Writing Q&A: Part Four
So I got my first letter in the mail yesterday from a “fan”. It was a really cool experience. I’d received so many emails and questions, but this was the first time someone took the time to write to me through Zondervan. I take it as a sign that God is going to do big things through this book, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to interact with so many young writers and offer support and encouragement. 🙂
Anyway, back onto important things…. Like answering questions!
- What kind of research did you do for historical fiction?
Believe it or not, research was not hard for me at all. I am one of those weird, old-fashioned at heart people who loves history and learning about bygone eras. Since Interrupted is set in the 1940’s, though, I did sort of immerse myself in that time period for a while when I was writing. I bought some swing music cds and listened to them all the time when I was writing. (To this day, it’s embarrassing when a Frank Sinatra song comes on at ballroom dancing and I know every word) I also watched every single Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, and any films I could find made in the 40’s. My great aunt bought me a subscription to a magazine called “Reminisce” that had so many great stories and tidbits about the 30’s and 40’s. I’d really encourage anyone who’s writing in that time era to buy a subscription.
One of the hard things about writing historical fiction as a teenager today is that I definitely did not live in the 1940’s and I make a lot of mistakes in my drafts. That’s why it’s good to have other people (like my mom and agents) reading my work and letting me know when I make a mistake. I remember in one scene I had Allie answering a phone and then carrying it into the kitchen, and my agent laughed and told me: “Um, Rachel… I don’t think they had cordless phones during World War Two.” So I still make mistakes. 😉
- What is your number one piece of advice for young writers?
Be yourself. Write about what you love and be open to hearing other people’s opinions. Know that you never have to change anything you’ve written for the benefit of others, but be willing to think about it anyway. You are young, and talented, and have so much time to figure out what you want to do in life. So writing should never feel like a chore. If it’s something you love doing, and something others enjoy reading as well, then you will go very far. 🙂
Let me know if there are any more questions I’ve yet to answer for you all! I’ve also been thinking about adding my email address so anyone who wants to can contact me personally, but I’ve yet to decide…