JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
Rachel Berry, author of Family Pictures
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With..
Family pictures is the family saga about two women with too many secrets, and the up and down relationships with the people they call family.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Family Pictures?
Rachel Berry: I got the idea after observing family photos. We all have them, smiling faces of gathered loved ones. But in every picture, in every family, each person is dealing with challenges and celebrations, stories the eye can’t see. Secrets and life lessons are internal to all families. That’s what this story is about. Everyday people.
JP: Many times, the person we portray ourselves to be is truly different from the person we truly are. What interesting situation has a reader relayed to you due to reading Family Pictures?
RB: I had a reader tell me that after buying the book for her sister to read, her sister revealed to her about being sexually abused. She felt open to talk about it after reading the book. The reader said she was astonished. After knowing her sister all her life, she had no idea that had happened.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Family Pictures getting out to the public?
RB: Determination. I had a story I wanted to be told. Perseverance and patience also are tools. It takes a lot to self-publish. I didn’t want a book that looked like an amateur had put it together. Also research. You have got to know as much about the business and literary world as much as possible. Research is an ongoing venture.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Family Pictures?
RB: I write as much as I can whenever I can. I carry a notebook and tape-recorder with me. I write in my head at night and jot it down in the morning. I write in my head as I drive and write it down when I get to work.
I have full plate, so I don’t get to write as much as I’d like to. I wrote this book ten years ago. It took me about a year. I had at least fifteen drafts before I said, “It’s a wrap.”
JP: What’s next for Rachel Berry?
RB: More books. I plan to release a YA novella I wrote before Family Pictures this summer entitled A Slip In The Right Direction and Between The Tears And The Laughter this winter. My works in progress include another chapbook of poetry, my first novel series Mixed Blessings, and hopefully next year a spoken-word CD.
*Family Pictures made the EDC Creations list for best books of 2009
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P.S.S. Rachel Berry has provided a copy of Family Pictures to JoeyPinkney.com to give to the winner of the book giveaway. Berry is also an advertiser with JoeyPinkney.com.
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