The most exciting thing just happened to me! I’m so hyped I just can’t wait to tell you about it—I just met a real, honest-to-goodness, published author. But wait, let me back up and start from the beginning.
You see, I was asked yesterday if I would be interested in joining a Ragnar team—you know, to participate in the Ragnar Relay. Anyway, I said yes and then immediately made this workout plan. So today I started training and I was out running and who should I run into (literally) but Rachelle Christensen? I had my ipod in and wasn’t really looking where I was going and all of a sudden SMACK. Next thing I know I’m on the pavement with a sore bum looking over at the author of the latest book I’ve just read. Yup, it’s Rachelle, also on the ground. Except that I’m all dressed in my baggy sweats with a pony tail and she looks perfect—as usual—with her cute little jogging outfit and her hair just so.
I immediately decided I’d better take advantage of the situation. So I took a deep breath to steady my nerves and just asked her, “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about being an author? You see, I’m a new author myself and I have so many questions.”
She was sooo nice, she said she’d be happy to answer my questions as long as we kept jogging. No problem.
So we picked ourselves up and dusted off and started off together down the road.
“What would you like to ask?” she says sweetly.
“Well, I’m kind of wondering about the best way to write. Do you use an outline or do you just go for it?” Gasp, I’m not too good at the running while talking thing. “Do you know how the book’s going to end from the start?”
“For Wrong Number, I did have a very rough outline that I worked from and I talked through a lot of ideas with my brother and his wife,” she answered easily. “They helped me to come up with a believable motive for murdering more than one person. I’m actually trying to do better with outlining and I think it has helped with my current writing projects. My outlines aren’t set in stone, more jumping off points for how I want the story to flow. I like to have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end, but my characters usually end up writing scenes in interesting directions.”
Ok, I can see already that she’s in much better shape than me. “So, how do you come up with ideas for your novels, specifically Wrong Number?”
“Lots of ways. News stories sometimes tickle my brain and I think…Hmm, that would make an interesting story if… I’ve also been inspired by dreams. Some of my working scenes are from actual dreams I’ve had where I feel like I’m the onlooker taking notes as to what these people in my dream are doing and why. The novel that I just finished writing began from a single sentence that popped into my mind just before I fell asleep. So the ideas seem to come from all over at any time of day or night, so I try to make sure I jot them down before I forget them!
“For Wrong Number I wanted to enter a chapter into the first chapter contest at LDStorymakers in 2007. I came up with the first chapter of Wrong Number, it won second place, and then I went on to write the rest of the novel.”
At this point I was gasping for breath but there were a couple more burning questions that I just had to ask. “What’s coming up next for you?” I blurted out.
She smiled, “I’ve got a few things I’m working on. I’ve finished an inspirational romance that I love, called Wind Song and I’m enjoying writing my WIP-working title Caller ID, so I guess we’ll see what comes up first on the docket.”
I nodded, too winded to breathe as we crested a small hill. Going down the other side allowed me to catch my breath enough to ask, “What books or authors have influenced your writing and what do you like to read?”
“I like to read a wide variety of books from children to YA to adult. I really like a good romance, but nothing too detailed. And yes, I love romantic suspense. It’s hard to pinpoint a certain author because I go through phases where I’ll gobble up everything I can by an author and then move on. I love Agatha Christie, Shannon Hale, Clair Poulson, Mitch Albom—and many more. A favorite book of mine is Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart.”
She also told me that I could check out even more on her goodreads list of favorites and repeat-offenders. I told her I definitely would do that.
I could see another hill coming up so I quickly asked her one more question while I still had the breath for it. “What advice would you give to other authors?”
“If you’re serious about writing, attend writers conferences and classes, join a great critique group, read novels in your genre of interest, and write, write, write! Also, learn how to take criticism and know when to apply it to your writing and when to chuck it out the window.”
We finally reached the top of the hill where I stopped, unable to go on. “I’m sorry Rachelle, I think I’m done. I can’t run another step. What have we run, like 6 miles?”
She shook her head and smiled and then told me we had only come about a mile. Then she turned to finish her run.
“Wait, don’t go yet,” I yelled. “Where can I find your books?”
“Anywhere books are sold,” She yelled back over her shoulder. “If you don’t see it, ask for it and they can order it in. Available wherever books are sold, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon .”
What a nice person! If you’d like to get a sneak peek at Wrong Number, you can check out the book trailer.
For more information about Rachelle or to see what she’s up to you can visit her blog.