We hit day five of the Hydra Publications Blog hop and my guest author is Rachael Lanham Rawlings. I asked Rachael to tell us more about herself and her latest work, Dearly Departed. Take it away Rachael!
First, I would like to thank Tony Acree for having me visit his blog. He gave me some great questions that really had me thinking!
What is your most recent published work?
My most recent published work is Dearly Departed, part one in my Grave Reminders series. I have completed five novels to be published by Hydra Publications, and am working on a sixth.
What is it about?
Dearly Departed is a mixture of a mystery and ghost story, with a bit of paranormal romance thrown in! It is written from the viewpoint of a eighteen year old, but I am hoping that it will be an enjoyable read for all ages.
What can you tell readers about the main character?
The main character is an artist, someone who has had a difficult time fitting in, but sees herself as a typical small town girl. When she meets the mysterious stranger, she is brave enough to face him, to seek him out, and to try to help him find himself.
What was the hardest part about writing your novel? What was the easiest?
The hardest part of writing is definitely editing. When I am writing a story, the words flow like the book has already been written, and I am just copying it down in print. I have always told stories in my head, thinking that everyone else did that as well! The more authors that I talk to, the more I realize that this storytelling is a common trait that we all share. Editing is the work of writing, cutting and pasting and checking and rechecking.
Are you reflected in any of your characters? How about friends and/or family members?
My small town where I live, and where I grew up, is the setting for my novel, and the others in the trilogy to follow. It is only natural for some of my neighbors and friends to be reflected in my work, although I have taken broad liberty to change the setting and the characters as the whim struck.
Tell us a little bit about what you are working on now or next?
I have two novels that I am working on for release. The second in the Grave Reminders series will continue to explore the line between life and death, and will explore characters we have already met in Dearly Departed as well as introduce several new ones. I cannot help but throw in a little romance as well, since I am definitely a romantic at heart.
My other novel, The Parrot Told Me, is a departure from the paranormal genre. In this novel, I write about a subject near and dear to my heart, parrots. The heroine in the story hears her adopted parrot mimicking a conversation that he has learned from his former owner. But his former owner has tragically died, and although everyone else has accepted that it was a horrible accident, the heroine has her doubts.
When will it be available?
Both of these novels should be released in 2013!
What were your favorite books to read as a child? As a teen? How about now?
As a child, I read the Trixie Belden series, which started my love of a simple mystery. As a teen, I was forced to read several Dickens novels, but honestly grew to appreciate the rich descriptions in his work. As an adult, I read everything from paranormal young adult novels, suspense novels, mysteries, and now am reading the work of the other talented authors from Hydra Publications!
How can readers connect with you? (Blog, Facebook, email, whatever)
http://www.facebook.com/rachael.l.rawlings is my facebook page, and http://www.facebook.com/rachael.l.rawlings#!/pages/Rachael-Rawlings/129369250475811 is my author’s page. My book can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Dearly-Departed-Grave-Reminders-Volume/dp/0615680186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347582584&sr=8-1&keywords=rachael+rawlings. I am just starting a blog, and hope to link it to my facebook page once I have it completed.
What was it like when you found out that Hydra was going to publish your book?
When Frank Hall accepted my submission and agreed to publish my book, I was beyond excited. I have dreamed of being an author since elementary school, and have countless notebooks with the beginnings of stories written in my childish scrawl. Now I feel like I am at the beginning of an adventure, just learning a whole new world, and thrilled to be here
Thanks Rachael! Now for your reading pleasure, an excerpt from Dearly Departed:
Grave Reminders Series
“You’re out late.”
His voice came, filtered through the heavy air, deep and hushed.
“So are you, I suppose.” I tried to keep my voice as even as his.
“As always,” he replied, finally reaching the soft light of the moon. He paused and leaned against the low stone wall, comfortably.
The moonshine was generous to his sharp features, softening them with the forgiveness of the night. He was all angles and long lines, from the sharp blade of his nose to the golden arch of his brows. His eyes were impossible to see, but his hands were beautiful where they rested on a moss lined stone. A heavy gold band circled his thumb, looking tarnished in the dim light.
“It’s a quiet night.” The words that came were not the ones that I would have reasonably spoken. This was not a conversation that had any of the norms of social interaction.
“Not so much. The birds are complaining. They don’t like the fog.”
I looked at him, immersed in the unreality of the scene. “You know much about birds?”
“More about the night. I don’t sleep much. I tend to travel most often at night.”
That explained a little, but not nearly enough to satisfy me.
“I have my own reasons.” He returned softly, no sting to his words. “You watch. I walk. We all have our little ways of coping with the time.”
The conversation had little substance, but I was reluctant to leave him, even more to turn my back on him.
“Are you staying nearby?” The questions seemed general enough.
“You assume that I’m passing through? Yes, I am staying nearby.” He looked away, the sound of a car’s motor seeming unusually loud.
“And you’ll keep coming back?” My hushed voice was reverent for the people that lay there, silent in their soullessness.
“Until I find what I need.”
“And that is?” I honestly felt that I could help him. After years of living here, the graveyard had become my walking park, my backyard, and my pondering place. I knew most of the names intimately, as well as the familiar faces of the mourners that came to visit them.
“I’ll know it when I see it,” he responded with a frustrating calm.