Interview with Raschelle Wurzer

» Posted on Jul 5, 2011 in Blog | 7 comments

Beyond PrejudiceThis week I’m hosting Raschelle Wurzer with Beyond Prejudice, Ronie Kendig with Wolfbane, and Terri Reed with The Innocent Witness. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (July 10th) evening.

Interview with Raschelle Wurzer:

1.  What made you start writing?

I’ve been enamored with fiction since I learned to read.  It was a joke with my dad’s family that ‘Raschelle always has a book in her hands’.  Even when it was time to learn to drive, I was remorseful that I couldn’t be in the back seat reading.  It was from this love of the written word that the dream of being a writer sprung.  I enjoyed every writing course I ever took in school, but it wasn’t until shortly after high school when I took my first Institute of Children’s Literature course that I decided writing was my passion.  This passion deepened with my positions as college newspaper editor and news writer for a local newspaper.  Two more diplomas in writing set my course for a professional writing career.

2.  How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

It may be difficult for any author to pinpoint a moment in time that began their writing journey.  However, I began writing with the goal of publication the year following my high school graduation.

It took seven years from idea to publication of my debut novel, Beyond Prejudice.  I was offered a contract with Liberty University Press in February 2011.

3.  How do you handle rejections?

Being a sensitive, reflective writer, it’s best for me to scan a rejection and either file it or recycle it immediately.  When it’s not staring at me from the top of my desk, I can more easily accept it, record it, and most importantly, move on with other submissions and writing projects.  The moving on is key to success, as every serious writer experiences rejections.

4.  Why do you write?

I could say I write because I love to, or that it fits my personality, or that it is a perfect career for a stay-at-home mom.  But although all these reasons are true, I would have to say I write because I am “compelled” to write.  This compelling comes in the form of the gentle tugging of what I believe is God’s calling on my life, after knowing Him and being the wife and mother He has called me to be.  When the God Who formed me continues to shape me into who He’s predestined me to be, I strive to be pliable, knowing that the end result of His will is always greater than anything I could have dreamed and accomplished on my own.

5.  What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

In any free time not spent with my husband, children, or writing, I am most often reading.  So, if I didn’t write, I guess I’d read more books!

6.  What are you working on right now?

I am in the planning stages of a contemporary novel based on my experiences as an NICU mom.  I would also like to pursue a sequel to Beyond Prejudice.

7.  Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

In Beyond Prejudice, the main character, Elizabeth, is patterned after myself.  Her struggles of trust have often reflected my own.  It is interesting that in the seven years it took to write, revise, and market my book, I feel that I grew with my main character.

I was learning to trust God as a young adult when He brought me my husband, Daniel.  There was no striving involved.  God just made it happen.  However, the single-most circumstance of my life that compelled me to trust God was the pre-term birth of our first-born, Elizabeth Anne, at 23 ½ weeks gestation.  She was 1 pound 4 ½ ounces and 11 inches long.  Before birth, she was given a 35% chance of survival.  While traveling 200 miles round-trip to the NICU every other day for five months, I learned the validity of God performing miracles today.  It was a daily struggle of trust, though, as some days she was progressing, gaining weight, and breathing some on her own, and other days she was digressing, retaining water, and struggling on 80% oxygen.

We now have another daughter, Edith Avery, born full-term, and are expecting a son August 4.

8.  Tell us about the book you have out right now.

In Beyond Prejudice, as the year 1941 draws to a close, the bombs at Pearl Harbor shatter the wedding dreams of Elizabeth Tyler.  David Mitsuko, Elizabeth’s Japanese American fiancé, is evacuated from San Francisco with the rest of the West Coast Japanese at the command of an executive order.

When David and Elizabeth’s engagement is broken indefinitely, Elizabeth seeks comfort in internment camp employment, only to be pursued by handsome Project Director, Caleb Phelps.  When faith collides with love, Elizabeth must decide who will win her heart.

9.  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Sometimes, an author may argue that life gets in the way of writing, but I would rather conclude that life is the source of writing and offers a torrent of ideas, characterizations, settings, plots, etc. from which to propel a story full of life and breath.

Embrace life and the experiences God places in your pathway, even if it disrupts your predetermined short or long-term goals.  There’s a reason for it, and that reason could be the stuff of your novel that makes it sell.

10. How important is faith in your books?

Without faith, the essence of my writing would fail.  What is life, that faith, or the lack of it, isn’t found in every corner?

Writing is hard work.  I would be hard-pressed to go through the process without faith, or to think it worthwhile after the glory has faded without faith in Jesus Christ as my guiding light.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

I love to read historical fiction, and hence, love to write it.  World War II is my favorite time period as there are many aspects of the war that are overlooked or were less publicized.

However, delving into my own recent life experiences, I am interested in pursuing contemporary fiction as well as a means to further share those experiences with the world.

I thrive on themes and circumstances that require my main characters to relinquish their human hold on life and its outcomes and rely on God while living out what He’s compelled them to do.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Beyond Prejudice is my only published book.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

At present, my writing schedule is formed around the needs of my family, as I believe it should be.  I am first “compelled” in my role as a wife and mother, (and homeschool preschool teacher beginning this fall!), so my writing schedule is irregular at present.  As this is contrary to my need for organization, it’s another opportunity for me to trust God that I will accomplish what He wants me to each day.

I try to write when my children are napping for maximized concentration, and have also found that early mornings when everyone else is still in bed can be especially productive.

And then there’s deadlines.  Nothing can motivate me to work quickly and efficiently like a deadline!

 

7 Comments

  1. The books sound very interesting. Would like to read them.

  2. Beyond Prejudice sounds like a wonderful book. I will look for it at my favorite bookstore.

  3. Beyond Prejudice covers a time in history I’ve always loved reading about. And then my son got married–and his father-in-law’s parents lived through this time in history. Suddenly what I’d only read about became personal. Beyond Prejudice sounds like a must-read book!

    beth@bethvogt.com

  4. thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story 🙂

  5. After having witnessed the evolution of this amazing story, I recommend it highly. Raschelle is not only a wonderful writer, but a beautiful person inside and out.

    • Yes, Raschelle is a wonderful person; concerned for others, and a stimulating mother, friend , sister and daughter.

  6. Beyond Prejudice is an inspiring book, not only of unprejudiced romance, but of unexpected surprises that show love , emotional strength and virtuous obedience. Amazing joy and reconcilliation results in the main character’s decision to choose God’s way instead of her own. Not only is it a must-read, but will enlighten the heart of any true disciple of Jesus Christ to know God holds all our todays and tomorrows, as all our hopes and dreams are in the palm of His hand. This beautiful piece of literature recaptures the threats of freedom, turned to a liberty than only a man and woman, in love, can understand!

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