JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Curtis Edmonds, author of “Rain on Your Wedding Day”
(Scary Hippopotamus Books)
“Rain on Your Wedding Day” is a modern Southern Gothic novel about one family’s tragic past and the consequences that it holds for their future.
Five years ago, Will Morse was arrested and charged with the murder of his youngest daughter Trixie. Will maintained his innocence and claimed that Trixie’s death was a suicide. Although Will escaped criminal charges, he lost his job as a Coca-Cola executive in the scandal. His wife, Danielle, left him, convinced that he had some role in Trixie’s death. Distraught and racked by grief and guilt, Will retreated to the safety and silence of a remote cabin in the North Georgia wilderness.
Will wants to rekindle his relationship with her daughter Alicia after she visits him over Christmas and lets him know that she’s getting married. Will fears that attending the wedding will bring up painful memories from his past and lead to conflict with his ex-wife and her family, who still blame him for Trixie’s death.
On the eve of Alicia’s wedding, Will must confront the guilt and shame that he feels and seek forgiveness for his actions.
“Rain on Your Wedding Day” is a poignant, moving tale about the need for forgiveness and redemption.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Rain on Your Wedding Day”?
Curtis Edmonds: “Rain on Your Wedding Day” is set in the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia. The mountains around Blue Ridge are topped with vacation cabins. This book is about someone who has lived alone in one of those cabins for a very long time and how he manages to make his way down the mountain.
When my wife and I were first dating, we would rent a cabin and spend a long weekend there. I always wondered who it was that actually owned the cabin and what they were like.
JP: What sets “Rain on Your Wedding Day” apart from other books in the same genre?
CE: “Rain on Your Wedding Day” is women’s fiction told from the male perspective. Its central event is a wedding, and it has several strong, opinionated female characters. But it is narrated by a character who is an older man, a former NFL lineman and corporate executive.
When I was trying to pitch “Rain on Your Wedding Day” to literary agents, there were at least a couple of them who were concerned that people who read women’s fiction wouldn’t necessarily read a book written by a male author with a male narrator. I don’t think that’s really an issue, but it does set the book apart, at least a little.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “Rain on Your Wedding Day” getting out to the public?
CE: Persistence. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t quit when the writing itself got hard. I finished the book and found an editor and pitched it to any agent I thought might be interested. When that didn’t work, I hired a different editor, reworked the novel, and then tried again to find an agent.
When that didn’t work, I could have given up and put the book in a drawer. But I didn’t do that. I found people to help me with cover design and e-book formatting and put it out myself.
It’s not just talent, not just hard work, but being persistent, not giving up, and trying whatever works.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “Rain on Your Wedding Day”?
CE: I started writing “Rain on Your Wedding Day” in the summer of 2010. I was kind of floundering around the midway point by Christmas vacation in 2010, so I made it my New Year’s resolution to finish it. I started tracking my writing in January 2011, and finished the first draft in ten weeks.
I only have an hour or so a day to write – the time between when I put my kids to bed and when I finally go to sleep. I averaged only about 350 words a day. That’s enough if they’re the right words.
I got the first draft edited and started submitting it to agents in the fall of 2011. I wasn’t getting a good response, so I hired a developmental editor in the spring of 2012 and basically re-wrote the entire book over the course of a couple of months. When the next round of querying didn’t produce anything, I decided to self-publish.
JP: What’s next for Curtis Edmonds?
CE: I have been spending most of my writing time over the past few months doing promotional stuff for “Rain on Your Wedding Day”, so I don’t have anything specifically planned next. I have two ideas that I’m exploring. One is a science-fiction concept about a derelict spaceship and a mysterious distress signal.
The other idea involves reworking a road trip novel that I shelved a few years back – it’ll need a lot of work and a lot of love, and I’ve been avoiding it fairly successfully so far. Eventually, I hope to get back to writing and not just self-promotion.
“My other writing projects include writing funny short fiction pieces for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and doing the occasional book review for Bookreporter.com. As a book reviewer, I know how important book reviewers can be in helping authors get the word out. If you’d like a review copy of “Rain on Your Wedding Day”, please let me know.” ~ Curtis Edmonds