photo credit SerentiyNme
Today's stop brings an amazing guest to the blog. Meet Rachel Rawlings. Rachel is not only the author of the paranormal/urban fantasy Maurin Kincaide series. (If you are not familiar with her series I urge you to check out her website, www.rachelrawlings.com. The series follows Maurin Kincaide, an ass kicking heroine who solves supernatural crimes in Salem MA.) She is also the creator and main star of this month's Hallowread Convention in historic Ellicott City Maryland.
HallowRead is a book convention for authors and fans of the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, SteamPunk and Horror genres. This year’s convention brings you some of the most popular names in the industry, along with some amazing events including their Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Tea and Paranormal Investigations.
Rachel is one busy lady, so I was very lucky to get to interview her and see what drew her to the horror world. The questions are familiar, but the answers are totally different. She really is a true woman in horror, and a great friend to all indie authors.
Me: So Rachel, how did you get interested in writing in the paranormal/horror genre? And who was your biggest influence. Same question I have been asking everyone, but it really gets to our roots I think.
Rachel: I’ve always been a fan of the paranormal/horror genres. I write what I love to read. Paranormal urban fantasy is definitely my favorite. An underlying love story is great but I really need that action to keep me hooked. Hmmm, my biggest influence. That answer is probably two fold. I’d have to say Anne Rice. She’s my literary hero! I’ve read just about everything she’s ever written. Interview with a Vampire was ground breaking for our genres. She really paved the way for women in our genres. The other would be Laurell K. Hamilton. I’d written on and off since grade school but never completed anything. After avidly reading one of her (LKH) series, like any avid fan, I desperately wanted the series to go another direction. After finishing the book I was reading I thought ‘I would have gone a different way with the story’. That’s not a critique of her work or her series; in fact I’d say it’s quite a compliment. Her novel motivated me to finish one of my own.
Me: Tell us about your current project/projects.
Rachel: Right now I am working on HallowRead, a convention I started for fans of paranormal/urban fantasy, steampunk and horror which takes place the weekend before Halloween. After that it’s back to the grindstone. My TBW (to be written) pile is almost as big as my TBR! I’m currently working on my fifth novel in my Maurin Kincaide series, Ill Fated. Maurin is neck deep in trouble as usual, out maneuvering master manipulators in the fae courts in order to stay alive. After that I have a good old fashioned ghost story in A Haunted Life, a story about a woman who sold her soul to the devil in Payable On Death, another about a woman who see’s people’s deaths in real time called It’s All Death To Me and a novella about a man who creates an AI girlfriend Sherrie 2.0.
Me: Have you ever had a character just take over? Like have they invaded your mind so much you can’t stop thinking about them.
Rachel: Have I ever! Aidan, a vampire assassin and Cash an alpha werewolf were two characters that took me by surprise. I planned for Aidan to be a secondary character, someone in the background who occasionally stepped to the front. He had other plans. Cash was the same way, lol! He had a lot to say and ended up getting a novella so I could bridge him from book one into the series full time.
Me: Characters you would like to go back and explore more. Who and why.
Rachel: My villains from Blood Bath, book four in the series- Calligula and Elizabeth Bathory. They were delicious and I’d love to do a novella with them. I just have to decide if they get their own story or if it’s a story of their exploits together. Hmm, another one for the TBW pile!
Me: How far would you go for a scare? Is there anything that’s off limits to you? (Like I make it a personal rule to not write about kids or animals being harmed. Anything else is fair game.)
Rachel: Kids are definitely off limits for me. In Blood Bath one of the vampires brings a teenage boy home for dinner if you catch my drift but it’s not explicit and (spoiler alert lol!) he gets saved. I have a hard time watching or reading news stories about children being hurt. My brother is a police officer and I was reading his book about interrogation/interview tactics while he drove a couple weeks ago, there was a story about a child abuser. I couldn’t even finish reading the chapter on the techniques used to question the perp.
Me: Scariest movie you ever saw. If one did scare you…. lol!
Rachel: The Hills Have Eyes, the remake from a few years ago. This goes back to the previous question. I was clutching my husband’s arm, like they’re going to hurt that baby, if that hurt that baby we have to turn it off, I can’t watch it. He started laughing at me because I’m never like that with a movie.
Me: Favorite classic horror story…
Rachel: This one’s tough. I love Edgar Allan Poe so that has to be listed and hmmm…. Dracula and then Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Grey… I could go on. I don’t think I can pick one! Lol!
(Me too Rachel, defiantly Edgar Allen Poe and Stoker. I think a lot of us have that in common.)
As you can see Rachel knows her stuff, and she loves to share her love of horror and the macabre with the world.
Rachel was born and raised in the metropolitan Baltimore area, but her family is originally from New England, which has influenced her writing greatly. You can find her on her blog www.rachelrawlings.com, the Hallowread web page www.hallowread.com, Facebook, Twitter, and of course Amazon. Click on the banner below for tickets to Hallowread!!