Plunged into a musical family at birth, Rachel Harlin was exposed to the excitement and magic of musical theater throughout her childhood. Starry-eyed, she attended college musical rehearsals with her pianist mother – imagining herself as the heroine in the spotlight – becoming a hopeless romantic from the start. Though Rachel’s own natural musical gifts motivated her through college and she now holds a vocal performance degree in operatic singing, she has loved writing sweet romance novels for over seven years. Creative writing has served as a beautiful escape from the emotional rigors of raising her family.
Rachel published her first novel, By Love or By Sea in April of 2009 and continues to write sweet romance novels. She currently lives in Santa Rosa, California where she enjoys curling up with a good book, getting her own creative thoughts on paper, and singing. She loves picnics in the park and being the mom to eight future starlets.
Ramblings about Me
I don't think you can get a good feel for who I am through my bio, but who knows. So, a little about me. I hated writing when I was young. I hated the idea that I had to conform and write what someone else wanted me to write. (I still feel that way!) But now that I write what I want, I LOVE it!
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 a family. 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!
After a month of typing during my daughter’s naps, 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!