Author Spotlight – Jennifer Raines

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Author Jennifer Raines

How did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t read. Even as a young child I’d read with a torch under the sheets after lights out. Reading provided an escape from my real world. Then I started making up stories, preferring to live in my imagination. I got a reputation for falling down stairs and tripping over—always dreaming. I started scribbling down stories, terrible rhyming verse and, I guess, what would be called flash fiction today— a vignette triggered by an overheard conversation or something I’d seen. Earning a living slowed me down considerably, but I never stopped believing I’d be an author one day. Persistence is my middle name.

What did you do to actively pursue writing? (Joining RWAus, Mentorship etc)

I’m a member of RWAus, RWNZ and RWAmerica and have done on-line courses with all three organisations and participated in conferences, workshops, entered and won or placed in competitions. I’ve also volunteered to judge competitions. But to be a writer you have to write, and write, and write—not first chapters or opening scenes, but a full book. You have to fail and start again.

What do you find are the advantages of being part of RWAus?

RWAus provides access to a like-minded, supportive group. The volunteers do an enormous amount of work answering often tedious questions, but they are always focused on advancing the writing careers of members. The newsletter, workshops, competitions and conferences all offer information and advice in a non-judgemental way. I’ve gained some of my greatest insights from competition feedback, and it was a member of RWAus, Bronwyn Hall, who encouraged me to dig a book out of my bottom draw and resubmit it. That was my first published book, Taylor’s Law.

What is your favourite genre and why?

That’s a hard question to answer. I read a variety of books, including non-fiction, but crime—not too gory—is a great way to get away from the everyday for a few hours.

If we’re talking romance, I was weaned on Georgette Heyer, so historical remains a favourite genre. That child reading under the covers after lights out was reading Robin Hood stories, but Georgette Heyer soon followed. These Old Shades was my first, and I was hooked. And, I’ll admit, I read romance for the happily-ever-after (HEA). In romance a HEA is guaranteed, which is very different to life. Some authors produce absolute magic between their characters  and you close the book feeling buoyant and joyful. Every reader is different, but Grace Burrowes’s Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight did that for me.

Share a little about your writing process?

I write every day, or think about what I’m writing every day. I might make notes in my phone or on bits of paper if I can’t sit at the computer. Often, it’s snippets of dialogue. I like my characters to talk to each other, to move the story forward, to reveal their personalities, and then later I can add the connecting narrative. My writing process has changed over time, as I’ve learned more about the structure of a book, the beats of the book as Gwen Hayes would say. I used to start and do a linear progression to the end. Now, I do a bit of that but also write what my characters are saying to each other and slot that in to the right place. When I have over 30,000 words of a full book, even knowing a lot is missing, I usually put it aside for a few weeks to cook.

Tell us about your current work in progress…

It takes me a while to come up with a title, so I’m currently writing a book entitled Cas (Casildo) and Bea (Beatriz). These are secondary characters in Betrayal—Choosing Family Book 3 (Due Oct 2024). It’s a take on the best friend’s brother trope, but it’s layered with family obligations—the kind of self-imposed responsibilities the children of first-generation migrants take on, aware of their parents’ sacrifices to win them a new life. It’s causing me some grief at the moment.

And your latest book…

Is Masquerade—Choosing Family Book 1.

Fool me once … Two sets of identical twins, a masquerade, a road trip, a steamy attraction and Liam Quinn and Kate Turner discover the steps they took to protect their hearts might break them.

Masquerade (Choosing Family Book 1)

Fool me once…
Money won’t bring LIAM QUINN’S father back, but it’ll save his mother’s home. A high-paying law partnership is in his sights. To win it, he needs to successfully land a project. Problem is the project requires absolute confidentiality, and he’s just discovered his estranged identical twin is appearing life size on a billboard across the city. The second catch is a return to environmental law. His earlier career imploded after his lover was revealed as a mining company spy.

Researcher and soon-to-be-published romance author KATE TURNER needs a disguise. Maybe more than one. Her famous playwright father despises ‘trashy’ novels. Her ex-boyfriend mocked her ‘dirty little secret’, then stalked her when she left him. Her identical twin coaxes her into appearing on a billboard to prove she can be notorious and anonymous at the same time. No one connects the billboard model to the dowdy researcher Kate has become, and no one knows about her author pseudonym and second disguise as Ms. Sexy Romance.

Kate and Liam’s lives collide when she’s hired as Liam’s research assistant. Liam’s boss laughs off the billboard. Having doubles is the perfect cover for confidential field work.

A masquerade, a road trip, a steamy attraction, the sudden appearance of Liam’s old lover, and Ms. Sexy Romance’s unexpected arrival in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Liam and Kate discover the steps they took to protect their hearts might break them.

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Author bio:

Australian Jennifer Raines writes sensuous contemporary romances set mainly, but not exclusively, in Australia—think Malta, Finland, New Zealand or ? A dreamer and an optimist, her stories are a delicious cocktail of passion, mutual respect and loyalty because she still believes in happily-ever-afters.

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