Debut Author Spotlight: Rachel Dunne

Rachel DunneWe love discovering debut authors — think of all the awesomeness they've yet to write! Today we'd like to introduce you to Rachel Dunne, whose first novel, the fantasy In the Shadow of the Gods, is out soon. 

Name: Rachel Dunne

Book: In the Shadow of the Gods

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Bound Gods

Current Home: Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Author Icon: Impossible to pick just one, so I’ll narrow it down to two: Mark Lawrence and Guy Gavriel Kay

Favorite Word: Superfluous

Was this the first full-length novel you ever wrote?

No, but I’d really like to forget the actual first one I wrote when I was 14. This is the second full-length novel I’ve ever written, but the first one that’s not horribly embarrassing.

How did you start writing?

There hasn’t really ever been a time in my life when I wasn’t writing or telling stories—that’s just always been a part of who I am. I love stories, I love books, and I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer, even if the stories I wrote were only ever for myself.

What was it like when you got "The Call"?

I was at work when I got the email from my agent that everything was finalized, and I’m lucky my coworkers are so awesome and supportive. There was a lot of really high-pitched squeeing, and some dancing that was a lot like jumping and flailing. It felt really surreal then, and it still does sometimes.

What's your favorite paragraph in In the Shadow of the Gods?

Oof, that’s tough! Most of my favorite passages are from the character Scal’s point of view, because his voice is so unique and fun to write.

So Scal learned to hate. These people who looked so like him, who spoke the words his heart had always known, they were no blood of his. No matter what Iveran said, he would never be one of them. He learned to make a mask of his face, to keep the hatred hidden away. He would lay at night in his pile of furs in Iveran’s home and listen to the chieftain snore. The little bone knife in his hand. The lump of his hatred and his hurt held closest in his heart. He would wish for Iveran’s death, as he had never before wished for a man to die. And yet he would stay wrapped in his furs all night, and sheathe the little knife only in his boot.

What's been the best and most unexpected part of your writing journey so far?

The best part, hands down, has been working with my amazing editor Rebecca Lucash. I always had the belief that I was a first-draft-and-done kind of writer (oh, the hubris … ), and that the editing process would mostly be small tweaks, corrections, polishing. Turns out it’s a lot more than that, and I’ve never been happier to be wrong! Rebecca has been wonderful to work with, and it’s so great having someone who’s just as excited about my book as I am. In the Shadow of the Gods wouldn’t be the book it is today without her, in a very literal sense—she “made” me rewrite about a fourth of the book, and even though I fought her in the beginning, she was so right, and I am so grateful.

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June, 2016