Meet the Author: Rachel Unwin
Hey Fellow Readers, Writers, and Authors,
It’s almost Friday! Aren’t you excited? I sure am.
Today’s post covers my interview with scifi author Rachel Unwin, her writing, and her recent release Proxy.
I enjoyed getting to know her better, and I hope you do too!
All right, let’s get into it!
Bio: I’ve wanted to be an author since I was ten years old and had a short story published in the Australia wide school magazine. I’ve also always wanted to be a mother. I have now achieved both goals. My two children and I live in Tasmania although we are originally from Sydney and I am currently studying a BA in English Literature with OUA. I’m obsessed with the colour green (which is obvious in my book, lol), I hate wearing shoes and I love burnt toast. My ultimate goal now is to be read. Fame and fortune are irrelevant, inflaming minds with ideas and musings is what I want; to entertain.
Hi Rachel, thanks so much for stopping by! To keep things exciting, I always ask my interviewees a random question to get things going. Here’s yours!
You unearth a time machine in the ruins of an ancient civilization unknown to man.What era do you visit first and why?
The past is riddled with sickness, death, brutality and deprivation. There isn’t any time throughout civilisation that I would like to visit. So I’d go back to Neanderthal or Cro magnum time; the birth of civilised man.
Very interesting answer! I think it would be extremely exciting to learn more of our origins.
Rachel and the Writing Process
For starters, tell us a little bit about your writing.
I don’t like complicated writing. Some writers use big words just for the sake of it or to fake intelligence. I prefer to use simple wording so that anyone can enjoy reading it and be entertained.
You know, it’s funny you bring that up. When I first attempted writing professionally, I tried using the big five and ten dollar words to impress, but over time I felt that I wasn’t being true to myself. I now write on a level that is resemblant of YA style. It’s simple, it’s me, and I absolutely love it!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been seriously writing for the last three years.
That’s great! For me, it’s been about seven, but a lot of that time I spent honing my craft.
What genre is your favorite to write in? Why?
I write scifi/fantasy because it’s what I enjoy reading. I don’t want to write about everyday life or do a biography as my children want me to; I live it every day, nobody should want to read it.
I agree with you there. I tend to find reality a tad drab and dull, so that’s why I write as well. I want to go somewhere magical, or at least where things are distinctly different from our everyday world.
How do you find inspiration to write?
My family inspires me to write, quite forcefully, lol. I also get inspiration from what I read. I watch and read a lot of scientific documentaries and journals.
Oh wow, lucky! My family understands that I write, but I get the feeling that it’s another universe to them. I totally agree. I get most of my inspiration from reading other books as well as watching great shows and movies.
Why do you write?
I have a strong desire to write, to get my ideas out into the world and hopefully make at least one person stop and think.
Preaching to the choir on this one! I simply have an overpowering urge to write and share my stories.
What kind of setting do you write in most times?
I write at my pc in complete quiet. I can’t concentrate if the tv or music is on – I’d find myself writing what I’m hearing.
I hear you there! Any kind of noise other than ambient music tends to drive me nuts while I’m writing, so I usually lock myself in my room to concentrate.
What would you say is your favorite part of writing?
Writing the first draft – I hate editing, makes me sick of the book and I hate that feeling.
Oh my gosh, tell me about it! Editing is the worst and usually takes me the longest amount of time to chisel down. It can definitely be frustrating.
I always find it interesting how authors and bloggers alike lead multiple lives. What is your dayjob? Do you enjoy it?
I’m currently not in the best of health so am unable to work which drives me crazy. A lot of my self-worth has come from working fulltime and supporting my children I so not being able to means I’ve had to derive pride from other endeavours.
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! Well I hope that things get better for you soon! I’m a go-getter, so not being able to work would drive me crazy!
When and why did you begin writing?
I was reading my mother’s books at 6 and writing at 10. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Awesome, you started early! I started in elementary school, writing scary stories about my friends and I. There’s this terrible story I wrote about people in the walls. *shaking my head* It was horrendous, haha!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When “Proxy” went live on Amazon and someone bought it.
Yes, there’s definitely nothing like making your first sale. Totally worth celebrating!
What are some of the challenges you face as a writer today?
Marketing myself and my book has been the biggest challenge. Writing was easy, promoting without coming off as arrogant is hard.
You’re not alone there, my friend! I think that marketing has been one of the hardest issues for me to tackle. I think its something that with time gets better, but it definitely takes a while.
Fun Facts About Rachel
Could you tell us a couple fun facts about you?
My boyfriend is 17 years younger than me, I’m severely arachnophobic and I’ve never been drunk.
Interesting facts! I agree with you on the spiders, ick! I don’t know how, but their webs have this evil magic that makes you feel like they’re crawling on you even when they’re not. I still freak out and pat myself down like a crazy person when I walk into a web.
If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Hamilton Island off the Queensland coast. I have no desire to travel outside of Australia.
You know, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Australia, especially New Zealand. I’m so jealous that you live there!
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel for the fifty millionth time.
Very interesting! I have some go to’s myself with reading. I’ve read the first few novels in the Sookie Stackhouse series maybe four or five times.
Who are your favorite writers?
Raymond E Feist, Jean M Auel, Melanie Rawn, Frank Herbert, Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card.
I know some of those, but I’ll have to check out the others. Thanks for the recommendations!
If you could meet anyone who ever lived, past or present, who would that be?
Jesus Christ so I could tell everyone the truth about who he really was rather than the fables that have sprung up in his wake.
If you ever do, definitely let me know, haha! There’s a ton of speculation out there.
What are your favorite tv shows and movies?
I’m currently hooked on watching the TV Series “Bones”.
Oh nice! I’ve seen little bits of that one, but never actually had a chance to watch a full episode. I’ve heard lots of good things though!
What kind of music touches your soul?
I listen to alternative music, mostly The Cure.
Ooo, The Cure! I love them. I’m eclectic myself, but there’s definitely a time and place for The Cure!
Rachel and Her Current Works
To start, tell us about your new book.
My book “Proxy” is set in our galaxy where we are guided by the ultimate being, The Deciden. The galaxy is populated by humans but Earth is not the centre as it is in most scifi books (one of my pet peeves). Healthcare is free and each solar system is able to govern themselves any way they see fit but they aren’t allowed to war outside of their own system. The main character is a young girl called Ceridwen who has an ability that The Deciden wants for himself so she finds herself having to survive his tests and the ruling of her life by someone else.
Holy moly, this sounds extremely interesting! I’m definitely going to check it out on Goodreads.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
Proxy means substitute. The Deciden may govern the galaxy but he can’t be everywhere at once so he has an Assembly of Proxies to do that for him. Ceridwen becomes a part of the Proxy Assembly like her foster father.
Oh okay, that makes sense. Very clever! I always have trouble coming up with a title at first, but eventually settle on one once I start writing the story.
What inspired you to write this book in particular? Is it part of a series?
Yes, it is the first book in a proposed series. Ceridwen inspired me to write the book; her story needed to be told.
Wonderfu! It’s always exciting when a story seems to write itself, and even better when there’s enough material for another book. Congrats!
How much of your book is based on your own experiences or those of someone you know?
I can honestly say that Ceridwen is a combination of me and my childhood and my daughter who had the kind of childhood I wanted.
I can definitely relate to that. Most of my characters in my stories are usually a small piece of myself personified.
What kind of research went into writing your book?
I do a lot of research into scientific concepts and terms so that I get it right.
Yeah, research can be tough. I’m writing along the lines of scifi right now, and there has been a LOT of research, regardless of the fact that it’s all fictional.
What criteria did you use when selecting the cover for your book?
My daughter actually did my book cover; the galaxy with a purple eye at the centre.
Wow, that’s really inspirational! It’s a great cover.
Was there a message in your book that you were trying to convey?
There are lots of messages in my book that I hope I get across succinctly.
I try to do the same thing. If someone catches the small messages I try to put into my works, great. If not, at least it’s still entertaining.
All right, last question! Is there anything you would change about your book?
The only thing I’d change is to be published professionally by a big publishing house with an agent to back me up.
Personally, I agree. Self-publishing or even signing with a smaller publishing press can be tough, especially with all the marketing that comes with it. I definitely plan on trying to get my future works approved by a publisher or agent first.
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book lovers, that wraps up my interview with Rachel Unwin. It was really great getting to know her a bit better, and I hope you enjoyed our little sesh too!
If you’d like to learn more about Rachel Unwin and his work, she can be reached at the following social media links below. Thank you for stopping by, and have a great Friday Eve!
Great interview. I hadn’t know about this author prior! Might have to check out her work! Thank you!
Thanks! I try to spotlight indie authors as much as possible, and Rachel was really great to work with.
Also, if you like dark fiction you may want to check out Tommy B. Smith’s novel Poisonous. Just interviewed him last week, and his novella was great!