Name: Rain Trueax
Where are you from: Western Oregon
A little about your self– i.e. your education Family life etc.:
I was born in Oregon and attended college in Portland where I met my husband. We have been married 50 years, and he is still my best friend. We have a small ranch where we raise cattle and sheep. We have two children who have blessed us with four grandchildren. We have two homes. One is this farm on a creek, in the Oregon Coast Range. The second is near Tucson, Arizona. We will be down there soon to get it ready for seasonal renters. We have to be back up here in time for Christmas and the lambing season.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just finished the rough draft for my fourth Oregon historical– which felt particularly good since it had been sitting on the to-do list for over a year due to other projects.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have written all my life. I began typing out full manuscripts in my early twenties on a used Underwood typewriter. Mostly I didn’t try to get my work published. I wrote because the stories were in me to tell. I didn’t want to change them to fit the expectations, that it seemed at the time, editors demanded in romances. That changed when the option of becoming an indie writer appeared.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t really think of myself by titles. I write and I love doing it, but a title… not so much. Only in the last two years have I learned that I enjoy writing about the writing process. I used to think those who could—did; and those who could not—talked about it. Now I find I like writing and talking about it 🙂
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had a beloved cousin (who died quite young). When we were kids, she and I would go for walks and tell each other stories. My first book came from one of those. It also happens to be the first of the Oregon series, which I have yet to decide on ePublishing. I’ve held off because these books are dear to my heart. Time will tell if they become eBooks, although I think I will bring them out as paperbacks as they have a lot of research regarding Oregon’s history, which I believe would be interesting to others. They are also, each one, a great romance. (Of course, since they are mine, I’d think they were great. I love all my books. It’s why I write—to tell a story I’d love to read).
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Romances and western/cowboy ethics pretty much. I write simple stories, not overly flowery. I try to keep my writing flowing as though effortlessly. I love reading many types of books, but my own always are romances with danger and adventure. I call them romances on the edge.
Fiona: How did you come up with your title?
I have 15 eBooks (one a novella) and 14 paperbacks. Titles come from my vision of the story and the energy within. I have written a few titles that ended up not working, which led to changing them. The most memorable was Golden Chains— a romance with a sculptress heroine and set in Portland’s art world with Prometheus as the inspiration. The title caused people to expect erotica. I changed it to Bannister’s Way, which had less potential to mislead.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Although I write both historical and contemporary, all of my books are about people who take charge of their own lives. One quote says it best and it’s from Arthur Miller. “I think one must finally take one’s life in one’s arms.”
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My stories are fantasy, imaginary, not memoirs, but based on what I know of life. They are set in places I know, history, and what I believe can be. That said, they are always a bit mythological– as I think the best romances are.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Since I live a rural lifestyle raising cattle and sheep, I have put some experiences into my more western stories. I think most characters come out of a composite of people we know. Never specifically or totally though for me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life?
This interestingly enough came up earlier today with someone asking what three books most influenced your life. When I thought about it, I came up with Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard; and The Virginian by Owen Wister.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would love a mentor but have never had one. I admire so many currently writing but no specific name comes to mind as writing what I want to write. If I was looking for a life mentor, maybe Mary Oliver, the poet.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Because I was considering my favorite historical author, I recently reread Bond of Blood by Roberta Gellis
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
On my Kindle are many authors new to me, but I haven’t had time to read them yet. I have been busy with re-editing my books this summer and then writing this last one. I plan to give myself a lengthy time of just reading what others wrote and might do a better job on giving some names. There are so many out there, who write interesting stories, which seem destined to be classics. I can’t currently narrow it to one.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am re-editing a novella, A Montana Christmas, which I will bring out again with as a bonus feature a related short story, Curly’s Lesson. Both of these came from characters in From Here to There, a Montana based contemporary, western romance.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My best friend, the painter, Diane Widler Wenzel
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not for me. I consider it more a calling. I don’t do enough in the marketing end to make it career. Maybe I would have if I had been younger when self-publishing became an option. I love writing, but it’s not what I’d call lucrative enough to be a career. It is a beloved obsession. 😉
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Always I find better ways to say things. It’s something that literally drives me nuts. When I reread one of my books, and obviously I love them all or they’d not have been written, always I find places I can word better, words I didn’t really need, etc. I don’t know if that will ever change.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Playing with paper dolls as a child. I had to draw and color my own to get the characters and costumes I needed. Those imaginary stories led to books.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The rough draft I just finished (which may or may not be ePublished) has a hero, who is a cavalry officer in Oregon 1867. Oregon was facing a brutal Indian war in a region where there had also been an influx of gold miners. It was an exciting and unpredictable time. My heroine is a Pinkerton agent, my first warrior heroine. The characters come from one continuing family in all four Oregon historicals. It made it particularly rewarding to take these people a step farther. I am thinking a fourth Arizona historical will be started this winter and will be published.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Two things: First– how I continually improve and can say things better. It literally drives me nuts; but frankly, if you keep writing, it is what happens. Second– marketing. Getting my books seen, doing the publicizing that is essential is just plain hard for me. I don’t do ten percent of what other authors do. I admire all they accomplish but have no idea how they do so much and still find time to write. I might just be too old to want to do what is required.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love so many but one in particular from years back—Roberta Gellis, who wrote wonderful historical novels of English history. I admire her writing so much and the love stories she told. I also like a regency author, Patricia Veryan. For enjoying English history so much, all of my stories are set in the American West, but it’s what I know best.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Around the regions where I write, yes. My second home in Arizona is where I have set three historicals, Arizona Sunset, Tucson Moon, and Arizona Dawn and one contemporary, Desert Inferno. I love all of the West and for me to spend a lot of time where a story is set adds to my enjoyment in writing it—besides which I love being on the rivers and mountains of the West.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have done all my covers except Diablo Canyon, which was done by Charlene Raddon– http://cover-ops.blogspot.com/. Otherwise, I enjoy creating them as it plays into two other interests of mine—photography and painting. It’s been quite a learning experience to find what readers expect. Most of my books have changed covers at least once.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The fourth Oregon historical was difficult because I didn’t finish it when I began it September 2013. Until it, I had never not finished something I began. Interrupting its writing had first been a need to do more research to understand the military way of life in 1867. I had also taken a vacation through eastern Oregon to refresh my memory of the land. Then another book called to me. I had a dream that led to a paranormal/metaphysical set of romances, Diablo Canyon. No sooner was that finished than I had an idea from our trip to Arizona, which led to a third Arizona historical, Arizona Dawn. Finally, this September, I got back to the Oregon book and once I began, it flowed. I like the hero and heroine a lot. Some might wonder then why not publish it. I might but for me writing is about writing and not necessarily putting them out.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
From this one and the one before it, I learned a lot about Oregon history—the underbelly, you might say. To get it right in Eastern Oregon, where I vacation but have never lived, i needed to find the old roads, learn details of an Indian war, and then the military and how it operates. I researched George Custer to understand my hero. I also researched the Pinkertons for my heroine.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write and write more. The more you write, the better you will be. Even if you don’t have an entire vision, just start. Writing begets writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope they enjoy the stories and see them as bits about life as well as a vicarious adventure. I always also hope they see life lessons that can benefit their lives as the characters go through the kinds of experiences we all would rather not, but from which we can learn. My stories are about following your dreams and taking a risk sometimes to do what is right. Always they are about accountability and that actions have consequences.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not really but the first series I collected were the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley. I read them all. Every Christmas, they were for what I asked.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Animals, life, irony. I laugh a lot. Crying happens less these days but strong emotional connection and empathy for what others are experiencing can lead to tears—of joy or sadness.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I guess my great grandfather, who was one of the first of the hard rock miners in the Black Hills. My grandfather was born there in 1882—illegally I might add as the land was still supposed to belong to the Lakota. Miners had overrun it and the government was eager to find an excuse to take it away. I have seen photos of my great grandfather Trueax but know little about what kind of man he was– other than they had twelve children. I’d love to meet either of these grandparents. It would be interesting to learn their life philosophies and hear their stories.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone and why ?
I won’t have a headstone. I want to be cremated, with ashes spread into the soil or a stream. I hope my family and friends remember me as someone who loved.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Photography, painting, sculpture, gardening, hiking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I watch little television. I did enjoy the Outlander series and look forward to its resumption in April. I enjoyed Diana Gabaldon’s books a lot. As to movies, I love westerns, of course. 🙂
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Eggs in any form/ red and black/ soundtracks from western films.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Devoting myself to being a painter or sculptor.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a lot of blogs: rainydaythought.blogspot.com; http:raintrueax.blogspot.com; http:romancesontheedge.blogspot.com; http://rainydaytrailers:blogspot.com; and more. I have enjoyed blogging and began with it before I decided to self-publish.
Places to buy my books (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes can all be found at:
Contemporary Portland, Oregon series: