Rachel A Marks is a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. She teaches her four kids at home and tries not to act like a nerd during science class. She was voted: “Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse,” but hopes she’ll never have to test the theory.
A little about you, first. Do you have any hidden talents?
RAM: A hidden talent, huh?
I can ride a pretty mean trail on my dirt-bike. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue… lol (very technical). Okay, I think one talent that not many people know I have is my ability to know what people are feeling, read their emotions. I’ve always been a bit of a people-watcher, but when I was a teenager I realized it had become a weird hobby. I loved trying to understand people, watch their expressions and eyes. I find humans extremely fascinating. ;) Which is why I probably always draw the face and hands in my fantasy artwork (the pieces that tell the story). It’s a hobby that definitely helps in my writing as well.
Tell us about your book — what themes does it tackle?
RAM: Winter Rose is a YA coming-of-age romance with a dash of magical realism. It tackles some pretty deep topics but I think the main goal of the book was to show the journey of the heart. It’s a very simple story, with a very simple theme (love saves us), but the goal was to make the reader not just read the story of Rose, but to FEEL it with her. I wanted the events it to be vivid and mark them, like they did her.
RAM: On a whole, I think mostly I just want my readers to be able to escape through my writing. That’s why I love to read, anyway. But I also hope that my work is able to speak to their hearts and help them feel less alone.
Which other indie authors do you recommend or admire?
RAM: I’m just beginning this journey of the Indie Author, and I’m still getting to know people out there, but I do admire folks that work hard at the craft, put out amazing product that raises the market to that higher level, and have an energetic attitude, willing to help others. I have many many friends in my writer’s group CODEX that embody this. You can find the list of award winners (some Indie, some Legacy) on the Codex Writer’s Website.
Lastly, what question should I have asked you, and why?
RAM: What made me put my work out under the Indie Umbrella now, rather than waiting to find a publisher?
This question means the most to me right now because I’ve been actively trying to get one of my novels published for seven years now (not that long in some circles), but in that time my life-journey has taken many many odd turns.
That first year, my husband and I sold everything and packed up our four kids, moved to a ranch in the middle-of-nowhere, and then proceeded to lose everything we owned within a year (definitely an adventure!). When we came back “home” I was very ill and after several years and a misdiagnosis, it was discovered I had cancer. After a year of treatment I was set loose with a clean bill of health and no hair, as well as several new health issues. Until I was taken back into the hospital and another tumor was found in my chest. After more surgery it turned out to be benign but the constant attack on my body was wearing me down, making it almost impossible to draw or write.
As much as I could, I worked on my craft, though. I tried to write one of my projects when energy permitted, drew several important drawings from the emotion, and was blessed to meet countless amazing people along the way.
And now, I’m feeling my health return, and my seven year journey is taking another turn. We’ll see where the road takes me next.
Because it’s not about the end goal of that “Rich & Famous Contract” but rather about the journey. The things we learn along the way, how much we grow. I wanted people to read what I’d created. For better or worse. And, though I’m still working to find a publisher for one of my novels, I’m excited to take some of my work and reach out to people where I can.