Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Robyn Rychards - Tougher Than You Think

Please welcome Robyn Rychards to the blog today! I really enjoyed Her Knight in Shining Armour - great characters and an intriguing plot line!

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Most authors’ journeys to publication are a long, winding, rocky road.  I know
mine was.  Therefore we have a love/hate relationship with writing because the journey to finishing the book is just as difficult as publishing it.  Anyone who gets published must have a good amount of grit, guts and tenacity.
We start off writing as children because it’s fun, little knowing where the road will take us.  For some the road is a short one and ends when life becomes busy.  But there are those of us who have stories running through our heads at the strangest times.  A few of those stories become imbedded in our brain where they grow and grow and grow until they are screaming to get out.  Really, to a certain degree, we have no choice but to be a writer.  We HAVE to tell those stories so they will just SHUT UP. 

My first full-length novel was that way, and it is still a work in progress that I am determined will be published someday.  My debut, Her Man From Shilo was a story that started with a dream.  I wrote about half a chapter before life (read children, etc. here) got in the way of my being able to write for quite a while.  It didn’t stop Daimee and Raff from telling me their story though.  For over a decade I imagined them in different scenes until life gave me a chance to get it out of my head and onto virtual paper.  Since it was in my head so long, it will most likely be the easiest (relatively speaking of course) book I’ve ever written.
After receiving such positive feedback from those who read it, including some people I didn’t know, I decided to put my toe back in the ‘let’s-get-published’ sea.  It wasn’t my first foray into these deep, dark, scary waters, so I was familiar with the sting of rejection and willing to take the risk again.  Which helps you appreciate the kind of breed we authors are.  We are willing to take a painful shot to the heart when a publisher tells us they don’t want our book and throw ourselves back in the shark-infested waters ready to get chewed up again.  I wanted to be published by Harlequin SO BAD I was willing to put myself out there again and again.  And willing to wait an eternity to get those rejection letters.  And willing to rewrite, rework, redo my story until one glorious day I got a letter from Kate Cuthbert at Harlequin Escape that said ‘We would like to publish your book’.  We writers may live a lot of our life in our imaginations, but we are tougher than you think on the inside.      
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Her Knight In Shining Armour

She may not need a knight in shining armour to save her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to look a gift knight in the visor...

Paisley doesn’t need a knight in shining armour to rescue her from her high-powered, abusive ex-husband. She’s got it covered on her own: she's changed her name, liquidated her assets, and has a plan to disappear in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Psychiatrist Sterling James has absolutely no intention of being anyone’s saviour. The only woman he has any time for is his sister. But circumstances change when Sterling finds Paisley in an unexpected and life-threatening situation. Brought in to the drama of her escape, Sterling finds himself invested, and he can't move on until he knows Paisley is going to be safe.

It should be a simple enough exercise to get Paisley out of the park and into her new life. But nothing is ever as simple as it should be, and Sterling soon discovers that even if her ex-husband buys the set-up, he might not be able to watch Paisley go...

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Robyn Rychards

Robyn Rychards grew up in the granola bowl of the United States, Boulder Colorado, a town filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. She considers herself a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none and has taught herself to sew, paint, play the piano, garden, cook, the list goes on. But now that her books are published, she’s thrilled to finally be considered a master of one. At least as much as a person can be, for the learning never really stops.

She feels her active imagination is a blessing and a curse, with the blessing far outweighing the curse since it has led her to fulfil her dream of writing for Harlequin. Robyn started writing stories when she was a teenager because she didn’t have enough books to read. Sometimes she finds it hard to believe that people are willing to pay her to do something she enjoys so much, but mostly she’s happy to have such a wonderful excuse not to cook and clean. And a job that means you can stay in your jammies as long as you want? Priceless. 

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How about you? Has this publication journey made you tougher than you were?

37 comments:

JeffO said...

Congratulations, Robyn, and best of luck on this next step of the journey. Cheers to you for your persistence!

I don't know if this has made me tougher, but it's certainly made me a little more pragmatic. I guess when the next set of rejections come in, I'll let you know!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah, if you're not tough, you'll never make it in this business. Congratulations, Robyn.
My journey has confirmed that there will always be negative people in the world - just ignore them and keep moving forward.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations to you, Robyn!

Determination...maybe just plain stubbornness...is so important in this industry.

Jemi Fraser said...

Jeff - I don't think there's an easy stage on this journey!

Alex - I'm working on that!

Elizabeth - it is!

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

Thick skin, thick skin. This is what I keep telling myself.

Good luck, Robyn on the book.

Medeia Sharif said...

Congrats to Robyn. All this strife and then to be published by Harlequin. Awesome.

I had no idea the journey would be like this, but I'm sticking with it.

Robyn Rychards said...

Thanks everyone for the congratulations!

JEFF I think the process of submitting and rejections can teach us a lot and make us better for it. Certainly helps us see what we're made of!

ALEX very good advice about negativity. It doesn't go away after publication. Rather than the rejections, you're now dealing with the bad reviews. And so many people seem to enjoy letting you know they think you suck!

ELIZABETH you are definitely on to something! Stubbornness is certainly needed. :D

TERESA, the skin has to become very thick, though I have a feeling it never gets thick enough... We are an insecure lot, us writers, and spend half our time thinking our stories are worthless. Not only do we have to ignore the criticism from others, we have to learn to ignore ourselves! Hehe!

MEDEIA, stick with it, hang tough and you may just make it.

Robyn Rychards said...

JEMI, Thanks so much for having me today and SO glad you enjoyed HER KNIGHT!

Crystal Collier said...

It's amazing to me how unique everyone's road is. We all start at different places, we all write different things, we all hope for the same outcome...

I'm wishing you much cheese, and here, you can borrow my elephant-skin coat. ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

Teresa - I'm not good at it yet - getting better though! :)

Medeia - and you're shining! :)

Crystal - so true! The uniqueness is definitely part of the allure. Can I borrow that coat... :)

Robyn - you're so very welcome! It was definitely a fun read!!

DMS said...

Congrats to Robyn! She is right- we writers do have to be tough! Rejection isn't easy, but I have found I learn a lot from it. :) So glad her characters kept talking to her and telling her their story so that she could share it with the world!
~Jess

Jemi Fraser said...

Jess - exactly! That perseverance makes all the difference :)

Romance Reader said...

Loved the post. Congratulations Robyn!

Hi Jemi :)

TashNz said...

Wow! What a journey. I love the genre and after hearing all the hard work you authors go through gives me a huge appreciation. Congrats Robyn

Jemi Fraser said...

RR - hi!!

Tash - It's not an easy road by any means but it's so worth it!

Leslie S. Rose said...

Yay for Robyn. Your "stick to it" story is so inspiring.

Jemi Fraser said...

Leslie - I totally agree! :)

Robyn Rychards said...

Thanks JESS! I'm glad they wouldn't leave me alone too as it is an amazing feeling being a published author.

Thanks ROMANCE READER! Glad you enjoyed the post.

TASH Nice to hear the work is appreciated. Thanks!

LESLIE That is just what I was hoping for when I wrote it. I know I could have used something like that when I first started out. I was SO in the dark about everything.

Appreciate all you lovely ladies stopping by and hope you get a chance to read something of mine!

Nas said...

Thanks for hosting Robyn, Jemi!

Great post Robyn!

Jemi Fraser said...

Nas - you're welcome! It's been fun! :)

Beth said...

It has made me way tougher than I used to be. And I must admit - I'm one of those people who constantly has stories running around in her head. Distracting, but in the most wonderful way!

Jemi Fraser said...

Beth - so true! I've always got new stories rapping at my skull. Which is why I have so many first drafts and idea banks laying around :)

cleemckenzie said...

Here's to the true grit it takes to write a book and see it through to publication. We do go through many stages from that total love of writing to tearing our hair wondering why we ever thought this was a good idea. Congrats on going the mile.

Jemi Fraser said...

Lee - So true - so many stages from fun to crazy and back again :)

Michelle Wallace said...

Wow! Talk about grit, guts and determination! Congrats to Robyn!
Writer In Transit

Jemi Fraser said...

Michelle - I know! Hoping I'll have all that when the time comes! :)

A said...

I really like her words & believe that everything good in life takes work… in a love-takes-work work-takes-love sort of way.

Jemi Fraser said...

Agnes - exactly!! I can't imagine doing a job I didn't love :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I know that feeling! I spent my 20s trying to get published by Harlequin (and Silhouette--which may not be around anymore?). I then took some time off and, when I came back, romantic comedy was dead. If I submitted romantic comedies--even the ones that were fine before--they immediately dismissed them as "chick lit," which was a quickly dying genre! So I went younger... Congrats on your success! I know what an accomplishment it is to finally get that call. (Most of the time it's an email these days!)

Jemi Fraser said...

Stephanie - it's amazing how the market shifts and changes. So glad you've managed to make it work!! :)

Elliot Grace said...

...proof positive that hard work can still pay off. Congrats Robyn ;)

El

Jemi Fraser said...

Elliot - exactly!

Robyn Rychards said...

Beth- And no matter how many of them you write there's always another one waiting in line to get written.

Cleemckenzie- Thanks! It's definitely a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

Michelle- Thanks! I like the way you put that.

A- I like the way you put that!

Stephanie- It's definitely an ever-changing market. I too tried Silhouette and Harlequin. :D Silhouette got bought out by Harlequin, so they are one and the same now. Did you know Janet Evanovich started out at Silhouette? Fun fact #153 ;)

Elliot- You get what you pay for applies to more than money sometimes ;) Thanks for the congrats!

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Robyn. It helps to remember that we're all on the long road together!

-29, Jemi?? I don't miss that at all! Much warmer in Geneva :-) Sorry!

Jemi Fraser said...

Deniz - we really are! And it's warming up here - 4 days in a row of above freezing temps! So much snow has melted - we can even see strips of mud along the edges now!! :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Nice to meet you, Robyn. I agree with you--the road to publication is long and difficult. Good luck!

Hi, Jemi!

Jemi Fraser said...

Theresa - and every road is unique - makes it kind of fun! :)