For my next Author Spotlight I’m joined by the fabulous Rebecca Cohen. We talked about her latest release, Terry Pratchett, never sticking to one genre and writing as a second job.
Over to you Rebecca…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
I’m Rebecca, I’m a writer who lives in the UK. In 2022 I will be celebrating 10 years of being published, I write mainly gay romance (but other pairings in the sub-plots inc MF and FF) and across may sub-genres (historical, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi).
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
I follow the story which means I don’t stick to a certain sub-genre of romance. I definitely don’t swim in my lane nor would wish to. But my voice is very British with a strong sense of humour and is character driven.
Describe your books in only three words.
Full of emotion
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
Making History at Crofton Hall is the second Modern Crofton novel and the latest part of my Crofton Universe which has followed one family though 400 years.
It has been a long time coming …. Over 7 years since its prequel Saving Crofton Hall was first published thanks to life, ditching a publisher and moving countries getting in the way.
In Making HIstory at Crofton Hall the hall is buzzing with anticipation for the filming of the Secret Histories TV special about a scandalous affair that has been hidden for over four hundred years. The hall’s new historian, Dara Callaghan, is drawn not just by the hall’s rich history but to TV producer, Nathan Lorimer. There’s something about Dara, a quietly spoken Irishman, and the romance that surrounds Crofton Hall, that makes Nathan want to take a chance on dating after being widowed four years before.
Meanwhile, Ben Redbourn, the current Earl of Crofton, is trying to persuade his boyfriend Ashley to play Sebastian to his Anthony, complete with doublet and hose. But Ashley’s not having any of it… until someone else agrees to take the part of the 1st Earl of Crofton’s lover.
Find it here: https://smarturl.it/makinghistoryatCH
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
This is tricky but I’m going with Avarice: Reagalos Book 3. It is the 3rd of my high fantasy series that was published Nov 2021, because like Making History at Crofton Hall there was a long hiatus between Avarice and its predecessor. But the release of Avarice marked a milestone for me, I’d finally republished my back catalogue after leaving my ex-publisher and from Avarice onwards everything is new. It was also the book where I reveal some big secrets about the characters and finally have the MCs settle the issues in their relationship so can move on stronger as a couple.
The Reagalos series can be found here… start with Servitude: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09818HPGB
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I read constantly as a child and always loved stories with a sense of humour. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams are two of my favourites. But I also loves PG Wodehouse. I read and love lots of gothic horror… and what might surprise some people is I really don’t like Jane Austen!
What inspired you to start writing?
I don’t remember not writing, even from an early age – I had stories to tell, so I had to tell them.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I’m a plotter and usually write the skeletal plot first but I tend to jump around scenes and don’t have to write linearly. I tend to have the plot locked down early but my current WIP (Below Stairs at Crofton Hall) gave me a real run around and has since split into 3 separate novels.
I don’t write full-time so I fit it in around a rather busy day job and family commitments. I have a writing goal of 1000 words a day but if I don’t meet then no harm done.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
Usually for the first in a series it’s the character e.g. Lornyc from the Reagalos appeared in my head dress as a Roman slave (and I did use that image in an alterative dimension version of him). Similarly, Sebastian Hewel (the actor in The Actor and the Earl https://smarturl.it/TheActorandtheEarl) came first and the rest escalated from there…
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I have no desire to do this – I can’t even stick to one genre! But there are a couple I like such as virgin/rogue (for the power dynamic), and nerd/jock (for the juxtaposition), but I’d probably stop writing if I had to do only one!
What would be your three desert island books?
The aforementioned Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett, Making History by Stephen Fry (and yes, the title of the new book is a homage to this!), and A Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
I’ve had a number of lovely reviews say that The Actor and the Earl (https://smarturl.it/TheActorandtheEarl) would make great telly. Tom Hiddleston would make a glorious Anthony and Timothee Thalamet for Sebatian… neither were on my radar when I wrote it 10 years ago!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
Writing is my second career so when not working for the day job or with my family then I’m writing. But I did start running during lockdown and I now I run 5K every Sunday morning
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.
With contemporaries, historicals, sci fi and fantasy in her back catalogue, there should be something for every taste in Rebecca’s work.
For more information on Rebecca and her work you can find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and in her newsletter. You can also join her reader group, Rebecca’s Rambling, for more news and updates.