"I’m not one of those people who knew from birth she was destined to become a writer. I always loved to read and throughout my childhood I could usually be found with a book in my hands. To the disgust of my friends, I even enjoyed creative writing assignments that made them all groan. But I had other dreams besides writing. I wanted to be an actress or a teacher or a lawyer.
Life took a different turn for me, though, when my mother made me take a journalism elective in high school (thanks, Mom!). I knew the first day that this was where I belonged.
After I graduated from college in journalism, I took a job at the local daily newspaper and I reveled in the challenge and the diversity of it. One day I could be interviewing the latest country music star, the next day I was writing about local motorcycle gangs or interviewing an award-winning scientist.
Through it all — through the natural progression of my career from reporter to editor — I wrote stories in my head. Not just any stories, either, but romances, the kind of books I have devoured since junior high school, with tales about real people going through the trials and tribulations of life until they find deep and lasting love.
I had no idea how to put these people on paper, but knew I had to try — their stories were too compelling for me to ignore. I sold my first book in 1995 and now, more than 30 books later, I’ve come to love everything about writing, from the click of the computer keys under my fingers to the “that’s-it!” feeling I get when a story is flowing.
I write full-time now (well, as full-time as I can manage juggling my kids!) amid the raw beauty of the northern Utah mountains. Even though I might not have dreamed of being a writer when I was younger, now I simply can’t imagine my life any other way."
You can find RaeAnne Thayne at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
RaeAnne Thayne was kind enough to answer a few questions for her readers:
WPMP: What influenced you to become an Author?
RT: I was a voracious reader when I was a child, which led to love of writing. I eventually decided on a career in journalism and spent a decade as a newspaper reporter and editor. The whole time I worked at the newspaper, though, I dreamed of writing a romance novel, the kind of book I’ve always loved to read. I started writing when I was home on maternity leave with my daughter (now 21!) and I’ve been at it ever since.
WPMP: Where do you typically write?
RT: With three children, one with special needs, I’ve learned to write anywhere. I wrote my first 20 books on a makeshift office set up in our dining room, dreaming of a day I would have my own real office. We moved into a larger home that better met our needs about seven years ago and I have a really lovely office now but, ironically, I find I’m often most productive elsewhere. I love to write at the campus library in our community, in the bookstore, even in my car in the mountains near my house. I guess I crave environmental variety!
WPMP: How long did it take to have your first book published?
RT: I sold my first two books to Bantam Loveswept in 1995, about five years after I started writing.
WPMP: What is the best gift you ever received?
RT: This one is easy but requires a little backstory. I quit my job as a newspaper editor upon the birth of our second child (the week I sold my fifth book!) to write full time. Our son was born with some serious medical challenges, though, and I spent the next year struggling to keep up with deadlines while dealing with this frail baby who had multiple doctor and therapy appointments a week. My wonderful husband, who has always been my biggest cheerleader, was working a job he didn’t necessarily love but that (mostly) paid the bills while I struggled to keep my writing career going. His greatest joy were his vacation days when he could spend his time with his family or doing his favorite hobbies.
Money was very tight and we made a deal the second Christmas after our son was born that we would get each other only small gifts that year – but my husband stunned me on Christmas morning by presenting me with a used laptop I could take with me to my son’s various appointments. I knew we didn’t have several hundred dollars for this and when I asked how he could possibly have come up with the money for it, he admitted he had cashed out most of his vacation days for the next year to afford it. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?! He is still my hero in every single way!
WPMP: How do you decide on character’s names?
RT: I work hard on picking my character’s names, trying to choose the best one for how I visualize that character. Sometimes I’ll use baby name books (or apps now!) and sometimes I’ll leaf through the phonebook. It’s one of my favorite parts of coming up with a plot, coming up with just the right names for my people.
WPMP: Do you ever suffer from writers block? How do you deal with it?
RT: I don’t really have time for writers block. My problem is usually not so much writers block as mental fatigue. Writing is hard work and sometimes I just have to take a break from the words for a few days. If I do find myself struggling to figure out what happens next, I find if I take a walk on one of my favorite trails nearby, I can usually come up with the answer.
WPMP: What authors inspire you?
RT: So many! I love discovering new-to-me authors who have a huge backlist and I also love the hard work and enthusiasm of those who are just starting out. Some authors, like Brenda Novak and Debbie Macomber, accomplish so much good beyond their wonderful stories that they continually inspire me to try harder to be a better person.
WPMP: Where do you get the inspiration for your plots/characters?
RT: I’m not sure I have a good answer to that. When I was a journalist, I would find a dozen stories a day reading through the wire service stories. These days, I get a lot of help from my wonderful plot group. And sometimes I think my subconscious is busy all the time, seething and bubbling under the surface while I go about the rest of my life. I just keep my fingers crossed that the ideas keep coming!
WPMP: What is your favorite dessert?
RT: Creme brulee. No question. I’m on a life-quest to find the perfect creme brulee.
WPMP: If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
RT: Wow. You ask the tough questions! The first song that came to mind was Amazing Grace because I do feel as if I have been extraordinarily blessed in my life. But since I don’t write inspirational fiction … on a non-religious note, the first song that came to mind was the New Radicals song, You Get What You Give. I think that simple philosophy is true in virtually every area of life. Give your best self in everything you do – with your loved ones, with your career, even in your casual associations and your life will be better for it.
Thanks so much to RaeAnne for her great interview!
Leave her a comment to make her feel welcome!
Check out our reviews of Blackberry Summer and her newest book, Woodrose Mountain.