Day 26 Rachel Gibson – Romancing Our Best Selves

Embracing My Inner Heroine

One of the most common questions I am asked by readers (right after “where do you get your ideas” and right before “do you research your sex scenes?”) is, “are your heroines anything like you?” My response has always been a rather quick, “No, they’re all a lot more interesting and have better hair.” They are also either handy with power tools or skilled with a fry pan. I have never been particularly good at either.What I Love About You

Lately though, I’ve made some drastic changes in my life. I have had to become totally dependent on myself. If I want something done, I have to do it. (Well, except mow the grass and weed whack. It’s hot and I have a big yard and I hire landscapers.) As a result, I have made several trips to Home Depot in search of things other than annuals and potting soil. I’ve stocked up on tools (power and hand), paint (have you all discovered chalk paint yet?) and every size of nail and screw imaginable. I bought an upright chest and filled it with the kind of stuff a self-dependent person would need. The kind of stuff a heroine would just naturally have in her garage.

In the past three weeks, I have sanded and painted tables and chairs, cleaned all the carpet in my entire house, and gone through every drawer and cupboard to rid myself of old tubes of Super Glue and calorie counters. I got out my tools and assembled a playhouse that has a bunk bed on top, a twelve-shelf storage system with hanging doors, a play table and six chairs, and patio furniture. I painted a mirror, a dining room table, and two big Foo Dogs. I did it all by myself, too.

Today I brought out the big guns: the power washer. After several mishaps (pouring gas all over myself—twice–and power spraying a zigzag of skin off one shin—holy crap that hurt!) I cleaned the floors of my patio and garage. Tomorrow I am assembling three seven-foot, metal shelves to hold all my holiday decorations and new power tools.

Since I made the big changes in my life, I’ve surprised myself. Not only with my cunning ratchet skills, but with my ability to adapt and conquer. I don’t let little things like complicated diagrams or angled screws in tight corners stop me. I don’t let fear or trepidation keep me from moving ahead. So, maybe the next time I am asked if I am anything like my heroines, I’ll pause to think before I answer. I still don’t think my life is as interesting or that my hair is as good, but maybe I do give a piece of myself to each one.


For readers who like contemporary romance, I recommend new author Candis Terry and established author Jill Shalvis. Both write sexy heroes and great humor.

Questions for the Author:

 Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

One of the most daring things I ever did was go to a romance writer’s conference in my area. At the time, I was unpublished and no one even knew I gibsonwas writing. I went by myself and I didn’t know anyone. It was scary, but it changed my life.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?

I didn’t ever know I wanted to write. It never occurred to me to write anything, let alone a book, until I read Gone With The Wind. When I finished GWTW, I pulled out a typewriter and rewrote the end so that Scarlet and Rhett ended up together. After that, I just started writing contemporary romance. I wrote five complete manuscripts and was rejected by twenty-five publishers and agents before I sold my sixth manuscript and first published book, Simply Irresistible, to Avon Books.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

Shirlee Busbee’s The Spanish Rose. It was the first romance novel I ever read and sent me on a romance reading binge that has lasted ever since.

Rachel is generously giving away copies of Rescue Me and Run to You, one copy of each book to four winners. U.S. readers only, apologies to international readers.

Rachel GibsonRachel Gibson is a New York Timesand USA TODAY bestselling author of fast-paced contemporary romance novels. Publisher’s Weeklyproclaims Rachel’s “clever, snappy dialog amuses at every turn” and “With humor and eloquent prose, Gibson brings substance and depth . . . to modern day romance.”

Rachel’s awards and achievements include  two RITA awards and six nominations. The Golden Heart Award, the National Reader’s Choice, Amazon Editor’s Top Pick, Publisher Weekly’s Quill nominee, Borders bestselling romantic comedy and Romantic Time’s Career Achievement award.

When not writing, Rachel can be found shopping for shoes or looking for strange and unusual flowers to plant in her garden.

Buy Rachel’s Books:

 availableon-amazon     availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

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  • TrishJ

    I love your books. They have humor along with romance. I am an “inside” kinda gal. Power tools are kinda scary to me. Kudos for tackling the power washer. Makes you feel like queen of all you survey I bet.

  • All of her books look so great, I’ve been wanting to read them for a while now!

  • Anna

    I have a fondness for home improvement stores because I used to date someone who would take me to them. On our dates.

    Sounds like you’ve improved your tool sense. Good for you!!

  • mariannewestrich

    I remember my first tools (gifts from my dad) when I became an independent person after divorce. They are still some of my favorites! 😎

  • Fern Martin

    Book stores and home improvement stores are my favorite. I walk in the door and the word ‘input’ comes to my mind. So many possibilities So little time!!!!

  • cheryl c.

    I am totally impressed with all of your new skills. You go, girl!

  • Catherine Scott

    GREAT author. ..cute article. I think you have nice hair (based on the photos I’ve seen of you)

  • LisaVH

    Impressive! I’m always cheering on the girl learning to do things for herself. Way to go!

  • Karen G.

    Good for you, I know how good it feels to be able to accomplish so much you never expected to. I myself can never pull the chord on the lawn mower well enough to start it cold, but I am wicked with a power-washer! haha Thanks for the post and the chance to win!

  • Debbie Fuller

    I am so impressed by your go and do attitude. I’m always rearranging furniture and turning things into other things, but power tools are scary. You may have inspired me to try out the power tools, maybe a screw gun first, and also you books. Thanks for adding to my TBR list.

  • Sue G.

    Congrats on all your achievements! I have never been a very handy person, I’m more creative. Thankfully I married a really handy guy. I always joke, he’ll build it and I’ll decorate it! My middle daughter is very handy too, which is probably why she is at college studying engineering. Nice write up!

  • Cathy

    I am very impressed with all of your skills.

  • Martha B

    I think your books are funny…Jill Shalvis laugh-out-loud funny. As I read about all your do-it-yourself projects, I wondered if some of those scenes (mishaps?) might appear in future books? I loved reading about ALL your accomplished in 3 weeks – even though it made me exhausted. Cheers to you!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I have the books already (love them!) so I won’t enter. Can’t wait to read the new one! Good luck to you & your quest to do-it-yourself! I give you a lot of credit! I am not at all handy.

  • Natasha Salzer

    Love this idea!!!!!!

  • Quinn Fforde

    Enjoyable post!

  • alisha woods

    Candace Terry and Jill Shalvis are great too. Got to meet you when you came to Tulsa with ELizabeth Boyle and Julia Quinn

  • Ellen

    Great post. Congratulations on all of your new skills. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rita Wray

    Great post, I enjoyed it.

  • Rochelle

    Looking forward to reading Blake’s story. I am so impressed that you can use tools like a power washer. Sadly, I’m inept with the tools!

  • Terri C

    Power washers are so dangerous! Hopefully writing isn’t as harmful to you.

  • Debbie Oxier

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Pamby50

    So glad to hear you conquered all the tools. I am not so handy but I will try. My daughter though can put things together. I wanted her to be able to do those things for herself. I love that she made a bet with her boyfriend that she could put together her media center. When she finished he paid her.

  • Gretchen Miller

    Thats always good

  • Tammy H

    You’re inspiring me to try to get some things done around here!

  • M Kuxhaus

    Thank you for mentioning your rejections. 🙂 It gives me hope.

  • Patty Vasquez

    Bless you for taking on Home Depot and conquering the big box! I break out in hives when I walk in the store. Congratulations, also, on finding your way to strength and self-reliance. That’s an accomplishment worthy of any of your heroines.

  • Marcy Shuler

    Good for you becoming more like your heroines!

  • Mj

    Good for you, a true inspiration because we can do anything we need to do when we have to!! This summer I swore I would do and try new things, so far it has been great and now the kids are all for it as well. We are making some great plans for the future.

  • Stephanie M.

    What a great post! You have inspired me to check out the chalk paint. I’ll be adding you to my TBR list.

  • donnas

    Those are serious skills. I don’t know that I wouldn’t have found a way to do all of that.

  • Sheila M

    What a great story. All of us should know how to take care of ourselves and the things we want!

  • Joan Varner

    Congratulations on becoming so independent and all of the new skills that you have learned. Your generous giveaway is awesome. Thank you.

  • Sharon Forbes

    Wow, way to go! It takes a lot of strength of character and courage to become as independent as you have, believe me, I know, I have been there!

  • Brenda E

    Great post. I’m a new fan and loved Rescue Me.

  • Toni Linenberger

    Yay! go you. 🙂

  • Glenda

    You Go Girl!! I am continually amazed that whenever I’m in Lowes or Home Depot alone, there are tons of employees offering to help me. However, when I’m with my husband the helpers are no where to be found. It is kinda irritating at times.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    WOW!!! You know how to impress!!! Before I met my husband &gpt married I used to have tools that my dad helped me amass. Somehow, my brother ended up with most of them. Not sure how, why or when. My dad let us kids help finish the basement in our house. That was a learning experience and a good one for a teen girl. Now my husband takes over the work & doesn’t let me help. BTW, I love your books & have read almost every one of them.

  • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

    Wow, that’s what I’m attempting to do (for a year now). Good for you for finishing, I like power tools as well, but hubby’s afraid I might hurt or cut myself.
    I really enjoy your books, One of my favorites, See Jane Score. Thanks for the chance!

  • Yaritza Santana

    I know how you feel when you go into an event by yourself and don’t know anybody. Love your book covers

  • Peni Anne

    Good for you and taking ownership of your property and your life. We all knew of your ‘can do’ spirit because your not only a storyteller, you have the courage to put your stories out there for us. Keep up the excellent work.

  • Stephanie Stevens Chalbeck

    I like getting tools that are pink, none of the boys/men in my house will use them!

  • Erin F

    Congrats Rachel on your career 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Laurie W G

    I have yet to read Shirley Busbee. I’m off to check her books out.
    I’m glad you persevered and remained true to your goals. I enjoyed your Truly , Idaho series. I also love your hockey heroes!

  • Kortney

    Loved this post! I love when woman do wood working projects that everybody assumes men should do! It shows women are self reliant and strong.

  • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

    Kudos for learning how to do all that stuff! I don’t know how to do any of it, but then I don’t have to. I can see that the point you are making, is that you can be a heroine by rising to the occasion as needed and not “selling yourself short”.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I cannot imagine the sense of accomplishment high you must be riding right now and for the record, just having the guts to write books, face rejections and keep persevering makes you a heroine in my opinion. I love your books and I strive to be a competent, self sufficient woman even when I have someone else who can take care of things. I love your heroines and hope that I can find even a little of them in me 🙂 Great post and good luck with all of your projects! I feel a little shamed into going down to tackle some projects in my basement now…

  • Kim

    Have you re-worked any of those first few manuscripts or do they remain in a drawer somewhere?

  • rebecca moe

    Oooh, a HEA for GWTW! It definitely needed one!

  • Kim

    I love to use tools and build things. I love your Seattle Chinooks series!

  • monica87

    Great post! congrats to all you’ve accomplished. I really envy romance writers. It takes a lot of guts and heart to pursue it. Love your writing!

  • Judy Goodnight

    Wow, way to rock the DIY!