Good evening, reader and blogger friends:
As part of her book launch, Rachel Muller is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.
Early in September I posted my review of Rachel’s debut novel, Letters from Grace. To celebrate the release of her novel, Rachel is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind Letters From Grace, and future projects!
In our second session, Rachel will discuss her writing: her inspirations, her process, the challenges, and much more. Welcome back, Rachel!
1) Have you always like to write?
Absolutely! I have written stories as far back as I remember. I even attempted to illustrate my own fairy tales as a child. As an older teenager, I began writing screenplays and song lyrics that portrayed some of the hardships I endured through my high school years. Teachers submitted most of my stories into Fine Arts Comps, and I came out with many awards for creative writing. It’s truly a God-given talent.
2) Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I love fairy tales. Cinderella is my all-time favorite princess story and it became a foundation for many of my childhood story ideas. Most of my writings had something to do with falling in love amid troubles and trials. However, it wasn’t until my aunt read a letter in my handwriting that I began to think of writing as a career. As clearly as I remember, she said, “Rachel, have you ever thought of going into writing?” I believe that is when the seed was planted.
3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I was very close to my grandparents. Both were born early in the 20th century and lived through the hardships of the 20s, 30s & 40s. I was too young to really ask in detail about their lives as young adults before they passed away. Now all I have are black and white memories in the form of photographs. Just looking at those photos I can see into a whole different world. So, when the premise for Letters from Grace came to me, I knew right away I wanted it to take place during World War II. The storyline is based on my true life account as a pen pal to an Army soldier. I combine that with the true accounts from my husband’s grandfather, who took part in the Normandy invasion, 1944. I pulled all those elements together to create one complete historical. So in a sense, the book ties together my family.
4). Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Ooh, this puts me on the spot. There are so many fantastic authors out there who have written beautiful stories of courage and hope. However, Sarah Sundin and Cara Putman are two phenomenal ladies who have woven impeccable WWII stories. All I have to do is pick up one of their novels and wait for inspiration to blast me from the folds of their books.
5) Do you have a specific writing style?
In fact, I do. While trying to keep the authenticity of the 1940s alive in dialogue and narrative by using slangs of the time, I also write in a style more elegant and complete. No short, clipped sentences for me. Think of all those war or Hallmark movies where letters are being read. Think of how the words flow off the paper in romantic melody. That’s how my writing style is portrayed in my books.
6) What does your writing process look like?
I keep an idea journal where I write down all my premise ideas. From there, I look for character names and models. Once those two elements are established, I begin writing the story.
I write in drafts. Much like research papers, I keep a log of my historical information that I’ve gathered and I keep about 3 different drafts of the story, each draft adding more conflict and meat to the storyline. I’m a part pantser, part outliner. That’s just what works for me. 🙂
7) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing from the hero’s point of view is definitely a challenge for me. I didn’t grow up with brothers, so thinking, acting, speaking, and writing from the male’s perspective is something I had to learn. I watched a lot of war movies, and had my husband read my novel for that purpose.
8) What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Be a willing learner and a brave writer. There is so much I have learned just by asking questions and allowing other authors to critique my work. It wasn’t always pretty, but the suggestions my mentors gave me made my writing that much better. Get into writers’ organizations and critique groups. That’s where the knowledge of the industry flows freely. There are so many talented and knowledgeable authors willing to lend a helping hand.
Can she risk losing her heart and the man she loves…again?
Scarred from the death of her fiancé in World War II, Grace Campbell must learn to love again. Lieutenant Luke Brady could make falling in love easy…except he’s going to war. Only one thing will keep a delicate thread tied between—letters. But the suave Dr. William Keller enchants Grace with his charm and proposes marriage. She must choose between them. Will she settle for comfort and safety or risk losing her true love on the Normandy beaches?
Find Letters From Grace at the following links:
In late August of 2011 I awoke to a marvelous premise for a book. Whether that idea came from a dream or not I don’t recall, but I pulled out my stack of college ruled line paper and began penning down the words that would later become my first finished work.
My love for World War II history began in my senior year of high school when I chose the Pearl Harbor attack as my research paper topic. Subsequently, the movie Pearl Harbor hit the silver screen and I jumped at the chance to see it. I didn’t realize it at the time but a seedling had been planted in my life, slowly growing inch by inch for nearly ten years
I researched the war, the people, the fashions, 40’s slang, even the makes and models of vintage vehicles to create a nostalgic feel in my project. Then fictional lives began to evolve on the white of my paper.
Letters From Grace is Rachel’s first novel. Visit Rachel at www.racheldmuller.com
She can also be reached at the following social media sites: