Rachel Mannino Interview for Double Decker:
- Is Love or Justice the first book you’ve written?
Yes. I was actually trained as a playwright, so Love or Justice is my first foray into novel writing.
- Use three words to describe Love or Justice?
Thriller, love, sacrifice
- What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?
I’ve written mostly romance novels, in a variety of sub genres. I’m drawn to romance because love can bring so many moral and ethical dilemmas to the foreground. Falling in love is also the single most important thing we do as humans. If you can’t learn to love others (in some way, not just romantically), then your purpose in life is unfulfilled. Yet, falling in love can be fraught with so many challenges.
- What was the hardest thing to overcome when writing Love or Justice?
The point of view switches and writing in passive voice! I originally wrote the book from the POV of both characters, but throughout every chapter rather than switch voices by chapter or section breaks. That took a ton of editing to change. Passive voice was also a challenge. They never really taught about that in school, and I am a grant writer for my day job. My default is to write in passive voice. That took months of editing to correct.
- Do you plan/plot out your book, or just dive in and just write?
Just dive in. As I write, I ask myself “what needs to happen next?” Then I write what pops into my head.
- Tell us about the cover and how it came about? Who designed your book cover?
My publishing company went back and forth with the designer, so I don’t even know who designed it. I shoukd really find out so I can thank them…
- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About a year, but I’m getting faster with it. Now I can write and edit a full novel within one year.
- Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to work through the dreaded writer’s block?
No. I imagine I don’t get writer’s block, because I just write. I don’t care if it’s crap or not as I go along. That’s what editing is for. Just write, no matter whether you think it’s good or not. Go back and edit out the parts that aren’t the best later.
- Would you ever collaboration with other writers? If so who would you like to?
Hmmmm. I would publish a book of short romance stories with other writers based on a common theme, but I don’t know if I could write the same story with another author. I get very attached to my characters and story. Writing is a very personal type of activity for me. It would be hard to give up sole ownership over a story.
10. When did you decide to become a writer?
Well, my husband (boyfriend at the time) was studying at Oxford, and I was in the US with a lot of free time on my hands. He was starting to write his first published novel at the time, School of Deaths. I had a dream that I thought would be a great novel. So, I started writing. Love or Justice came out of it.