Friday, January 8, 2010

Interview with Rachael Anderson

I am so excited to introduce Rachael Anderson to you. She's a new author and her book was just recently released. I asked her to tell us a little about herself.

I have always been an avid reader and a hopeless romantic, my all-time favorite author being Jane Austen, with her witty dialogue and happy endings. I began penning my own stories and discovered that I also loved to write.

I graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in business finance and a minor in psychology and am now married to a wonderful husband and have four small children.

We currently live in Springville, Utah and love it here! Writing in my spare time has been a great antidote for the rigors of motherhood. I also love anything that takes me out of doors—skiing, biking, hiking, boating, gardening, you name it.

Here's a synopsis of the book:
"It all began with calamity, coupled with faith, followed by a flat tire. Seeking to find some liberation from certain heartache, Kennedy Jackson moved from her hometown near Albuquerque to Tempe, Arizona, where she began working as an assistant interior designer for the largest design firm in the western United States.

Enter Braxton Taylor, the handsome anti-social CEO of Taylor Homes, a
widely successful development company. After coming to Kennedy’s aid, he found
himself both intrigued and captivated. All that remained was for him to track her down and get to know her better. What Braxton didn’t understand was that Kennedy was as interfering as she was beautiful, and more than willing to “innocently” mess with his orderly life.

Divinely Designed is a fun and sophisticated romantic comedy with
an elfin dose of drama that will uplift, entertain, inspire, and leave you wanting more."

I really enjoyed Rachael's book and expect it to be very popular with both YA and adult audiences. Here's my endorsement of Divinely Designed.

"Divinely Designed, by new author Rachael Anderson, is the perfect book to curl up with and completely get immersed in. Anderson creates characters that are memorable and fun and her writing style draws the reader in with warmth and humor. Anyone looking for a charming romantic comedy will fall in love with Divinely Designed."

And now, here is my interview with Rachael:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Rachael: Definitely not during any English class I ever took. I actually started a book with my sister in high school. We loved to read and every now and then you’d hear us say, “We could write a better book than this!” So we started one—and got about three chapters into it before we gave up. I came away with a deep appreciation for all the authors in the world, and I’ve tried very hard to never say that I could write do a better job. At least they finished theirs!

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Rachael: I lucked out here. First of all, grammar and I have never had a good relationship, so a good friend of mine edited it and cleaned it up for me. I then researched publishing companies, and finally chose Cedar Fort because of some good things I had heard about them. The fact that they were also located in my hometown was an added bonus! I submitted the book at the end of December and heard back in February. I’m sure I had a smile on my face for months! My children were probably wondering what had happened to their normally cranky mother.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Rachael: Of course, but the most discouraging thing for me, actually, was when I read about another author’s long road to publication. I’m not a patient person, so the thought of writing several novels, before finally getting one accepted, was dispiriting for me. I think that’s why it took me so long to finish my first one. Every now and then, I would find myself thinking, “I’m spending all this time, because…?” Thankfully though, I persevered in my own leisurely way, and now I have a published book! I still can’t believe it.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Rachael: I write at night. Ha! “I’m a poet, and you did not know it.” (If you haven’t seen The Scarlet Pimpernail, with Jane Seymour, you will have no idea what I’m talking about. Awesome show!). Seriously though, I have four small children who still go to bed early, so the hours between 9:00—12:00 are all mine. I spend some of that time writing.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Rachael: I think you can write a book about anything and just put your own twist on it. My book is a predictable romantic comedy. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl live happily ever after. Hopefully though, as readers journey through my own personal twists, they will smile or laugh and not want to put it down.

Also, with my books, you will ALWAYS get a happy ending. What’s the point in making someone want to throw your book out the window after reading the last page? (Or am I the only one who reacts this way?)

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Rachael: I’m no expert, but I’d say that if you love to write, then write! Afterwards, go to people who know more than you and who will give you honest criticism and ask for their help. If you don’t know anyone like that, then sign up for a creative writing class and ask the teacher. It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes and honest opinion can do for a book.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Rachael: I tried to outline my first book, but besides not being able to come up with an entire storyline in one sitting, I was always veering away from the pathetic outline I had created. So no, I don’t use outlines, I simply write. However, I’m sure whatever time I save by not doing an outline, I more than make up for it with revisions.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Rachael: All the time. I pick up the phone and call one of my sisters or my mom and pick their brains. I’m lucky because I have six sisters and if one can’t help me, I call another. At some point I usually end up with some helpful direction. If all else fails, I walk away, get my mind on other things, and try again later. My husband, I’ve learned, is about as helpful as a snail, which is a good thing, because I’m not sure how I’d feel if he could give me decent advice about a romantic comedy. J

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Rachael: After dealing with noise and chaos all day, I crave quiet!

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Rachael: Real life, other people’s real life, and my favorite—daydreams. Yes, I am a dreamer.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Rachael: Books! (I suppose the “who” would be the authors). I LOVE getting caught up in a good story and I’ve always had the desire to do the same for others.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Rachael: Not really. I didn’t know too many writers, at least not well enough to feel comfortable eliciting their help. So I passed a copy around to my mom, my sisters, and one or two friends. I was lucky to have one particular friend, Shelley, who is a grammar aficionado. You should have seen my manuscript when she sent it back.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Rachael: Thanks for the interview, Michele! I feel so honored. And thanks to all the other authors out there who write good, fun, uplifting, and wonderful stories. I have enjoyed reading so many of them!

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

AUTHOR: Seagull Book, Deseret Book, or online through the following links:{selector%3A%22.ldsba-body%22%2Cmodule%3A%22/ldsba/productDetail.module%22%2Cparameters%3A{product%3A%2220068366%22}}

You can also visit my website at:


Shanda said...

Great interview! Rachael (and her book) sound like a lot of fun!

Shanda :)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

This is a book I've been wanting to read! Thanks for the interview!!!

Julie Wright said...

gorgeous cover, great interview. I'll have to look this one up.

Rachael Renee Anderson said...

Thanks for the interview, Michele! You're wonderful!

Robin said...

I like your interviews. You make the author sound like someone I want to get to know.

JoAnn Arnold said...

As always I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview

JoAnn Arnold said...

I enjoyed reading your review and introduction to Rachael's book