Rachel hit the literary scene fast and hard with her new book, Shattered Snow. Already a #1 bestseller in Fairy Tales and Hot New Releases, this book is the most interesting re-telling of Snow White I’ve ever heard of… including time travel! So lets find out more about the woman behind the novel.
- Where were you born?
I was born in Provo, Utah, a purebred BYU baby.
- Personal life? (snapshot)
I grew up in the country, surrounded by wheat fields and dirt roads. I was determined to make it to Broadway someday and performed in over 16 musicals during high school. Once I got to college, I switched to ballroom dance and did pretty well, placing 3rd overall for American Triple Swing in the BYU Dancesport competition. I married my incredible husband and followed him to Optometry school in Texas where I started writing. After moving 10 times in 10 years, we finally landed for good in Southern California, where I am now.
- Educational history?
I was homeschooled until 10th grade. My high school experience was overwhelmingly filled with performing arts electives and I did core classes through independent study. Because of that I was able to be in 4 different choirs, theater, music dance theater, interior design, orchestra, symphony, music theory, and ballroom dance for multiple years. I walked during graduation. I received an enhanced diploma in performing arts. After that, I went to Brigham Young University. I studied Home and Family Living, with a minor in dance. My husband had to leave for graduate school before I could finish my last semester. I only have four classes left to receive my degree, and they’re all English courses.
- When were you first published and how did it come about?
I signed up for a live pitch session with Holli Anderson at LTUE conference in 2018. I had queried another novel with Immortal Works the year before, but received a super encouraging rejection letter that made me want to try again. Holli requested a partial, then a full, and after two weeks, I was offered a contract for publication.
- What inspires you?
I love music. I often blast the most random songs in my office before sitting down for a writing session. I’m sure the people at Spotify talk about how weirdly diverse my playlists are.
- Aspirations? What are you going to do next?
For the last seven years, I’ve wanted to be a published author. Now, I’m ready to run with it. I have seven completed manuscripts and so many ideas that I don’t have time to write them all. I also recently bought myself a pair of bowling shoes, so that’s definitely going in the planner.
- What’s your dream/end game/final goal?
My dream is to visit all the castles I write about in my fairy tale retellings. There’s a land tour in Europe that hits them all.
- Advice to the world?
- What’s Shattered Snow about?
Shattered Snow is a time travel retelling of Snow White. It’s based on the real-life history of Margaretha von Waldeck, a German countess who is believed to have inspired the Grimm Brother’s story.
- What drew you to fairytale retelling?
While other kids were reading Goosebumps and babysitters club, I was reading Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and Richard Burton’s 1001 Arabian Nights. I had the idea for adding time travel into Snow White while I was cleaning a mirror. 30 days later, I had a completed novel.
- How is this better than all the other retells?
Science-fiction based time travel and fairy tales haven’t been combined, so I had a lot of fresh ideas to work with. I love when I can learn ambiguously through books. I did A LOT of research for this story to give it the life it needed. I stayed true to the Grimm brother’s rendition, trying to find a reason for every seemingly random detail they put into the story.
Quick Fire Round:
- Name your favorite book of all time?
Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
- What’s your strongest personality trait?
Attention to detail.
- Do you play or watch sports?
I love football, but I’m extremely uncoordinated unless I’m in dancing shoes.
- Last movie you saw in the theatre?
Into the Spiderverse. Wow.
- Dog person or cat person?
I like both, but I don’t think I would ever be able to own one. We’ll see if my kids convince me otherwise.
- Favorite TV show?
- Favorite cereal?
- If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Elastagirl. Hands down.
- If someone was to make a movie about your life who would play you?
- In a moment of rage, you kill your editor. How do you dispose of the body?
I ask Professor Plum to help me bury her in the lavatory with a candlestick.
- In consequence of the murder, you go to jail. What is the first thing you do there?
Try to become the jail librarian.
- When you are released from jail, what would you do first?
Hunt down Professor Plum. Because snitches get stitches.
- What are you writing next?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Shattered Snow based on Sleeping Beauty. I also have a short story based on King Thrushbeard (another Grimm fairy tale) that will be appearing in “Forgotten Fairy Tales” anthology by Immortal Works. And finally, I’ve been working on a full-length musical with a team of writers and composers for the last year. Hopefully you’ll be able to see it soon!