Rachel Rain Martin: I have been writing short stories as long as I can remember. In my early twenties, I started a romance novel. I wish I knew where that manuscript was now! I also wrote a children’s book probably ten to twelve years ago that my oldest son and I prepared together. I wrote the story, he illustrated it. That one is priceless, I have it stored away!
Rachel: How cute! You're definitely right - that one is priceless. Tell us about your novel and where the idea came from. Is this part of a series or a standalone?
RRM: Ashes of Richmond is a historical fiction/romance novel. It begins as Sherman has destroyed Atlanta and is occupying Savannah. Farah McConnell, the protagonist, falls for a Union Soldier who also happens to be her step-sister’s beau. Farah follows him to Richmond, Virginia shortly after the South’s “Evacuation Sunday” has left the city charred and burned. A chance encounter with the outlaw Jesse James changes Farah’s fate once again and forces her to leave the ashes of Richmond behind her. This is the first in a trilogy highlighting the McConnell Sisters, Farah, Hannah and Melody. Hannah’s story is next, with an expected release date of October 7, 2015 from KCL Publishing. It will be titled Ghosts of Luna Creek. My ideas come from meditation. I see them like pictures, and then I write it down.
Rachel: What an exciting plot! Do you write in multiple genres or stick to only one?
RRM: My novels have all been in the same historical fiction/romance genre. I have several short stories that range in genre from mystery to paranormal. Historical is my favorite because I am such a history buff, but paranormal follows close behind.
Rachel: What and who inspires you?
RRM: Nature inspires me. I wish I had a desk outside. Oprah inspires me. She had a hard childhood and overcame many obstacles. She knew what her life calling was and she chased it. I admire her immensely. I also admire author Kathryn Stockett. The Help was rejected by over sixty literary agents before agent Susan Ramer signed. As of August 2011, it was published in 35 countries and three languages and spent 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. That’s awesome. I keep that book by my desk so I will remember not to give up.
Rachel: I have to agree, nature inspires me as well. Is this your first professional publication?
RRM: Yes. My debut novel, On the Bluffs of Cane Creek, is self-published and currently available online at Amazon, Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, etc. It is also a historical fiction/romance novel. This one is set in the 1830’s and follows a young girl’s life as she is taken in by the Cherokee Indians on the Trail of Tears. I am very excited and blessed to now be represented by KCL Publishing!
Rachel: We're excited too! Do you have other projects currently being worked on? If so, can you tell us anything about them?
RRM: I am more than halfway finished with my next novel, Ghosts of Luna Creek. The only other projects I am currently working on are a research paper for an environmental studies class and preparing On the Bluffs of Cane Creek for Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards contest. Ashes of Richmond will be displayed at the Tybee Island Book Festival in Tybee Island, Georgia, September 17-18 2015.
Rachel: It sounds like you have a full schedule. Where can your audience keep up-to-date with you and your writing projects?
RRM: I am available on several platforms online:
And of course, www.kclpublishing.com
Thank you again, Rachel, for sitting down with me for this interview. It was a pleasure to get to know you a bit more, especially after reading your well-crafted novel, Ashes of Richmond, which is now available for purchase. Click here for more information on where you can buy Martin's first novel in the McConnell series. Also be sure to keep up-to-date on her website and social media accounts as well as KCL's website so you don't miss out on the second novel, Ghosts of Luna Creek, in the McConnell series.