As a teacher of teenagers, Rachel Morgan is hard to rattle. But she’s seen the third degree burns that poor Charity, Susan and Rebecca have sustained in recent weeks, and as much as she’s trying to hide it, her fear shines through. Sorry, Rachel. Too late to back out now. It’s your turn for the HOT SEAT!
Rachel has an Honours degree in Genetics, teaches Maths to high school girls, and co-hosts the Power of Tension Blogfest with me. She joins us today from Durban, South Africa.
So, Rachel, let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write?
Mainly young adult fantasy (the type with adventure, mystery, drama, action and romance!), but also some paranormal romance and a little middle grade fantasy.
Tell us about your yet-to-be-named Work in Progress, in a limerick!
A girl wakes to find she’s no memory
Of the life and the person she used to be
Bad guys start stalking her
(One of them’s into her ;-))
And things get dangerous pretty quickly
(Damn, that was tough – and it doesn’t even really say much!)
[CJ: It says more than you think. Sounds intriguing!]
Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
Teaching. Preparing to teach. Marking. Doing “school projects” I’ve somehow volunteered for that have nothing to do with my job description! Blogging. Experimenting on graphic design programs.
Tell us a little about your writing process.
The writing process isn’t, uh, happening much at the moment! I teach more classes than I did last year, so there is less time to write. The writing process I USED to have was: first thing in the morning, laptop on my lap in bed. Sometimes I would nod off for a while… It was great.
[CJ: Sounds like you need to scale back on teaching again. Who needs money!]
Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?
There are a ton of authors whose work I love and find very inspirational. Since there are so many I’ll just say J. K. Rowling for now. 🙂
Someone who just popped into my head is Elana Johnson – she is a teacher, a mother, involved in WriteOn Con and has a book coming out this year (and there are probably many other things she does that I don’t know about!). She seems extraordinarily busy and yet she accomplishes so much!
[CJ: Two authors who are definitely worth emulating!]
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
Finding—sorry, scratch that—MAKING time to write. And distractions, like reading the latest book that arrived in the post, replying to emails, blogging, making my blog look pretty… Just switch the computer off and WRITE dammit!
[CJ: I hear ya! (running a blogfest is also a good distraction, have you noticed? ;)]
And now for the HOT SEAT questions!
What are your secret fears as a writer? How do you stop them from taking over?
“My writing is actually CRAP and the story I spent 15 months writing is SO BORING that no one is going to stay awake long enough to get past the first few chapters.” Haha! Sound familiar, anyone?
Some of the ways I get over this… reading other people’s writing (including some self-published novels) and recognising that I actually write better than that. Ignoring the fears and saying to myself, well maybe it is crap, but I’ll fix it up later in the next draft, so just carry on. Knowing that I love stories enough to keep on writing them, even if I am afraid.
[CJ: Yep, I can relate. For evidence, see this post.]
What fictional character are you most like and why?
Ooh, this one I can answer easily [CJ: Grrrr :(] because I recently read a book where I kept thinking, “This is so ME!”
It’s Anna, from Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. She is a neat freak, complete germ-o-phobe, scared of getting into trouble for missing classes, and quite happy to stay home and read a book instead of going out and partying.
If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what genre would you choose?
No ways… come on! [CJ: That’s better! :D]
Um… something young adult… Yeah, I’d have to say young adult fantasy, because fantasy covers so much!
Thank you so much, awesome blogfest-partner-in-crime, for hosting me in the hot seat. It only burnt a little 😉 !
Yes, but wait till tomorrow. That’s when the burn really sets in. Just like sun burn. 😀
P.S. You’re welcome.
If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀
P.S. You’ve got less than 24 hours to vote for your favourite finalist in the Power of Tension Blogfest.