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I’m pleased to indroduce Rachel Hanson, a delightful fellow indie author and feminist who firmly believes in accepting yourself and your body as you are, and who specializes in character driven stories that will touch your heart. She also has a penchant for the finer things in life; specifically, nice clothing–and popcorn, lots of popcorn.

1.  What can you tell us about your debut book, and where can readers find it? My first book is a novelette entitled “The Life and Times of Rebecca Walker.”  It’s about a young woman, Rebecca, who is a waitress trying to break into the photography business.  Through the help of one of her customers she gets the break that she’s looking for and starts to face some of the darker parts of her past and who she is now.  You can find it on Amazon and Smashwords

2. How is work on your next project, Paisley Tines, coming along, and what would you like readers to know about the story? 9th grade for Paisley is going really well.  She’s passionate about what she’s doing (enjoying volleyball and her classes) and starting to get excited for the holidays.  I think something important for people to know about Paisley is that she’s a typical teen who is trying to figure herself out.

3. Will Paisley’s story be the main focus of your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) word-count challenge, or do you have another project in mind? I will be focusing on Paisley for NaNoWriMo. I’m really hoping to introduce her first book during the New Year.

4. Do your academic interests in gender studies & women’s rights inspire your writing and vice versa? My academic pursuits definitely influence my writing.  Part of what I focus on in my studies are media influences on gender identity and my findings influence the type of characters that I create. On the opposite side, what I write often influences my academic pursuits as I find that I’m curious in what makes someone who they are.

5. What motivates you to write? There are so many things that motivate me to write. My desire to write fiction started to provide myself with a relief from all the academic writing that I do.  I like to write, I just needed to remind myself of it.  I also think that a lot of people want to read parts of their story as happening to someone else.  When I come across a story that I recognize I always really like being able to relate to the character in that way.

6. What do you find particularly challenging when writing? Apart from finding time to do the type of writing that I want (feminist theorists take up a lot of my writing time), I would say that the most challenging thing is to take all the ideas rolling around in my brain and putting them into a story that is going to speak to my readers.

7.  Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp? One thing that I hope I can convey in my writing is that it is possible to excel after being in a difficult time.  I think that the one word that I would hope describes my work is hope.

8. Are there any up-coming events for social change/women’s rights that you plan to participate in, and have you participated in any in the past? Minneapolis recently hosted its’ first Slut Walk event.  Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but I understand it was really fantastic. One of the most influential women’s movements I’ve ever had the opportunity of participating in was a “Go Run” training hosted by The White House Project.  The White House Project is an organization dedicated to training women to run for public office.  As the name would imply, their ultimate goals is to help get a woman elected to the office of President.

9. What do you like to do for fun? Fun, what is fun?  Haha, I’m only joking.  While it really depends on the mood that I’m in there are a few staples that I really love.  Reading, writing, and playing video games are right up there.  Once in a while I’ll try my skill at something new in the kitchen, which can be really exciting.

10.  What would be your ideal writer’s retreat? Honestly, anywhere somewhat quiet would be great.  Maybe like a cabin in the woods (with all the amenities of being in the city, haha) close to the highway so I could hear cars driving by.

11.  What’s something not many people know about you? I’m really excited about turning 30! I just turned 23 this year, so I have seven years to go.  For reasons that escape me most people look at me and think that I must be 16 or 17 so the prospect of looking like an adult is pretty exciting to me.

12.  Where can readers connect with you? You can receive updates to my blog, www.rachelahanson.wordpress.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter, www.twitter.com/rahanson10.  Finally, if you have any questions about my work you can e-mail me at rachelhanson10@gmail.com

 Thank you Rachel!

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