Rachel Fordham’s debut novel The Hope of Azure Springs is book one of a three book deal with Revell. In addition to writing and researching Rachel also teaches writing courses and loves engaging with other bookish. Her number one passion is her family, in fact their antics are often the topics of her social media posts. They reside together on beautiful island in Washington state.
rachelfordham.com (you can sign up for a newsletter on my website)
Welcome to the blog, Rachel. I’m so honored to have you here today. Congratulations on your upcoming release, The Hope of Azure Springs. Everything about this story draws me in – the title, the cover, the plot. I’m so excited to read it!
What do you love most about your hero and heroine in this story?
I love that Em is not your typical heroine. She’s got a lot against her. Physically she’s not what you would expect from a heroine. She’s not gorgeous. Some describe her as waifish or plain. She’s very down on her luck in the beginning. There is no wealth or fame to lean back on. She’s had it hard. Really hard. But she’s a survivor and she fights on. I believe readers will feel drawn to her plight and find themselves rooting for her and drawn to her tenacious spirit.
Caleb is a more traditional lead. He is handsome and has a respectable career. At first it seems like he has everything together but he has his own burdens he’s carrying. His softer side doesn’t take too long to come out and I love a man that has at least a little bit of an emotional side.
I think my favorite thing about my lead characters is the combination of them together. They are not two people you would naturally pair up. I don’t want to spoil it but I think you’ll enjoy watching them interact as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Ahhh, I can’t wait to meet them! 🙂
What would you say is the easiest part about being a writer and what is the hardest part?
For this particular story the easiest part was when I initially started writing it. It just kind of poured out of me. I’d sit down and then the next thing I knew I’d have two thousand more words on the page. The hardest part was when my son became very ill while writing this manuscript. It was so serious I could not write for five months. It was all too trivial in comparison to what our family was going through. When I did return to the manuscript it was no longer just Em and Caleb’s story. I think my own struggle and pain were written in. Not so much in the actual character arcs but into the themes and heart of the story.
I’m not sure I’m answering your question very well. Creating and making up stories is fun and usually easy. Sometimes it’s hard getting what is in my head to translate itself onto the page. But even that is a fun challenge. The hardest thing is balancing it all with life. I am grateful I can write any time of the day or night. I try to not let my writing time cut into my family time to often and I’ve had to accept that there are seasons when writing just can’t happen.
I appreciate everything you shared here. You’re exactly right. There’s a season for everything. I’m glad that you could be there for your son and I’m glad to see how God used that experience to add to your story. He’s pretty amazing like that! 😉
What was the last book you read and what will you remember most about it?
I just read Joanne Bischof’s series Cadence of Grace. My take away from these lovely books is the sweet reminder that we all make mistakes. Joanne did an excellent job of showing redemption but also the pain and consequences that can result from poor decisions. Great books.
I love Joanne’s books! She’s one of my favorite authors. 🙂
What do you love most about your home state of Washington?
I wish I could say that rain but we recently had a leak in our house and since then I’ve been nervous whenever I hear the patter of raindrops!
I love the trees and mountains and beaches. It’s really beautiful here (even when it rains).
Can you tell us some of the authors who inspire you?
I’d love to but I have to put a disclaimer here. There is not enough room for me to list all of the authors I adore.
I grew up reading L.M. Montgomery, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Jean Webster (and many others). I always loved historical reads and strong character development. I often go back and revisit the classics. It’s like spending time with old friends.
In recent years I’ve discovered so many other authors that I can’t get enough of. Laura Frantz, Tamara Alexander, and Julianne Donaldson are a few.
I am amazed by how many skilled and talented authors are out there.
I totally agree and I’m so grateful for each of them (and you!) for pouring words onto the page for us readers. 🙂
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I just sent in a first draft of a manuscript to my editor and am anxiously awaiting her feedback. I’m excited about this project. The story starts off in the dead letter office in Washington DC but it ends up back in Azure Springs Iowa!
Yay! Can’t wait to read this series, Rachel. I’m so happy you stopped by today. Blessings to you and your family!
Rachel has graciously offered to give away one ebook copy of The Hope of Azure Springs to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only. Contest ends July 3, 2018. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!