Today I interview Rhoda Baxter.
1. Could you tell me about yourself?
Thank you for having me on your blog!
Me? I’m Rhoda. I’ve been writing on and off for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I wanted to become a writer (or an astronaut). My parents told me I needed to get a ’real job’ first and write in my spare time. So, having given up on the astronaut idea (too short), I became a microbiologist. I don’t work in the lab anymore, but I still use my science background in my day job and write books when my kids are in bed.
I usually write sitting in bed, with my laptop on one of those ikea bed tray things – which sounds more decadent than it is. It’s not like I have chocolate on my tray as well. That usually goes on a small plate on the bedside cabinet.
2. Tell us in a few words what Doctor January is about?
It’s about Beth who finds the self confidence to stand up to her abusive boyfriend and Hibs who is in love with Beth, but doesn’t know how to help her!
3. Describe Beth to us... :)
Beth is petite, blonde, smart, shy and not terribly self confident. She’s doing a PhD, despite her parents scepticism and getting on well proving herself to be a capable scientist. She likes her work and gets on very well with her labmates. When she takes the opportunity to work on a ’Studmuffins of Science’ style calendar showcasing hunky men who work in science, she rediscovers her love for photography. In the midst of all this, she realises that her friend Hibs, is actually quite attractive. Make that very attractive. All is going well, until her manipulative ex boyfriend, Gordon (boo hiss) comes back and picks their relationship where it left off.
4. And now it's Hibs turn :)
Hibs... He’s tall with long dark hair and cheekbones to die for (his maternal grandmother was Japanese). He’s kind and considerate and fiercely loyal to his friends. He is extremely confident in his abilities (with good reason) and is remarkably successful with women, but he’s not one for relationships. He spends most of his time focusing on his science. The only things he loves outside of work are karate and Beth. I had a ton of fun thinking about Hibs. I still think about him from time to time (but don’t tell the hero of my current WIP!)
Actually, it was. When I sent my manuscript to my writing partner, I thought I’d touched quite lightly on the science, but she spotted lots of details and made me take it out. So I had a good sense check on the too sciency thing. I also got the book beta read by a microbiologist friend, to check I hadn’t made any mistakes on the science details.
The more difficult thing was not making it too geeky. There are lots of geek references which got through the editing process ;-). See if you can spot them.
6. What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m writing a straightforward rom com again. It’s based on Olivia, who’s a grown up tomboy and Walter, who studies undersea volcanoes . Olivia is strong, fearless and a little scary. Walter is scared of spiders (he’s properly arachnophobic) and there’s a huge one in his bathroom. He’s going to have to ask the girl from downstairs to come and rescue him – which is just embarassing. Olivia was a minor character is my book Having a Ball and I liked her so much that I decided to give her her own book.