Welcome everyone, so good to see you all again.
Tonight I am delighted to inform you that our Author Interview tonight is part of an exciting blog tour running throughout 23rd Jan to 23rd Feb 2018.
Just a quick note/Public Service Announcement before we get under way properly. I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉
So without further delay, may I introduce you all to author Rachel Dacus, as she chats about her debut novel release and poetry collections, along with sharing her passions and inspirations too.
Happy reading folks and have a wonderful time 🙂
Hi there Rachel, thank you for joining us to discuss your poetry books and debut romantic novel release that was just published earlier this month.
Thank you for inviting me! I’m very pleased to be here.
Firstly, let’s start with your debut romantic time travel novel “The Renaissance Club”, which has just been published and is now available. Can you tell us more about what inspired the premise of your book, the plot/themes woven into it, along with giving us more of an insight into how the time travel element affects the nature of your story?
The Renaissance Club was born from an experience like that of my main character: traveling on a group tour of the art and history of Renaissance Italy over three beauty-packed, fantastic weeks. It was preceded by a long course on the Italian Renaissance, so when I got to actual Italy, the art seemed to come alive and speak to me as if newly created, and its creators standing just behind their masterpieces. That gave me the idea of time-travel. The idea of a love story was born out of studying my main 17th century character, Gianlorenzo Bernini. What a passionate soul and passionate life! Of course, you see it right away in his art. To stand before his Saint Teresa in Ecstasy gave me the idea of the artist and/or the statue coming to life.
If your novel was to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
I’ve got a Pinterest board that’s a casting call for The Renaissance Club! After much deliberation, I’d like James McAvoy in the role of Gianlorenzo Bernini. I wouldn’t have thought he could summon as much intensity as Bernini was said to have, until I saw him in Atomic Blonde. For May Gold, a lovely actress named Lily Collins is a lookalike for the way I envisioned May.
James McAvoy would be perfect for the role of Gianlorenzo Bernini
You also have published multiple poetry books and a spoken word poetry CD. Please tell us more about their titles and specific themes that unify the material in these collections.
My poetry collections are Earth Lessons, Femme au Chapeau, Gods of Water and Air, and the CD A God You Can Dance. Gods seem to wander through my writing, from nature spirits to an overarching divinity, hence the titles. I think of my website’s tagline as the heart of my different themes: “In my world, love always wins”. I think of it in the big-picture sense, from the gravity that holds us to the planet, to human romance, to universal compassion. For me, paying attention to the world around me is a form of love.
How does a poem begin for you? Does it start with an image, a form or a particular theme?
I often start a poem with an image. It might be a certain scatter of clouds on a slightly misty blue sky in January. It could be a sound: birdsongs often do it. I might not even wind up using the image in the finished poem, but it sets a tone. Sometimes it begins with a line, like a command, or a statement. My favorite poems often begin with compelling first lines that you just know came to the poet whole and unbidden, like Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers”.
Are there any poetic forms you haven’t tried yet but would like to?
I’ve never done a sestina. I enjoy writing villanelles, sonnets, and pantoums, the French forms with repeating lines that you turn to be slightly different each time. Once I tried something Billy Collins had made up, a form called a paradelle, but it had so much repetition it was silly. Which was his point. It was a parody.
How important is accessibility of the meaning of your poems? Should we have to work hard to “solve” the poems and discover their deeper meanings?
To me a poem has to be something of a mystery or I don’t feel it’s really a poem. Poetry proceeds not by logic but by association and emotional tone, a mysterious chain of connections. We should have to not work but feel through the poem, maybe rereading several times to fully receive it. That said, I dislike poetry that entirely shuns logic and shuts the reader out. Obscurity for its own sake is ridiculous.
Has your own opinion or idea of what poetry is changed since you first started writing poetry?
Oh, definitely! A million times. It’s taken me decades to realize poetry is meant to make the hair stand up on the back of your arm (Emily Dickinson’s definition of a poem).
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
I’d like to adopt the tiger as my mascot, both for their fierceness and solitary nature, and because tigers are incredibly great mothers.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
The flaws in relationships that can be repaired by understanding and with great effort fascinate me. Also, the flaws within ourselves that can be transformed in similar ways. I’m interested in transformation, personal growth, and the development of compassion. I love reading fiction that embraces these themes.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
The most difficult part of writing for me is editing. Stepping back from the canvas to see the larger structure, whether it’s a poem, essay, or novel, requires time, detachment, and a willingness to see your own flaws. Accepting good critiques, which I’m very grateful to get, is also difficult. But it’s such a necessary part of the process that I wish I’d learn to endure my own flaws in writing a lot sooner. The easiest for me is starting something new. I’m always so hopeful it will be easy and quick to finish!
Who are some of your favourite authors, historical figures, poets and poems?
I’m a devout fan of Jane Austen, a genius who reinvented the novel and drew a lot of her ideas from theater. Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are two absolute favorite poets. Among contemporary writers, I read and reread everything from Douglas Adams to Annie Dillard. Ann Patchett is a favorite novelist, specially her Bel Canto. My favorite poets are currently Tony Hoagland and British poet Alice Oswald, for her brilliant book-length poem Dart, about a river and its people. I relate, because I grew up in a fishing town in southern California, where the people belonged to the ocean.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
I love research, especially when it involves Italy, art, and history. For my first three novels, it will, as they’re all going to be set there. Research yields ideas, and history is fascinating. I often wish I’d majored in it instead of literature, though they’re of course intertwined.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
As a child, I wanted to find more books I liked to read! And I ran out of everything appealing in our local library, plus there were only so many Oz books and fairytales, so I decided to invent my own books. I wrote my first book at age ten, so I’d have something to read.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t give up. Take more writing classes. Pay attention to good critiques offered in a positive spirit. People know things you don’t.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Free time? (Joking.) I walk a lot, because my energetic terrier insists on. I love going out on the beautiful trails around our San Francisco Bay Area. Attending plays isn’t a frequent thrill, but a big one. I even got to see Hamilton last year (and rapped along)! But seriously, when is a writer not writing? Everything is material.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I’m very excited about my new novel in progress, The Romantics. Also set in Italy, it’s the story of two feuding half-sisters who inherit a cottage on the Ligurian coast, along with its resident ghost, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Don’t ever quit, and write every day. Seriously, even if it’s just a little light editing. Give your creative self that gift every single day of your life and your writing will become better in leaps and bounds.
And that’s a wrap! 🙂 Thank you for a memorable interview Rachel, we can’t wait to travel deep into your romantic adventure soon 🙂
Rachel Dacus is the daughter of a bipolar rocket engineer who blew up a number of missiles during the race-to-space 1950’s. He was also an accomplished painter. Rachel studied at UC Berkeley and has remained in the San Francisco area. Her most recent poetry book, Gods of Water and Air, combines poetry, prose, and a short play on the afterlife of dogs. Other poetry books are Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau.
Her interest in Italy was ignited by a course and tour on the Italian Renaissance. She’s been hooked on Italy ever since. Her essay “Venice and the Passion to Nurture” was anthologized in Italy, A Love Story: Women Write About the Italian Experience. When not writing, she raises funds for nonprofit causes and takes walks with her Silky Terrier. She blogs at Rocket Kid Writing.
You can connect with her via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Rachel Dacus, Poet & Writer (FB)
Goodreads:- Rachel Dacus (Goodreads Author)
Pinterest:- @rdacus (Pinterest)
Twitter:- @Rachel_Dacus (Twitter)
Website:- In my world, love always wins – The Website of Author Rachel Dacus
You can buy her books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Do I even need to ask 😉 Bet you do, I would too! Since Rachel has written a romantic time travel novel, just like her love between the protagonists in her book, this is something to hold dear and cherish forever. For more articles on the theme of ‘Cherish’ then check out the links below:-
1. Little Wonder – The Mistful Mind
2. Cherished Moments in Time – LFLOP * LiveFree & LoveOnPurpose
3. The Word Patina..what evokes? – Uma’s life and thoughts
4. Niets Wat Ik Niet Koester – Lynn’s Paper Heart
5. You Learn Something New Every Day – Day 19 – Appreciate What You Have
6. The Icognito Writer – Cherish What You Have, Cherish What There Is
7. Clare’s Cosmos – The Year That Was
8. Sweater Hugs – Positively Un-broken
9. Tokyo-Yokohama – Whispers in the Wind
10. vi. fragrance – Tiny Fawns
11. A teenager’s mistake – Musings
12. yi-ching lin photography – loquat
13. Home Is Where The Heart Is (Chicago, IL, Christmas ’17) – samanthawmchu
14. Battery Life – The Mum Poet
15. Confess and cherish – In my world
16. Perfect Gift Idea to Start the New Year – This and That 404
17. Word Prompt: Cherish – GeenaGean
18. Grandparents & Parents Revelations: A love story – Expedition Overlanding Nomadic Adventures
19. logicaldreams – Short Story: To Leave The Palace
20. suziland too or obsolete childhood – Merry Christmas
21. sonja benskin mesher – . children .
22. Writer’s block – Deranged Entry Two
23. Last Day – A Christmas Tragedy – theintrepidwanderess
24. Cushion for old age… – Mum’s the Word Blog
25. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Cherish.
26. Cherish – wordsareallihavesite
27. Success Inspirers World – Cherish
28. Sticking Close – The Chicken Grandma
29. the apocalypse – vertical combustion
30. yi-ching lin photography – homeward
31. Chair-ish? vs. Cherish – THE JAWESOME LIFE
32. Chasing Thoughts And View Points – A Time To Cherish
33. Silently Remembered – Leigha Robbins
34. witchlike – Quiz: Which Christmas Fairy are You?
35. The Good Things in Life – ILA TYAGI
36. The Best Gifts In Life Are The Memories You Cherish – Curious Cat
37. I hope you cherish those moments and pay it forward! – Pearls Global Impact
38. Life: Only The Best… – Success Strategies
39. Cherish – Kindled Interests
40. 2017 Favourites – DISCOVER WHEN LOST
41. Love Coach Laura Harju – Passionately positive
42. Cherish! – Rabina’s journal
43. Treasure, Cherish, Love – My Heart’s Treasures
44. Evolution – The Chaos Within
45. For the Love of Christmas – Christmas Poems (Mimi’s Passion)
46. Best presents aren’t found under the tree – Quaint Revival
47. copypower – Cherish Life
48. Beggar, Slave, Fugitive, Slummer – The Pescetarian Poet
49. Cherished memories – The Journey
50. A Piece of Childhood – One Life.Many Journeys.
51. Knowing Before Marriage; What You Say? – Online Zaroorat e Rishta in Pakistan – Online Rishta Pakistan
52. Put down the Wallet. Cherish your Family. – The Bright and Bubbly Chronicles
53. Grammar with Glamour – Cherish the humanity!
54. Cherish – Run and Travel
55. SAND DOLLAR SEASON – CHERISH
56. Reminiscing 2017 – Reflections!
57. Weird Christmas Traditions – Story or Thoughts
58. Ashtamisprime – Daily prompt- Cherish
59. 2017 – year to remember – Whisper
60. My Journey Across China
61. Momentum of Jo – Christmas Flu By
62. Christmas – Around the World
63. The Real Treasure of the Caribbean: Haiti, Part 1. Baked Fish. – koolkosherkitchen
64. The View From My Window – From Me to You…
65. Cherish Christmas with Cherrie – Apple Cherrie
66. Notes to Women – The Winter Coat
67. juantetcts – Daily Post/Cherish
68. Unique Barcelona – Journeys of Len
69. Walk with God – Cherish the Gift
70. y – we are exchanging
71. Christmas moments on Park Street – The Wanderer
72. yi-ching lin photography – family time
73. CHERISHED MEMORIES – Demystifying Destiny
74. mskcafe – A SEASON TO CHERISH
75. Daily Prompt-Cherish – The Hearty Heart
76. thoughts and entanglements – Nightmare & Horror
77. thoughts and entanglements – Merry Christmas!!
78. Cherish. Trigger Warning. – Honing skills and loving the ride
79. Cherish these moments – I Am Writing
80. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Merry Christmas!
81. Laidig’s Broadway – Final Feat: Accidental Horizon
82. Christmas Blessings – Adventuresnluv
83. Cherish – Image & Word
84. ‘Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees’ – Wells Baum
85. Red’s Wrap – The Bluest Bike
86. Leaving Home – Pinda Pineda
87. Fluffy Pool – Cherish is the Word
88. Cherish – iamdeltapositivenegative
89. Cherish Others – aroused
90. Go – I am a paradox.
91. The Seminary of Praying Mantis – slid down for kicks
92. Mirth and Motivation – Motivation Mondays: Cherish Christmas & Holidays
93. Cherish, A Preteen’s Soundtrack – Curious Steph
94. Like Cher – Ben East Books
95. Christmas Presents – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
96. A RAIN-DRIED NOTION – Progress
97. Drawing Back The Curtain – Christmas Spirit
98. Cherish – Covert Novelist
99. Life On The Skinny Branches – Cherished Objects
100. Stim the Line – Stocking Traditions
101. Cherish – constant VARIABLE
102. Having myself a Merry little Christmas – Piercing the Mundane
103. The Consulting Writer – S-s-s-so Cold
104. ~359 Of 365~ – ……….365 Days………..
105. A Time For Everything – Live Like It Matters
106. sparksfromacombustiblemind – Cherish
107. Merry Christmas – Nodia’s New Adventure
108. Cherish the memories … #wordprompt – IdeasBecomeWords
109. Cherish – abbisoul
110. Margret’s Life Journey! – Merry Christmas!
111. Swell Time – Coffee and fill the stockings
112. Sagesse :|: Oblige – The Room
113. Light Motifs II – Cherish
114. Cherish Those Closest to You Always – Miami’s Lost Son
115. Freedom of speech – Word Play … Work in Progress.
116. Toortsie, Kameel en Bokbaaivygie se blog – Cherish
117. Po’ Girl Shines – Cherish God With All Your Heart
118. Cherish – Sgeoil
119. Beginnings – Sonder Stories
120. Cherish – Dylan Pung
121. Musings of a Random Mind – What is a Mother?
122. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – The Spontaneous Christmas
123. Dear A – Diary of a Dysfunctional Girl
124. COMING HOME TO YOU – Grief Poetry
125. DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society – Things to Cherish at Christmas
126. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – Death Might Be Your Santa Claus Coming To Town by REV. J.M. GATES Vs. BOOKER T. & THE M.G.’S
127. Lovin’ Life – Wind Kisses
128. Christmas Haiku #13 – Christmas Dinner – Dream Desire Achieve
129. Someone else… – Zachary W Gilbert, Author
130. Babsje Heron – Beautiful Great Blue Heron Wishing You Peace On Earth (Not Art Nbr 15)
131. Back to Pardubice – Ostendnomadography
132. Frank Prem – injecting the black
133. The High After Christmas Morning – Blissfully Bianca
134. Frank Prem – the journey
135. Cherish – Megha’s World
136. Frank Prem – cherishing
137. Cherish – This, That, and The Other
138. Never alone , keep going…/Suzhalgal
139. A mild warm hug for the year-end – Revolving Around Life
140. So God Made a Grandchild – Embracing Life
141. I Wasn’t Going to Post a Story Today But – Paul Cox Writer
142. 50 By 60 – Merry Christmas Weigh-In, aka Before The Storm!
143. Cherish – Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin
144. Cherishables – Oh, border!
145. sarishboo – Cherish These Moments Because Tomorrow They Will Be Memories
146. Painful Phantoms – Beauty Mirrors Beast
147. Beautiful Allegory – emotionsoflife2016
148. We Should Cherish Our Blessings – What if We all Cared?
149. Merry Christmas 2017!!! – My Life.. My Thoughts..!
150. Cherish – A’z
151. CONNECTED – Cherish
152. Writer’s block – 2017 Christmas Day
153. Cherish – Mistyroads
154. Broken Smile – Ink Soaked Soul – Megha Bhartiya
155. Gone to the beach – Nomad
156. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – mitts
157. ‘Tis the season! How is Christmas Eve celebrated? * Plunder My Art
158. Cherish the memories!! – And Miles to go before I sleep…
159. I do because… – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
160. Writing with Spirit – Cherishing Christmas
161. Photograph – Vulnerable Head
162. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Cherishing Feline
163. Cherish Us – A’z
164. Changing These 7 Behaviors Will Give You More Time for Your Family – A lot from Lydia
165. Zombie Flamingos – Merry Christmas everyone!
166. Christmas Day – citySonnet
167. TIME SLIPS AWAY – lovenlosses
168. Cherish – Wings Of Poetry
169. Curious Hart – Cherish Christmas
170. theempathyqueen – Cherished Solitude
171. Our talk (Daily Prompt : Cherish) – The Secret Letters to Timbo
172. Something Old, Something New – Musings Undwindled
173. So, This is #Christmas – Jerome Danner
174. Embrace – Poetry By Jeremy
175. Cimmerian Sentiment – Delivering Cake – (Part – 7) Snow Angel
176. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – It’s Cherishing time
177. Being someone else’s Santa this Christmas – Lifestyle at its best
178. G.I.R.L – Woman by choice
179. Cherish: The Greatest Treasure – As I was saying…
180. Christmas of Fucked Up Year – A Bunch of Rants
181. Cherish – Gratis Radicalite
182. Betty – binneyblog
183. Scrambled, Not Fried – For Carlos
184. parallax – Cherish
185. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Cherish
186. Seasons of Life(Travelling to Nature’s Cradle-Coorg) – The Logophile’s Corner
187. Merry Christmas! – Random Musings
188. Dronstad – Christmas 2017
189. So Far Away… – Zeckrombryan
190. ….on pets and prisoners….. – Happy Monday: cherish
191. Rainbow of Goodness – Kurilane
192. Cherish – cocoa2
193. Hot White Snow – Cherish the Holidays
194. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Sentimental Journey
195. Merry Christmas My Angels 🙂
196. Designer Sophisticate – Merry Christmas, everyone!
197. Dreaming – This Girl’s Got Curves
198. The Gypsy Soul Diaries – #PilotWifeProblems: Alone for the Holidays