Thanks for your time and thought on these questions, Rachel!
Does anyone else have questions for Rachel? Leave them in the comments and I bet she will answer them...
Q: I remember the story of the child swallowing drugs. I have to admit, it made me look closer at the homes my children might go to. I think mothers are blessed with 'gut feelings'. What do you think?
A: Absolutely. There have been far too many times in my life where my children have been protected because I followed my gut feeling. I always look closely at any home where my children play, and quite frankly, I do everything I can to encourage them to invite the children to my house. I want to know what they are doing. The trick is to have food. Have food and they'll come.
Q: Can we do more to protect children?
A: There's always more we can do. We can look for problems in our neighborhoods, get to know the children who live near us. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with parents, where it should be, but when you have parents who are not responsible, things become more difficult.
Q: Is there a place to turn if someone feels a child is endanger? A: You can call child services, you can talk to your clergy/bishop if they attend your church or congregation, and they have counselors at school you can see and who will interview the child to determine if there is a problem.
Q: How long did it take to get this story from idea to publisher?
A: I first had the idea for Saving Madeline about three years ago, but I was working on another series at the time. I finished the book about two years ago after about five months of writing. I let it sit for a few years before rewriting and submitting to my publisher, which is always the best thing to do if you have the time. Usually, I'm less than a year from idea to published book
Q: Which of your books was the hardest to write?
A: Without a doubt A Heartbeat Away was the most difficult because of the subject of the book (kidnapping). I couldn't sleep for five months.
Q: Which was the quickest?
A: Ariana: The making of a Queen, which took about six weeks. But it's a lot shorter than most of my novel, and I had fewer children back then.
Q: Do you set writing goals? Would you share them? A: Yes. My goal for first draft is 2,000 words a day or 10,000 words a week. But that may change now that all my children are in school.
Q:Do you listen to music while writing? What about eating? A: No. I very rarely do. In fact, my husband bought me a nice CD player for my office, but when we moved I set it up elsewhere. I like to listen to music for mood, but when I'm working I don't want anything to interrupt me.
As for eating. I try only to have those meal shakes, fruit, or vegetables at the computer. Anything else is just wasted calories because I'm not paying attention to the food but to the words. I keep the shakes handy to make sure I get a pick-me-up when I'm too busy to make a lunch.
Q:What is your favorite book? Why?
A: I love a lot of books. I really liked Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. These two books are definitely not for teen readers, though, because of the subject matter (spousal abuse, abuse). I don't think I have a solid favorite yet. I read avidly, though. I loved the classics, To Kill a Mockingbird and David Copperfield. I also enjoyed the first Harry Potter. :-)
Q: Do you ever reread books? If yes, which ones?
A: Rarely, because there are so many books I have yet to read. I read Black and Blue twice. I probably reread a few more books in my collection again when I next go to Portugal on vacation. I've also read Ella Enchanted and Dave at Night twice to my children. I'll be reading Holes to them again when the younger ones are a bit older, as well as Levine's Princess series. As a general rule I don't reread books, but that means I spend far too much money on them. I've given away twice the amount of books I own, which is no small amount. Every Christmas, I spend more on books for everyone than just about anything else.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: There are only a handful of movies I've ever willingly watched twice--A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, Gattica, Pride and Prejudice, and Sixth Sense. Sixth Sense was only because I wanted to see all the hints I'd missed the first time, but the others I watch just because I really liked them.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Red. I like black and hot pink, too. Baby blue is nice.
Q: What is your favorite treat/snack?
A: I love strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, peaches, watermelon. I also enjoy Dove chocolate or those wonderful milk chocolate Utah Truffles.
Q: And finally, do you have a favorite lipstick color?? :) A: No. I'm fickle. I use whatever matches my outfit that day! But I like to use Arbonne lipsticks as a base because they don't rub off, and then I put a shiny regular store-bought one over that.