Camryn Rhys grew up on the border of Canada and the US, and still hasn’t decided which country to call home. She splits her time between the Alberta and Montana Rocky Mountains, with friends and family in both beautiful locations. After running her own restaurant for several years and acquiring advanced degrees in writing, foodie romance seemed the only logical option. When she’s not watching the Food Network, she’s reading a romance novel, or if absolutely necessary, working as a consultant. Someone has to put really excellent food on the table.
Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?
Eggnog, hands down. I’m a sucker for those spicy, more complex tastes, so I’ll always pick something like eggnog over a one-note mimosa. Now, if we’re going to get creative with our drink mixing, I’d be up for a mimosa, too…
We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)
I brought a pretty book cover… :pets: I hope Santa is… open-minded.
Mindy Edwards can’t bake to save her life, but with no where else to go, she returns to the one place she’d avoided for six years. Her boss’s son, Leo—still strictly off-limits—doesn’t help her starved libido, and what’s a girl to do when she could barely keep her job as the cook?
Leo Fortiss has never quite gotten over his first love nor did he expect her to return and pretend they didn’t have a heartbreaking past, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t save her from all the other cowboys–who definitely weren’t after her burnt buns and horrid cooking. He proposes a trade: he’ll teach her to bake bread if she’ll come to the big Barn Dance with him.
Mindy accepts, but when things heat up in the kitchen, she finds history repeating itself. Will she run or risk her heart a second time?
Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.
:runs for the bar:
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, easily. Because of my job, Christmas tends to be a little bit of a production every year, but Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to just be with family and have some good food and watch sports. I’m definitely a sportaholic, so anytime there’s basketball or football on, I’ll take that.
Did you ask Santa for anything good?
I think I have just about everything I want this year. If Santa has a good weight loss program he can recommend, though, I’m gonna need that. I am way out of control this holiday season…
What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?
Disneyland. There is nothing better than Christmas at Disney. Granted, it can be a bit crowded, but it really is the happiest place on earth and to be there with my family, it’s going to be amazing. Oh, did I mention I’m going to Disneyland this year for Christmas? :cheers: Can’t wait.
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
It’s not actually a memory of mine. But my grandpa used to tell this story all the time about the first time I ever saw a Christmas tree. Since my birthday is in February, I was already walking (or toddling), and I came around the corner in my grandparents’ house and saw this huge, lit and decorated Christmas tree and I stopped dead in my tracks and stared at it with wide eyes. Then my face broke into this huge smile and I started bobbing up and down and hyperventilating and laughing all at the same time. To see my grandpa impersonate me is almost as entertaining as anything I’ve ever seen. But I’ve loved Christmas ever since.
Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?
I’m going to resolve to write every single day of 2012. Some kind of writing on a book. I’m not going to set limits, because I want it to be a resolution I can keep. But I definitely want to write *something* every day.
Why do you write romance?
Because I think love is the one thing we all wait and search for, at our deepest core. And while there’s only one place we can find the truest love, we’ll take whatever love comes at us. I am a hopeful romantic. I always believe that love will win out in the end, whatever end we come to. So it’s a natural fit for me.
How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey?
My publication journey was… strange. I always knew I wanted to write romance, but I had no idea what kind. I tried historical (of all shapes and sizes) and then tried contemporary. And I could never finish anything. (Well, I finished a historical or two, but lordy, they sucked.) But then I started to write what I knew (which was food and cooking and restaurants) and it just clicked for me. I’ve been writing foodie romance ever since. And then, I started writing historicals again and just sold my first of a Steampunk series to Ellora’s Cave. So I guess I’m still growing into my full capability, but it’s been quite a ride so far.
Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?
I used to be a major pantser. In fact, I was trained to write short fiction and flash fiction, and had published several shorts (under 2K) as an MFA student. And it’s really hard to hit the right note for how to tell those shorts. In fact, one of my MFA profs said that it’s harder to write flash fiction than to write novels, and in some ways, I think I agree. It’s hard to write really well in such a short space. There is no room for failure. But you really have to learn to trust your gut to write that short. And in a lot of ways, it hamstringed me as a novelist. I had to unlearn all my pansty ways in order to write novels (and I’m sure my editors would still like to unteach me a few things I learned doing that, haha). Now, I’m more of a plot-ser. I plot all the major plot points ahead of time and do the minor ones as I go. It works better, but it’s also a new muscle for me, so it takes longer. But I think it makes my books better.
What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories?
A love of food. Both of them aren’t always nuts about it. In fact, in my first book (The Barn Dance), my heroine was a horrifying cook, and my hero saved the kitchen. But since I write foodie romance, one of them is typically a foodie or chef or cook of some sort.
What writing resources do you abide by as a writer?
A lot of people poo-poo this, but I use Wikipedia a lot. I always check the resources, and if I have time, I often read or research from those resources (especially for my historicals). And I always try to verify the information I get on Wikipedia. But I use it a lot, and by and large, it’s incredibly helpful as a jumping-off-point. As a trained academic, I have a tiny bit of shame for admitting that, but it’s true.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
First. Write. There is no substitute for experience, and the more you write, the better you’ll get. You can have 10,000 followers on Twitter, and if you don’t get a book out, it won’t matter. You can have 1000 blog hits a day and a super huge platform, but if people don’t want to read your books, you might as well pick your toenails. Don’t neglect social media. But it’s not going to make you a better writer.
Second. Listen. You’re surrounded by people who know a lot about the industry. Listen to them. Don’t ever value your work so highly that you can’t take criticism. Despite what everyone says about listening to your gut and it’s your book, you’ll not last long if you can’t take criticism and don’t listen. Especially to your editor. Sometimes, you are not the best judge of what your book does and doesn’t need. Your gut might lead you astray, so make sure you’re always listening.
What are you working on right now?
I’m writing a series of Western foodie romances for Decadent Publishing in a super secret project, which I guess I just outed. But there will be more information coming soon (keep an eye on my blog for more info). This is the most fun I’ve had writing, maybe ever. I adore collaboration. And I was lucky enough to get to collaborate with writers I admire and editors I respect and adore. We’re going to be open for submissions soon.
I’m also writing sequels to this book (Off the Record) and the book I’m releasing with Liquid Silver in 2012, in addition to the final book in The Barn Dance series. And I’m plotting (or plot-sing) my second and third Steampunk books. It’s a fun place to be right now.
What news would you like to share with your readers?
I have several books coming out in 2012 and I hope you’ll enjoy them all! I have a sports-themed erotic novella (Every Time I Think of You) coming out from Liquid Silver and the foodie Western coming out in February from Decadent. Then, my Steampunk Erotic novel (my first full-length novel!!) coming out from Ellora’s Cave in 2012. So, lots coming from me. I hope you love them all as much as I do.
Where can readers find you?
- Twitter: @camrynrhys
- Facebook: @Camryn Rhys
- Website: http://camrynrhys.com
- Others: http://dirtybirdiesauthors.com
List other books you have out:
The Barn Dance and Off the Record
Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!
Prize: As part of my release party, I’m giving away one $50 Amazon Gift Card to one commenter on my blog or any of my guest posts, and a copy of Off the Record to two other commenters, randomly selected.