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Writer of the Week: Rachel Bowdler

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

Hello everyone! Thanks for joining us this week as we get to know more about Rachel. She is a freelance writer, editor, and sometimes photographer from the UK. She spends most of her time away with the faeries. When she is not putting off writing by scrolling through Twitter and binge-watching sitcoms, you can find her walking her dog, painting, and passionately crying about her favourite fictional characters.

Every other week, BrightStar Publishing will highlight a queer writer in an interview style. We'll all get to know a little more about them and what they're working on. Join us every other Monday to help uplift and support fellow writers.

So without further-ado, please welcome Rachel Bowdler!

Do you have a writing space or can you write anywhere?

Nope, I’m really terrible when it comes to my spaces! I have a desk in my room but somehow always end up writing on the couch or in my bed – oops! Wherever I am, though, I have to make sure my space is quiet otherwise I lose track of what I’m doing.

What is your favorite part about writing?

I think my favourite part is the initial idea. I love thinking up new characters and new premises without any real idea of where it could go – that’s when it feels most exciting. Plus, it’s also when I start making Pinterest boards and playlists and building up the plot. It’s always fun to see where it leads (usually somewhere I didn’t expect)!

What is the most important thing in your writing? Telling a good story, characters, plot, representation, fun, etc.

I’m not sure I could pick just one! As a pansexual author from a low-income background, representation plays a huge part in everything for me, whether I’m reading or writing, and as I grow into my own voice and discover more things about myself, that’s becoming more important than ever – especially as I become more aware of the major lack of diversity in the industry. More than that, though, writing should always be fun and feed my passion. If it’s not, I don’t feel like I’m telling the right story and I end up dissatisfied and/or suffering from writer’s block.

Favorite book overall or favorite most recent book?

I think I’ll have to go with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I read it almost a year ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. It’s also one of the first sapphic stories I read and I remember how special it felt to see female sexuality represented so well and so freely. It’s a must-read for anyone, I think. I must admit that my comfort book at the moment is Samantha Young’s As Dust Dances, though. Sometimes you need a good, Scottish romance after a difficult day!

What is your pre-writing process like? Plotter? Pantser?

A bit of both! Now that I’m a freelance romance author, I have to prepare my pitches and ideas in advance, so I usually come up with a loose outline initially and then adjust things as I write. My books never end up the way I’ve planned completely, but I like not knowing what to expect!

What are you currently working on?

I’m about to edit and turn in a sapphic adventure romance named Cursed in Love, following a museum curator/archaeologist and an uptight lawyer way out of her comfort zone on holiday on the Isle of Skye. It’s inspired by two of my favourite movies – Without a Paddle and Romancing the Stone – and was so much fun to write! As it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I’m also working on a historical fantasy romance surrounding witches and vampires in Victorian Edinburgh, which is something new and very different from my usual contemporary romances!

What do you have out/published already?

I have fifteen novellas out exclusive to Scribd, with nine now available on Amazon too. They’re all quick, romantic novellas of various sub-genres. I’m also about to announce a two-book deal for my debut novel!

Where can people find you on social media?

You can find me everywhere! My Twitter and Instagram handles are @RachelBowdler_ and my Facebook and TikTok are @rachelbowdlerwrites.

Best advice to give someone who wants to start writing?

Don’t overthink it. Don’t spend too long wondering if you should or talking yourself out of it. If the words flow, go with them – and if they don’t, please don’t give up on them. Sometimes they can be shy, but they’ll come when they’re ready if you let them! Be patient and kind with your story and with yourself, and I promise you’ll be just fine.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Rachel! It means a lot to us that we uplift and support queer writers. Definitely reach out to the writer if you want to talk or learn more about them and their craft! Again, thank you, and see you every other Monday with a new writer of the week! :)

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If you or someone you know want to be featured in our #WriteroftheWeek, please reach out to us via DM on either Instagram or Twitter! :)

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