Wordy Wednesday with Rachel McGrath

Introducing new author Rachel McGrath this Wordy Wednesday. Rachel published her first book in early 2015; a memoir about her personal and physical struggle to become a mother, Finding the Rainbow. 

Rachel has since focused her writing efforts on mainly children’s fiction, with Mud on Your Face and an early reader series, the Willow and Coco Book Series.

Rachel grew up by the seaside in Australia, and moved to the UK in her early thirties where she now resides with her husband.

And so we begin the interrogation questions:

Why did you start writing?
I have always loved writing and creating stories. Throughout my life, my writing has been an intermittent release to sometimes release my thoughts, feelings and imaginations. I’ve always dreamed of being published, but until recently I had not written anything I felt would be worth publishing.

When I was unexpectedly faced with challenges around my own infertility and inability to carry a child, I wrote about it. It was at first a journal, but soon became a story, one that many women face. I hoped that in publishing my story, it may connect with other parents and women who had faced similar challenges. In publishing this book, it invoked a passion to keep writing and to create more stories.

What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
A quiet place to write, one where I can either look out to a serene surrounding or where there is little distraction so that my thoughts can go wild.
A glass of wine, always helps the creative juices
My dog by my feet, so when I have writer’s block, I can scratch his ears or take him for a walk to clear my head.

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
Because I work full time and I travel a bit with my job, it can be difficult to have a strict schedule. However, I do try to write at least once or twice a week, and sometimes I can spend my entire weekend writing! I write to keep writing sometimes, even if it is a blog article, a short story, or just a collection of ideas.

What are your favourite biscuits?
So I am Australian, and my favourite biscuit is a Mint Slice – dark chocolate with a biscuit wafer and a thin layer of peppermint…. It is delicious! Now I’m in the UK I have to wait for friends and family to deliver me a packet each time they visit. - They sound flipping amazing! And now I need to try some!

Where do you do most of your writing?
I bought myself an Apple Macbook last year as a treat, and it goes where I go. I write at home, in airport lounges, in waiting rooms or even on the train. I like to write at any moment where I some spare time, and I find myself writing instead of watching movies and television, and sometimes just before bed to help myself close out for the day.

What book(s) are you reading at the moment?
Currently I’m reading the trilogy, The Girl from Berlin by Ellie Midwood (a fellow independent author). This is a great series about a girl living in Berlin during World War Two; a girl whose parents have disclosed her Jewish identity through forced documents, and ends up working for the SS as a double agent. It’s a brilliant thriller, drama mixed with the horrors of Hitler’s regime.

Did you have a good or bad 2015?
I had a mixed 2015. The most exciting part was getting my first book published and entering the world of writing as an author! Additionally, my first book, Finding the Rainbow won two book awards and a finalist for another award which will be announced in May 2016. I also had a very busy 2015 from a professional work perspective, and some significant health challenges which made 2015 mixed overall. However, in saying that, I’m a positive person and I have to look at what I learned about myself throughout the year, and there was a lot I have taken from the past year, and I’m focused on making 2016 even better!

Do you have writing plans for 2016? Are they secret or could you share a teaser?
I certainly do! I have just finished another children’s book called Grimwald’s Evil Plan. Like Mud on your Face, this is aimed at the middle school reader, and is about a boy who is rebelling against his own destiny to be a ‘fairy godfather’, and wants to join the forces of evil, thinking it would be much more fun. However, he learns some valuable lessons about good and bad deeds, and perhaps learns that it is not always fun to cause trouble and chaos.

I am also capturing my own follow up story to Finding the Rainbow, and who knows where that will end, but I hope that it will inspire women like me to continue fighting for their dreams.

If you could have any job in the world except being an author, what would you choose and why?
I would love to be a travel writer, does that count? I love to travel the world, see new things and explore, and I would love to share these adventures with other aspiring travelers or those who love to dream about traveling. Plus, it’s a great excuse to be on a permanent holiday!

If you could genetically cross and animal with a fruit or vegetable what would you choose and why? I'm currently thinking runner bean millipede, tricky to catch, tickly to nibble raw....actually that sounds a bit cruel, maybe I'd have to keep them at green wriggly pets.
Okay, I’m not sure here, but I’m going to go with a Strawberry and a Lady Beetle. They are both red, with little spots, and cute. You can’t eat just one strawberry, and I always get excited when I see a flutter of Lady Beetles. - ladybirds? yes I'll let you cross those with a plump strawberry :-)

If you could take any fictional character out for lunch, who would you choose and why? And where do you think you'd go to eat?
Scarlett O’Hara. I read Gone with the Wind when I was sixteen years old, and she was my heroine. Tough, resilient, emotive, strong willed and southern! I would love to take her to something really modern as although she was a woman living through the American Civil War, she was very modern for her time, so perhaps a sushi or a Japanese teppanake restaurant, and then we would go to a club after, as she loved to dance!

Thank you so much for joining in with Wordy Wednesday, here's wishing you great things for the future.

You can buy a copy of Finding the Rainbow here

and check out Rachels other books on GoodReads or buy them on Amazon.

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