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July 23, 2013

#PlottingPrincesses: Who's in the house? Rayne Golay!

The PP Gals welcome Rayne Golay, guest author of The Wooden Chair. Hi, Rayne!
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? When offered early retirement, I jumped at the chance. Now I was finally free to pursue my lifelong dream to write. I procrastinated for a couple of years during which I traveled extensively with my late husband. I had all sorts of excuses why I wasn’t writing, among them that I didn’t have the right tools. Instead of going out to buy myself a PC, I complained that I didn’t have the right means with which to write. Part of the reason for why I dragged my feet was fear of failing at the thing I’d always wanted to do. When my children gave me my first lap top as a birthday gift, they removed my last obstacle. Now I had to do it, write. 

What are your three favorite books of all time?
“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
“The Egyptian” by Mika Waltari
“The Senator’s Wife” by Sue Miller

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? I love the evening hours when all the have to’s  are out of the way. It’s happened that I get up in the middle of the night to write. There’s something both peaceful and exciting about the late hours when all is still, and I’m alone, just me and my characters.

Music--with or without? What kind? Quiet, quiet, genius at work! (LOL) Much as I love music, chiefly classical like Beethoven, Sibelius, Bruch, it intrudes on that space inside where my characters live.
First or third POV? Third. I tried my hand at first person, but had to rewrite the dratted thing, because I couldn’t get the right depth and scope and vision on the whole thing.

How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects? While my soul dances from joy my mind puzzles on the next disaster. Outside of writing, I’m a multi-tasker, but a full length novel (100.000 words isn’t unusual for me) takes all my concentration.  

What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end? I call it The Beginning, The Muddle and The End. I think that says it all. When  I start a new novel, I know the beginning and end very well. I usually even have a title, which was the case with both LIFE IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE and THE WOODEN CHAIR. The middle is a sorry bog.

Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em? With a good critique partner, I love revisions. It’s wonderful to see how, with the help of a pair of objective and constructive eyes the story takes shape, sets to flow.

How did you come up with that title?  Best advice anybody every gave you? Meaning THE WOODEN CHAIR? Leini, the protagonist is four years old early in the book. She tries to cuddle in her mother’s lap, but mother is stiff and unwelcoming. Leini finds mother’s lap as hard and uncomfortable as the wooden chair in their kitchen. There it is, right there, in mother’s lap, THE WOODEN CHAIR. Apparently my publisher, Untreed Reads Publisher, liked it as well because we never discussed the title.

Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter… Despite some wrinkles, age spots and what once was a cleavage, but now is a peach pit.
What's your favorite dessert? Would you believe cheese? Yes, cheese. I don’t care for sweets.

Do you write at home or someplace else? I’m such a creature of habit, LOL. I write at home, by my desk. Sometimes, weather permitting, I write by the pool with a can of caffeine free diet soda within easy reach.

What's your favorite type of hero/heroine and why? My favorite hero is Ralph de Bricassar in Colleen McCullough’s “The Thorn Birds.” All his live he’s so very much in love with Maggie, but his love for the church is strong as well. True to himself, he does what his conscience dictates.
Female heroine is the protagonist in Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca,” inexperienced, used and lied to, but who’s love for Maxim gives her strength. I find her intriguing, not least because she has no name, other than “Mrs. de Winter” or “The second Mrs. de Winter.”

Excerpt from The Wooden Chair:

As the doorbell rang, Mira’s brow furrowed in several horizontal creases, irritation vibrant inside at being disturbed. She glanced at the meat-and-vegetable soup simmering on the stove.

After she turned off the gas and wiped her hands on a towel, she took a deep puff of the cigarette smoldering in an ashtray and crossed the small sitting room to the entry hall.

Mira sucked air into her lungs at the sight of the child and fought the urge to slam the door. She glared at the woman who clutched the child’s hand. Leaning over Leini, Mira grabbed her arm.

Leini winced and tried to pull away.

“You hopeless number,” Mira hissed. “Where have you been?”

Leini twisted her arm back and forth. “Mamma, you’re hurting me.”

Letting go of Leini, she turned to the policewoman and made a supreme effort to paste a pleasant smile on her face.

“I’m Mira Bauman. Thank you for finding my daughter. She wanders away. Does it often.”

Tuula introduced herself. “Yes, she was alone, singing at the marketplace. I took it upon

myself to bring her home. Your daughter is lovely.”

“You don’t know the half of it. She’s a little monster. In the company of people she’s all right. At home with me she’s quite a handful.”

The look in Tuula’s eyes told Mira that she’d said too much. Using a more pleasant tone, Mira apologized for Leini’s behavior. 

“No trouble. We enjoyed her singing, but she’s much too young to be in the streets on her own.” Smiling at Leini, Tuula bent to touch the child’s cheek with the back of her hand. “There could be a bombardment any minute. Then what would she do? She doesn’t seem to know where she lives. I looked in the phone book for your address.” 

“She’d manage. She always does,” Mira said, a slight quaver in her voice.

Find Rayne at:

Web site


Untreed Reads Publishing

Thank you, Rayne, for being with the PP today!


Sylvia said...

Hi Rayne,
Thanks for being at the PP blog today. Your book sounds very intriguing. Best of luck with it.
Sylvia McDaniel


Hi, Rayne! I know you've lived in many places. Which did you like best? Least?

Thanks for joining the PP girls today.

Rayne said...

Thanks for having me.
Which place to I like best of those where I've lived, you ask? I loved living in Geneva. Now that I live in the U.S. I love it here :) But, still, my roots are in Finland, that's my emotional and spiritual home.

Patricia said...

My favorite person in The Thorn Birds is Ralph as well. I loved that series and remember taping it on my VCR.

chris keniston said...

Geneva was beautiful - I spent a few days there years ago - but I prefered Zurich- absolutely loved that old city.

MY dream list at the moment is Australia, Great Wall of China, Russia, Timbuktu, Rio and Baena Spain. I never gave Finland any thought- may have to add it to the list!

and I love your title. So different1

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Rayne,

Welcome to the PP today. I love your name. I too took an early retirement offer and am still struggling with making writing a full time job/commitment. Lots of interruptions. I also love revisions, thanks to some awesome critique partners. That's the fun part. Sounds like you've lived a wonderful adventurous life.

Linda Steinberg said...

I loved Ralph in the Thornbirds too. And Richard Chamberlain was not at all how I pictured him. Your titles sound intriguing. Finland was never on my list either but I may have to pencil it in.

Angela Adams said...

One of my favorite desserts is a plate with fruit (especially strawberries and blueberries)and cheese.

Liz Lipperman said...

Welcome to the PP blog, Rayne. Wishing you much success with your book.

Lani said...

Excellent interview and excerpt! Wow, that excerpt is just haunting!

I'm wishing you a million sales, Rayne!

Elizabeth Essex said...

Fun post, Vicki and Rayne!

And you've given me some new titles to read, so thank you!

Marvelous excerpt. Would you characterize The Wooden Chair as a YA?

Thanks for stopping by the PP today.

Cheers, EE

Barb Han said...

What a gorgeous excerpt! I love that you love cheese. You're a woman after my daughter's heart. :-)