We are pleased to have Rachel Skatvold joining us today.
Hello, Rachel. Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule writing inspirational romance, devotions, and encouraging blogs to be with us. My readers and I are looking forward to getting to know you better.
- You recently completed your novella series (Riley Family Legacy Novellas) and your first full-length novel (Escaping Reality) is in pre-order for publication this month. Besides the length, what was the biggest difference between writing a novella and a longer book?
Rachel: Thank you for having me as a guest today. I think the biggest difference between one of my novellas and a longer book is the complexity of the story line. In my novellas I had to stay completely focused on the main characters, so it left very little time to make any subplots for minor characters. With my new full-length novel, Escaping Reality, the plot is still fast moving and suspenseful but you get to know the minor characters a little better and there are more plot twists, which are always fun to create.
- You published your first novella in 2014, Beauty Within. Why did you decide to publish independently?
Rachel: About four years ago I completed a full length novel and started pitching it to a few publishers and an agent, but in the end they said they liked my story but my platform wasn’t developed enough. I was a little disappointed at first but really I think it was a blessing in disguise. It has given me time to grow as a writer (Although that first one is still a work in progress.) A few months later I started writing my first novella. It was shorter and easier to manage, so after praying about it, I decided to publish it independently to get some of my writing out there for people to read and build my platform at the same time. I never imagined it would turn into a series, but it did! Overall it has been a very rewarding experience and I enjoy the freedom of publishing independently.
- You write Christian Inspirational Fiction. Would you like to share a bit about your own faith journey?
Rachel: I committed my heart to Jesus at church camp when I was thirteen years old and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve always been an introvert, so when I felt that God had called me to write I was terrified of rejection. However at a writer’s conference a few years ago, one of the workshop speakers encouraged me to find a Bible verse for my life. God led me to Mathew 5:14-16 which talks about being a city on a hill and reflecting the light of Jesus. That really stuck with me and gives me courage. It’s not really about my abilities at all, but what Christ can do through me when I let him take the lead.
- Christianity is under attack in today’s society. Do your characters ever face discrimination for their faith?
Rachel: In my second book Beauty Unveiled, the main character’s lifestyle changes after she is saved are very unpopular with her group of friends. It is something she struggles with throughout the story but she has to decide between serving Jesus and pleasing others. In the end, Sarah discovers that God has a very special plan for her life and her testimony becomes an inspiration for many.
- Would you like to tell our readers a little about your home and family and your decision to be a stay-at-home mom?
Rachel: Thanks for asking! My family is a very important part of my life. My husband and I have been married for almost nine years and we have two boys who are 2 ½ and 6 years old. I originally wanted to be a teacher but changed my college major to English after my oldest son turned two. I didn’t like spending so much time away from him and started praying that God would provide a way for me to stay home with him. After I graduated and had my second child, my husband got a raise and we were able to work out the finances so I could work from home. I love being a mom and writer. It’s my dream job.
- Not working outside the home sounds like a dream for many authors who must squeeze writing time around their day job. However, when I retired to write full-time, I discovered my dream and the reality didn’t quite match. How do you handle the stream of distractions from friends, family, chores, etc. in order to concentrate on your writing?
Rachel: It’s a daily struggle to devote large amounts of time to writing. However I find smaller chunks of time throughout the day when its nap time for my youngest or at night after everyone is asleep. I’m a little bit of a night owl.
- Can you describe your target reader?
Rachel: My books are geared toward women in the new adult age range from about college age to thirties. However, I have readers from all ages who have enjoyed my novella series. My fourteen year old niece is a bookworm and loves them.
- Will your new book be the start of a series?
Rachel: Yes it will! Escaping Reality is the first book in the Hart Ranch Series. I intended it to be a standalone, but at least two of the minor characters won me over so they will be getting their own books. I’m currently outlining the second book called Chasing Embers. I think there will be at least three or four books in the series.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Rachel. Best wishes on the success of your books.
To learn more about Rachel and her writing click on the links below: