If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Spending time with my husband and our soon to be 9-year-old daughter, and trying to soak up as many adventures as we can. This summer we went hiking in the Shawnee National Forest and slept in a tree house!
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
My website is www.rachelruizbooks.com. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. My handle for all three is: @rachelruizbooks
What’s the last book you read?
I first read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in college, and now that I’m totally hooked on the Hulu series, I was inspired to read it again. Margaret Atwood writes with such beautiful and painstaking detail. As terrifying as the journey was, I felt transported to the world of Gilead, which is exactly what a good book should do for you! Before that, I read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover and, on my daughter’s recommendation, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. I loved them both.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
The Cinque Terre in Italy. My husband and I spent part of our honeymoon there. It’s a magical place and an artist’s haven.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” – Harper Lee
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
“Write every day.” It’s that simple. I really try to stick to this, even if I only have 30 minutes. It keeps me connected to my writing and makes it a priority.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
Since my first picture book When Penny Met POTUS debuted two years ago, I’ve had so many new ideas for picture books and I’ve wanted to produce so much more, and now I feel like I will! I’ll have Tracy in my corner to support and champion my work. And I’ll be part of a community that supports and cheers each other on. It’s an exciting time!
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
If querying is not going well, maybe you should take a break. Before signing with Bookends, I had taken time off from querying for about a year or more. Researching agents and what they’re currently looking for is full-time job in itself. As important as it is to do that work, I felt it was taking up precious writing time, and I really wanted to focus on getting some manuscripts in shape for submission. Once I did start querying again, I felt better prepared because I knew my work was more polished and I had given myself time to do my research.