We have the pleasure of welcoming back Rachel Fordhum today. She’s here to tell us more about herself and her second book in the Azure Springs saga. Welcome Rachel. Tell us a little about your husband and kids.
I’m married to my favorite guy in this whole world. We’ve been married 15 years (the time has flown by). I always wanted lots of kids and luckily he was on board with that. We planned for four and ended up with six. We also foster so the number of people that call me mom is subject to change. My kids range in age from 3-13. I have five boys and one girl. It’s always, always, ALWAYS loud around my house.
What’s you’re a book from your childhood that you can still remember reading?
Where the Red Fern Grows. I bawled through that book! My husband had never read it so when we were dating we read it together and we sobbed. I’d read a page and be crying too hard to read on so he’d read and then he’d be crying. It was bad! My oldest kids have read it now and it makes my heart happy knowing they felt all the feels too.
How did you know you were a writer?
I think I was always a writer but I didn’t know it. As a kid I wrote little stories but I thought published authors were more sophisticated or better trained than me. I was too ordinary a person to be an author! But it was in me. I’d watch a movie and spend a half hour after analyzing it for plot holes. I’d go to bed and rewrite the ending to make it more satisfying. But it wasn’t until 2014 that I actually decided to try writing. Even then I had no goals of publication. I told no one but my family that I was going to try. Once I did I realized ordinary people could write books and haven’t stopped (except when life required I did) since.
Tell us about this book.
Yours Truly, Thomas is the story of Penny a clerk at the dead letter office who yearns for something more. When she starts finding letters from Thomas to his true love she decides to make it her mission to put the lost missives into the hands of their rightful owner. Things don’t go exactly as planned but I think they work out pretty well in the end.
It’s a standalone novel but features several characters from The Hope of Azure Springs.
What did you learn about yourself through writing it?
So far this has been the hardest book for me to write. Normally the story just flows for me. This writing experience was a wrestle to get it write. I changed things, big things, over and over. Even when I turned it in the edit requests from the publisher were bigger than other edits I’d done. There have been moments of doubt as I trudged through the writing of this book.
I learned about perseverance! Hopefully it’s a lesson I only have to learn once.
Do you use an outline when you write, or do you just start with a few ideas?
I researched the dead letter office prior to starting the first draft of this book. I didn’t have this plotted out beforehand. I knew I wanted the dead letter office and a reason to go to Azure Springs again. The rest just kind of happened.
Is there a special place you like to write?
I’d love to write outside more but truthfully most of my writing is done on my couch after the kids are tucked in bed.
What was something that surprised youin the way this book unfolded?
I was surprised and intrigued by the dead letter information I found. I was sad I couldn’t include even more trivia in the book. I think I’d love reading peoples mail for a living! I was also surprised by the ending and grateful it all came together. I’d wondered for a while there if I was going to be able to explain a few mysterious things that happen.
What advice would you give a new author?
After writing this book I’d say don’t be afraid of lots of drafts and big edits. Let the change requests sit before you decide they won’t work. This book went through lots of major changes and I truly believe the end product was all the better because of it.
What project are you working on now?
My 2020 release with Revell is the story of a teacher in the Dakotas. I really love this book and can’t wait for you all to read Agnes’s story.
I’m also playing around with a women’s fiction project that’s kind of a “heart story”. I’m a foster parent and decided to fictionalize (heavily fictionalize) some of the experiences I’ve had. At this point I don’t know what that stories destiny will be but penning it has been a powerful experience.
Where can we find your books?
Anywhere books are sold!