The Best Moments So Far

One of the best and most chilling moments of the YALLFest last week was a small snippet of a story shared by author Sarah J. Maas on one of the many author panels I listened in on. Someone had asked the question, “What was the moment when you felt like you’d really made it as an author?” and Sarah answered with a cute retelling of the first ever time she saw her book in a bookstore. Her husband taped her blubbering tears and overexcited squeals.

I have to admit that throughout most of those author panels I felt very small and very overwhelmed. The thought “How do I even consider myself a writer?” crossed my mind at least half a dozen times. Looking up at the faces of multi-million dollar women with faces brightly lit from stage lights and books that have more copies than I could ever dream of was pretty daunting. I’m just a tiny little author. Hardly noticeable. I haven’t done any of the cool and exciting things that these women have, and I’ll probably never be able to throw out phrases like “movie adaption” and “prequel” and “best seller list” like they can.

But in that moment, a tiny hot bubble popped in my chest. Because I know that feeling. I can actually remember my Sarah J. Maas moment, blubbering in a bookstore and feeling like I’d finally made it as an author.

November is unofficially and very predictably dubbed as a month of thankfulness, and while I don’t ever want to be one of those “Things I’m Grateful For” kind of bloggers, I did sit down and write a list of the best moments of my career so far. Some are big and important and others are tiny and special. But after writing the list, I didn’t feel small anymore. I may not be selling out box offices in movie adaptions of my books, but my stories have taken me places and opened me up to experiences that few nineteen-year-olds can hold on to.

I want to share these moments with you so that you can realize how non-small you are, too. I sat listening to Sarah Maas feeling like a tiny nobody until I really took time to reflect on what I’ve been able to do. And at nineteen, it made me realize how much time I have to do more. Whoever you are, and whatever your passions, never let someone you admire make you feel tiny. We need to learn to listen to the big and small moments of others and let them guide us back to our own moments.

The Best Moments of My Career So Far

Watching the Interrupted trailer. It was months before the book was released and I’d never even held a copy in my hands. But one day I stumbled across that trailer (I don’t even think Zondervan had emailed me the link yet) and started crying. It felt so real. The people I had created in my mind were flesh and bone and walking and talking and it was actually going to happen. My story was going to become a book. I’ll never forget that day.

Seeing Interrupted at our bookstore the first time. It was around the time the first Hunger Games movie came out, because I remember seeing it in theaters with Hannah and then wondering if the bookstore next to the movie theater would have my book. It felt like a long shot, but we went in and took deep breaths and scanned the shelves. And my heart plummeted and I might have screamed because there it was. Blue and soft and real. Sitting on the shelf of a bookstore. I was having a bad day and wearing a lumpy sweater and I didn’t want to stop taking pictures.

The first time I got a comment on my blog from someone I didn’t know.

Flying to Philly and mom commenting on how many people will never be able to experience something like this. We had a six am flight and the sun was just starting to rise as we climbed into the clouds and my mom turned and looked at me and said, “You do realize all the other sixteen-year-old girls in America are waking up and going to school and you’re flying to Philadelphia to go to your own book signing. Out of all the people in the world, you get to experience this.” And my throat caught.

Walking into Barnes and Noble with Hannah to check out Chasing Jupiter. This time we knew it would be there. It was early January and it had been out for about a week so it was bound to be on the shelf. And there it was, all orange and new, sitting next to the other new releases. This time we were unashamed of our squeals and jumping and the way the employees must have thought we were crazy. Their loss. They were the ones who’d selected my book as one of the staff picks of the month anyway.

Walking into a middle school and seeing posters of my books to get students ready for a signing.

The school that made me peach pie.

Sitting at the Christy Award dinner in St. Louis surrounded by literary greats and actually being counted as one of them. My knees were shaking and I kept wondering, even after I was there, if I was dressed appropriately and looked alright. Janette Oke was seated at a table across from me. They were calling out the authors behind award winning books and oh my gosh, I was one of them. You can’t forget nights like those.

Every time a reader emails me or someone comments on my blog. Every. Single. Time.

The first time I heard someone say, “Interrupted  is my favorite book!”

The Dream Factory Workshop and being surrounded by six beautiful souls for four days. Hearing their stories and learning their voices and knowing that I was having a part in shaping their creative futures.

Hosting the most recent contest on my blog and getting to see my characters come to life through the creative talents of others.

Hearing Jenna’s song “Rocket to Jupiter”.

Walking up to my signing in Seattle and seeing a booth stacked with two hundred copies of Chasing Jupiter and realizing I had to sign them all. Hand cramps are the most incredible feeling in the world, when they come from something like that.

Getting a text from a friend telling me I was in WORLD Magazine.

The first time I was on tv. Or the radio. Or in a magazine. Anytime someone wanted to mention my books at all.

The month my hometown decided to put me on the front page of the newspaper for Women’s Month (February). I swear I could feel the excitement of all the old people at church.

 

Finally meeting my agent in person in Seattle – or spending several days with his family out on a lake in Oregon.

Realizing I met my best friend in the world through this blog. What if I had never started blogging? Or written a book? Would I know Elaini?

Hearing my dad tell me he is proud of me. Out of all the moments and all the mentions and all the praise, that’s probably the best moment so far.

*

I hope this didn’t come across as a narcissistic post bragging on all of the cool things I’ve done. On the contrary, I know I will probably never be Veronica Roth or James Dashner or Shannon Hale. But I’m learning to find grace and gratitude in what I have been able to do, and this post is to encourage you to rejoice in your tiny victories too.

-Rachel

 

Contest Winners

Hey guys! Sorry I kinda went MIA the last week. Elaini texted me to ask what blog post I was working on and I had to respond a very rushed “Who has time for blogging?” kind of answer while I hurried to get stuff done. Lots of fun stuff coming up. Roadtripping this weekend, and then posting info on the next Dream Factory Workshop later this month!

But anyway. I wanted to announce the winners of the contest I hosted last month! I challenged my readers to create something based on one of my books. The top prize was a $50 B&N gift card, and the two runner-ups got signed book sets!

First place went to Jenna, who wrote a song, “Rocket to Jupiter”, based on Chasing Jupiter. You can watch it here!

I feel like this girl is the next Taylor Swift. Check out some of her lyrics below…

I’m gonna build you a rocket to Jupiter

Who says it’s impossible? 

We can fly away and live amongst the stars

I’d do it, I’d do it, for you

I’d do it, do it…for you.

I mean, wow. Jenna sent a little note along with the song that said,  ”My song focuses on Scarlett and Cliff’s relationship throughout the story and how she wanted to do whatever she could to make sure that he was happy. Even if it meant making a rocket, no matter how impossible the idea sounded.”
*
Second place went to Josie, who created this beautiful hidden meaning portrait of Allie Everly from Interrupted.

 

Josie said, “ I wanted to tell about Allie Everly’s life using pictures but wanted it to be more than just a portrait of her. I wanted my picture to have second meaning. To do that I created a hidden meaning portrait. It’s like a caricatures, but instead of exaggerating the most prominent features, one takes pieces of a persons life (dates, people, likes/dislikes, hobbies, etc. ) and incorporated them, using doodling, into that persons portrait….At the second, third, and even forth glance you will notice more than the time before. ”

If you look closely, you can see all kinds of little doodles from the book. Allie’s name, her cat, piano keys, the moon, Emily Dickinson, phrases like “my miracle.” It made my mouth drop open to see a reader pay this much attention to the details of the story and capture it so well!

*

And third place was rightfully won by Lindsey, who created this adorable model “rocket” from Chasing Jupiter.

According to Lindsey, “It’s made from a Pringles can, the top of a water bottle, and some cardboard for the fins. The picture in the center is Cliff, Grandpop Barley, Frank, and Scarlet in astronaut outfits.” Remember how the book ends with Cliff revealing the faces of the people he loves in the rocket? I imagine it looked exactly like this. It’s totally my vision, come to life.

*

I couldn’t just end there, though. There were so many amazing entries and I feel like I should share some of the others for you guys to enjoy, even if I can’t give as much detail on them!

Fan fiction – Audrey

Sometimes I wonder what this world was like before.  Was it darker?  Did the sun rise brighter?  Other times I find myself wondering what I was like before, was I happier?  Did I like things I don’t now-such as artichokes?  What was this world-my world-like, before it changed?  I suppose these are things I’ll never find the answers to; except for the answers she can give me…

Mini paintings – Elaini

Poem – Rachel

Pencil drawing – Lily

Pencil drawing – Isabella

Fan fiction – Amelia

Sam reached into his chest pocket and pulled the piece of paper out. Unfolding it, he squinted at the feminine handwriting in the dark light of the landing craft. Even though he already knew the letter by heart, seeing the faint pencil marks on the paper made Allie seem closer. He scanned the cramped lettering, his eyes falling to the last line of the letter:

I love you. I truly do miss you, and think of you every day.

Photograph – Natalie

Poem – Grace

Sweep me into a rhythm of swinging and swaying joy

Lead me onto a dance floor as smooth as mahogany glass

Twirl me and spin me

Teach me the right steps

All as we dance cheek to cheek.

Dancing is made for partners, not lone girls in chiffon and silk

Songs like this one are meant for laughter instead of my tears

Together in cadence

We’ll forget there’s a war on

All as we dance cheek to cheek.

*

A HUGE thank you to everyone who participated! I write because I have things to say, but I also write because people like you listen. Thank you for loving my characters like I do and gifting me with these creative projects. I hope that you all enjoy seeing what everyone has produced, and encourage each other to keep taking inspiration from your favorite books and creating new things!

-Rachel

CONTEST – Be My Fan, Okay?

So many of you have been writing me to ask what I’ve been up to lately. Am I writing a third book? Yes. But can I share what it’s about? No, not yet. Am I planning to go to college next year? Yes, I think so. Do I know what college I’m going to? No, not yet. (Anyone want to offer me a full scholarship? Ha. Ha.)

I’ve been trying to stay hyped to keep writing because #1: I love the new story I’m working on. But also because #2: I love my fans and I want to give you guys something new to read soon!

So one way I’ve been trying to stay “in the mood” is by going through and reading all the old blog posts/reviews/comments everyone left on the internet when my first two books came out. I was blown away all over again reading through everyone’s thoughts and comments and general gushiness. You made me blush two years later. Yay.

Anyway, after being reminded again of what great readers I have, I decided to do a fun little contest (I’ve never done a contest before) for my fans so you guys can show your love for these characters and I can show my thankfulness for your support! 

Here’s what you can do:

ALL OF MY BLOG READERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CREATE SOMETHING BASED ON ONE OF MY BOOKS. IT CAN BE A DRAWING OF ONE OF MY CHARACTERS, A POEM BASED ON YOUR FAVORITE SCENE, A PIECE OF FAN FICTION, A YOUTUBE VIDEO, A RECORDED SONG, A PIECE OF ART, A PHOTOGRAPH, A HANDMADE DRESS — ANYTHING! BE CREATIVE!

The only requirement is that it has to be based off of either Interrupted or Chasing Jupiter.

In return, I’ll choose three winners. Second and third place winners will both receive autographed sets of my books and a handwritten note from me.

And the first place winner will receive an autographed book set, handwritten note, AND $50 Barnes and Noble giftcard.

(WHAT?? I know, I want it too)

The contest starts today and will last until the end of the month. Then I’ll choose a few friends to help me choose the winners. To send in your entry, email me at rachelcokerwrites(at)hotmail(dot)com with the subject line “Contest”. Attach any photos, documents, or videos to your email and take a minute to explain what your entry is about. I’ll email you back to let you know when I’ve received it. If you would like to physically mail me your entry (which would be, like, so cool), then email and ask for my mailing address and I can give it to you.

Winners will be announced the first week of November. So dig back into those books, get inspired, and let the creative juices flow! I honestly can’t wait to see what you come up with.

{Contest open to all ages and all countries. Contest will end at 12:00 AM EST on November 1, 2014. Winners will be chosen based on creativity, talent, and relevancy to my stories. Winners’ first names and winning entries will be published on my blog.}

-Rachel

Book Updates

Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since I posted some updates on what’s going on in my professional life, so I thought I’d do a little update and get you all caught up!

First off, have you followed me on Google+ yet?? I was getting a lot of requests from readers asking that I start a Google+ page for the blog, so I decided to heed your advice and get on yet another social media bandwagon. If you follow me there, you will be updated several times a week with blog posts, video blogs, photos, and other bookish news and events. And if you haven’t yet, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and  Youtube. (Phew! All the sites, right?)

I was super surprised to find out that my photo and book review were both found in last month’s copy of “World Magazine”. Somehow, everyone forgot to tell me that was happening. I got a Facebook message from one of my friends in Portland explaining that he nearly choked on his bowl of icecream while casually flipping through World Magazine, shocked to find my face smiling back at him from the pages. So of course I looked it up myself and–yep!–it’s true. I’m in there! Not sure if you all can get a past copy of the magazine, but you can read the review here.

It was also a huge honor this month to be featured on the Writer’s Digest site, talking about “How I Got My Agent.” Writer’s Digest is also giving away a copy of my first book, so if you didn’t win big this week in my giveaway, try your hand there to win “Interrupted”!

A lot of readers have also been asking (ahem–begging!) for details on my third book and I am happy to say that I am very, very close to announcing more details on that very, very soon. I know–it’s killing me too. Patience, my pretties… All good things to those who wait.

And that’s all I have to say about that. (Forrest Gump quote for the WIN!)

-Rachel

Video Blog: The Story Behind “Chasing Jupiter”

A lot of you have been asking me about this, so here it is: The complete story of how I came across the idea for my second book, “Chasing Jupiter”, due to be released this December.

Hint: Great book ideas can be discovered if you volunteer to help out with Sunday School at your church. That’s just the honest truth. ;)

-Rachel

P.S. Please, please watch the video so that you can see I don’t actually look like a half-alive seal. Can’t figure out how to change thumbnails under the “new and improved” Youtube settings. -_-

The Publishing Process

As all of you probably realize by now, this is a blog about my life and my thoughts and my ideas. And, obviously, a HUGE part of my life is writing, which is probably why I talk about it all the time! So while it never fails to amuse me to talk about James Dean, and vacations, and mortifying childhood memories, I always have to come back to writing and my life as a writer.

Today I thought I’d share with you all a sort of timeline of what the publishing process actually looks like. I remember before I was published being really curious as to what exactly happens in the real publishing world, and how long all of it really takes. So now that I’ve sort of figured it out (and I’m still learning, by the way), I thought I might share some of the details with all of you inspiring writers and avid readers!

As an example, I’m going to give you the timeline of my second book, Chasing Jupiter, from budding ideas to complete publication (which hasn’t even happened yet–so I’m going to have to guess a few things!)

April, 2011 – The beginning ideas of a new story entitled “Peaches for Sale” begin swimming around in my head and I start working on a word document (one month after my first book was published!)

May, 2011 – I call up my agent and let him know that I’m working on something new. We discuss the next book idea and both grow very, very excited. I promise to send him the first fifty pages soon.

July, 2011 – I finish the complete first draft of “Peaches for Sale”, which runs at approx. 46,000 words, and send it to my agent for review

August, 2011 – I have multiple hour-long conversations with my agent over the phone discussing my new book and brainstorming revisions to make it even better. He writes up his notes and sends the document back to me to edit.

November, 2011 - Zondervan starts asking my agent about my new book and when they can finally see it. We start realizing that we’ve got to get this thing finished and in their inboxes ASAP.

January, 2012 - After months of revisions and editing, I’m finally happy with “Peaches for Sale”, now at over 52,000 words, and give the okay for my agent to send it to my editor at Zondervan

February, 2012 - Zondervan accepts my submission and gives me an offer on my second book!

March, 2012 - I sign the contract for my new book and receive my first advance check from Zondervan

April, 2012 - Multiple creative geniuses at Zondervan meet and brainstorm title and cover ideas for the new book. They eventually email me with the suggested title “Chasing Jupiter”, which I absolutely love! It definitely fits the feel of the book and is much more versital than my previous title, which felt too summery.

I passed this sign on our way back from Florida. I guess I was “Chasing Jupiter” and I didn’t even know it!

May, 2012 - I finally get my hands on the cover to “Chasing Jupiter” and post it here, where I find out that all of you love it as much as I do! A release date for the book is set for December 2012.

May, 2012 - I set up a date to get new author photos taken for publicity purposes–when you’re a teenager, you can change a lot in just a short year and a half! I send a few of my favorites to my editor and publicist to use for promotional ads and the Zondervan website.

The main picture chosen by Zondervan to be my new author photo.

June, 2012 - I receive my first round of major edits from my editor at Zondervan. There’s a lot of work to be done to the book, but I know that all of it will work to make the story stronger and more cohesive for my readers. My deadline for revisions is July 20th.

September, 2012 - I begin making arragements for speaking engagments after the publication of my second book, including schools, libraries, homeschool conventions, and churches (By the way–if you are interested in having me speak at your school, church, or homeschool group, email me and we’ll see if we can work something out! REC804 at hotmail dot com)

At my first ever book signing in Philadelphia with my editor Jacque!

October, 2012 – I send in the dedication for Chasing Jupiter. I forgot about that forInterrupted and I really want something meaningful for this book!

I receive the second round of edits from my editor. This time it’s nothing major, just a few slight tweaks here and there. I give her the okay to make those changes and move on with the production of the book.

November, 2012 - My publicist and other Zondervan workers start putting out ads, arranging interviews, and preparing for the launch of Chasing Jupiter next month!

December, 2012 – I’m sent the mockup cover for the book and look over it to make sure there’s no mistakes, my name is spelled right, and my bio info is correct. Once I give the okay, the book goes to print!

Zondervan sends me the advance copies of my book several weeks before the publication date, as well as sending reading copies to hundreds of lucky bloggers all over the world! Soon, those bloggers will write reviews (good or bad) and start getting the buzz going about my new book. It’s a very scary thing!

My second novel, Chasing Jupiter, is released and should be available at your local bookstore!

Whew! Sometimes I forget about how much work goes into publishing a book! It certainly makes one want to take another vacation, haha! Like I said, this is all just leading up to the release date of the book. After the first of the year, I’ll start doing book signings and speaking engagements again, so like I said, email me if you’re interested in having me sign or speak somewhere near you!

-Rachel

Talking About “Chasing Jupiter”

Yep, you heard it from me first. The official title of my second book is “Chasing Jupiter”, and it’s due to be released in December of this year! Unbelievable, right? I, for one, cannot believe that there is a strong possibility of two Rachel Coker books being published in 2012. It’s absolutely surreal in the best way possible. Watching the whole publication process unfold with Interrupted was amazing, and I can’t wait to go through it all again with Chasing Jupiter! Getting to see the cover, the trailer, the advance copies… I’m just so unbelievably excited for it all!

Speaking of which, here is the cover art:

Cool, right? I love the down-to-earth, vintage-y feel and I’m definitely convinced that this is the perfect cover for the story line. Once you all read the book, you’ll have to tell me if you agree or not, but I’m really feeling it. I would describe the story as having a very cheery, quirky, homey style, and I think this cover fits it really well!

Okay, I know that you all are going to have like a gazillion questions, so I’m going to try to cut you to the chase and answer some of them myself! Using my superpower mind-reading skills, these are the first few questions that I’m thinking you’ll probably have. Here are my answers:

Q: What is this book about?

A: Chasing Jupiter takes place in the summer of 1969, and it revolves around the story of sixteen-year-old Scarlett Blaine, who is growing up in small-town Georgia with her quirky and dysfunctional family. Scarlett has a younger brother named Cliff, who is definitely the oddball of the group. Strange, sometimes moody, and always entertaining, Cliff definitely keeps Scarlett on her toes. Adding even more color to the picture is her eccentric grandfather, Grandpop Barley, whose world revolves around red ties and peanut butter. And then there’s Juli, Scarlett’s beautiful and rebellious older sister, who is doing everything she can to cause strains in the family. Together, they make up quite the loony bunch, and stick out like sore thumbs in the community.

But what starts off as a bright, fun-loving summer quickly down spirals into one of Scarlett’s biggest challenges yet. As the pressures of life and the demands of the outside world start to have their toll on her family, she must learn that protecting and cherishing those she loves is the most important job she has. Scarlett finds herself tottering on the brink of childhood and adulthood, afraid and uncertain about family, love, and the future. But the events that unfold that summer are big enough to change her life forever.

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

A: One of the main characters in this story, Scarlett’s younger brother Cliff, was the first big idea I had regarding this book. And his character was very much based on a boy that I had the pleasure of speaking to once at my church. He’s an autistic child, and I once chatted with him a bit after his Sunday School class. He showed me a list that he had written of all the things he wanted for Christmas. It was so adorable, and it said things like “1) One acrobat, 2) Two flying monkeys, 3) Three marching bands,” and so on. And I remember the last thing on the list was twelve rockets to Jupiter. And that just touched me so much. And I started thinking about this autistic boy, that none of the other kids really understand. They all think he’s weird and freaky and don’t really want anything to do with him. But underneath the moodiness and the eccentricity is this really sweet, amazing kid that I just love talking to.

And that’s how Cliff is, in my mind. All he wants is to be the first astronaut on Jupiter, which may seem like an impossible dream, but that’s all he really wants in life. It’s so simple. And Cliff may have had autism too, but of course no one knew what that was in 1968. To everyone else, he’s just a freak and a weirdo. But Scarlett sees past that to the real gem of a kid that Cliff is, and she has faith in him. And he has faith in her, too. And it’s that mutual love and friendship that really pushes Scarlett to make the right decisions, despite all her doubts and insecurities. It’s a book that’s about the power of family and trust, and I think that their relationship really highlights that.

Q: Did you come up with the title/cover yourself?

A: No, I did not! But it was a very collaborative process and I definitely had imput into what I wanted it to look like. I absolutely loved everything that Zondervan did with the making of this book and I think it is just spot-on! I definitely could not have done it better myself.

Q: Is this another Christian book?

A: Yes!  Although it doesn’t deal much with Christianity until later on the book, there is definitely a great, Christ-centered message there. 1968 was a very confusing time in America, spiritually speaking, and the story reflects a lot of the different movements going on. The hippie culture and Jesus movement are just two examples. But, despite all the craziness of the culture and its New-Age, hippie attitudes, this book has a great, clean, Gospel-centered message of what true Christianity looks like: Full reliance on God for satisfaction and peace.

Q: What’s up with the peach on the cover?

A: Hmm… Would it be really crummy of me to say, “Read it and find out!”? Yes, I suppose it would be. Well, maybe I’ll talk more about that later, but for now I’ll just say that there are peach pies involved in this book. Peach pies that have something to do with rockets to Jupiter. If that makes any sense at all. ;)

-Rachel

The Publishing Process

As all of you probably realize by now, this is a blog about my life and my thoughts and my ideas. And, obviously, a HUGE part of my life is writing, which is probably why I talk about it all the time! So while it never fails to amuse me to talk about James Dean, and vacations, and mortifying childhood memories, I always have to come back to writing and my life as a writer.

Today I thought I’d share with you all a sort of timeline of what the publishing process actually looks like. I remember before I was published being really curious as to what exactly happens in the real publishing world, and how long all of it really takes. So now that I’ve sort of figured it out (and I’m still learning, by the way), I thought I might share some of the details with all of you inspiring writers and avid readers!

As an example, I’m going to give you the timeline of my second book, Chasing Jupiter, from budding ideas to complete publication (which hasn’t even happened yet–so I’m going to have to guess a few things!)

April, 2011 – The beginning ideas of a new story entitled “Peaches for Sale” begin swimming around in my head and I start working on a word document (one month after my first book was published!)

May, 2011 – I call up my agent and let him know that I’m working on something new. We discuss the next book idea and both grow very, very excited. I promise to send him the first fifty pages soon.

July, 2011 – I finish the complete first draft of “Peaches for Sale”, which runs at approx. 46,000 words, and send it to my agent for review

August, 2011 – I have multiple hour-long conversations with my agent over the phone discussing my new book and brainstorming revisions to make it even better. He writes up his notes and sends the document back to me to edit.

November, 2011 - Zondervan starts asking my agent about my new book and when they can finally see it. We start realizing that we’ve got to get this thing finished and in their inboxes ASAP.

January, 2012 - After months of revisions and editing, I’m finally happy with “Peaches for Sale”, now at over 52,000 words, and give the okay for my agent to send it to my editor at Zondervan

February, 2012 - Zondervan accepts my submission and gives me an offer on my second book!

March, 2012 - I sign the contract for my new book and receive my first advance check from Zondervan

April, 2012 - Multiple creative geniuses at Zondervan meet and brainstorm title and cover ideas for the new book. They eventually email me with the suggested title “Chasing Jupiter”, which I absolutely love! It definitely fits the feel of the book and is much more versital than my previous title, which felt too summery.

I passed this sign on our way back from Florida. I guess I was “Chasing Jupiter” and I didn’t even know it!

May, 2012 - I finally get my hands on the cover to “Chasing Jupiter” and post it here, where I find out that all of you love it as much as I do! A release date for the book is set for December 2012.

May, 2012 - I set up a date to get new author photos taken for publicity purposes–when you’re a teenager, you can change a lot in just a short year and a half! I send a few of my favorites to my editor and publicist to use for promotional ads and the Zondervan website.

The main picture chosen by Zondervan to be my new author photo.

June, 2012 - I receive my first round of major edits from my editor at Zondervan. There’s a lot of work to be done to the book, but I know that all of it will work to make the story stronger and more cohesive for my readers. My deadline for revisions is July 20th.

September, 2012 - I begin making arragements for speaking engagments after the publication of my second book, including schools, libraries, homeschool conventions, and churches (By the way–if you are interested in having me speak at your school, church, or homeschool group, email me and we’ll see if we can work something out! REC804 at hotmail dot com)

At my first ever book signing in Philadelphia with my editor Jacque!

October, 2012 – I send in the dedication for Chasing Jupiter. I forgot about that forInterrupted and I really want something meaningful for this book!

I receive the second round of edits from my editor. This time it’s nothing major, just a few slight tweaks here and there. I give her the okay to make those changes and move on with the production of the book.

November, 2012 - My publicist and other Zondervan workers start putting out ads, arranging interviews, and preparing for the launch of Chasing Jupiter next month!

December, 2012 – I’m sent the mockup cover for the book and look over it to make sure there’s no mistakes, my name is spelled right, and my bio info is correct. Once I give the okay, the book goes to print!

Zondervan sends me the advance copies of my book several weeks before the publication date, as well as sending reading copies to hundreds of lucky bloggers all over the world! Soon, those bloggers will write reviews (good or bad) and start getting the buzz going about my new book. It’s a very scary thing!

My second novel, Chasing Jupiter, is released and should be available at your local bookstore!

Whew! Sometimes I forget about how much work goes into publishing a book! It certainly makes one want to take another vacation, haha! Like I said, this is all just leading up to the release date of the book. After the first of the year, I’ll start doing book signings and speaking engagements again, so like I said, email me if you’re interested in having me sign or speak somewhere near you!

-Rachel

Book #2!

Just so you all know, I posted the cover and title to my second book on my Facebookpage today. That’s right–book number two is officially titled, “Chasing Jupiter” and it’s due to be released this December! I just need to figure out how to post the image here… The file is really big and it’s not working. :( Oh, well! Hopefully I’ll post the photo here tomorrow and share all the details in a nice long blog post! :)

-Rachel

Chasing Jupiter

In Rachel Coker’s second YA novel, sixteen-year-old Scarlett Blaine discovers coming of age at a farm, and caring for her autistic brother amidst family tensions, is far from peachy. When a tragic accident and financial difficulties place more pressures on Scarlett’s shoulders, she has to find a hope to cling to before it’s too late.