About the Author
Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, graduating with an Bachelor’s in Arts of English, with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals as well as Healthy Mom Magazine. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug. Her first novel, Dear Jane, was published in 2016.
1. What is your favorite dessert?
All of them? Honestly, dessert is my very favorite food group. I think my very most favorite dessert might be lemon meringue pie. Or lemon bars. I’m a sucker for lemon if you can’t tell. So, so good.
2. What is your favorite beverage?
Diet Coke. More specifically, a local Utah specialty: Diet Coke with peach puree and half and half.
3. What is your favorite movie and/or TV show?
I don’t think that I can pick just one movie or TV show. Like Sydney in Right Next to Me, I love The Princess Bride, the book even more than the movie. I also love, love Star Wars. As for TV, it’s a toss up between the West Wing and Parks and Recreation. I really wish that I had a Leslie Knope in my life.
4. Where is your favorite place to go on holiday?
f all the places I’ve ever been, my most favorite is Hawaii, specifically Oahu. There is something special about that island. That being said, I haven’t been nearly enough places.
1. Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
I have always loved to read. For as long as I can remember, I blew through books like crazy. As a kid, it wasn’t unusual to read a dozen a week during the summer. I read everything: science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, I loved it all.
In college I discovered Barbara Kingsolver and fell head over heels. She still holds the high honor of my favorite writer. I remember reading one of her books being so enchanted with the language. It was a description of a landscape and I could almost hear the pulse of life through the pages of the book. I remember thinking that I wanted to create something like this.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?
I wanted to be a dozen different things. A doctor, a dancer, a writer, an editor, maybe even a teacher. Being an author was a dream, but it always seemed impossible so I never gave it much thought.
3. What authors do you enjoy? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
As I mentioned, Barbara Kingsolver is my favorite, but there are probably hundreds that I have loved. Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Orson Scott Card, Jane Austen, Chaim Potok, Madeleine L’Engle, Markus Zusak, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis and Susanna Clarke, just to name a few (or a lot!)
I think that everything that I read inspires my own writing. I learn new things from every book, see new methods, new angles and sometimes, unfortunately, what not to do.
4. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
I have six children, so mostly I’m Mom. Aside from that, we recently bought a home that needed a little bit of fixing up and I have thrown myself into the world of DIY. I now know how to use power tools. And I now love using power tools!
Book Related Questions
1. What inspired the idea for Right Next to Me?
For both of my books, the story has sparked from a what if? Kind of question and snowballed from there. For Dear Jane, it was was the idea of dealing with a breakup. For Right Next to Me, it was the question of what if you had a crush on your best friend’s girlfriend?
2. What do you want readers to take away from Right Next to Me?
I had a lot of fun writing Right Next to Me and I hope readers have a lot of fun reading it.
3. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I am currently working on a novel about a woman who loses her boyfriend and her job on the same day, and rather than facing the fallout, runs away. By starting over fresh she is able to design a life that she loves.
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