Caught on Camera
(Hollywood in Muskoka, #1)
Publication date: September 9th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
To achieve her dream of working on Hollywood film sets, star struck chambermaid Rachel Lehmann needs $35,000 for film school tuition by the end of the summer. When she’s asked to fill in for a missing bridesmaid at a movie star’s wedding, it’s her big chance to take candid photos of celebrities and sell them to the entertainment media. Then groomsman Mickey McNichol, agent to the stars, sweeps her off her feet.
Mickey’s bitter experience is that everyone in show business fakes emotions. When he falls for the stand-in bridesmaid, he thinks he’s finally met a beautiful woman he can trust. But if Rachel betrays his friends’ privacy, Mickey will ensure she never works in Hollywood.
- How long have you been writing?
I worked full time in a demanding job as a professional engineer and was a single mother. When my son was old enough to play by himself, I finally had two or three hours on the weekend to write. By aiming to write 1,000 words a week, I completed four novels in 18 years, entered Romance Writer of America contests, and studied the craft of writing along the way. The fourth, Diamond Lust, a romantic suspense was published by Ellora’s Cave in 2010 and reissued with a new cover in 2015 as Diamond Hunter.
- Where did your love of storytelling come from?
Until I turned 10, my family lived in a remote area of the French-Canadian province of Quebec with no access to English television. I read several books a week and decided I’d be a writer. I’m very glad I became a book addict as a child, because, after we moved and got cable TV, I spent way too many evenings in front of the tube.
- What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I drew on my experience at 16 as a chambermaid at a Muskoka summer resort, and the first draft of Caught on Camera just flew off the keyboard into the computer. Then the hard work came in the second draft, rewriting to make the story fast-paced and funnier as I posted each chapter on Wattpad.com. After I received the manuscript back from the story editor and copy editor at different stages, I devoted at least a month to revisions. I describe my lengthy editing and polishing process in these Editing Your Book blog posts.
- What inspires you?
Muskoka. Growing up, my sisters and I enjoyed summers at my grandparents’ cottage in the District of Muskoka, Canada’s premiere holiday destination. It’s where wealthy professionals and celebrities own lavish summer homes, intermingled with working class folks like my grandparents who bought waterfront property before prices exploded. We four kids were lucky to have idyllic childhoods, with long, hot days swimming, waterskiing, boating, and reading. In our teens we worked at the resorts (and in two of my sisters’ cases, at the national park campgrounds). The Hollywood in Muskoka series allows me to revisit a beautiful area and a treasured time in my life.
- Who inspires you?
Stephanie Bond. I once emailed Stephanie Bond to tell her how much I enjoyed her romantic comedic mysteries. She wrote back to thank me, saying I had made her day. She’s such a humorous, successful writer and her response reminded me that writing can be thankless hard work. We bury ourselves in our writing caves for months with very little validation to assure us that the book-in-progress is any good, and cross our fingers that readers will love the end result. When I have doubts, I think of Stephanie and other gifted authors who reinvented themselves when markets changed and kept tapping at their keyboards, improving with each book. Successful authors are in it for the long game.
- What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I have a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, and worked for over 30 years in the public service. I began my career in Canada’s vast arctic where I flew thousands of miles in small planes to construction projects in tiny Inuit and native communities. Based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, a subarctic town called the “Diamond Capital of North America”, I hung out with young mining engineers. I drew on those five adventurous, sometimes dangerous years in the far north to write Diamond Hunter, my debut romantic suspense about a young geologist who encounters murderous diamond smugglers at a fly-in-only mine. Diamonds weren’t that girl’s best friend.
- What do you like to read in your free time?
I read mysteries, and watch recent movies, series and old favorites, enabled by Netflix and the invention of the PVR. You’ll see that guilty pleasure reflected in all the Caught on Camera movie and TV references!
- Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
When I’m writing, I block out two or three hours and aim to write 1,000 new words. At the next session, I flesh out those pages and write four more. Because I’m a plotter, I rarely have to do major structural rewrites or delete scenes, but I do spend significant time improving each scene. Now that I have a part time job with flexible hours, I aim to publish a book a year. Sex and the Screenwriter, Book 2 in the Hollywood in Muskoka series, will be published in mid-2017.
- What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Slow and steady wins the race.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Study the craft of writing. Write the first book, put it aside, and write the next one. You’ll improve with each book. Don’t be in a hurry to indie-publish early efforts. Your books are your legacy, so put in the work to earn four and five star reviews. If you want to try the traditional publishing route, improve your chances of getting a contract by having your book professionally edited before submitting.
Madelle completed four novels before Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc. contracted to publish her debut romantic suspense, Diamond Lust—republished as Diamond Hunter—and a sexy, short free read, The Next Big Thing, in 2010.
When Madelle realized her author voice is more suited to light, humorous contemporary romance, she went waaaay back to her teen years for the Hollywood in Muskoka series setting. Madelle, her sisters, and assorted pets enjoyed idyllic summers at a lake in the District of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their top 20 Best of the World Must-see Places.
The Muskoka lakes’ forested shorelines are dotted with palatial properties owned by wealthy families and Hollywood celebrities. At sixteen, being neither rich nor famous, Madelle worked briefly as a chambermaid at the now-closed Delawana Inn, a local resort.
Madelle is retired from an engineering career in the federal public service and lives in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, with her husband. She tries to keep fit with cycling, Pilates, and yoga, and dreams of owning a waterfront cottage. Or at least a pool.
She tweets and posts on Facebook and Goodreads about Hollywood, filmmaking, Muskoka, and, of course, writing. She blogs the second Tuesday of the month at romancingthegenres.blogspot.com and occasionally on her own website.
Blog Tour Schedule:
–Fire And Ice Book Reviews >> Review
–Loves Great Reads >> Interview
–The Travelogue of a book addict – The Book Drealms >> Review