*Pictures and Bio info are from Rachel's Website.
Suze: Where do you get the inspiration for your plots & characters?
For those who know me well, know that I praise and absolutely adore an author named Rachel Ann Nunes (pronounced Noon-esh). She is the best-selling author of romance and women's fiction, including the novels Fields of Home, Eyes of a Stranger, and the popular Ariana series. She also wrote the award-winning picture book, Daughter of a King.
I got hooked on Rachel when I was about 20 yrs. old (OMGOSH nearly 13 years ago!) and I picked up a copy of Ariana: The Making Of A Queen at a Deseret Book store. When I started this book it had been only a few months since I had returned to my LDS faith. I consumed the story of Ariana; her trials as well as her conversion story and it inspired me to become a better person and to find my own testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since that first book I have owned and read almost all of Rachel's 29 published works (multiple copies too.....as I lent them out and never got some back!). Each of her stories had me so engrossed that I sometimes had to remind myself that the characters weren't real (I have too wild of an imagination).
Rachel started out as an author for the LDS market, but in the last few years she has written good, clean fiction for the world market. It's great to read about all of the characters in an LDS setting with conversion stories that inspires one to look at their own life and conversion, however it has been refreshing and comforting to know that her stories that don't have an LDS theme to them, can be just as entertaining and inspiring as those that promote faith in the lord Jesus Christ.
When the opportunity arose to be a part of a blog tour to help promote Rachel's latest novel, Saving Madeline, I totally wanted to be a part of it! In fact I thought I wouldn't have the time to do this, but since getting off Facebook, I have more time to blog and so the opportunity was available without guilt. Now the purpose of this blog tour is both to promote and to excite. You see if you leave a comment on this post, you will be entered to win a copy of this book. FOR FREE! Anyone who knows the thrifty me, knows that FREE is the best kind of deal you can get. What's the catch, you ask? Gee, umm........all you have to do is leave a comment, so pretty much the catch is you have to take about a minute of your time and leave a comment. Sounds pretty darn simple, eh?
Even simpler are the links I've provided to go and read the synopsis of the book. It's that easy! Click the link or even click the picture of the book. It's even easier than those Easy buttons from Staples.
I forgot to mention that if you visit other sites that are participating in the blog tour and leave a comment on their post about Saving Madeline, then you have even more of a chance to win the book. Check out Rachel's blog to see who else is participating.
Well anyways onto my interview with Rachel. I decided I'd ask her 10 questions. Here are my questions and the answers she gave me.
Suze: How old were you when you started writing novels? and how old were you when you had your first novel published?
Rachel Ann Nunes: I was seventeen when I first started writing novels. I'd just given birth to my third child when I really became serious about it. I was twenty-nine shortly before my first book was release, the month after my fourth child was born. I had a book and a back born in the same year. I'd been writing seriously about two years.
Suze: For most of your career you've written mainly for the LDS audience. However in the past few years you've decided to branch out to other markets. What made you decide to do that?
RAN: At one point I wrote a lot of conversion stories, and one day I just felt could go on to other stories. That I needed to go on. Most authors in the LDS market are writing stories where people find the gospel, but there is a large number of our people who would like to read other kinds of stories. Clean, compelling novels that encompass many types of plots. Also, I hoped to reach other people outside our faith who are searching for good quality literature that doesn't force them to skip pages because of questionable content. I'm not saying I'll never write another LDS novel, but I must go where the muse takes me, and I feel this is the right direction for me at this time.
Suze: I know you write from home and you're a SAHM, so tell me this, how do you balance it all? What gives you sanity?
RAN: I don't sleep or clean my house. Just kidding. Basically I just write each day as much as I can until the novel is finished, stopping to do whatever I need to do for my family. When I don't get the chance to write, I'm cranky and irritable, so writing actually seems to keep me balanced. I do have to make choices and prioritize. I don't go out a lot with friends, I don't shop, I'm not a stickler on having the house perfectly clean all the time, I assign all the housework to my kids as chores, I don't garden, and I'm hit and miss at exercise. I try not to let even good things interfere too much because choosing carefully gives me more opportunity to do what I love and spend more time with my children while they're young.
Suze: Being the parent of adopted children I enjoy reading your books that include the theme of adoption. Where do you get your inspiration or ideas about adoption?
RAN: I've had several friends who've adopted children, some from other countries, so I've learned a lot over the years. The rest I researched.
Suze: Where do you get the inspiration for your plots & characters?
RAN: Authors usually get their ideas from five different places--personal experience, what they observe/overhear, research, imagination, and inspiration (or the mythical muse). I use a combination of all of these in each of my books. As a plot develops in my head, it just won't leave me alone until I write it.
Suze: Okay now to a more geeky question. I know for a fact that we're both Stargate SG-1 nerds (I being the bigger nerd of course). Now tell me which Stargate character can you relate to the best? (Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Teal'C, General Hammond, Colonel Mitchell or Vala?)
RAN: Ha. Probably Samantha, though I'm nowhere near as smart as she is or as good with a gun. I wish I could be more like Vala, Jake, or Mitchell, though. I think they have a lot more fun. But speaking of Samantha, I ordered Amanda Tapping's new sci-fi series, Sanctuary, being released this month, and I've never even seen one episode.Who's the bigger nerd now?
(Hmm......probably still me, Rachel!)
Suze: What is your biggest indulgence (besides chocolate!)
RAN: Reading books. I love reading. I also love to travel, but mostly that isn't relaxing with all these children tagging along. Some day I'm going to travel everywhere. I'm also going to learn how to scuba dive.
Suze: If you were forced to make a career change and HAD to choose another career, besides being a mom & an author, what would you be?
RAN: I wanted to be an attorney when I was younger. That field still really interests me. Then again, I think it'd be fun to be a radio personality. Hmm.
Suze: How much wood could a Woodchuck chuck, if a Woodchuck could chuck wood?
RAN: As much wood as his little stomach could hold without upchucking.
Suze: What has been your most favorite novel/book that you've written?
RAN: Always the one I'm working on. Always. It's the best!
There you have it folks! My interview with one of my favorite people in the world. Now don't forget to leave a comment so that you can enter to win your very own copy of Saving Madeline. If you can't wait to win it, you can buy it here. Stay tuned for my review on the book (at a later date). This contest ends September 25th!
Oh and BTW my answer to the Stargate question is Jack O'Neill....("that's 2 L's"). I'm always clueless to things and always wanting to get down to business. Plus I'm pretty HOT too. Although there are days when I wish I could be like Vala.