>Seven Questions With Rachel West

>The Cellmate
By Rachel West
eBook, Dreamspinner Press, June 16, 2010

Let’s start with the basics: what’s your story about, and how can readers get their hands on it?

The Cellmate is a novella about two men who find love in the unlikeliest of places. The story focuses on Andy Bingham and Jesse Cohen, two genuinely good guys who have made some genuinely bad decisions and end up sharing a prison cell. They quickly begin a relationship that starts out as just sex but, to their mutual surprise, turns into something more. It’s available at Dreamspinner Press [link above].

How did you get started writing fiction?

Like a lot of other romance/erotica writers, I started in fanfiction. It began as nothing more than a fun hobby, but I found that I absolutely loved it, and it started taking up more and more of my time. After a while, I decided to branch out and try my hand at original writing. My first book, Everything Under the Sun, came out earlier this year.

Where did the inspiration for The Cellmate come from?

I never know how to answer inspiration questions. I had an image in my head of two guys in a jail cell having strictly physical sex, with no kissing, no false intimacies, and yet somehow, it meant something more than that to both of them. And I couldn’t stop thinking about that image, and the story that might lie behind it, so one day I sat down and just wrote it out. But where did the image come from in the first place? I haven’t the foggiest idea. Sorry, that’s not very helpful! 🙂

How long did it take you to write and revise the book—start to publication?

The Cellmate happened very quickly; from start to finish, about two weeks. I didn’t submit it for publication until much later, though. And it is not a full-length book—it’s only about 21,000 words long. Still, that’s much faster than I usually work. Everything Under the Sun, which was 58,000 words, took about six months.

How much time do you spending writing—by the day, week, month, however you define it?

Probably more than I really should. Heh. I pretty much am writing all the time, or plotting or planning my writing. Except for those times when my dang job gets in the way. Or, y’know, sleep, or food, or being married. 🙂

How do you write, physically speaking? Longhand, laptop, desktop, inside or out, at a desk, comfy chair, in bed?

Yes. Well, almost all of those—strike longhand and outside. But I’ve made thorough use of all the rest of those options.

Other than simply finding the time, what’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you? What comes easiest?

For me, writing the sex scenes is the easiest. The most difficult is deeply emotional scenes, especially confrontations. But all of that is definitely eclipsed by the difficulty of finding the time.

Thanks so much again for having me, Shae!

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