About Rachel

My bio is an easy thing to write. I'm a born and bred Southerner raised in the heart of Dixie, Louisiana. I grew up in a very small cotton town on the Mississippi River, out in the middle of nowhere. That middle of nowhere with the closest neighbors nearly a mile away meant my siblings and I spent a great deal of time imagining. When you have 40 acres to play on, the sky is literally the limit. No scenario was too boring for us. We could be park rangers hunting poachers, our favorite book characters, or pretend our swimming pool was Atlantica.

My parents encouraged us to read. We knew all the Concordia Parish main branch librarians by name and spent hours there every week. I traveled the world in books, solving mysteries with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, exploring the American frontier with Davy Crockett, and spying behind enemy lines during The Civil War and World War Two.

When I was 14 we moved from that small town to what I call a real city. Most people laugh at that, but that's okay. Going from 1,000 people to an area with 150,000 is quite the leap. Home is just outside the city limits with the best of both worlds. A creek and 17 acres of woods and yard, with "civilization" five minutes away.

I first started writing stories down when I was about 10 and decided that Disney's The Little Mermaid needed some filling in before Ariel and Eric's wedding. I was able to take a creative writing class taught by a retired English teacher, the grandmother of some fellow homeschoolers. I had a wonderful time in that class. Mrs. Murphy was the final push I needed to be confidant enough to really pursue writing. I still have the notebook I used in that class.

My first set of original characters, the O'Connor family, were born shortly after our big move with the help of a good friend. The very first "story" I ever completed was in the O'Connor world. It's written in pencil in a Lisa Frank notebook, which is hidden away where no one will ever find it! It's absurd and totally illogical, but it sparked so many new things and hooked me on fiction writing.

Then shortly after 9/11 I discovered the online fan communities for two of my favorite series: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Nancy Drew led me to two of my dearest friends, who are also fellow writers. The Hardy Boys led me to fan fiction. With three completed fan fiction stories under my belt I finally felt comfortable stepping outside the world of fan fiction and the O'Connors.

Enter Russia. My long standing fascination with that country had been brewing characters for years, but it wasn't until early 2002 that I really started trying to turn it into a novel. One thing led to another, I joined ACFW, started blogging and meeting people, entering the Genesis, and attending conferences. The novel grew into a trilogy spanning 30 years of Russian history, and my research paths led me to other novel ideas set in Russia.

Then the realities of the publishing world showed up. A new author making a sale with a setting like that is almost impossible. The Russia project is temporarily shelved while I focus on the French Creole culture of antebellum central Louisiana.

I want this blog to be a reflection of me. I'm a crafter, a writer, a researcher, a kitty-mommy, and a Southern belle. I hope you'll join me as I craft and live romance filled with old world charm.