Interview with Rachel Neal

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Of course I do! Well, not a story, but a poem. I wrote a very long poem about the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in High School. I remember passing out copies of the poem prior to reading it in my public speaking class. Upon completion, I received an astounding applause!!!!!!!! The downside .... one year later, my poem appeared in a poetry book that was circulating around school. It had been stolen! I was furious! Needless to say, I did absolutely nothing about it, but if you ever run across a rather lengthy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. poem, in some obscure poetry book, know that it's probably mine and please, please, please don't hesitate to contact me immediately! :)
Describe your desk
My desk? Hmmmmmm ... does the left corner of my family room sofa count? I sit with my computer comfortably on my lap and type while the dog barks, the TV blares, and my son constantly asks me question, after question, after question, after question ....
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town, Hampton, Virginia, on the other side of the tracks. I don't really think that the town influenced my writing, but my father definitely did. He was that "go-to" person when folks wanted to hear the absolute truth. I think the harshness of the town and the trials he faced influenced his way of being and in turn, he influenced my honest / in-your-face approach to writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Now, that's a great question! OMG! ALL MY LIFE I HAD TO FIGHT .... (excerpt from the movie "The Color Purple," in case you didn't know) ... actually ... I'm just kidding :) ... Really though ... All my life, I've given no nonsense relationship advice to my friends and family. One day, I had a brilliant idea and decided to get paid for all of my great advice. I started "HeyRachel.org." Needless to say, after ten years, I don't own a yacht or even a small fishing boat, but I've helped a whole hell of a lot of people. I've received tons of responses over the years, from "Thank you Rachel! It's because of you that my fiance finally proposed" to "Thank you Rachel! You helped me find the courage to leave a really bad relationship." THEY say ... do what you love and the fame and fortune will come! ... Hey "THEY" ... I'm still waiting?????? :)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After a failed deal with Random House, I put all of my writing on a shelf and pouted for several years. One day, at the end of a long, hard day at work, a co-worker blurted "Hey Rachel! Why don't you download all the books you've written on an eBook website? You can make millions and finally be able to tell your boss to take your job and shove it!" I instantly became highly motivated. Finally, a platform for all of my blood, sweat, and tears. Now, I am soooo excited to be able to share my common sense, humorous, in-your-face advice with the whoooooolllllle entire world!!!!!!!!! P.S. ... this story is only half true and mostly embellished ... my co-worker actually said that I could make a few bucks and be able to buy lunch instead of always bringing freakin' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work. :)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is to be able to say whatever the heck I want to say! To be able to say those things that most people think, but would never dare say. I absolutely love it!
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans, even though many of them may not love or agree with me ... but hey, what can I say? The debates make for great thought-provoking conversation. If I can help just one person find the love that he/she truly deserves .... all is well!
What are you working on next?
I am working on Hey Rachel! (Book 2) ... This advice book is really going to be wild!!!! It will focus on all those relationship issues that are taboo ... so taboo, that I am slightly afraid to give you just a little sneak peek ..... :) I recently completed my second book "Troy the Wee Boy" for children ages 4-10. It's a great story that I often told my students when I taught elementary school. I am also currently filming a short film for my Atlanta based screenplay titled "Raggity Anns." I am crazy busy and lovin' it!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
..... the mortgage, the light bill, cable bill, gas bill, my car note, strawberry cake, a cold diet coke, bacon, reciprocated love and the light of my life ... MY SON!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Where should I start? If I'm not writing or working, I'm cleaning, cooking, washing clothes, deciphering homework, taking care of my awesome family, begging them to take care of me, listening to other folks problems, watching reality TV, and vacationing (every blue moon). I could make up some glamorous life, but what the heck, honesty is always the best policy!
Published 2014-05-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Hey Rachel! Real Talk. Real Relationships. Real Advice.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,770. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Dysfunctional relationships, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
(5.00)
A woman loves with her heart. A man loves with his…uhhh…little head? At the onset of a relationship and during a relationship, most women allow their heart and that thing called “passion” to guide the way…but we all know what guides most men. Ladies, by just infusing a little common sense and logic into the mix, you are guaranteed success in finding and maintaining great relationships!