Hi Rachel, Welcome to Café Cala,
It’s great to have you visit Café Cala. I’m looking forward to reading The Summer of Jake now that I’ve finally bought myself a kindle. I’ve been making some chocolate brownies this morning. I know how much you love chocolate!
1 Where did you get the idea for The Summer of Jake?
I started with two separate ideas. The first was that I wanted to write a make-over story where it was the guy getting the make-over – it just sounded fun. The other idea was that I wanted to write about a surfer. I’d grown up around the beach and my other half is a surfer, so I have a soft spot for them, but hadn’t seen many books centered on them. So I combined the two elements and wrote a story about a pro-surfer who gets a make-over from his little sister’s best friend.
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
Hands down, hearing from readers. I love the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a book that I’m proud of, but hearing from readers about their enjoyment, or the book affecting them is magical. Even hearing via reviews, for example, one reader said in a review of The Summer of Jake, “after reading this book it made me call my son and talk to him”. That’s pretty special.
3 How did you start writing?
When I was a child and teenager, I wrote a lot of bad poetry and the start of several books. Fast forward a few years and I just sat down one day and wrote an entire manuscript. The book was bad and will never see the light of day again, but it was enough to show me that I liked writing, and to seek out ways to improve. I haven’t stopped since.
4 What would you say has helped you most?
The romance writing community, no question. Especially through the Romance Writers of Australia. The conferences, workshops, critique partners, support, contests and circle of friends has played a huge role in helping me to where I am.
5 What are you working on at the moment?
The sequel to The Summer of Jake, which follows Scarlett’s story with her best friend, Finn. (If you’ve read The Summer of Jake, you’ll know that Scarlett is the woman Jake is trying to impress.) I’m having so much fun with it!
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Write, write, write. You learn mainly through writing, and putting new things you learn from workshops and craft books into practice. Also, you’ll go through an apprenticeship – don’t begrudge it. Embrace it. It’s all part of the journey. And, finally, keep the faith.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
There’s a huge list of authors I enjoy, so I’ll tell you my most recent favourites: Sandra Antonelli’s Driving In Neutral, Barbara DeLeo’s The Bouquet List, Amy Andrews’s Holding Out For A Hero, and (re-read) Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It.
The Summer of Jake
Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan…
Life is just dandy for aspiring fashion designer Annalise Farley. She has a great job (or she will once her designs are discovered), parents who only slightly disapprove, a cat that thinks she’s a dog, and a best friend…even if she hasn’t seen her in a while.
But then Jake Maxwell saunters back into her life. Jake, the love god. Jake, her best friend’s older brother. Jake, who broke her heart at sixteen without realizing it, then left to become a pro surfer. Now he’s back, having taken the surfing and business worlds by storm, and he’s ready for a new challenge—catching the eye of another girl. And he wants Annalise’s help.
Helping Jake land his next girlfriend is too fraught with emotional danger for her liking, but then Jake offers to put her designs in his shops. Is that the sound of her life cracking at the seams? It’s hard to tell with Jake smiling at her like she’s the only thing that makes him happy…
Rachel Bailey is a lover of books, chocolate, dogs, and ice cream. Luckily, she has three dogs, an ice cream maker, a steady supply of chocolate, and bookshelves overflowing with books, so she’s covered on all fronts. Her books have hit the USA Today bestseller list, are published in over twenty-six countries and have been translated into sixteen languages.