New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing. Rachel’s books have been featured in USA Today and Glitter Magazine, and her stories have been finalists in the National Reader’s Choice Award, the Holt Medallion Award, and The Golden Quill.
An admitted bookaholic and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
I write humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the protective men who can’t live without them. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple of my books. And kissing. Lots of kissing.
Books give me an escape, a chance to get away from the everyday routines and stress of dirty dishes, Mount Laundry, and rising bills, and that’s what I strive to give each of my readers. An opportunity to smile, laugh, swoon, and cry while you try on someone else’s skin for a few hours.
People often ask me about my tagline, “Unmask Your Inner Flirt.”
To me, flirt symbolizes the excitement of a new romance. The zing and tingles from the first touch. The anticipation of that first epic kiss. In my mind, it also embodies confidence. As for unmask, that embodies the sorts of stories I love to tell. Stories with characters who for one reason or another hide their true selves, maybe even from themselves, until life puts them in a situation where they have to change. Following a character’s journey to loving the skin they are in and embracing their own unique brand of crazy is a universal theme in my books.
What else should you know about me? Hmm. Well, I’m an unashamed fan-girl and love supporting my fellow authors. I’m also a homeschool mom who spends her days giggling, hugging, and learning with her children. I watch way too much HGTV and Food Network with my husband. And when it comes to my readers, I tend to slobber all over them.
Fact: Bookish people are the best people in the world.
Five Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Me . . . But Totally Should:
— I interned at Entertainment Tonight in NYC the summer before my senior year at LSU. Highlights included the premiere of The Hours, the press junket for America’s Sweethearts, and a commercial set for Victoria’s Secret…where we interviewed Heidi Klum in her underwear. Yep, that was my life for a summer. Definitely memorable!
— Also in college, I produced and hosted two television shows, and channeled my inner Jenny McCarthy (totally showing my age, huh?) for a live dating game show. Showcasing all things collegiate for the shows was a blast, but my favorite episode was Spring Break in Florida. Having to interview a bunch of shirtless dudes on the beach? Best. Job. Ever.
— Research for my first adult romance, Taste The Heat, required LOTS of eating. I did not mind this at all. The fun part came in when my family went with me to a local Cajun restaurant and we ate everything with our eyes closed so we could truly capture the tastes, smells, and feels of the experience. We may or may not have received strange looks.
— My husband went to elementary school with Ian Somerholder from The Vampire Diaries. Yep, I totally have yearbook pictures of him from the fifth grade. And yes, he was hot back then, too.
— I threw up on my first date. For real. If that doesn’t make great fodder for a YA novel, I don’t know what does.
I’m so blessed. I get to homeschool my girls and fill our days with memories. My husband is my rock. He believes in me so completely, I have no choice but to do the same. My street team is the most incredible group of people I’ve ever met, I’ve befriended the most talented authors who have become dear friends for life, and I’m getting to live my dream.
When I was thinking of how best to show you what this journey means to me, I couldn’t stop thinking about the blog post I wrote just after my first book, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, hit bookshelves. I think this post perfectly captures my excitement and awe.
Dreams Come True
Yesterday, I had a dream come true.
How often in life can we say that?
As a kid, I remember dreaming about boys. About being popular. About the tour bus of New Kids on the Block (and later, NSYNC) breaking down near my house and having them all fall madly in love with me (hmm, though that involves boys and would lead to mad popularity, too). And somewhere, tucked in around the edges, always present but never truly admitted aloud, I dreamed about being an author.
I never thought it could happen, of course. Wouldn’t even know where to start. But I wrote stories. Lots of them. Long angtsy dramas, silly short stories, fan fiction about my favorite soap opera couple, I wrote. In college, that writing morphed into articles for the school paper and piecing together clips for television shows I produced, but the drive for creativity was always there.
I graduated, got married, had my girls, and that drive was put into writing and creating unit studies to share with friends and telling bedtime stories to my children. I’d read voraciously and live vicariously through my favorite authors in the pages they created. And my dream lived on.
Then, two years ago, I took a chance and decided to do something with this long-held dream of mine.
And yesterday, I saw copies of my book, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century,on bookshelves.
It was surreal.
And not only did I see my dream come true…I took the day to enjoy it. To savor it. To mark it.
Sharing the experience with my family had to be the best part about all of this–and trust me, there are beaucoup great parts about this.
We spent the whole day together. My husband took off work, my girls and I took off homeschool, and we hung out together as a family, hopping from bookstore to bookstore, riding a mall carousel, having a yummy lunch and delicious dinner, and painting pottery.
Before I continue, it must be said–I am so NOT an artist. It would rock to be like my main character, Cat Crawford, but I honestly can’t draw a straight line… or paint one apparently. Le sigh. It was a blast regardless =)
And while all that rocked, do you wanna know the best part about the best part? It was seeing my beautiful daughters stop whatever they were doing throughout the day, turn to me with smiles splitting their faces, and hearing them say, “Congratulations, Mommy! I’m so proud of you.”
~insert happy clutching of the heart and watery, giddy Mama smiles~
And if THAT weren’t enough, when we entered Barnes and Noble I watched them light up at the sight of their mama’s debut book on the shelf.
As they broke into happy dances holding a copy in their hands (thus erasing any doubt these children are mine *jazz hands*), I knew they were witnessing first-hand that dreams DO come true and amazing things CAN happen, as long as we are willing to work hard enough, want it badly enough, pray without ceasing, and keep on believing.
I realized I am creating a legacy of dreaming big.
In the summer of 2010, when I first decided I wanted to try out this writing thing, it was for slightly selfish reasons. I was a homeschool, stay-at-home mom who wanted to carve out a little slice of something I could do just for me. But since then, it’s evolved into so much more.
Now, by dreaming big myself, I:
- Discuss plot points, character arcs, and dark moments with my girls as we read books and watch movies together
- Read and listen to the stories they create themselves because they want to be writers, too
- Hear the pride in their voice when they tell EVERYONE they meet (and y’all, I truly do mean everyone) about my book, and how and where they can buy it themselves, and mention how those people have to check out the dedication where you can see their names
- And finally, watch them dream big dreams of their own, knowing I’ve helped give them the confidence that nothing is truly impossible
(well, almost nothing. I don’t have much faith in the whole wanting to be a My Little Pony thing)
And I also share this dream with my rock of a man.
My husband is my biggest supporter. He’s constantly talking over plot points with me, he reads everything I write, he pimps my book out at work (along with the pretty purple swag), and he brags about me to whoever will listen. He gives with his heart, his mind, his soul…and let’s be honest, he gives with his wallet.
Cuz y’all, this writing thing isn’t cheap. Not if you want to go to all the awesome conferences, buy all the groovy swag, send all that groovy swag to readers both nationally and internationally (dude, postage adds up with a quickness!), and keep up with the industry by buying and reading a bazillion books a month.
And that is a necessity, right? =)
One day I hope I can supplement my husband’s income with sales and an income of my own, but that won’t happen for a while, and in the meantime, my husband doesn’t bat an eye (well, not much he he) when I mention some new writerly expense.
If it’s important to me, he does whatever he can to make it happen.
It’s impossible, even for a writer, to put into words what that kind of unconditional love, faith, and support means.
If you’ve read any of my posts or interviews over the past year or so, you know I would be a mess without my awesomesauce critique partners, agent, editor, and writing buds. But what I don’t talk about nearly enough is my amazing family. The people who are forced to live with me day in and day out, and who despite my obsession with make-believe worlds and hearing voices in my head, choose to cheer me on, love on me, believe in me, and share the highs and lows of this amazing journey with me 24/7.
So to my beautiful, amazing, blessing of a family, I love you.
I’m blessed by you.
And to my girls, I pray you always remember….. dreams CAN come true.