Featuring Perfect Pairing, a fast-paced, contemporary romance by Rachel Spangler
In the newly published, contemporary romance, Perfect Pairing, author Rachel Spangler explores whether or not a chef and a banker work together long enough to learn that distinctive ingredients make the perfect pairing.
“Spangler’s complex and likable characters had me laughing out loud!”—Diane Gaidry, television and stage actress
“Perfect Pairing is a sexy, tension-filled tale about two dynamic women who have lost their way in life.”—Anna Furtado, Lambda Literary Review
“Spangler’s writing is rich with description and character development.” —Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen“If you’re in the market for a tasty romance with interesting characters and a complex story, be on the lookout for Perfect Pairing.”—Carleen Spry, Frivolous Views
“Perfect Pairing by Rachel Spangler had me sold as soon as I heard one of the protagonists owns a food truck. I read so many romances that I’m always looking for something a little different, and Perfect Pairing delivers.”—Tara Scott, The Lesbian Review
“Perfect Pairing is a charming mix of a traditional romance and personal growth, with a tasty mix of food truck inspiration thrown in.”—Velvet Lounger, The Lesbian Reading Room
Rachel Spangler is the author of nine lesbian romance novels and novellas, and the winner of two Golden Crown Literary Awards. She pens the popular blog, Wonder Boi Writes, and lives with her wife and son in western New York.
If you were to stand up in front of a room full of strangers and introduce yourself, what would you say?
I’m a wife, a mother, a born-again Christian, and a lesbian romance novelist. People don’t usually see that last one coming. I like to watch them do the double take. Then I go on to say I’ve been tremendously blessed to be able to do a job I love for the last nine years and the effect has been nine books I’m very proud of.
What authors and books have had the most profound influence on you as a writer? As a reader?
As a reader I tend to like traditional contemporary romances, from the classics in the genre (Curious Wine, Toothpick House, Annie on My Mind, Odd Girl Out, Patience and Sarah, etc.) to more modern choices like Too Close To Touch, Warming Trend, The Princess Affair, Billy Boy, Waiting in the Wings, Whitewater Rendezvous, Safe Harbor. Outside the genre I feel like I’ve learned a lot about life and storytelling from The Things They Carried, To The Lighthouse, The Outsiders, and so many others. I think that everything I’ve read sinks into my writing in some way or another, a turn of phrase, a snap of dialogue, a stunning description. They all make me stop and think, how did they do that? What made it work? How could I do the same? Could I do it better?
When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a writer?
I started calling myself a writer about the time my third book came out. I’d already won two Golden Crown Literary Awards, but it still felt like a fun fluke until I heard Lee Lynch accept the Ann Bannon award. She talked about how much the lesbian fiction community has given her over the years, how much love and support they have shown her and how proud she is of the work they have all done together over the course of her lifetime. Right then and there I knew I wanted to be able to look back on my life and feel that way about my own place in the amazing world of readers and writers. From then on I dedicated myself to giving everything I have to my readers and building real, meaningful relationships with our community through my writing.
Is writing a job, or a vocation?
It’s a job. It’s also an art and a passion and a dream come true, but even on my hardest days when I don’t feel the least bit creative, I still show up to work. I take my craft very seriously; I want to make sure that every book is better than the one that came before it. I also take my responsibility to my readers very seriously. I think they deserve the best I have to offer every day, and the only way to give them that is to put my ass in the seat every day and do my job. That being said, I do believe I have the best job in the whole world.
Describe your writing style in 10 words or fewer.
Modern. Relatable. Character-driven. Romantic. Fun.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love the early moments when a character goes from being an idea to a real person, almost a friend I know I’m going to love spending the next few months with. I also really love the point about two thirds of the way through a novel, when I’ve muddled through the slog of the middle third and suddenly the clouds part to reveal the rest of the journey is all downhill. It’s like I can see the end and every step along the way and the only thing left to do is race toward the finish line. At that point there’s very little separation between my characters and me. We just fly together.
When you hear from your readers, what do they most often say?
I hear a lot that my characters felt real to them. Readers say they can relate to them the way they relate to family or close friends. A lot of readers want to tell me stories about the things they have in common with my characters or a time when something similar happened to them. I also hear that they could hear my dialogue as if it were a real conversation happening around them, or that they think about the characters after the book is over. I think that one is the best compliments of all.
One of the most challenging things an author faces is getting their books into the hands of readers. If a potential reader asks, “Why should I read your book?” What answer would you give?
I think I would say because I believe in the transformative power of love. I think that falling in love is a fundamental human experience and one of the very few that has to power to change not only who we are but also how we view the world. I am fascinated by the experience, the ins and outs of how and why, and what happens during and after that transition. It’s those questions that beat at the heart of everything I write.
What one question do you wish someone would ask about your writing, but no one has? What would your answer be?
I’m not sure there’s any one question I want to answer, but I really like to go in depth about scenes I’ve written (or even ones I’ve read). Most interviews only allow for a paragraph or two and then they move on. I love it most when I get to really interact with readers and go deeper about what makes a character or a scene tick, the things that go unspoken just below the surface text, the emotions they inspired or the hopes underlying the conflicts. I like to debate and unpack the meanings of words and why they were chosen. I just love everything about stories, and I love to share them with the people around me as deeply and richly as possible.