It isn’t really a pilgrimage, but while my husband and I were visiting Frankemuth, Michigan for our anniversary, I asked to visit the local brewing museum. To fully understand how strange a request this is, one would need to know that my husband and I don’t consume alcohol. However, one of my characters in an upcoming book runs a tavern and brews her own mead. I had been researching medieval brewing techniques and was curious if I could glean any interesting information from it for my book. It was an interesting and unique experience. I enjoyed it and learned a bit more about the brewing process than I knew before going. In the end, we purchased a book on beer brewing for my uncle since he makes his own beer.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
My characters usually start out with a moment of inspiration like thinking about what it was like being a single mother in the medieval period. Or they come by wondering things like how would a moneylender’s son who didn’t know a trade survive if he didn’t want to go into the family business.
Many of my male leads in the Novels of Rhynan series tend to appear in the previous books of the series. Dentin from Honor first shows up in Duty. Wilard first appears in Honor before he started his own adventures in Mercy. The hero for my next novel in the series started out as a nameless stranger in Mercy.
Once I have a name or an inspiration, I start building a backstory, family of relationships, and begin piecing together their personality. However, nothing is set in stone until the book is written because I have had characters surprise me with strange things like a son or a history with another character.
On rare occasions, characters come alive before they have a name or backstory. Those are sometimes the most fun to write because they develop as they appear on the page. However, they are also the hardest to write because I am constantly having to reference back to what I have already written to keep the characters consistent.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
While in the character development stage, I tend to research my characters’ jobs and lives more than anything else. As I plot, if I come across a situation that I don’t think I know enough about how things were done in the medieval period, I will spend time researching what I need to write the scene.
I have enjoyed researching a wide variety of subjects for my books like, medieval painting, bookbinding, illumination, beer making, apothecaries, paint ingredients that could be poisonous, medieval taverns, travel, horses, and much more. Not everything ends up in the book, but I can build a richer world with all the details in my head and notes.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I keep multiple book projects going at the same time. While I am writing one, I am editing another, and brainstorming/plotting a third and fourth. However, I rarely spend time writing two books at a time. It gets too hard to keep everything straight and the characters consistent if I do that. I also lose writing time if I have to switch between projects in the writing stage. Each switch would require back reading and getting my head in the current project.
Pen or type writer or computer?
I am definitely a computer writer. I tried handwriting early on and quickly grew frustrated because I couldn’t keep up with the ideas as they went through my head. Computers also offer the advantage of being able to edit as you go without erasing or crossing out and making the page messy. However, if an idea is good and I don’t have my laptop nearby, pen and paper is definitely a solid standby.
The Novels of Rhynan Book 3
by Rachel Rossano
Genre: Medieval Historical Romance
The royal wedding approaches and the country is alive with anticipation.
Among the craftsmen traveling to the capital is Constance Rendare and her family. An artist, a widow of an unhappy marriage, and the mother of a young son, she dreams of escaping the cruel servitude of her father’s household.
Wilard Naron serves the Earl of Dentin. He returns to the capital, his childhood home, to collect his earnings and finally free himself from his father’s reputation.
Kidnappings, bandits, and a plot against the king complicate the journey. The conflicts throw Constance and Wilard together as their circumstances grow steadily worse. The more the pair uncovers, the direr the future looks for the country and for them.
The Earl of Dentin returns. Eight stories ranging from short story to novelette in length give us greater understanding into why Dentin is the complex and enigmatic man he is. It also includes new adventures that happen between Honor and the next Rhynan novel.
Passing the Mantle – An ill-fated hunting trip
Forging Friendships – Recruiting able-bodied men ineligible for knighthood
The Sword of Korma Monroe – A sword made for trouble
Turning Point – A duke and an earl plot treason
The Bittersweet Pear – A marital misunderstanding
Isbeth’s Redemption – Dentin doesn’t make a good first impression
A Squire’s Love – Reginald’s quest
Restoration – A trip to Braulyn produces unexpected company
The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.
Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.
As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.
Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.
Duty to Others
Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?
Duty to Each Other
Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.
Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction. You can find out more about Rachel by clicking here: https://www.rachelrossano.com/media-kit