Interview with Emily Rachelle

Thanks for joining us, Emily!

About yourself

1. Hello! Can you go ahead and introduce yourself? Hi! My name is Emily Rachelle. I’m a writer, teen girl, chocoholic and blogger (among other things) sharing pieces of my life at my blog, Emily Rachelle Writes (http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/)

2. How long have you been writing? I discovered a love of reading before I can even remember. I wrote a poem for my homeschool group’s special fall “book” in second or third grade, but my love for writing didn’t really take hold until fourth grade. I went to public school that year. My teacher actually liked math best, but we did several special writing units. Poetry, letters, short stories… I was awful at it, but I was hooked!

3. What time of the day do you usually write? I don’t really have a specific time, although I gravitate more towards late afternoon and early evening.

4. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled for a book? Hmm… that’s a good one! Haha, I don’t have weird things I google. For different stories, I’ve googled things related to teen pregnancy, traditional fairy tales, medieval life in France, best surfing beaches in Hawaii, richest neighborhoods in America…

5. Do you have any writing quirks? Not that I’m aware of! I’m a killer word war knight and love my chocolate, and I have two cats… not a coffee person though (or tea). That bit of the writing stereotype definitely doesn’t fit me.

6. What writing communities are you a part of? Well, as you know, I love the Go Teen Writers site and Facebook group. I’ve also started to talk to my local NaNoWriMo group. Other than that, I’m not really in any groups or communities.

7. What’s your favorite book? Oh my! You had to ask. A fellow bookworm ought to know better than to ask me to choose just one! It’s like asking a grandmother which grandchild is her favorite.

8. What made you decide you want to be a writer? It’s being a chocoholic. You discover how amazing it is, how much you love it, how it’s totally worth all the agony it gives you… and from then on, you just can’t stay away!

9. Where can people find you (Blog, twitter, Facebook page, etc)? My blog is http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/. On Facebook, you can like my blog’s page at https://www.facebook.com/EmilyRachelleWrites (it would be greatly appreciated, as I lost all my fans when I changed my blog address and name.) My Twitter handle is @EmilyRachelle15; I’m also on GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8818047-emily-rachelle (just put where you found me in the message for the friend request). And, finally, LibraryThing! http://www.librarything.com/profile/writergirl15

About your book

1. Briefly, what is your book about? Sixteen is a Christian coming-of-age novella in which a teenage rebel without a cause (Nikki) – but with parent problems – finds herself pregnant by her adult boyfriend. (Matt)

2. What genre is your book? Young Adult coming-of-age, with a big whiff of romance!

3. How long have you been writing it? The first draft took me less than a month, but I didn’t come back to it for almost a year. After that, it took me a few months to rewrite it. Now it’s being edited.

4. Is it finished or are you still writing? Have you started querying yet? I queried back before I paid for professional edits, but when nobody picked it up, I decided to self-publish. Hence the professional edits.

5. Where do you see this book in five years? Hopefully doing well on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords!

6. Are there any songs that kind of show what your book is about or how you feel about it? Well, there are a lot of songs that describe specific scenes or characters. For example, Matt’s feelings toward Nikki are well summed up in “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band. And some main parts of their relationship in the middle of the book could fall under “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift. “They Try” by Rascal Flatts fits the ending. I would probably say the whole book overall matches “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift, “Happily Ever After” by He Is We, and “Faith to Fall Back On” by Hunter Hayes.

7. What is your favorite line or paragraph for this book? I have a few, but nothing spectacular, really. There’s this one: “You make it sound like it was all rainbows and daisies.” It’s actually something my volleyball coach’s husband once said that I never forgot, so I decided to work it into one of my stories! One from the more romantic scenes: He made her feel like melting chocolate. That one kind of speaks for itself. And finally, from a conversation between Nikki and her best friend: “…you are not fine.” “Whatever. What do you want me to do, stand on my head and crack jokes?” “If that’s what it takes.”

8. What are you trying to get across with this book? Is there some emotional lesson you are trying to teach people or is this book more of something you’d expect to see on a best sellers list? There’s several mini lessons (and, probably, areas where I might come across preachy) in this story. The Christian message is more of the clearly-Christian-book tone than an ‘inspirational’ or ‘uplifting’ sort of thing. Certain parts, obviously, deal specifically with relationship problems and teen pregnancy. I try to have one verse that goes with each of my stories – those that are Christian genre and those that aren’t – and, for this one, I chose Romans 8:28a “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”

9. What was/is going to be the hardest scene to write? Emotionally, probably the scene when Nikki told her parents about the pregnancy. Just based on writing logistics, probably the scene where Nikki and Christy (the best friend) are talking about God and the Bible.

10. Could you ever see your book being turned into a movie? Maybe. I mean, it fits perfectly with the tone of a Hallmark movie, so I’d love to see something like that. But a big Hollywood movie? Definitely not.

11. Is this just a lone novel or will it be made into a series? This novella is on its own. I considered giving Claire, a minor character, or Christy their own stories, but eventually decided against it. If there’s ever any reader requests, I might do a short freebie for one or both of them on my blog, but nothing beyond that.

About your characters (choose one character to talk about here)

1. Introduce us to your character? Nikki is, as I said earlier, “a teenage rebel without a cause.” She’s blond, a bit tall, and an only child. In her free time, she can often be found hanging out with Christy from across the street or helping teach a kindergarten ballet class at the community center.

2. What is the physical thing your character is trying to reach? Emotional? I’m not sure if I know – she certainly doesn’t! Her life is really just drifting, with no definite direction other than away from her parents. Anything that goes against her mother’s desires, especially, fits easily with what Nikki wants at any particular moment.

3. If your character could only see one person for the rest of his/hers life, who would they chose? At the beginning of the book, definitely Christy – the best friend since middle school who’s always been there.

4. Describe your character in three words. Rebel secretly softie.

5. What do other characters think of this character? Christy doesn’t always understand Nikki or Nikki’s relationship with her mother, but she’s very supportive and accepts Nikki’s and her differences. Matt thinks she’s sweet, beautiful, and pretty much perfect. Her father doesn’t really know her well enough to say, and the little time he spends with her, he’s not sure what to do with her. Nikki’s mother’s convinced that Nikki’s ruining her life and destroying any future she might have.

6. If your character was going to die tomorrow, what are three things they would want to do? Probably anything crazy she can think of – dye her hair, run away to the nearest city, get a tattoo…

7. If your character’s memories were going to be erased, what is the one memory they would want to keep? Before she met Matt, she’d keep the memory of one of the days she spent in the kitchen with her mother as a kid (before teenhood and the relationship problems – this is her favorite memories) or the day she and Christy became friends (because, if she’s not going to remember anything, she’ll need Christy to help get her through). After meeting Matt, she’d probably choose her favorite memory of him – their first date, most likely, or the first “I love you.”

8. What is the hardest thing your character has ever had to do? Tell people – Christy, her parents, Matt – about the pregnancy.

9. What is this character’s best memory? Either one of those days when her family was happy, working in the kitchen together and just having fun, or one of those memories of Matt.

10. If this character was put in the Hunger Games Arena (haha ;D) would they be a victor? If not how soon would they die? Haha, love this one! Nikki would probably last about midway. She’d be good at playing the rebel, the tough girl, maybe making an alliance or two. But her life hasn’t really prepared her for any life-and-death or fighting situations.

11. Now let’s let the character answer. What do YOU think of the author? Emily? She’s too much of a softie, a sucker for happy endings. She needs to get a backbone, make people work to be her friend. She always assumes the best of people. She idealizes her mom too much too. (Hey! In my defence, my mom is way cooler than yours. But you could do with a better attitude.) This is my turn. Shut up. Anyway, I do like her. She’s a lot like Christy, and of course I’d be a lot worse off without that girl. But for a writer, you’d think she’d be less of a people person, not to mention more inclined to throw heartwrenching twists or crazy family scenarios into her stories. Not that I’m complaining – Mom’s bad enough, I don’t need a deceased sister or anything – but still, she’s too nice to a lot of her other characters. (Always comparing, you. At least your mother is alive.) Whatever.

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