Featured Interview With Rachel L. Schade
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Currently I live in Ohio with my husband, dog, and cat. I was born in a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While I was growing up, my family moved around in Michigan and Ohio, so I wasn’t really raised in just one place.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve been fascinated with books for as long as I can remember. My parents fostered my love of words by reading to me a lot, and my mom was always introducing my brothers and me to books that had been her childhood favorites. I started writing…before I could write. No, really. I have come across little books my parents saved over the years, filled with my drawings and my mom’s handwriting. I have early memories of illustrating these stories and then dictating the events to my mom.
My love for the fantasy genre began when my mom introduced me to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I was 11 when I remember making the decision to start writing a fantasy book. THAT manuscript will never be published… 🙂 But the experience taught me a lot!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Jane Austen, and Agatha Christie have been favorite authors since I was fairly young.
Now I read a lot of young adult fantasy. Some of my YA fantasy heroes are Mary E. Pearson, Sabaa Tahir, and of course, J. K. Rowling. But I could probably add more to this list. Honestly, I’m always adding to it, and there have been some fantastic debuts put out there recently that have me really excited about some new authors.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My Silent Kingdom series began as an exploration of the truth. How do people handle it? What would happen if someone had a gift that forced them to share the truth, even if it endangered their life?
Since then it has grown a lot more, especially since I recently released book 2 and am exploring additional themes as the series continues. My writing tends to naturally extend from personal experiences or even thoughts or problems I am working through. They translate differently in a fantasy world and my characters are pretty different from me, but it still makes everything pretty personal. And therefore, I hope more effective for readers. If I don’t feel anything while I’m writing, why would anyone else?
The first book started as a short story, if you can believe it. It was a pretty poor attempt–you really can’t give a new world justice in a short story form, usually–but it made a full-length novel I could be proud of. Overall, it took me about 4 years to finish, mostly because I set it aside for a while before realizing I should expand it, and then again during a period of my life when I was going through some very difficult losses.
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