PW: Your latest book, Daisy's Back in Town, really evokes the atmosphere of small-town Texas. Have you lived in Texas before?
Rachel Gibson: My mother's Texan, and I've gone to family reunions and things with her down there. I really love Texas and Texans. They're just a little bit different than everybody else, so they're fun to write about.
PW: Did you use one of your own children as an inspiration for Nathan, the teenager in this book?
RG: Yes, I did. I have a 17-year-old son. Growing up, he was just a wonder and delight and then he hit a certain age. I've heard it's boys. They get that, "I'm a man," attitude and try to separate from their mothers and you're just left thinking, "What's happened? Where's my little boy?"
PW: I read that you prefer reading historical romances to contemporary ones. If that's true, why do you write contemporary romances?
RG: I just naturally have a contemporary voice, for one. Also, when I read contemporary romances, it feels like work to me. I feel like I should be picking them apart and seeing why they work or why they don't work. Since I don't write historical romances, I can just let go and enjoy them.
PW: I understand that you weren't much of a reader when you were younger.
RG: No, I wasn't. Growing up, I was dyslexic. I was always in the last reading group, the D reading group, and if you flunked out of the D reading group, then you had to go to the Hall reading group. I was always probably one day away from going into the Hall reading group. I think not only being dyslexic but also having a real fear of flunking out of the last reading group made me not enjoy reading. But I had a sister who used to read to me all the time, and even though I didn't read, I had a real love of books.
PW: What compelled you to become a writer?
RG: I read Gone with the Wind, and I decided to rewrite the end so that Scarlet became a nice, compassionate person and Rhett came back. I wrote that on an old typewriter I had sitting around, and after I finished, I started on a contemporary.
PW: Did you intend to write romantic comedies?
RG: Never. I didn't even know that I wrote anything funny until I joined a local Romance Writers of America chapter and gave some of my work to people in the chapter. They thought it was funny. I really didn't know why they thought that, and I'm still not sure.
PW: How would you describe your writing process?
RG: I often describe it as pushing boulders up a mountain. You push and push and while you're pushing, you think, "This is tough and I'm never going to do this again." Then once you get up to the top of the mountain, you look back down and there's more boulders at the bottom of the mountain, and you're just compelled to go back down there and start pushing them back up again. I think it's something that I love to do, but it's not something that comes easily for me.
PW: You publish about one book a year, but the trend in the romance industry seems to be to publish multiple books consecutively over a period of a few months. Do you see yourself accelerating your writing schedule to do that?
RG: One book a year is my limit. I really only get one idea a year. I am in awe of people who get more ideas than that. I get one and I have to make it work because I don't have another one.
PW: Do you have an idea yet for your next book?
RG: Yes. I am back in Gospel, Idaho, where True Confessions was set. The hero of this book is a former hockey player. The heroine is a private investigator. It's a little bit of a modern Taming of the Shrew.