Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Chasing Jupiter category.

Wishful Movie Thinking… Chasing Jupiter Edition!

Okay, so I got a really great response to my post last August outlining my dream cast and setting for a movie version of Interrupted. Therefore, it only seemed logical to do one for Chasing Jupiter, too!

Hopefully most of you have gotten a chance to read Chasing Jupiter by now, so I definitely want you to add your own imput and let me know what you think. This book felt a lot harder to cast, for some reason. I think because I had very vivid pictures in my head of how all these characters should look and talk, and it was difficult to find actors who fit my picky criteria. But after much searching and thinking, I’m pretty sure I’ve come up with a great cast.

But first off, the settings!


Scarlett’s Farmhouse: The Blaines aren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination, and their house definitely reflects that. They live in this small country farmhouse in Georgia, with a long driveway and lots of trees. In my head, I imagine peeling paint, a worn-in front porch swing, and several bedroom windows looking out over the front lawn. I think this is pretty dead-on perfect:

I love how rustic and homey it is. Definitely a house that Scarlett could have grown up in with her crazy family.

Frank’s Peach Orchard: This one is kind of obvious, but a lot of the pivotal scenes in the book take place here. It’s a very luscious, green, sweet-smelling place. Scarlett and Cliff spend a lot of time here in the summer.

I also thought about adding Dotty’s house to the list of settings, but I couldn’t find any photos that match the visual I have in my head. So you’ll just have to imagine that one on your own. If they ever make a movie of Chasing Jupiter, I’ll just have to dictate a big, lengthy description to the set designer or something… 😉

So now we move on to…


The first and most obvious character is:

Scarlett Blaine, played by… Madeline Carroll

Have you ever seen Flipped? It’s like, this totally adorable movie that I absolutely loved and continually draw inspiration from. That was the first time I noticed Madeline and I have to say, I think she would play the role of Scarlett perfectly. In the book, Scarlett has reddish hair and freckles, but I don’t even care that Madeline doesn’t fit that description. Because her personality is so spot-on, it makes up for any physical differences. Scarlett’s the girl who is so perfect in her own way, but she always fails to notice it. I feel like Madeline would do a great job portraying that, and I’d love to see how she could progress Scarlett from the un-confident kid she is in the beginning of the book, to someone who understands her place in the world. Madeline could always dye her hair later if you guys are going to be that darn picky. 😉

Frank Leggett, played by… Lucas Till

Let’s just forget he was ever in The Hannah Montana Movie. I’m willing to forgive that. He’s such a perfect Frank. The book describes Frank as having “a wonderfully handsome face when he smiled, like the difference between a small flame and a blazing fire. His eyes were a gold-green, crinkling up at the corners.” Um, yep. Just stand there and look cool, Lucas. You know you have this Southern-farmer-meets-sweet-veterinarian-boy thing in the bag.

Cliff Blaine, played by… Seth Robert Dusky

Ugh. Cliff was such a hard person to cast in my imaginary dream movie. He’s a very critical part of the book, and he really carries a lot of the scenes. I needed an actor who could be sweet and innocent, but also incredibly intelligent and wise-beyond-his-years. I’m still not one hundred percent sure I’ve got it right. But I think I do. Seth seems like a pretty close-to-perfect Cliff. That expression in his eyes, just behind his semi-shaggy hair. There’s a certain amount of Cliff-ness in it. Do you think so?

Grandpop Barley, played by…. Ian McKellen

Because if you can have anyone play the senile grandfather in your book-turned-imaginary-movie, why not go for Gandalf? 😉 Mr. McKellen has the perfect face for Grandpop Barley, and I think he would just be adorable in a peanut-buttery red tie and glasses. Perfect.

Juli Blaine, played by… Carlie Casey

Juli’s the sister you love to hate. She’s pretty, and she knows it. She’s rebellious, but she doesn’t care that you disapprove of it. She does whatever she wants and flirts with whomever she chooses and dyes her hair a sweet shade of blue. Scarlett spends her whole life wanting to be like her without realizing that Juli’s not as perfect as she seems. I think Carlie would rock the turquoise hair, and she has that devil-may-care kind of look about her that would make playing Juli a cinch.

Dotty Greene, played by… Reese Witherspoon (of course!)

Yay!!! My super-celebrity pick for Chasing Jupiter would obviously be Reese for the role of Dotty, the preacher’s wife. I realize, of course, that Reese is uber-famous and would probably never star in my yet-to-actually-be-made movie, but I still think she’s perfect for the role. Check out the look on her face. Does that not have “Dotty” written all over it? And the bumped-up blonde hair? Reese, all you have to do is rescue a chicken and you’ll definitely get the part.


So, that’s my celebrity and setting pickings for Chasing Jupiter. Gosh, it’s so much fun to imagine making a movie, I don’t think I could handle the gleeful joy of actually having one produced. It’s probably a good thing I live about a billion miles from Hollywood. 😉


GIVEAWAY WINNER!!! + Life’s Precious Moments

photoSoooooo….. Let me just start off by saying that I was so. touched. that so many of you entered my book giveaway. And not only entered, but shared all those sweet comments about how much my books have meant to you and how inspired you are by my story and how you can’t wait to get your hands on the next books. Seriously, as I was scrolling through the comments this morning, reading each one, it almost brought tears to my eyes to think of such a wonderful loving community showering me with such encouragement. You are all such blessings in my life and I wish I could send copies of my book to every single one of you!

Unfortunately, the postage for that would be outrageous, and I have a car to keep gas in now, so sadly I’m going to have to pick one winner of the giveaway. And the random number generator deemed that would be number twenty-three, also known as… Joy Richardson!!!!!

Yeep!!! Joy, I’ll email you to get your contact info. Hope you enjoy your two new books! And as for everyone else, thank you so much for entering and please show your support by going and getting a copy of “Chasing Jupiter” today. And then, if you are ever in the Richmond, Cincinnati, or Seattle area and would like your book to be signed, just contact me and I’ll let you know where to find me! 🙂

Also, I couldn’t help but share this absolutely beautiful paragraph my ten-year-old sister Ruthie wrote the other day. She had read a biography on the amazing missionary Amy Carmichael for a book club her friends were hosting, and had been asked to write a paragraph on what she learned from Amy’s story. And this is what she wrote:

“[Amy Carmichael] was so passionate about the gospel and she shared it. That is how we should live our lives, loving and sharing the gospel every moment we can.”

Wow. I have to admit my eyes teared up when my mom showed me her words yesterday. Does God constantly humble and inspire us through the words and actions of those who we never would have considered great theologians, and yet who understand the simple spiritual truths that should govern our daily lives?

Hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll post the next part of the “Sleeping Beauty” story tomorrow, since I know ya’ll are anxious…


Video Blog of “Chasing Jupiter” + GIVEAWAY!!!!!

It finally happened… After all those months of waiting and waiting and WAITING…. I finally got my copy of “Chasing Jupiter” in the mail!!! I would go on and on about how surreal, amazing, etc. it was to hold the book in my hands, but me tell you… myself. In a vlog video, of course!

Also, I’m hosting a very special giveaway for all my readers!!!! That’s right, I’m asking you to enter to win TWO autographed books. You won’t win just “Chasing Jupiter”, but BOTH of my books, autographed to you personally!!! (Ohmygosh, did she just say “personally”??? It’s the chance of a lifetime, folks)

Anyway, to win, just comment below with your name and email address. Giveaway ends next Friday, January 18th and I’ll announce the winner the next day on my blog.

For extra entries, you can share this post on Facebook (be sure to say something about how excited you are to be entering this giveaway!) or tweet about it! And then make sure you comment below and let me know what you’ve done so I can enter you again!

Good luck and thank you all for your support! Go ahead and order yourself a copy of “Chasing Jupiter” and give it to your best friend if you win the giveaway. Or, better yet, get your best friend to enter, too! 😉


CBS 6 Interview!!!


I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and headed into Richmond to be interviewed for the second time this year by our local CBS 6 “Virginia This Morning” show. My stomach was a flurry of butterflies, but God heard all of your prayers and completely put me at ease. Plus, the anchors and crew were so completely sweet and encouraging, which definitely helped!

Even though this is the second time I’ve been interviewed on TV, my mom and I haven’t gotten over how surreal the experience with, and we proceeded to take a million photos like the cheesy homeschoolers we are. 😛

So watch the video and let me know what you think!!!!













































photoDecember 26, 2012…. A day that will live in infamy…

Okay, okay, so maybe things aren’t all that dramatic in your house. You’re probably still sleeping off the turkey and pie and high-tailing it to the mall to return your unwanted sweaters. But there’s one more thing you just have to do today—order your copy of “Chasing Jupiter”!!!!

That’s right, “Chasing Jupiter” is finally available to order online! You can buy it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and just about any other site where books are sold. Not one hundred percent sure that it’s available in stores yet, but it should definitely be there soon! Until then, go ahead and use your Christmas giftcards online and order yourself a copy!

I went ahead and googled my name this morning to see if any new “Chasing Jupiter”-related results showed  up and I was shocked to see that some of the early reviews are already coming in! So, in case you’re interested, here are what a few readers (and I’m sure blog-followers!) had to say about my latest work:

Rosie (hey, there Rosie! I know that you’re a blog reader!) wrote, “Rachel Coker returns to the fictional scene equipped with an emotion-packed novel that had me glued to the pages! I liked the theme of peaches (peach pie, more peach pie, peach trees, ;D). I don’t know why, but I did. I also thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Scarlett and Cliff and occasionally Scarlett and Frank. Rachel does a great job of tossing in enough romance to satisfy her readers, yet keep it to a minimum (no kissing, no dates). That’s something I appreciate. Chasing Jupiter took me off guard more than once with a few twists I hadn’t anticipated. I love it when I can’t see surprises coming! If you liked her previous work, then you’ll surely love this one too.”

One lovely woman named Bobbie also wrote,  “I was concerned that [Rachel Coker] couldn’t top what she did with Interrupted. And I think she just topped Interrupted with Chasing Jupiter. I’m sitting here trying to form a review and I’m not sure exactly what to say. This book was so emotional, raw, and rich.I fell in love with the story world. Scarlett made for a perfect main character and all the side characters were really well developed.”

And, of course, I couldn’t leave out the review by one of my most faithful blog readers, Emily, who wrote, “concerning Chasing Jupiter as a whole, it is at least three times better than Interrupted.  Why?  Chasing Jupiter was REAL.  It didn’t leave you feeling terribly deflated because you don’t have a romantic relationship, or your life wasn’t as perfect as the characters’, or anything along those lines.  Chasing Jupiter didn’t have an ending that was too perfect for reality.  It ended in a way that left you satisfied, not wistful. It didn’t make you sigh blissfully thinking, ‘Oh, this was just too perfect!’ It made you close the book with a flicker of a satisfied smile, and put it down with a feel that this read had more meaning to it than you would have expected. ”

Anyway, hopefully all of this has tantalized you enough to make you want to go out and order a copy of your own! If you just can’t wait to get this book on your hands, then order it today!!!! 🙂

Keep checking the blog over the next couple weeks for lots of fun reviews, Christmas stories, and even maybe a givewaway or two!


P.S. For those of you who are interested, I recently posted a link on my Facebook page to my new photography fan page. I know I used to do a better job of mixing my photography business and my writing business, but lately that’s just gotten to hard to do on this blog! So I figured I’d make a separate page where I can keep all my photos. I’d encourage you to go and like it, if you want to keep up a little bit more with my private life! In 2013, I’ll be starting a very special project that you can find there!

The Publishing Process

As all of you probably realize by now, this is a blog about my life and my thoughts and my ideas. And, obviously, a HUGE part of my life is writing, which is probably why I talk about it all the time! So while it never fails to amuse me to talk about James Dean, and vacations, and mortifying childhood memories, I always have to come back to writing and my life as a writer.

Today I thought I’d share with you all a sort of timeline of what the publishing process actually looks like. I remember before I was published being really curious as to what exactly happens in the real publishing world, and how long all of it really takes. So now that I’ve sort of figured it out (and I’m still learning, by the way), I thought I might share some of the details with all of you inspiring writers and avid readers!

As an example, I’m going to give you the timeline of my second book, Chasing Jupiter, from budding ideas to complete publication (which hasn’t even happened yet–so I’m going to have to guess a few things!)

April, 2011 – The beginning ideas of a new story entitled “Peaches for Sale” begin swimming around in my head and I start working on a word document (one month after my first book was published!)

May, 2011 – I call up my agent and let him know that I’m working on something new. We discuss the next book idea and both grow very, very excited. I promise to send him the first fifty pages soon.

July, 2011 – I finish the complete first draft of “Peaches for Sale”, which runs at approx. 46,000 words, and send it to my agent for review

August, 2011 – I have multiple hour-long conversations with my agent over the phone discussing my new book and brainstorming revisions to make it even better. He writes up his notes and sends the document back to me to edit.

November, 2011 – Zondervan starts asking my agent about my new book and when they can finally see it. We start realizing that we’ve got to get this thing finished and in their inboxes ASAP.

January, 2012 – After months of revisions and editing, I’m finally happy with “Peaches for Sale”, now at over 52,000 words, and give the okay for my agent to send it to my editor at Zondervan

February, 2012 – Zondervan accepts my submission and gives me an offer on my second book!

March, 2012 – I sign the contract for my new book and receive my first advance check from Zondervan

April, 2012 – Multiple creative geniuses at Zondervan meet and brainstorm title and cover ideas for the new book. They eventually email me with the suggested title “Chasing Jupiter”, which I absolutely love! It definitely fits the feel of the book and is much more versital than my previous title, which felt too summery.

I passed this sign on our way back from Florida. I guess I was “Chasing Jupiter” and I didn’t even know it!

May, 2012 – I finally get my hands on the cover to “Chasing Jupiter” and post it here, where I find out that all of you love it as much as I do! A release date for the book is set for December 2012.

May, 2012 – I set up a date to get new author photos taken for publicity purposes–when you’re a teenager, you can change a lot in just a short year and a half! I send a few of my favorites to my editor and publicist to use for promotional ads and the Zondervan website.

The main picture chosen by Zondervan to be my new author photo.

June, 2012 – I receive my first round of major edits from my editor at Zondervan. There’s a lot of work to be done to the book, but I know that all of it will work to make the story stronger and more cohesive for my readers. My deadline for revisions is July 20th.

September, 2012 – I begin making arragements for speaking engagments after the publication of my second book, including schools, libraries, homeschool conventions, and churches (By the way–if you are interested in having me speak at your school, church, or homeschool group, email me and we’ll see if we can work something out! REC804 at hotmail dot com)

At my first ever book signing in Philadelphia with my editor Jacque!

October, 2012 – I send in the dedication for Chasing Jupiter. I forgot about that for Interrupted and I really want something meaningful for this book!

I receive the second round of edits from my editor. This time it’s nothing major, just a few slight tweaks here and there. I give her the okay to make those changes and move on with the production of the book.

November, 2012 – My publicist and other Zondervan workers start putting out ads, arranging interviews, and preparing for the launch of Chasing Jupiter next month!

December, 2012 – I’m sent the mockup cover for the book and look over it to make sure there’s no mistakes, my name is spelled right, and my bio info is correct. Once I give the okay, the book goes to print!

Zondervan sends me the advance copies of my book several weeks before the publication date, as well as sending reading copies to hundreds of lucky bloggers all over the world! Soon, those bloggers will write reviews (good or bad) and start getting the buzz going about my new book. It’s a very scary thing!

My second novel, Chasing Jupiter, is released and should be available at your local bookstore!

Whew! Sometimes I forget about how much work goes into publishing a book! It certainly makes one want to take another vacation, haha! Like I said, this is all just leading up to the release date of the book. After the first of the year, I’ll start doing book signings and speaking engagements again, so like I said, email me if you’re interested in having me sign or speak somewhere near you!


Talking About “Chasing Jupiter”

Yep, you heard it from me first. The official title of my second book is “Chasing Jupiter”, and it’s due to be released in December of this year! Unbelievable, right? I, for one, cannot believe that there is a strong possibility of two Rachel Coker books being published in 2012. It’s absolutely surreal in the best way possible. Watching the whole publication process unfold with Interrupted was amazing, and I can’t wait to go through it all again with Chasing Jupiter! Getting to see the cover, the trailer, the advance copies… I’m just so unbelievably excited for it all!

Speaking of which, here is the cover art:

Cool, right? I love the down-to-earth, vintage-y feel and I’m definitely convinced that this is the perfect cover for the story line. Once you all read the book, you’ll have to tell me if you agree or not, but I’m really feeling it. I would describe the story as having a very cheery, quirky, homey style, and I think this cover fits it really well!

Okay, I know that you all are going to have like a gazillion questions, so I’m going to try to cut you to the chase and answer some of them myself! Using my superpower mind-reading skills, these are the first few questions that I’m thinking you’ll probably have. Here are my answers:


Q: What is this book about?

A: Chasing Jupiter takes place in the summer of 1969, and it revolves around the story of sixteen-year-old Scarlett Blaine, who is growing up in small-town Georgia with her quirky and dysfunctional family. Scarlett has a younger brother named Cliff, who is definitely the oddball of the group. Strange, sometimes moody, and always entertaining, Cliff definitely keeps Scarlett on her toes. Adding even more color to the picture is her eccentric grandfather, Grandpop Barley, whose world revolves around red ties and peanut butter. And then there’s Juli, Scarlett’s beautiful and rebellious older sister, who is doing everything she can to cause strains in the family. Together, they make up quite the loony bunch, and stick out like sore thumbs in the community.

But what starts off as a bright, fun-loving summer quickly down spirals into one of Scarlett’s biggest challenges yet. As the pressures of life and the demands of the outside world start to have their toll on her family, she must learn that protecting and cherishing those she loves is the most important job she has. Scarlett finds herself tottering on the brink of childhood and adulthood, afraid and uncertain about family, love, and the future. But the events that unfold that summer are big enough to change her life forever.

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

A: One of the main characters in this story, Scarlett’s younger brother Cliff, was the first big idea I had regarding this book. And his character was very much based on a boy that I had the pleasure of speaking to once at my church. He’s an autistic child, and I once chatted with him a bit after his Sunday School class. He showed me a list that he had written of all the things he wanted for Christmas. It was so adorable, and it said things like “1) One acrobat, 2) Two flying monkeys, 3) Three marching bands,” and so on. And I remember the last thing on the list was twelve rockets to Jupiter. And that just touched me so much. And I started thinking about this autistic boy, that none of the other kids really understand. They all think he’s weird and freaky and don’t really want anything to do with him. But underneath the moodiness and the eccentricity is this really sweet, amazing kid that I just love talking to.

And that’s how Cliff is, in my mind. All he wants is to be the first astronaut on Jupiter, which may seem like an impossible dream, but that’s all he really wants in life. It’s so simple. And Cliff may have had autism too, but of course no one knew what that was in 1968. To everyone else, he’s just a freak and a weirdo. But Scarlett sees past that to the real gem of a kid that Cliff is, and she has faith in him. And he has faith in her, too. And it’s that mutual love and friendship that really pushes Scarlett to make the right decisions, despite all her doubts and insecurities. It’s a book that’s about the power of family and trust, and I think that their relationship really highlights that.

Q: Did you come up with the title/cover yourself?

A: No, I did not! But it was a very collaborative process and I definitely had imput into what I wanted it to look like. I absolutely loved everything that Zondervan did with the making of this book and I think it is just spot-on! I definitely could not have done it better myself.

Q: Is this another Christian book?

A: Yes!  Although it doesn’t deal much with Christianity until later on the book, there is definitely a great, Christ-centered message there. 1968 was a very confusing time in America, spiritually speaking, and the story reflects a lot of the different movements going on. The hippie culture and Jesus movement are just two examples. But, despite all the craziness of the culture and its New-Age, hippie attitudes, this book has a great, clean, Gospel-centered message of what true Christianity looks like: Full reliance on God for satisfaction and peace.

Q: What’s up with the peach on the cover?

A: Hmm… Would it be really crummy of me to say, “Read it and find out!”? Yes, I suppose it would be. Well, maybe I’ll talk more about that later, but for now I’ll just say that there are peach pies involved in this book. Peach pies that have something to do with rockets to Jupiter. If that makes any sense at all. 😉


Book #2!

Just so you all know, I posted the cover and title to my second book on my Facebook page today. That’s right–book number two is officially titled, “Chasing Jupiter” and it’s due to be released this December! I just need to figure out how to post the image here… The file is really big and it’s not working. 😦 Oh, well! Hopefully I’ll post the photo here tomorrow and share all the details in a nice long blog post! 🙂