1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
Hi, Dalene! Thanks for having me. First, the “R” stands for Rachel, so feel free to call me that. Or, whatever. I answer to just about anything. I’ve lived all over the place – born and grew up in Northern California, but finished high school outside of Philadelphia, then moved to Missouri, Tennessee, New Mexico, Florida, and now Kansas. Somewhere in there, I also lived in England for six years. I get around. I’ve got two awesome grown kids, an amazing husband, and a herd of cats.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve always written. It was only a few years ago, though, that I learned how to finish anything.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
I write all over the place. In my office, at the kitchen table, on the couch, at a bookstore café, at Starbucks, at the park. Like my home, my office moves frequently.
4) Why did you decide to write Fairies in My Fireplace?
Fairies is book three in the Monster Haven series. I wrote the series because I love urban fantasy, but I wanted to see less leather and snark and more polka dots and humor.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Probably Maurice, the closet monster. He’s the best friend any girl could ever have. Plus, he’s an excellent cook.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favorite character is Alma. When I first created her, it was because I was angry with someone, so I made that person into a detestable character. Even if the character redeems herself, she’ll always be polluted a little in my head with the image of the original person.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I self-edit as much as I can within the timeframe I have before I have to turn them in to my editor. Then we do a few more rounds on it. Then it goes to the copy editor.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like going out on adventures to see weird roadside attractions like two-headed gophers and tiny zoos in the middle of nowhere. I love reading, building LEGO sets, movie marathons. I used to play a lot of video games, but now I don’t have much time. This makes my heart sad.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read a lot less these days than I used to, now that I’m writing multiple books of my own each year. I love Neil Gaiman, of course, and I’m really enjoying Michael R. Underwood’s Geekomancy books. My guilty-secret obsession is Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keeper series. Sure, they’re kid’s books, but they all take place inside the parks at Walt Disney World, and there’s nothing better than that.
10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve found yourself doing to research for your books?
It’s probably a draw between two things. The first was when I attended a UFO convention, which, believe it or not, led to the creation of the djinn character in Fairies in My Fireplace. The other was the road trip I took recently to see the empty field that marks the exact center of the United States. We stopped off and saw the world’s biggest ball of twine on the way back as an added bonus.
Monster Haven Book Three
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: Sept. 3, 2013
Number of pages: 226
Word Count: 86,000
Cover Artist: Kix by Design
Sometimes it’s the monsters who need to be saved…
A migration of mythical creatures has begun, and more and more of them are landing on Zoey Donovan's doorstep. As the only Aegis left in the country, it falls to her to protect the Hidden and keep them safe—and her house has become a sanctuary for water sprites, goblins, harpies, djinn and more.
Keeping track of her boarders is a full-time job, and Zoey's already got her hands full trying to run her wedding planning business. Good thing she has a resident closet monster to keep her organized, and a hot Reaper boyfriend to help her relax every once in a while.
But she can't keep up monster-triage indefinitely, and as more Hidden arrive, it becomes clear that someone—or something—is hunting them. In the midst of planning an event for a notoriously difficult client, Zoey's got to figure out who's behind the hunt…and she's got to stop them before there are no Hidden left.