Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi Fiona, my name is Rae Rankin. I’m 46 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from California, but currently live near Seattle, Washington.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m married with one daughter who is 12. We have two rescue pets, a dog who has her own business cards and a cat who eats plastic house plants. We have lived in California, Utah, and now Washington. One of our favorite places to visit is the Oregon coast. We have a small family beach house in a town on the coast and we love going there. I also love exploring. I’m forever dragging my family to visit new places and go to the iconic landmarks in an area.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My second book, tentatively titled Beach Day, is being illustrated now.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing for since I was a kid. But I really started focusing on writing a few years ago. I have written a contemporary romance novel and a good portion of two sequels to it. They are in the editing stage.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Recently I read a book called Big Magic: Living a Creative Life Without Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think it was after I devoured it in less than 24 hours, that I said out loud, I’m a writer. I had been letting the fear of failing keep me from finishing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Cowgirl Lessons is my first published book. It was inspired by my daughter, a horse named Duchess, and my daughter’s riding instructor. I’ve written a second children’s picture book, tentatively titled Beach Day, that is being illustrated as we speak. It was inspired by my love of the beach and going to our favorite spot with my family.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title because it captures the book in a nutshell.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write my children’s books in rhyme. Writing in rhyme can be particularly challenging when you want to say something a certain way but can’t find two words that rhyme that make sense.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Cowgirl Lessons is based on real individuals as is my second children’s book.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
When I’m writing fiction, travel and research is important to capture the essence of a place. My novels are based on small towns in California, although the layout of the town is based on Jackson, Wyoming.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did! My real-world career is as a graphic designer. I did the layout for both the interior and the cover of my book. I wish I could draw, but I have a fantastic illustrator for that purpose. I feel very lucky to have found him.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would hope readers will understand the special bond between kids and horses as well as the love of family.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I read all the time so I’m forever discovering new authors. I can’t name just one!
Fiona: Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I enjoy reading books by Nora Roberts, Susan Mallery, Brenda Novak, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Julia Quinn. I find their characters relatable. They also tend to write about small towns which I find comforting.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My best friend Erin McCready, has been my cheerleader for a long time. I would get in trouble with her if I tell you how many years we have known each other. I often bounce ideas off her. She is great at helping me when I’m naming characters. I will send her a text or email with something crazy like, “I need a tween age girl name, kind of ditzy, can’t start with the letter ‘J’.” And she will respond with several options. She also is the head of my author street crew.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I think writing could be a career. For me it’s a third job. I work at a middle school during the day, I also do contract graphic design work, writing is #3.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to have my book illustrated.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’m learning a lot about self-publishing and more about marketing book. It is a fascinating process.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would have Chris Pine play the father, Melissa McCarthy play the mother, and Rowen Blanchard play the daughter. I would choose someone like Idina Menzel for Valerie.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write, write, and write some more. When you aren’t writing, read! My other advice is to just buckle down and do it. Set goals. Believe in yourself.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Support indie authors!! There are so many fantastic writers out there yet to be discovered who are publishing independently.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently between books right now.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading was called Molly’s Moe. I would check it out of the library over and over and over. It was kind of an ongoing joke with the librarian’s about how long it would take me to find it in the children’s section. The book is out of print now, but I found a copy on a used book site and have it in my collection now.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Bad puns make me laugh.
Sappy commercials such as the most recent Subaru commercials where the dad is watching his daughter grow up.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I really wish I could have met my great grandparents on my mom’s side. They both lived fascinating lives. Both were European immigrants. My great grandfather was a chef on the Santa Fe Railroad and my great grandmother was a Harvey Girl. I think they would share the same sense of bravery as becoming an author. The unknown is scary but they both tackled it in their own way.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading and writing are my two biggest hobbies. I like to do crafts also, but find I have less and less time for that. Being a mom of an active 12-year-old, I’m a shuttle driver to Girl Scouts and horseback riding lessons.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My favorite movie is Anne of Green Gables, the Kevin Sullivan production from the 80s. I am also a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, I wish it was still on. Otherwise I’m not much of a tv watcher.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pasta. Red. All kinds of music, mostly country and classic rock. But I will listen to classical, pop, and heavy metal.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I don’t want to imagine a future where I could no longer write. I would probably still tell stories.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I love the quote “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” By Ursula Le Guin.
I would put on my head stone: “The journey mattered.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Readers can visit my website www.raerankin.com for updates, events, blog posts, and more.
Web address: www.raerankin.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rae-Rankin/e/B076YQ7PNT/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Cowgirl Lessons on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cowgirl-Lessons-Rae-Rankin/dp/0999434004/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8