Name Rachael Brownell
Age my real age? I’ll never tell. I always say 26 when people ask
Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have my degree in Public Relations and Advertising but I work as a General Manager for Red Lobster Restaurants. When I was 25 I met the love of my life, Jeremy, and when I was 27 we had our only child, Nicklas.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a secret project that I’m working on with my bestie, Author Casey Bond.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when my son started kindergarten as a way to stay occupied while he was at school – I get bored easily. My first book, Holding On, was originally written when I was 17. The original draft was horrible so I rewrote it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The day I got the email that a publishing house was picking up Holding On. Said publishing company is no longer in the picture.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Honestly, I found the old script for Holding On and it was so bad that I felt like I owed it to my characters to write their story better.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
If you ask my editor I do. She constantly deletes the same words over and over. I write like I speak and it doesn’t always make for the best flow. I’m lucky to have her. She gets me and my style and helps to make the story better.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The MC, Becca, is trying to hold on to so many things; her friendships, her love interest and her love for tennis. It just seemed fitting.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Friendship and it’s importance at that stage in life. My character are all in high school in the first book in the series. People forget that during that crucial time in life, when you’re trying to figure out who you are and where you belong, your friends are the most important people in the world.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I would like to think that the trials and tribulations that they experience are realistic. I went through a similar situation in high school where I moved and had to start over. It felt like my life was ending when I left my friends until I made new ones.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Only the part where I moved. I see a little bit of different people I know in each of my characters but no one character is based on any particular person. That would be weird.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I was able to go to a huge signing in Vegas, as a reader, just before Holding On was released. It had already been picked up by the publishing company and so had book 2, Unglued. It was amazing to see all the authors, traditionally and self published, in one room, excited to meet readers and each other. If made me believe that one day I could make it that far, where people knew my name and wanted to come and see me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished an ARC of Crazy Love by my bestie, Casey Bond. I can’t tell you anything about it – I’m the only one that’s read it. I can say that when it releases on Valentine’s Day, you should go pick it up though. It’s a unique storyline that hasn’t been written before and a great read.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love to read all genre’s and especially new authors. I can’t think of one in particular right now because there are so many. I just downloaded a book by Breigh Forstner that I plan on reading if I find some free time.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on too many things right now. Casey and I are writing a secret project together. I have a WIP called Saving Bliss that’s getting the majority of my attention. And then there’s the 4th book in the Holding On series. One of the character’s demanded their own book so I need to start working on that here shortly.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A girl that use to work for me, her name is Jessy. She was the first person to read Holding On before it was finished. She kept asking for more and more. I finished that book in about 6 weeks because she kept demanding more of the story. She has a special mention in the acknowledgements because I may have never finished the book had she not been such a pest.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love it to be my full time job but as you probably already know, unless you get SUPER big, it’s not about the money. Right now, it’s more of a hobby and I’m okay with that. I didn’t start writing to make money and I hope I never get to a point where it’s about the money. For me, it’s about the readers. I want to make sure that I give them a story that draws them in, characters that they feel for. A book has always been an escape for me. Reality sucks sometimes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Probably not. None of my books are perfect and the fact that they are flawed makes me real.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In high school I used writing as an escape from my reality just like I used books.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. Here’s an excerpt from Saving Bliss. Keep in mind it’s not edited and is subject to change.
I depart the plane and make my way to the baggage claim. I look around at all the families that are welcoming each other home. You can see the sincerity in each embrace and tear shed. It makes we want that someday. Someone to come home to that loves me for who I am and not who I’m expected to be. That’s probably too much to ask these days. I’ll happily take the middle ground between that fantasy and the current reality that I’m living in right now because right now I’m standing in the middle of the baggage claim looking for a little sign with my name on it.
Even from fifteen feet away I can tell that this guy is sexy as hell. He’s looking towards the ground so I take advantage of the situation and check him out. I approach him slowly and when he doesn’t make a move to look up I walk right past him and circle around. His backside is just as delicious as the front. He’s all muscle, head to toe. His hair is cut short, almost to the scalp. If you look close enough you can see that it’s black or dark brown. He’s tall, even slouched forward like he is right now. At least a foot taller than my tiny five foot three inch frame.
I circle back around and stand in front of him, waiting for him to notice me. He doesn’t. I move closer, only inches from him, and see the moment he realizes that I’m standing in front of him. When he looks up and our eyes meet, his baby blues tell me exactly what he thinks of me and what he’s thinking about at that moment. I’m thinking the exact same thing but I can’t let on to that. We’re in public, after all. Daddy would tan my hide if someone caught me making out, or worse, in the airport.
I do the only thing I can think of to distract myself from my body’s reaction to him. I put on my best “bitch” front. Everyone seems to think that I’m a spoiled little princess so that’s how I’m going to act. At least until I can get away from him for a minute and compose myself.
I purse my lips and watch as he takes them in. His eyes find my breasts and then make their way to the floor. I can see the effect I’m having on him and I’m liking it. What girl doesn’t want a guy to notice her, especially a guy as hot as this one?
I’m going to have to try and distract myself. I tap my foot to get his attention again. I do my best impression of my mother as we awkwardly move from introductions to the baggage carousel. I escape his proximity and find a seat. I have to text Avery this very minute and tell her about Owen. She’s going to be jealous. I told her about how daddy had hired me a body guard before the plane took off. She found it hilarious, I still don’t. It’s not looking like a punishment at the moment, though, as I stare at Owen’s backside.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I get blocked A LOT. I just started writing again after about 4 months. My characters were mad at me or something. No one was talking.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m a huge fan of both Molly McAdams and Jasinda Wilder. They’re amazing. Their stories draw me in and hold me captive. I have a bad habit of ignoring everything and everyone around me if I pick up a book by either of them.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I stay mostly in the state since my day job is pretty demanding. I did travel to UtopYA last summer in Nashville and am going back this summer. Also, Casey and I are co-hosting an event in my hometown this year so that will be a ton of fun.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The entire Holding On series just got a new, cohesive look. Cover Me, Darling designed it. Marisa is amazing. She actually did the original cover of Weakness. My publishing company did the originals of Holding On and Unglued. My other three I designed.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Each book had it’s own set of challenges. Mainly what I tend to come across is missing pieces. I’ll write the whole thing and then feel like something is missing. Most of the time I send it to my editor, Jennifer, and she can pinpoint where I’m missing something. My last book, Secrets & Lies, I actually wrote out of order because I was finding it hard to piece together.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Keep my chin up. I thought that the day my book released it would sell hundred, thousands of copies just because I had a publishing company. I was obviously wrong and delusional.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t quit. If you love writing, creating stories and characters, never quit. The way I look at it, even if no one reads a single word of a single book I write, I still enjoyed creating the book.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Without their support I wouldn’t have written a second book or a sixth.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No but I was given a book in high school from my English teacher as a graduation gift that I still have. The cover is taped on because I’ve read it so many times. It’s called A Summer to Die by Lois Lowdry
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry anytime someone dies in a book. No matter how sad it’s written I ugly cry. I’m a sensitive person. When I read Stealing Harper by Molly McAdams I cried for hours and I was a mess.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Marilyn Monroe. LOVE HER! I actually name one of my characters Monroe, Roe for short, because I love her so much.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Loving mother – my son is the most important person in my life and my greatest accomplishment.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’m learning to golf if that counts. It’s a process that’s two years in now and I still suck.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a sucker for TV drama’s and Lifetime movies. My favorite show is Criminal Minds right now.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: anything greasy Color: I’m into teal right now Music: I love country but my fav band of the moment is Halestorm
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would probably still be a GM for Red Lobster. I love my day job, most days, and I’m pretty good at what I do. I have a passion for making people happy whether it be with a good book or good food.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do but I’m horrible at keeping it updated. That’s one of my new year’s resolutions, actually.