Rachel discovered her love of writing. Starting off in writing fanfiction in the summer holidays at 16 and Rachel began to enjoy the creative process, her biggest fans being her family. She then took A levels in English Literature, Language and Creative Writing as well as going to evening classes to study publishing.
Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
Hyia I’m Rachel Marie, I’m 20 and from the UK. I’ve always written short stories since I was four and it’s quite apt that my debut took four years fo edit and publish (it took six weeks to write as it was the summer holidays. I also have Cerebral Palsy, CFS/ME and arthritis in my spine. I have written a lot of stories from hospital beds.
Could you tell us a bit about your book and why it is a must-read?
My book is a must read because of its Romance and it looks at the pressures of 1950’s and particularly if you didn’t conform with a clean cut image. It also shows how friends become your second family and after high school, they are all planning great futures whilst Lewis and Annie are feeling stuck.
There’s also some raunchy bits too and things that were taboo back then.
What inspired you to write your book?
The film Grease inspired me to write in the book. Originally it was fanfiction but then I met a writer who told me I had potential so I elaborated on the plot and created the characters myself and started writing with my mentor Jody Klaire who taught me about the industry and the editing and planning process. I was 17 when I wanted to submit the book to publishers but boy did I have a lot to learn!! I also couldn’t forget my great grandmother who started my love of the 1940s and1950s.
Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have a special hangout or any writing rituals?
I have to be in bed and have comfy pyjamas on. Or if I write during the daytime are usually right from 10 till one then have a nap and wake up and, have a tea and a biscuit per 100 words! I also need background noise when I’m working so are usually put some daytime television on in the background.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing your book?
What surprised me was how emotionally involved I became with these characters and how little patience I have for editing!
What do you find are the most rewarding aspects of being an author?
Books have always been a friend to me especially as I wasn’t like everybody else in school. Even though this is an adult novel I would love it if somebody felt connected to a character. The other rewarding thing is getting people reading and seeing them get lost in a novel.
Who are some of the writers who have influenced you?
Kitty Neale, Jodi Picoult, Diane chamberlain and Ellie Dean.
On a more personal note: Tell us a little about your “real” (non-writing) life — family, job, hobbies, etc.
I currently work part time (from home due to my Chronic Pain and Fatigue) for a multimedia company using virtual reality. I love a good cup of tea, I love to sing and most of all read. In every room of my house you will find a book, and every handbag that I have there will be a book. I love blogging about my disability and what it is to be a woman and I love buying vintage clothing. Right now you’re taking a sabbatical from work to write my next book which will be a composition of short stories inspired by prompts I found in a book.
Who is a creative person (not a writer) who has influenced you and your work?
John Travolta, he’s the base for all my male characters, Marylin Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are for my female characters; pretty but also broad mined and independent.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who may be reading this interview?
Writing isn’t for everyone and neither is the publishing industry with the harsh critique. You definitely need to be thick-skinned and not be precious about your writing or when you’re promoting your book on social media.
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
I’m also working on family saga where a woman finds out she has a sister who is been put away in an institution due to her severe Cerebral by their father and the mother agrees to the arrangement as he has a hold over. Now that he’s dead to go and find her sister/daughter. It also looks at the institutionalisation of disabled people in the 1990.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, etc.) and link(s)?
Here are a few ways to contact me:
Facebook: The Rachel Diaries