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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

 

Interview with Rachel Carrington: Runner Up in Summer 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

A multi-published author of romantic suspense, Rachel Carrington has been writing for over thirty years and has recently published her 50th book. She’s an editor, a reader, a graphic designer, a shopaholic, and a social media fanatic. You can find her at www.rachelcarrington.com, on Twitter at @rcarrington2004, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorrachelcarrington, and on Pinterest @rcarrington2004.

Read Rachel’s moving entry, And She Danced, and then come back here to learn more about Rachel and her many writing and editing projects.

WOW: Rachel, congratulations on such a fantastic story. There's so much great imagery in it. What was the process like when you wrote it and how did you get the inspiration for it?

Rachel: I wanted to tell a story about what some mental illnesses looks like from the inside. People judge and say that person is crazy, but, to that person, it’s their normal. Though someone might be dancing naked in the rain looks weird to us, to that person, it’s a part of their world.

I chose to make the character older because, sometimes, when people see an elderly person acting differently, they assume it’s dementia, but mental illness is prevalent in all age groups.

I wrote the story one night, and the words seemed to leap out at me as I wrote. It was both the easiest and the hardest story I’ve ever written.

WOW: You are a prolific writer, with an impressive list of novels under your name. How do you stay organized when juggling multiple projects?

Rachel: I think being a paralegal for over twenty-five years has helped me a lot. You can’t be in this line of work if you’re not organized…at least, you can’t stay in it very long! So I calendar everything, and I create deadlines for myself even if I don’t have actual deadlines. It keeps me focused and on task.

WOW: You also offer several different author services to writers. Can you tell us about some of those?

Rachel: Over the years, I’ve edited and proofed for several authors, and in 2008, I began creating book videos. I just dabbled around with them really until I decided to get serious about them in 2010. Last year, I was talking with a friend of mine, who is also an author, and she suggested I gather everything I do for authors in one place.

So I took her advice and created An Authors’ Edge, which includes editing, polishing or writing book descriptions, simple book covers (for ebooks only), graphics for book quotes and reviews, and website design. I still have a separate website for the book videos I create, Dramatic Videos.

WOW: I see from your bio that you describe yourself as a shopaholic--what is your biggest weakness?

Rachel: Without a doubt, clothes, more particularly, blouses. My friend and I were just talking about this recently, and she said I had blouses in my closet she has never seen me wear which is true. So I’m actually challenging myself to wear a blouse I’ve never worn before every day this week. If I don’t like how it looks or feels on me, then I’ll donate it. In the meantime, I bought two more blouses this Saturday.

WOW: Ha ha! Believe me, I get it. Shoes happen to be my personal weakness. In the "Fun Facts" section of your website, you list that learn a lot of software programs because you always want to be able to use something you might need. Have you learned any software programs for writers that you'd recommend?

Rachel: Most of the programs I’ve learned have to do with video and audio editing and graphic design, but there are several easy programs or tools I would recommend.

One is called Write or Die. It’s basically an accountability program and helps if a writer procrastinates or the words just aren’t coming. It provides a sense of urgency.

I also like Sporkforge because you can paste in text, and this tool lets you know how many times you’ve used the same words or phrases. It also lets an author know the length of their sentences and the variations. It checks punctuation, too, but I wouldn’t use it as a grammar aid.

For grammar, I would suggest using Ginger Software’s Grammar Aid. It’s really easy to use and helpful when you’re just not sure about a sentence. You can pop it in, and Grammar Aid will correct it for you. Just a side note, though, even programs can be wrong so, occasionally, an editor might disagree with tools like Grammar Aid or Grammarly.

WOW: Very helpful! I will definitely have to check out Sporkforge because I struggle with using repetitive words. Thanks so much for this fun interview and I look forward to reading more of your work.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Angela said...

Congratulations, Rachel! I can't believe you wrote that flash in one night! It's such a beautiful, moving story. Thanks for all the software program tips, too! :)

1:56 PM  

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