Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so pleased to bring you Rachel J. Good. I LOVE reading about Rachel’s method for getting past writer’s block. I so wish I had an artisitc brain like that! Rachel is generously giving away a signed copy of her book THE AMISH WIDOW’S RESCUE. Read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’ve loved books since I was a child. I was always the one with a book hidden in her desk at school or reading under the covers with a flashlight at night. Of course, that meant I sought out jobs where I worked with books, so I became a teacher, a children’s librarian, and an editor. Of course, I now have my dream job of being an author. I can write the stories I always loved reading. I hope my words will give others as much pleasure as I receive when I read.
In addition to writing, I have a busy life. I enjoy spending time with my five children and three grandchildren, traveling, drawing and painting, walking in the woods, sewing, doing crafts, and connecting with readers. I have many book events planned in various states over the next few months, which are listed under events on my website.
Tell us about your current release. I have 11 books coming out this year, but the next two releases will both be out on May 28:
In THE AMISH WIDOW’S RESCUE, confirmed bachelor Elijah Beiler is convinced love leads to heartbreak, so although he offers to help his pregnant, newly widowed neighbor with her chores, he keeps his distance from her and her children. But he didn’t count on her young son idolizing him and following him everywhere. After he rescues the boy from drowning, he finds himself getting attached and wondering what it would be like to have a family.
When the bishop suggests a marriage of convenience, Elijah agrees to pray about it. Soon God sends signs to nudge Elijah in that direction, but can he overcome his fear of relationships and open his heart to love?
LOVE’S TRUEST HOPE is an anthology with Laura V. Hilton and Mary Alford. In my suspense story, “Bid for Love,” the top bidder in the Amish silent auction wins a day of yardwork from Marty and two of his friends. But why did this wealthy Englischer pay so much money for Amish volunteers when she has a professional lawn service? Marty is shocked when the bidder offers him money to turn her granddaughter, Olivia, Amish. He explains that becoming Amish isn’t about external appearances, it’s about a change of heart and a living new lifestyle, one dedicated to following God’s will. A few days later, Olivia and her grandmother both end up missing, and Marty is fingered for the crime. How can he prove his innocence when all the clues the police find point to his guilt?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Definitely. Each person, each soul is precious to God, so if my work helps or touches the one God needed it for, I feel my writing has been worth every minute I put into it.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No, in fact, I’m grateful to be with two large secular publishers, Grand Central and Kensington, that allow me to express my beliefs and add spiritual content. The only thing I do differently is to avoid using terms that those who aren’t Christians might not understand. It challenges me to describe things in ways that anyone can grasp the meaning. I hope my books can light the way for those who are unfamiliar with the Christian faith.
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out, how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I don’t always manage to do it. I try to jot down the ideas as they occur, but that means I have so many story ideas stacked up in my files I can’t wait to get to. I wish I had more time to finish them all.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Art Journaling. I found this psychology technique years ago, and it’s been a lifesaver, especially when I’m under deadlines. I close my eyes, whisper a prayer for guidance, and picture what’s blocking me (most often fear), then I open my eyes and scribble my impressions of it on a blank piece of paper. Sometimes it turns into a drawing, but usually it’s really just a bunch of scribbles. I like to use oil pastels because they’re soft and leave bold marks on the paper, but crayons or markers work well too. Then without giving my logical brain any time to think, I start freewriting about the drawing. I’m almost always amazed at what I write. It’s usually a reason deep inside that’s blocking the flow. Almost always this is enough to get me unstuck.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? As I said, I always loved to read, but I didn’t start writing until I had 5 children under the age of 8, and then I wrote to keep my sanity. I started small with magazine articles and children’s stories, then I gradually built up to novels.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? When I first started out, I never considered self-publishing, although now that I have quite a few traditionally published books, I’ve been working on some projects to self-publish. I kind of backed into traditional publishing after I’d been writing short nonfiction articles for a publisher, and they asked me to write several books. I wrote for that market (children’s educational books) for a while before I met my agent, Mary Sue Seymour, at a writing conference. She sold my first Amish series right before she died. Now I’m represented by Nicole Resciniti, who took over the agency, and she’s done a wonderful job of submitting my books to traditional publishers. I’m grateful to have the option of both choices.
Here is where you can find Rachel online:
Newsletter sign-up: http://bit.ly/1qwci4Q
Hitching Post (a private Facebook group for those who like to learn more about the Amish): https://www.facebook.com/groups/196506777789849/
Rachel is giving away a signed copy of THE AMISH WIDOW’S RESCUE to a reader! See below how to enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I love a good mystery!
Sounds like a great story. Looking forward to reading it.
Loved Rachel’s process to create freeflow when she hits a writing block.
Looking forward to reading.
Looking forward to reading another great book by Rachel J. Good. I love how she weaves her stories with a Christian influence.
11 new books coming out – can I just say WOW!! I can’t wait!! Thank you Rachel for continuing to bring your readers clean, wholesome and great books!!
I enjoyed reading the interview. I love authors stories of their journey to write.
Wow! Eleven books this year! Congratulations. I can’t imagine such creativity. I look forward to reading some of them.
I just recently started to really enjoy Amish fiction and I have a feeling I’ll be reading a lot of Rachel’s books!