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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Introducing...Rachel Rager

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week an a half about what I would say on my first post. Unfortunately, when I sit down to the computer to talk about myself, I freeze. Not to mention, I am the last new blogger to put in my intro. Perhaps everyone is tired of reading about the authors here. But, I want you to know me as a writer and as a person.
I love to write! And what better way to pass the time? It’s therapeutic in so many ways. Yet when I sit down to my computer and read all the introductions of these great authors I blog with, I get intimidated because I’m so new. Yes, I am a very new author! My first book, By Love or By Sea, was published in April 2009. And what a great adventure it’s been!
You might say, “Well, Rachel, you published a book. That counts for something.”
And it does! I have loved the journey I took to get published! It is a great accomplishment. Especially for someone like me, who couldn’t spell well as a child and didn’t like to read and didn’t do it well either. So, it’s amazing that I ever desired to write a book and see it to fruition. (Therefore, please forgive me for my spelling and grammatical errors. I like them!)
You may ask what my passions were before I began to write. Well, I majored in Vocal Performance. That’s right, I sing. Opera, specifically. I’m a coloratura soprano (that means I sing REALLY high.) When I was young, my mom would play the piano for the musicals at the college and I would often go with her to rehearsals. I LOVE musical theater! It helped make me the hopeless romantic that I am. And I always dreamed of starring in a play someday.
Unfortunately, this was a dream I never saw to fruition, for I got married and had three beautiful daughters. Do I regret that I never fulfilled that dream? No. I star in all my stories!
You may ask, “Rachel, if you hated reading and loved to sing, how did you start writing?”
Honestly, I owe my choice in this matter to one person. Marcia Lynn McClure. Shortly after my first daughter was born, my mother-in-law gave me A Heavenly Surrender to read. I loved it and eagerly searched out more of Marcia’s books. At the time, she only had three in print, but I devoured them!
Then one night I had a dream and when I woke up, I decided to try and write it down. Did I imagine anything might come of it? Of course not. I didn’t even know if I’d have the patience to sit and write all those words! Still, I eagerly wrote down an outline and then timidly told my husband. I will always remember the doubtful look on his face as he said, “Well…I guess if you really want to.”
I told no one else! Instead I wrote. After a month of typing during my daughter’s naps and while my husband was in classes, I finished. And it was terrible! But I had done what I set out to do. So I edited and submitted it. (Only then did I tell my mother, who was floored by my revelation.)
Needless to say, my first attempt was rejected, but I persisted. I kept rewriting, editing, and even began writing another book. I also broadened my horizons and read tons of books. With each rewrite or book I read, I learned more and more. Finally, after five years, I had written five stories. I submitted my third story and finally got a contract with CFI. Six years (almost to the month) after I started writing, I accomplished another goal and held a copy of my book in my hands. What a journey and what an incredible accomplishment!
So to anyone just starting out, I would say learn all you can, never give up, and enjoy it!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rachel,

It was so great to read this! Kind of funny how life turns out! I have loved to read from the time I was in about 7th grade. It was at that point I thought hey I want to be a writer!! I have dozens of sprial notebooks packed away of stories that I wrote from 7th grade on. I just never did anything with them. If there is one thing your story is taught me its that it's never to late. I should break them out and expand on them!!

Thank You!
Krystin Bachmeier Osterman

Stephanie Black said...

Congrats on your book, Rachel! Writing a book is definitely a huge achievement and something to celebrate!

I think that is awesome that you sing opera! You are one multi-talented woman!

Abigail said...

Rachel,

I am so proud of you! Congratulations on your book and I hope that you continue to write. It is so inspirational hearing your story and it gives me hope for my own creations. Keep up the good work!

Abby Beaver

Rachel said...

Krystin, Stephanie, and Abby, thanks for the nice words! It has been so much fun to grow and develope as an author. And as I grow there, I grow in other areas of my life as well. Thanks for the well wishes!

Christine Thackeray said...

Wow, wow, wow!!! You're incredible. This is going to be fun.

Heather Justesen said...

Well, I had submitted (and been rejected) by the time I hit six years, but it'll be pushing ten before I actually get to hold my book in my hands. Luckily I worked on tons of projects and learned like crazy about writing during that time--and I needed it! =)

That's awesome you were able to overcome so much to get yoru book in print. You must be one dedicated lady.

Rachel said...

Heather, and Christine, thanks for the comments. I don't know that I'd own the 'incredible' part but thanks! I heard a quote once that I've put a ton of faith in. I don't even remember who said it. The jist of it is that not to persist is to fail. And I loved it so much, I made it my mission. I didn't have to be a best seller, but I was going to do everything I could to get into print. And I did! And oh, what fun! And I love sharing my story because of the inspiration it gives to others. So, I pretend to be 'dedicated' and 'incredible' but I'm really just too stubborn to give up! :)

Safe Harbor Daycare said...

Rachel,
Your new book is fabulous and I'm sure the beginning of many more. It's very admirable that you can do all this with three young daughters, it's proof that you lead a well balanced life. I personally know of your terrific voice and it is angelic to say the least. Hey, maybe you can sing your next book. :) Good luck in all your future endeavers and never give up, you're proof you can do anything you set your mind to. I look forward to many more writings from you.

Safe Harbor Daycare said...

Oops didn't realize my Google account was my business account...lol Safe Harbor is actually Barb Cook.

Tiger Gilliam said...

I have to admit I was surprised when I found out you were an author cus you are so talented at music. But I really loved reading about your journey. It reminds me of how I started music, just waking up one day and saying "well, why not me??" I'm so proud of you! You have persisted so long and you are a great reminder to us all the endure and not give up if we really want it. You are so brave to venture into something you never thought you could do, and look at you now. I'm so just so proud of you!! :)

Laurie LC Lewis said...

Congrats Rachel and all the Cedar Fort Ladies on your new blog! It's great to get to know what motivates and inspires each of you. How fun for you guys to have a "fortress" to share!
Laurie

Rachel said...

Thanks Barb, Ashlee, and Laurie! This has been lots of fun! I hope you will all come back and visit me and the other ladies here on "fortress!"

Krista Darrach said...

Wow Rachel!
Loved hearing/reading about your journey!
That is so exciting - gives me hope.
:-)

Tea Time Consultants said...

Rachel, Thank you for your intro.
My blog is http://www.teatimeconsultants.blogspot.com

Stop by sometime.

Rene Allen said...

Rachel, I loved your picture and intro - now I finally can picture you and put your wonderful efforts into a place in my brain where I WILL REMEMBER you. It's so great to see and read about your success. Best wishes for all that's ahead - Rene from ANWA

kersten campbell said...

Rachel! You are inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story!

JoAnn Arnold said...

I can only say that I agree with those who commented before me. I loved your story

Rachel said...

WOW! I had no idea that my story would be so well recieved! I'm so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to leave me a little note!!! And thanks for the well wishes. I've never been someone else's inspiration before. It's kind of a neat feeling! Thanks so much, EVERYONE! Your support means the world to me!
Happy Kisses!

Jaime Theler said...

I loved reading this! And my sister is a heckuva singer too. I squeak out my best in church choir. Can't wait to check out your book!

Lyle Mortimer said...

After your blog and all the comments You have to come sing for me.

Lyle Mortimer said...

Hey. I've an idea. Let's have a musical theatre night at Cedar Fort.

Rachel said...

Jamie,
I'm sure you do just fine! I have heard very few in my life who are 'truly' tone-deaf. Most just claim it!
And Lyle, name the time and place! LOL! I'm in the precess of moving, though, so give me a chance to get settled! My mom's ward is putting together selections from the Messiah for Christmas and they've asked me to do the soprano solos. I just got my tonsils out in November and it's been quite an adjustment to learn to sing again. But fun! I just sang in Stake Conference two weeks ago and it wasn't too shabby. So, hopefully, I'll be in full-force again come Christmas!