Monday, December 21, 2015

The Keepers: Ethan has a release date!

Since my last update about The Keepers: Ethan, my editors and I have been working quietly behind the scenes preparing the book for publication.  

I love this process as it involves dozens of chats with my editors about the book, the blurb, release dates, marketing plans etc.  It's such a fun time and rewarding too as the book is written.  Done and dusted.  Now it's just polishing it so that it's shiny and perfect so that I can share it with my eager readers.  So exciting! 

The great news is that we finally have a release date and a blurb!

The Keepers: Ethan

"Going to Ameera to find Hazel. Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?" he asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Just as she thought he'd kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, "Then let's go."

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth. A dark witch is out for revenge. The stakes are high, a war inevitable.

One person can stop the madness. Jenna. She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company… infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

So when will The Keepers: Ethan be available?

If you're a fan of my gorgeous Keepers, please look out for Ethan's story on the 24th March 2016, available at all online retailers!  I'll be posting links soon.

I am so excited to share his story - and the final book in my Keepers series - with you all.  Thank you for your patience, support and messages.

And for sharing my excitement with me.  You guys are so awesome!

Rae Rivers

Friday, December 18, 2015

My Top 5 Writing Tools

I'm often asked about my favorite writing tools for when I'm plotting or planning a scene in one of my books.  I have several must-haves I use but here are my top five:

1.  Scrivener

This is a writing programme specifically geared at writers and has some really cool features.  I only started using Scrivener about a year ago when I started writing The Keepers: Ethan.  By that stage, I'd gathered a lot of background information from the previous books in the series, many characters, and a ton of notes.  I needed to find a better way to organize my thoughts and writing.  I stumbled onto Scrivener by chance, downloaded their free trial and started playing around until I'd figured it out.  Since then, I'm totally hooked and can't imagine using anything else.  Love it.

2.  Notepads and colourful pens

I love a variety of notepads and pens and even though I try to keep all my information on Scrivener, I still can't resist working out a plot point the old fashion way.  Recently, after completing and submitting The Keepers: Ethan to my editors, I spent some time tidying my desk and clearing away my notes.  There were A LOT of them.  (And it was pretty cool to page through them knowing I've finally finished the series.  Wow.)

3. Google

An obvious choice but a firm favorite.  Want to know how the inside of a coffin looks?  Want to know what a specific pub looks like in Vancouver?  Need to find a nice hairstyle for a heroine?  Yip, I turn to Google.  It's an invaluable source of information that I'm permanently tapping into before, during and after my writing process.

4.  Pinterest

This is a huge source of inspiration for me.  I prefer to write with a clear visual image in my mind as it helps me to describe the object/setting better.  I constantly tap into the images on Pinterest, gathering inspiration for settings, characters, clothing, scenes etc.  I also love this platform for writing tips (I'm always scouring for information to improve my craft), quotes, and general inspiration.

5.  Music (with earphones)

I have several playlists that I listen to when I plot or write various scenes or characters.  There are times when music is too distracting, usually when I'm struggling with a scene, so I'll write in silence and enjoy those moments too. But mostly, I love the music and find such a lot of inspiration from it. 

So there you have it, my favorite writing tools.  I usually have all of the above open and ready when I settle down to map out a scene.  There are others too (coffee and a bottle of water for one :) but these are my absolute must haves. 
Once I'm inspired and have a clear vision of where I'm going with a scene or a character, I do what I love best - write!

What are your favorite tools?

Thanks for reading,
Rae Rivers

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ethan News!

Hi guys!  I'm back after a looooong break - from blogging, social media, reading, exercise, sleeping and just all round life.  And why?

'Cause I've been so engrossed in three handsome brothers!

I've had so many readers contacting me this year asking about Ethan's release - messages that are appreciated more than you know.  They inspire me and encourage me to write. (And these messages often come at times when I'm feeling frustrated or confused about a plot point.  It's amazing how a reader message often helps me forward.)

So before I give you Ethan's news, a huge THANK YOU to everyone for your ongoing support and patience.  I know Ethan's story has taken a long time but boy was this book a challenge! A tough one but exciting and incredible too.  I've learnt so much from writing this book and I think this final Keeper book will stay with me forever simply because of my journey with it.  (I'll post another blog post soon on why it was such a challenge but in the mean time, check out my thoughts on writing a series.)

Okay, so where's Ethan?

The great news is that his book is written.  (Send high fives and hugs 'cause did I tell you how much of a challenge this one was? :) Yip, lovely readers, his story, and the conclusion to my Keepers series is finished.  Right now, it's in the hands of my dynamic editors at HarperImpulse who are going to help me add the final sparkles.  (I'll be chatting more about this process soon.)

I should have a release date shortly and I promise to share it as soon as I do.

So for now, whilst I await feedback from my editors, I have that post-exam feeling again - relief that it's done but wondering if I passed!!  (You know that one?)

I'll be back next week with more news.  And remember, I can be found on Facebook or Twitter and I love to hear from you guys so please come say hi!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Top 5 Tips for Writing a Series

I’ve frequently been asked what it’s like to write a series and if I have any tips on how to approach one. Writing The Keepers series was my first attempt but two years later, I’ve written three books and I’m finalising the fourth book, The Keepers: Ethan.

The lovely Jo Huges from  Comet Babe's Books recently hosted me on her blog for #HIFortnight, a two week celebration of romance books and the fab authors at HarperImpulse who write them.  I wrote a post for Jo's blog to share what I’ve discovered whilst writing a series and I'm reblogging it here in case you missed it.  So here it goes, my top tips for writing a series:

1. Keep a series notebook

Keep a notebook specifically dedicated to the series that lists all the characters, their personalities, traits, clothing choices and marks. When writing about my three gorgeous Keepers, I often had to check whose tattoo was placed where, which cheek had the dimple, which arm had the scar etc. It’s also important to keep track of all the mythology, rules, spells, general plot outline - this will differ between each series. And keep it updated! This helped tremendously. Many of my readers read my books in a few days but for me, the series was written over a few months - years! It’s easy to forget the smaller details!

2. Be prepared for a lot of characters

The Keepers are three warrior brothers (plus their sister Sarah) who protect a powerful modern day witch. Starting the series, I had five characters with varied personalities, speech patterns, habits etc. Even though each book focuses on one hero (a brother) and heroine at a time, there is still a lot of interaction between all the characters. At times, when everyone’s in one room together, it’s crazy fun – and challenging to keep up with everyone. I had to spend a lot of time thinking about my characters, getting to know each one and making them all unique in their own way.

3. Introduce different settings

My Keepers live in a small fictional town called Rapid Falls. They own a wine estate farming in Ice Wine. In the first book, The Keepers: Archer, most of the story took place in Rapid Falls. Many of my scenes occurred in their mansion, often the kitchen which is the local gathering place for the family. (Don’t you just love the warmth of a kitchen?) When writing The Keepers: Declan, I wanted fresh settings but also still wanted to revisit the familiar ones from the previous book (like the kitchen back home.) So I brought in New Orleans and a Canadian mountain range which offered lots of exciting opportunities for magic and mayhem. When writing the scenes in Rapid Falls, I did revisit the kitchen but also introduced a few new rooms at the Bennett mansion that I hadn’t mentioned before to give the reader a fresh glimpse of the estate. Playing with new settings was fun, fresh and helped me to avoid repetition. (And my Keepers got themselves a gorgeous indoor pool area too! :)

4. Remember where you’ve been, know where you’re headed

This statement sounds so obvious but in truth, it took me a long time to write the four books so it’s so easy to forget things that needed to be addressed/avoided/considered in later books. Initially I planned a plot outline for the entire series and knew how the final book would end but there were often times I had to sit back, breathe and remind myself what’s been done and where I’m going with the series. To keep my focus, I use Pinterest, pin boards, photographs, notebooks, white boards, post it notes – basically anything visual that will keep me on track. I also tend to have a quick read through the previous books to make sure I’ve covered everything.

5. Keep calm and write

Writing a series is HARD WORK. My Keepers are all full length novels (besides The Keepers: Sienna which is shorter) so each book is fairly long. The first book was easy. The second book a little harder as I had to incorporate the back story of the first book. The third book – even harder as I had to keep moving forward with a fresh story but still incorporate the back story of two books without bogging down the plot. The fourth book, The Keepers: Ethan, was even more challenging. I had to consider the back story of THREE books (think plot points, magic, spells, folklore, mythology, characters, and villains!) and tie up all the loose ends introduced in the first books. I had several villains, six main characters, and a few secondary characters – and they all needed their own space in the book. (A book can only be so long, you know?) So yes, there were times when writing my series became a tad overwhelming and my brain felt a little short of fried but that was usually a sign that I needed to step away and play with my kids, have a glass of wine, and hug my husband. A short break often put things back into perspective and revved me up for the next round. Keep calm and keep writing!

So, having said all that, will I write another series? YES! (A little differently, but definitely.) I’ve discovered that I am a series writer and despite the challenges, I love everything about it. I can’t wait to start my next one!

Thanks for reading,
Rae Rivers

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fairlady Spotlight

Ooh, look who made the March issue of the Fairlady magazine!
Me, me, me! (Jumps up & down :)

I LOVE chatting about my writing and my Keepers so I was over the moon to chat to the lovely Sandra Parmee from Fairlady.

I am so honoured and delighted to appear in this mag as it's one of my favourites.  I've been a Fairlady reader since a young girl - my mother bought it every month and then I began buying it myself when I moved out of home.

It's one of SA's most popular women's magazines with beautiful glossy covers and jam packed with the most awesome info, recipes and stories. Just love it.

A big thank you to my publicist, Helen, and the awesome team at Fairlady, Sandra, Suzy and Anna.  I so appreciate your support!

And gosh, isn't that cover just gorgeous?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Grazia Shout Out!

I'm so thrilled to spot The Keepers: Archer in a recent copy of the Grazia magazine!

Listed as No. 5 in their "Ten Hot Things To Do Week In/Week Out " feature, Archer is beside great company with Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper's American Sniper, as well as Cape Town's popular annual event, The J&B Met.  

This awesome mag is full of the latest news, gossip, trends, fashion and so much more and to have my book receive a mention is a gigantic honour!

And best of all is their fabulous comment:

"Vampires and werewolves are so 2000.  As in: over.  Thanks to this first instalment from Cape Town-based author Rae Rivers, we're now totally hooked on witches.  Well, one in particular - Sienna."  

Thank you Guinevere Davies and Grazia!

So ... if you're keen to get hooked on witches (and three handsome warrior brothers) too, The Keepers: Archer and The Keepers: Declan are available in local SA book stores - Exclusive Books, Bargain Books, Wordsworth and more!  (Also available as eBooks at all online retailers too.)

So exciting!

Rae Rivers

Friday, January 2, 2015

12 Reminders for My Happy New Year!

It's the second day of a shiny new year!  I hope that wherever you are in the world, you've had a fun, festive and happy celebration.  Wishing all my lovely readers, friends, family and bloggers a magical and fantastic 2015. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who bought one of my books, for all your love, enthusiasm, messages, reviews, shares, laughter and support during the last year.  I appreciate every single one of you.  Thank you!

I've had an incredible 2014, smiled through the highs and cried through the lows.  All in all it was a great year and I embrace the new year with a bright smile and open arms.

My goal this year (besides finishing my next book, The Keepers: Ethan!) is to take better care of myself - emotionally, mentally and physically.  Because if I'm not in top form, nothing else in my life is.  And I kinda like top form, you know?

So here's a few reminders I've printed out and pinned on my office wall - just in case I get sidetracked during the year!

1.  Get enough sleep - the world is always a better place after a snooze

2.  Eat well - your body is your magical carpet ride.  Treat it with care.

3.  Exercise - because you can't afford not to.  (Time for me to take this one seriously.  Really!!!)

4.  Keep a positive mind - it resonates in everything you do. One negative thought often gives rise to another - and another and all too soon you're on a rollercoaster of misery.

5. Laugh - because it IS the best medicine.  And it's fun.

6.  Worry less - and only worry about things you have to.  Most of the things we worry about don't materialise anyway.
7.  Be thoughtful - to those close to you, to strangers, colleagues ... nothing feels nicer than doing something nice for someone else.  (And there's that crazy little thing called Karma!)

8.  Keep a closed door - to drama, violence, negative thoughts, and anything that makes you feel icky or brings you down. 

9.  Keep an open door - to love, opportunities, friendship, help, happiness, special moments.

10.  Embrace happiness - make it a habit, welcome happy moments and relish in them.

11.  Be yourself - be the person you want to be, not the person you (or others) think you should be.

12.  Define your own worth - and don't let anyone undermine it.  Know it, guard it, treasure it, hold your head high. Your quantity of friends, popularity or followers on social media does NOT define who you are, how popular you are or how much you're loved.  Ever.  It's all about quality.  (And I'm a quality type of girl!)

Happiest New Year!

With love,
Rae Rivers