Interview: Rachel Schieffelbein, contemporary romance authorPosted: June 1, 2014
Today I’m interviewing Rachel Schieffelbein, young and new adult contemporary romance author. Her newest release, Don’t Fall, came out on 27 May.
Don’t Fall is acontemporary version of Rapunzel (and I love the pun in the name, by the way!). What is it about fairy tales that inspires you?
I’m kind of a romantic. I love true love, and magic, and all that stuff. I wanted Anya and Zander’s story to still have that magical, fairy tale feel to it.
Tell us about Anya and Zander. What is their relationship like?
It’s very sweet, I think. They’re very tender to each other. But Zander does get frustrated with the secrecy, and he doesn’t understand Anya’s relationship with her mom.
What about Anya’s relationship with her adoptive mother?
It’s a bit more complicated. Anya desperately wants her mom’s approval, and her mom isn’t a very demonstrative person. Her mom loves Anya, but because of things in her past she’s very over-protective, and has a hard time expressing that love.
What trend in publishing do you feel the most strongly about, either positively or negatively?
I try not to pay too much attention to trends, to be honest. But I have noticed that we seem to be moving away from the bad boys, and there are more ‘good guy’ characters out there. Which I love. I don’t mind a bad boy, but some of the ones out there have really straddled the line of being dangerous. Plus, I dated a bad boy in high school, and I learned they aren’t as glamorous as they seem. 😉 I married a good guy and he’s worth a hundred bad boys.
What advice would you give to new writers?
The obvious one, read a lot and write a lot. You’ll write a lot of stuff you don’t like before you start writing stuff you do like, so don’t let the bad stuff stop you. Also, connect with other writers. I heard that advice a lot when I started. Find critique partners! But I’m from a small town and didn’t know how to do that. The answer, as it turned out, was online! Start blogging, tweeting, whatever works for you. There are so many wonderful, supportive writers out there.
If you could have dinner with three characters from any books, which would you choose?
Hmm, this is a tough one! I’d say Zuzanna from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, because she’s hilarious and awesome. Sierra from the How To series by Cassie Mae, because she’s so sweet and spunky. And Death from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, because how fascinating would that be?
What was your favourite childhood toy?
A plastic dog I got when I was three. I actually still own it and my kids play with it now.
What secret talent do you have?
Um . . . I don’t know if this counts as a secret talent, but I ride and show Arabian horses. I’ve won several National Champion and Reserve Champion titles in the US and Canada.
What book are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Catch a Falling Star. I’d never heard of it before when I saw it at my kids’ book fair and it sounded good. Plus the books were buy one get one free. 😉 So far it’s super cute. I’m also beta reading a MG fantasy by Jenny Morris that is fantastic. I swear one of the best parts of being a writer is getting to read stuff by your CPs before the rest of the world!
Seventeen-year-old Anya leads a very secluded life in a house on the edge of town with her adopted mother. She doesn’t go to school, but instead has a private tutor. Her over-protective mom keeps her so sheltered that she doesn’t even have a best friend.
But Anya doesn’t seem to mind. She has her books, her photography, and her daydreams, and would do anything to please her mom. Until one day at the library, the only place she’s allowed to go, she takes a picture of a beautiful boy.
Before long she’s lying to her mom, and sneaking out late at night to meet Zander. But Zander wants more than a secret romance. If Anya wants to be with the boy of her dreams, she will have to risk her relationship with the only other person she’s ever cared about.
Rachel grew up in a tiny town in Minnesota. She still lives there, with her husband and their four kids. She coaches high school speech and theater, rides Arabian horses, reads as much as she can, and writes stories.