Today’s interview is with Rachael Eliker. Welcome to the blog.
Thank you! J
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska but have been transplanted to Clayton, Indiana (just west of Indianapolis) when my husband finished schooling. I’m a stay-at-home mother and keep busy with a small hobby farm, a fixer-upper house, four adorable, rascally kids and a handful of livestock. When I’m not writing, I’m nurturing my love/hate relationship with running, riding our horses, swinging with the kids or hanging precariously from the ladder.
Sounds like a busy life. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Writing has always been on my mind, but it took becoming a stay-at-home mother to give me the time, courage and inspiration to take that leap into publishing. Writing is a creative release and I particularly like to draw from past experiences, as a sort of way of reliving them.
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
That is a tough one! Do I have to have ONE favorite? I enjoy everything from reading children’s books with my own kids, to middle grade, young adult, cozy mysteries, dystopian, equestrian, biographies, historical, chick lit…you get the idea. As long as it’s clean, well-written and engaging, I will probably enjoy it. Conversely, I have many, many books in a wide variety of genres floating about in my thoughts, just waiting to be written.
What is something you cannot live without?
Bubble gum. I probably could live without it, but the question is, would I really want to?
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
For me, for a book to be realistic, I need to draw on real life experiences. That’s not to say that I’ve experienced everything I’ve ever written about, but I think it’s important for authors to not only sit behind a computer, doing research about a topic, but to go and live a little. It’s a lot easier to write a realistic horse galloping scene, for example, when you’ve actually galloped a horse! That’s probably why I enjoy dabbling in lots of different things—there’s writing inspiration in just about everything.
Do you have a special place where you write?
I was so excited last year when I used some of my earnings to purchase a laptop. I try to write whenever I have a spare minute: at the kitchen table while the kids are coloring, the couch, late at night in bed, swinging in the hammock, standing and waiting for dinner to finish cooking (I’ve gotten better at keeping an eye on the food so it doesn’t burn!)…I love not being chained to a desk.
So, no, I don’t have a special “place”—writing is more a mindset for me!
Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer? Why?
I’m a little of both. Since I’m often interrupted by other demands, it gives me a lot of time to mull over ideas in my head and figure what I’m going to put on paper when I do get a chance to sit at the computer without necessarily writing out a concrete outline. I do, however, keep a list on my phone of phrases and words I would like to use and any important plot details I don’t want to forget. I like to keep things flexible!
Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
I love when books have a message/moral but don’t do it by shoving it down the reader’s throat. I try to include uplifting messages and “morals of the story” without being overbearing. That sometimes is difficult!
What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
One advantage of self-publishing that has been huge for me is flexibility. I try to keep to deadlines I’ve set for myself, but if I’m delayed because life is often so busy. I’m not bound by a contract to anyone and that keeps a lot of the stress of writing at bay, so it’s (usually, haha) a very enjoyable experience.
Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?
Exposure. In this world of social media, everyone has something to share and it can be difficult to stand out, especially when first starting. Still, I think it’s incredible I’ve been able to publish at all, when it wasn’t that long ago that it was for the select few who made it out of a literary agent’s slush pile.
With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?
Networking is so important. Not only connecting with readers, but other authors and industry professionals. I also think when it comes down to it, writing skill and a unique premise for a book can and should have the ability to jump start an author’s career.
Who designed your book cover/s?
Victorine Lieske. Turns out I’ve known her mother for a long time, but Victorine and I “met” through several author forums. She’s fantastic!
How do readers find you and your books?
The Rehomesteaders’ Blog (what Rachael does when she’s not writing!)
The Rehomesteaders’ FB page:
Headed for the Win
Road to the Regalia