Interview with Rachel L. Hamm

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Burlington, NC. It's a small city, but it's constantly growing. It's also close to a lot of larger cities: Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Raleigh-Durham.

I grew up in the South, but I was born in the North - in Buffalo. My parents were thorough Yankees when I was growing up. It took a long time for them to stop calling soda "pop" and to admit "ya'll" is a word. I think I got the best of both worlds. The south has better accents and food, but the north has better weather (I hate the heat) and sports teams.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote when I was younger - silly little poems and I was constantly journaling, but I never thought of myself as a writer, really. It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I thought about it seriously as a career trajectory. I was 24. I was living with my parents. I hated my crappy, dead-end job. So I started writing about it. And I haven't stopped. Now I'm 29, living on my own, in a job I love, with writing on the side.
What's the story behind your latest book?
See the previous answer! Actually, Twenty-Five is the love story I've always wanted for myself. Abigail is a lot like me (she isn't me, but I based her character on myself), and she gets to fall in love. It's beautiful.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I briefly tried the traditional route. Very briefly. I sent out a few letters to agents, got rejected, and put the book away for a couple of years. I always said I would come back to it when I had the time to devote to finding an agent and publisher. Well, that is easier said than done. Time is never to be had! I started reading articles about self-publishing and how it's where the industry is heading. Everything seemed to line up and fall into place. And I've had so much support from my family, friends, and colleagues. I know I made the right decision.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Stepping into my characters' lives and experiencing things through their eyes and hearts.
What are you working on next?
I have two books I'm working on and a couple of ideas that I'm letting germinate. I have a first draft written titled The Maidening Ceremony, and it is a fantasy about a community of merpeople without the ability to love. The second book I've just started writing and it's about a world where everyone is paired with a lifemate and one girl who can't find hers. I'm very excited about them both.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, JK Rowling, John Greene, Gayle Forman
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! I was in fourth grade, I think. There was a contest at my school and my best friend and I won. We got to spend time with our teacher turning our stories into little books. My book was called, "The Summer Aliens Invaded My Brother's Brain," and it is amazing. Amazing in a hilarious, fourth grader, kind of way. My older sister did the illustrations for me. I actually posted it for some of my online critique group to see a couple of years ago and they laughed because my voice has not changed much!
What is your writing process?
I hand-write. A lot of people find this strange because you can write so much faster by typing, but I find my ideas flow more smoothly when I'm handwriting. There's something really beautiful about a pen depositing ink on a page. I like the fact that I can still see my mistakes after the fact. When you're using a computer, you delete sentences or words you don't like, but when I'm writing, I have to cross them out. Sounds weird and silly, I know, but I like it. And sometimes I'll revert back to those "mistakes." Other than that, though, I don't have much of a process. It's different for each book.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mother taught me how to read with Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham. I remember sitting with her on her bed, wrapped in blankets, as she taught me to sound out the words. I am not sure if she choose that book because our last name is "Hamm" but I've always carried that around with me. My love of reading started then - I used to get in trouble in school for reading at my desk instead of paying attention to the teacher!
Published 2013-10-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Twenty-Five
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 96,450. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Abigail is sure her life is going nowhere when she realizes she hasn't done anything on a list of goals she made as a teenager. Ben is looking to find "the one" after his last girlfriend cheated. When they crash into each other, it appears they've found exactly what they wanted. When Abigail is offered a job overseas, they'll discover even true love can find itself separated by time and distance.