Raquel Rich is a self-employed English Language Teacher and an author with Words Matter Publishing. She loves to travel, suntan, walk her dog, and is obsessed with all things Beauty & the Beast. She despises cold weather, balloons, and writing about herself in the third person but noticed all the real authors do that. Raquel recently left (ok, got let go from) a career in the travel industry and rather than looking for a real job, she wrote her first book, HAMARTIA. Born and raised in Canada to Brazilian parents, she lives in the Toronto area with her family. Married to the guy she’s been with since she was fifteen (her baby daddy), her superpowers include being a mom to their two awesome grown-ass boys and one fur baby. She’s also an okay step-mom and an auntie to a clan of classy ladies.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Raquel Rich
An interview with author Raquel Rich.
Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?
Hamartia was the first story I wrote as an adult. I unknowingly suppressed my love of writing when I was twelve over an uproar when Lisa, a fictional young rape victim in one of my stories, killed herself.
As a first time author, I was scared Hamartia sucked. Most authors don’t publish or do anything with their first works, so why would I be any different? However, to my surprise, Hamartia won the grand prize in a writing contest sponsored by Words Matter Publishing and also received a glowing review from Kirkus, a highly respected industry journal.
What got you into writing?
I honestly couldn’t say. Writing wasn’t something I planned, it was something I stumbled over. I didn’t mean to write a book, at least not consciously.
What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?
Hamartia was born from a conversation between my son and me at the Science Museum in London, England. There was an exhibit on fears and phobias which explored popular beliefs, one of which was reincarnation. It got me thinking about the idea of a soul dying after enduring too many life cycles. What would happen? What if you could travel to a past life and clone a soul? A scene emerged in my head and I wrote it down, and once I did, it was like a dam had burst, unleashing a long forgotten love of writing.
Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?
Grace’s best friend, Kay, is by far my favourite character. She and I would get along like strawberries and whipped cream because I loosely based her on my real life best friend. Kay takes charge whenever Grace can’t. She doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind and has an infectious nature. What I love most about her is her quirky spirit, unwavering loyalty, and her ability to forgive.
What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?
I have many. I’m afraid to detail any of them for fear of giving the story away, please forgive my vagueness. I love the scene when Marc finally tells Grace exactly what he should’ve said to her long before. I find the confrontation between Grace and her best friend, Kay, to be endearing. I’m captivated every time I read the part when Grace finally reveals the significance of her dream. And the chase through the caves in the desert is an action-packed sequence I thoroughly enjoyed stringing together.
What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?
Plotting and problem-solving. I think I’m a bit of a mad scientist. I get a kick out of putting my characters into impossible situations and watching them squirm on the page. When I’ve had enough laughs at their expense, I help them out of the situation.
How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?
Hamartia took four years to write. However, I had a full-time day job and therefore only wrote on weekends. I also took lots of sabbaticals from the story, thinking it would never become anything. Now that writing is now my full-time gig, it’s a much quicker process. I managed to throw the first draft of the sequel together in a few months. On the other hand, revising and editing is shaping up to be the most time-consuming step regardless of having all day (every day) to work on it. Between each revision, I tuck the story in a drawer for weeks to let it rest. Fresh eyes are crucial to my process, so the resting period cannot be rushed.
What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?
I don’t have to suspend my disbelief in sci-fi because I honestly believe that anything is achievable with evolution. Humans are capable of the unthinkable and this both scares and awes me. Having said that, it annoys me that sci-fi and fantasy are often lumped together. I see them as completely different genres. In my head, fantasy is something that will never happen whereas sci-fi is possibly possible.
Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?
Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time) is my hero. Sci-fi is a male-dominated genre, and she rocked it in the 1960s.
Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?
I hadn’t planned for Kay to play such a big part in the story. There were many times that I would tell her (aloud), “Kay, you gotta go now.” And she’d reply (in my head), “If you get rid of me, you’ll regret it.” As for the plot, I was just as surprised with the twists I wrote as many of you will be when you read the book.
Thanks for stopping by!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Read the Kirkus review - https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/raquel-rich/hamartia/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Website & blog - https://www.raquelrich.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRaquelRich/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/RaquelRiosRich
Kirkus review - https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/raquel-rich/hamartia/
Book Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=bN-byRKWNeY