Interview with Author Rebecca Raisin
I am thrilled to have interviewed author Rebecca Raisin, who shared with us details of her writing life, her book ‘The Little Venice Bookshop‘, which was released on 30th March 2023, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.
Rebecca Raisin writes heartwarming romance from her home in sunny Perth, Australia. Her heroines tend to be on the quirky side and her books are usually set in exotic locations so her readers can armchair travel any day of the week. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous heroes who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true, once in a lifetime love. Her bestselling novel Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has been optioned for film with MRC studios and Frolic Media.
1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
About eight years ago my family and I travelled to Venice and I fell in love with the floating city. While there, I visited a chaotic canal bookshop called Liberia Acqua Alta and had a funny interaction with the owner who told me to be careful of Casanovas! Ever since, ideas percolated for a story set there, inspired by that beautiful disorderly bookshop on the water, but other projects always delayed this one.
Eventually it was time, and I had space to write about Venice. There’s a mystery for my heroine to solve and it’s quite an emotional story with a twist. I really enjoyed digging deeper into some hard subjects on this one.
2) How did you plan out the plot?
When I start a new book I write detailed character profiles so I know exactly how my heroine will react in any given situation. These are usually handwritten and are about three or four pages long. With Luna, she’s a free-spirited nomad, who grew up in communes all around the world, run by women for women, so she was really fun to get to know.
Once I’ve done the main character profiles I write a rough outline and then a more detailed chapter outline. I had this story all planned out but in the end Luna took over and some twists emerged along the way that I hadn’t planned but made the story so much better and more realistic.
3) When did you choose the title for your book?
This is a good question as I had tentatively called the book The Venetian Book Concierge, but it was then changed by my publisher to The Little Venice Bookshop. Mostly they choose titles, but I always name my books as I go.
4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
I wanted something for my heroine that signified her non-conformist upbringing and the spiritual side so Luna seemed like a good fit and her name is also relevant to the story in other ways that I can’t mention!
5) Can you give us a hint to any sections that you removed?
Yes, for this one we removed three chapters from the start of the novel as it slowed the pace of the story down too much and took too long for Luna to get to Venice. I’m not sure who said it, but there’s a saying that the first draft is the writer telling themselves the story, and I believe that’s true.
I often write excess parts that are later deleted – it’s almost a way to get into the characters minds and then I delete for pace or because the words are frivolous and serve no purpose to the narrative, but it does help me learn about them as I go.
6) What made you choose this genre?
I think the genre chose me. Most stories have elements of love and relationships in them, even if they’re not classed as romance so it felt natural to me. While I call myself a romance writer my stories focus more on the development of the heroine and her finding her way in the world, and there’s a big focus on friendship too. I love writing about love in all its forms.
7) How long did it take you to complete your book?
The Little Venice Bookshop took about six months in total. We did three structural edits, one round of copy edits and then a proof reader looks it over and I sign off on those.
8) Can you describe your book in three words?
Who’s Luna’s father?
9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Protecting my writing time! Working from home can often mean that family and friends presume I have a lot of spare time to run errands for them and help out, when it’s a workday like any other. I am a lot clearer now about my work week and protecting my writing time.
10) Why should our readers pick your book up?
It’s a rollercoaster of a read with a mystery to be solved and the answers are not what you might think. If you like a spot of armchair travel then this is for you.
Publisher – HQ
Pages – 285
Release Date – 30th March 2023
ISBN 13 – 978-0008559366
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
A bundle of mysterious letters. A trip to Venice. A journey she’ll never forget.
When Luna loses her beloved mother, she’s bereft: her mother was her only family, and without her Luna feels rootless. Then the chance discovery of a collection of letters in her mother’s belongings sends her on an unexpected journey.
Following a clue in the letters, Luna packs her bags and heads to Venice, to a gorgeous but faded bookshop overlooking the canals, hoping to uncover the truth about her mother’s mysterious past.
Will Luna find the answers she’s looking for – and finally find the place she belongs?
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1) Do you have a writing buddy (i.e. a pet)?
Yes, I have Ari my eight-year-old rescue pup and we recently got another rescue pup called George who is my son’s dog. Ari’s snores often accompany my writing day and now little George sits at the window barking at absolutely nothing. They’re great to talk to even though they don’t give me any plotting help and often interrupt me because they want to walk!
2) Do you have any writing quirks?
I have a notebook for each book. It starts off with the character profiles and is neatly handwritten. As I progress through the book it becomes this illegible mess of notes and scribbles and things to remember or change. It’s almost like a book bible and I refer to it as I go. I love when I finish a book and can pop that notebook away and relish the feeling of a brand new notebook and a whole new story to come.
3) Where do you write?
I have an office at the front of my house. I try to be organised but my family also use this space so I pack away my things at the end of the day so I know they’ll be there the next day. My children have a bad habit of ‘borrowing’ my notebooks! I love my corner of the desk. I can watch the world go by, (although it’s very boring as my street is quiet during the day!) play my guitar, and practise my Indonesian, when I take a break from writing. Usually one of the dogs will start talking to me, reminding me it’s walk time, so we do that and then it’s back into it.
4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?
I’ll be sipping a coffee at a quirky café while reading a book – anything so I don’t have to interact and look directly at the camera!
5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?
I did not see that coming!
A big thank you to Rebecca Raisin for sharing her writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.