Thank you for having me, Shauna!
I’ll admit, it has been a wild ride, but it’s a ride I’ve been dreaming of taking for a long time now, so I feel confident in saying I was somewhat prepared when I finally found my agent and signed my first contract. However, I was not prepared for the accelerated time table surrounding my book’s release. I’d always heard that it takes about a year from when you sign the contract to when the book hits bookshelves. I had seven months, which means everything was a bit rushed. I had about three weeks to complete my revisions, which included an overhaul of my secondary storyline, among other major changes. I had not worked so hard since college. But, it was worth it in the end.
The biggest affect my first sale has had on my friends and family is probably that they see my writing as more than just a hobby now. It’s a profession—one I am extremely serious about.
At first, I was against changing Deliver Me to a post-Katrina novel, but I am infinitely happy that my editor convinced me to do so. As she pointed out, it is hard for people to think of New Orleans before the storm. It’s a part of the city’s history. However, my one caveat was that I refused to harp on the devastation. I wanted to show the hope that has risen from the despair brought on by Katrina.
Actually, I believe changing the book to post-Katrina New Orleans gave the characters more depth. It added a new dimension to Monica’s motivation for leaving St. Louis and relocating to New Orleans. I was very pleased with how it made my characters into more caring people.
My goal was to show New Orleans in a positive light, focusing on the rebuilding of the city. Based on the reviews I’ve received, I think I accomplished that goal.
Writing the interaction among the Holmes’s was the easiest, most natural part of my entire writing process. Growing up with a huge extended family helped. When I was younger, most of my grandmother’s ten children, along with all the grandchildren, gathered for Sunday dinner. On holidays, all the same family stories were told, stories we can all recite verbatim. It just came naturally to me based on my own experiences.
Of course! The next book, tentatively titled Release Me, centers around Elijah’s youngest brother, Tobias “Toby” Holmes, and his childhood best friend, Sienna Culpepper. After a serious car accident ends his professional basketball career, Toby decides to try his hand at the music business. As luck would have it, a scout for a new reality TV show shows up at a club where Toby’s newest client is performing and chooses her to star in the show. Sienna Culpepper works as a junior marketing executive at the advertising firm Toby chooses to help turn his client into a star. And, of course, she is put in charge of Toby’s account.
I really enjoyed writing Toby and Sienna’s book. It was great visiting with the characters again from Deliver Me, too.
I’m currently working on the last Holmes novel, the as-yet-untitled story of the eldest Holmes brother, single-father Alexander. Alex is my favorite, so I’m hoping I can do his story justice.
After I finish up Alex’s book, which I hope to do in the next few months, I’m hoping to start a romantic suspense. It’s what I first starting writing years ago, and I still love the genre. However, I also have an idea for another trilogy, this one centered on three girlfriends looking for love. And I’m also preparing to write my first young-adult novel. I’ve been inspired by my little sister, who once hated reading but is now a bona fide bookworm as a result of several YA books I encouraged her to read. I’m looking forward to writing this story.
I’m lucky enough to have a work schedule that lets me devote several hours to writing every day. I write for about two and a half hours in the morning. My usual hangout is a nearby Starbucks. I have my own table and everything.
Many aspiring authors, and many published for that matter, probably have to contend with a full-time job and family commitments, so my writing regimen may not work for them. I know what it’s like to have to find snippets of time here and there, and if that’s all you can afford to do, then by all means, do it. The writing is what’s important. However, if you can structure your day in a way where your writing is an integral part of your schedule, you should. It’s one of those things that, in my opinion, transforms writing from hobby into career.
I have this love/hate relationship with revisions. I have so many stories in my head that when it is time to go back and edit my current WIP, I always feel that I should be working on the next story. However, I know that it is during the revisions that the story truly comes to life. When I revise, I try to take each sentence and make it the absolute best it can be. I try to get into the characters’ minds, into their souls, and really bring out the emotion behind the words. When I actually accomplish this, I love the revision process.
Visit Farrah Rochon’s Website at http://farrahrochon.com/ and her blog at http://farrahrochon.blogspot.com/. Her book