time of youth Rusty Blackwood has loved the Arts in their many forms, and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. Though she crosses genres with ease, Rusty's love for romance is celebrated in her exceptional romance novel Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary. Ten years in the making, this novel is truly a writer's dream, and a reader's paradise, proving that she truly does write words that will leave you breathless.
Interview with Rusty Blackwood
|Author Rusty Blackwell|
Rusty Blackwood: I developed my love of writing while in elementary school, and I’ve carried that love ever since. However in the sixties, and this is unfortunate by way of career choices afforded women entering secondary school in that era, journalism, regardless of the different aspects of it, was not offered in the allotted course studies, so I had to choose a different route. However I continued to write whenever the opportunity presented itself and of course I, like so many others, kept a daily journal, but I was never professionally trained in the field of writing, yet I had always done well in English, had a great understanding of written word, and a unique way of expressing it which had been noticed and encouraged by my elementary teacher, the late Gladys Carroll. So I continued to write short stories and poetry as a hobby until 2001, when I decided to write in a professional sense and see where it could possibly take me.
Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
The majority of those whom I admire were primarily children’s authors, yet the scope of their work reached well beyond that of a child’s mind. I can remember reading Anna Sewell’s ‘Black Beauty’ at a very young age, and marveling at the concept of a story written through the mind and eyes of a horse. I liked Lucy Maude Montgomery who authored ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and many more in the ‘Anne’ oriented series, and the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series by Laura Ingalls-Wilder. Also, ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. They were all wonderful writers with tremendous stimulation for the mind. Favourite writers of adult work are, ‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margret Mitchell, and ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë. I have to say I believe the Brontë sisters were far beyond their time with regard to graphic, sensuous expression that would have been considered not only risqué for the time, but quite scandalous. I love the work of Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, and I admired Jackie Collins for her boldness which in turn opened the door to so many more that would otherwise be considered crass. I also like ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett and of course ‘Love Story’ by Eric Segal, and ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks. And finally my very favorite author, Stephen King. Although I primarily love romance, I’m always blown away by the incredible mind of this phenomenal writer, whose inspiration and endless imagination never cease to amaze me. I find him a marvelous example of what can be accomplished by opening your mind to endless scope, and not be intimated in the least to follow where it is leading you.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved to write since the time of childhood, scribbling descriptions and ideas of whatever was engaging my mind at the moment; then creating a story about it when I got the chance. But it wasn’t until I was in my early fifties that the desire to write in a serious manner became a passion, and a desire I needed to fulfill.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I discuss this same question on my website in my three part audio-video series An Evening with Rusty Blackwood, and as I stated there, it’s hard to remember that far back. There would have been a ton of stories, but nothing that sticks in my mind as being any more special than the next, but it would have been about an animal, no doubt a horse, as I adored them; still do.
"I don’t believe in demanding a certain amount of words be written per day [...]"
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
When I wrote Passions/Revelations, I was working a full time job on a daily bases. This allowed only evenings and weekends to write which no doubt attributed to the massive amount of time it took to write the novel. But since then my writing schedule has greatly changed and of course has become my fulltime job. I’m usually at my desk from 10 am to 6 pm daily, unless I’m trying to finish a chapter or a certain scene demands it be finished and will not wait until morning. I usually try to keep my weekends free, unless the creative juices are really flowing. I don’t believe in demanding a certain amount of words be written per day, or that you even have to write on a daily time schedule or limit, but instead when you feel it, emotions at the helm, and the need to capture these feelings at the moment they are occurring. I think every writer must find what best works for them, and for me, what I have just explained works best.
Please, describe your desk/workplace.
I have a massive walnut desk that is located in the bright, airy loft of my house. Because it is located at the top of my home, it often feels like the top of the world, or a mountain summit, and by my thinking this way can often entice an endless array of thoughts and inspiration for my work.
"[...] the never-ending job of marketing the work."
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
This is a good two-part question. The answer to the first part is easy, the creation of it, the feelings that can be evoked and captured in descriptive words. I love to read words that are written in this fashion and I love to write the same way. The hardest I would say, at least as an Indie author, is the business end of it. The constant chase and grind to obtain and maintain public events, getting your name known as well as your work, and the never-ending job of marketing the work. I have an excellent marketing Rep & Publicist, but there is still a large amount that falls on the writer’s shoulders which can be stressful, and cut in to the creation time of the work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing can bring many joys, in many forms, but the greatest joy it brings me is that of accomplishment. I would also add pride to this. So much of yourself is before you within the pages you’ve created, the emotions, and time you’ve put into it, and you hope that it can bring the prospective reader even half the pleasure it brought you in creating it.
Rusty, please tell us a little about your Contemporary Romance Novel Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary.
I am extremely proud of this story which centers on star-crossed soul mates, Canadian author Joy Wychmere, and Irish actor/musician Cullen Malone, who find themselves on the cusp of the 21st century in Paris, just in time to be cast into the most enduring situation of their lives. The story is told through a rediscovered forty year old diary and corresponding manuscript that reveals how Joy and Cullen’s immeasurable love is put to the test by three vindictive people, the worst, namely Philippe Robealard, a delusional, misguided homosexual artist who is determined to make the unsuspecting actor suffer for stealing the man he loves, until he has paid in full with his life. Joy and Cully battle through a series of misunderstandings, embarrassment, torture, and injury until Joy is left fighting to survive a direct gunshot, while Cullen is given the choice of consuming a bottle of barbiturates – certain to take his life – or lose Joy forever if he does not. If this is not enough, the trapped couple’s fate grows direr when fire is discovered raging toward them. Endurance and determination is stretched to the limit, asking if love truly can survive all odds, and time.
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
What inspired you to write the book?
Well, I’m a hopeless romantic who believes in soul mates, and love ever-lasting. When I began the initial outline for the story I was in a turbulent part of my life, and I suppose it helped my cause to express my feelings through the writing of this novel. I would often use writing, especially writing poetry as a form of therapy to help me through difficult times – I still do - and the writing of Passions was no different. I suppose when you can create a story that will end in a way you wish your own life could, then all that you pour into it can be reaped back by the way it makes you feel every time you read it.
Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I believe that anyone who loves a good, in depth, and unforgettable read will enjoy this novel, but definitely those who have endured and experienced loss and upset in their lives. The novel is available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon, in paperback and NOOK editions at Barnes & Noble, in paperback at CreateSpace, and on for reading devices at Smashwords.
What makes your book special?
I believe the raw emotion and depth of true love that emit from each and every page is what makes this novel special, and a novel very much worth reading. You have to have experienced - at least to a certain degree - what it is you write about in order to make it not only believable, but impacting in the way it is presented, and the way in which it is perceived. I believe I have accomplished that with this story.
How would you describe the success of your book so far?
It has gained worldwide presence and continues to grow in this manner, which in itself is always gratifying to know. It has garnered great editorial reviews, as well as reviews by those who have read it. People are talking about it, that’s always great to hear, and I find more demand for readings from it at new events around my area. With regard to sales, your question can be a rather difficult one. None of us, as writers keep tally, or know exactly how many books have sold because the online bookstores do not notify you, nor can you find this out on a daily bases. Amazon has changed their method, which greatly helps in keeping up with current sales, but with regard to secondary booksellers, who are only required to report sales quarterly, it is almost impossible to know how many copies are selling until you receive royalty payment. This, of course is totally different with live sales. With this I mean where the public can purchase your work directly from you at events, or through private orders. Through this method, Passions is doing well, and sales continue to grow.
How long did it take to write the book?
The better part of ten years, this of course is from the initial idea to finished product.
"Write what you know."
Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
I don’t know if any writer is qualified to give advice to another, or whether the advice given would be the right advice, or something that could be viewed as valid, and of course in answering this question I can only speak from my own experience, and point of view. That being said, I would have to say that experience in what one is writing about is most important and first and foremost in your story being both believable, and entertaining. Write what you know. You will find that in doing so the creative path is less hectic, and definitely more enjoyable. Only you know your thoughts and feelings, as well as the way in which you would like to project them. Be resilient in your approach, and stay determined toward your goal.
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m about half way through writing another romance drama - very graphic in places - entitled ‘Willow’s Walk’. This touching story centers on Willow Sutherland-Crosby, a precocious young woman determined to follow her own path regardless of the pitfalls she encounters along the way. Willow plunders from one uncertain encounter to the next, one husband to the next until, via the Internet; she encounters a much younger man and becomes entangled in a bad situation. All the while this is happening she continues to encounter her estranged husband who is determined to bring her down.
"[...] the smell of new pages, and the crisp sound as you turn a page that is not experienced on an electronic reading device"
Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
For the sake of readers and book lovers everywhere I hope not. For Indie authors, eBooks are a great way of getting work known worldwide that otherwise might not see the light of day on a public bookshelf, and they also provide a most affordable route in which to do so. But in all honesty I still prefer the feel of a book within my hands. There’s something to be said about the smell of new pages, and the crisp sound as you turn a page that is not experienced on an electronic reading device, regardless of one’s chosen kind. However I do think that the brick and mortar bookstores have lost a lot of ground these past few years and because of e-Book’s growing popularity they may continue down their present course. This is unfortunate, but I believe it also sends a very important message to these stores; one that they should pay heed to.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I may sound stuck in the dark ages but I don’t have one. My work is available on all reading devices of course, and I am able to read e-Book versions of my work via my own computer, but in regard to a favored reading device of choice I don’t have one.
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My writing has now become my full-time profession and I’m happy to be able to finally do what I love. I waited a very long time for this. When I’m not writing I’m doing whatever is required by me of my Marketing Rep and Publicist with regard to promotion of my work. It is a never ending task as well as a required one in the field of Independent publishing. In my free time I love to take nature walks, spend time by the lake – in which I’m fortunate to live close to – and spending time with family and friends.
"The success of any Indie Author lies within their online presence [...]"
How can readers connect with you?
They may visit my official website at http://www.rusty-blackwood.com where they may e-mail me directly, or obtain direct links to my Twitter and Facebook sites. I’m also on LinkedIn , About.me, Goodreads, Google+, and please visit my official poetry site. You may find my work on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Create Space, and Smashwords. I look forward to comments and always try my best to reply to those who are kind enough to contact me. The success of any Indie author lies within their online presence, but mostly through those who support the author by purchasing their work, kindly commenting on it via written message and reviews, and by spreading the word. I’d very much like to thank Indie Author News for this gracious opportunity to discuss my work, and as well as the reasons why I do it. Thank you so much.
Thank you very much for the Interview, Rusty.
About the Book Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
An unforgettable romance filled with danger, intrigue, and a love without boundaries, Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary tells the story of forbidden love, salacious adultery, cunning jealousy, and unrequited passion. This complex and stirring story, revolving around star-crossed soul mates, Canadian author Joy Wychmere, and Irish actor Cullen Malone, tells how their immeasurable love is put to the test by three vindictive people, the worst, namely Philippe Robealard, a delusional, misguided homosexual artist who is determined to make the unsuspecting actor suffer for stealing the man he loves.
Endurance and determination is stretched to the limit, asking if love truly can survive all odds, and time.
This 820 page romance novel is written in the tradition of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and 'What Dreams May Come.' Reader's have compared this riveting story to Eric Segal's 'Love Story', and Nicholas Sparks' 'The Notebook'. Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary, which is told through a rediscovered diary forty years after it was written, tells an unforgettable story of two star-crossed soul mates who cannot get enough of each other.
Links to the Book
Link to the Paperback Passions in Paris with Excerpt on Amazon
Link to the eBook Passions in Paris with Excerpt on Amazon