Q&A: Rockstars & Roosters with Rachael Eliker

Rachael Eliker is the author of contemporary rockstar romcoms. She will chat about the inspiration behind her rockstar series, what it’s like raising a family on a farm, and how she’s stayed positive despite some setbacks.

Q. Thanks for chatting with me Rachael! How is today going so far?

A. Pretty good! A few chores, some writing, finished painting the kitchen, gave everyone a haircut…can’t complain.

Q. That is awesome. I offered to cut my husband’s hair, but he politely declined (still scarred from my newlywed-20-something-years-ago attempts). Lol. What color did you paint your kitchen?

A. šŸ˜‚ I have given my husband a few awful haircuts myself. Maybe I’m getting better? I have no idea. Kitchen is now a neutral beige. It was kind of a mossy green before. Nothing against the color but it didn’t feel “right,” if that makes sense.

Q. Yeah, I get that. So let me start by remembering how we met. I think I beta read one of your princess novels two years ago? Is that published? If so, what is the title?

A. Actually, I beta read your fun romantic suspense with the veterinarian. I think you beta read my reader magnet…I think? šŸ˜‚ It’s been a few years. I have some princess ideas but like so much, it’s in the to-do pile still. C’est la vie.

Q. Ha, okay! Or maybe it was one of your rockstar books. So tell me about how you got started with publishing.

A. I think that sounds right. As far as publishing books, I started dabbling in writing about nine years ago when my oldest was just a baby but it was before I knew much about self-publishing (there wasn’t a huge platform for it). It wasn’t until five years ago that I actually hit publish.

Q. What nudged you into finally doing it?

A. I had two miscarriages in a row and think I needed to feel “successful” aside from being a wife and mother. I wanted to explore some of the talents and interests I hadn’t before. I’ve always enjoyed reading and did well in my English classes in school, but don’t think I envisioned myself as being an author until recently.

Q. Sorry about the miscarriages but I think it’s great you explored your talents and interests. What kinds of books do you write and how many have you published since?

A. I started with some YA horse novels. They’ve since been unpublished and will be republished this summer (now that I feel like I’ve learned about tropes and writing to market and all that jazz). Recently, I’ve been sticking to clean romance/romcom but have ideas for books all over the spectrum. To date, I have published 11 books, with one being released next week. There are several that I’ve written that will never see the light of day, haha!

Q. Congrats on your upcoming release. Which one is that?

A. Thanks! Long time coming it seems like. It’s the sixth in my romcom series, titled Falling for the Star.

Q.  Cool. How many will be in the series and what inspired you to write novels around the rockstar lifestyle?

A. There will be a seventh and final book in the series, hopefully released late this spring (but with life how it is, I’m trying to be flexible).

Q. Do you have any musical background?

A.Yes, lots of music in my personal history BUT not exactly rock star style. I took piano lessons for eight years and started on the clarinet in elementary school, though I eventually switched to the tuba. I played in marching band through college and LOVED it.

As far as why rockstars? I think it’s my own introverted nature which wondered what it would be like to be in the limelight. Fun to pretend but I definitely would wither in the spotlight.

Q. Is it challenging to write clean rom-com around rockstars? Why or why not?

A. I think it definitely can be, especially since there can be some reader expectation but honestly, I think it’s been working really well for me to keep them clean. It challenges me to keep the story pacing moving and focus on the character’s emotional and relationship growth. Of course, I still think there needs to be some real chemistry between the guy and girl to make it believable and swoony.

Q. Great strategy! Frankly I am surprised about your YA horse novels being unpublished. They seemed to hit the mark. What are you doing this time around for them? It’s a genre that I’d like to try someday soon.

A. I love those stories so much and am excited about reworking them. I’m moving some bits of the story around and changing the timeline so the main character will remain a teen throughout the series. It is definitely a genre I love, although I somehow manage to stick horses in almost every book I write. I can’t help it, haha!

Q. Horses…and horsey life…love it. Our kids got us into horses and it’s been a fun lifestyle. Which brings me to my next set of questions. I understand you are a homesteader? Is that the right term for it? And if so, what does that mean?

A. I like to refer to ourselves as that, though we kind of walk the line. My husband works in downtown Indianapolis as an aerospace engineer, so we have ties to big city life, but since we’ve had kids, we’ve been really fortunate to live in the country. Every house we’ve bought has been a fixer upper and we have brought animals with us every time. It’s a lot of work and a lot of days, I feel like I’m never going to get ahead, but we love living so closely tied to the land and relying on our own hard work to get things done.

Q. Nice. How many acres do you live on and what kinds of animals do you have?

A. We’re on 12 acres and have two horses, three (almost four…one of our Jerseys is due next month) cows, six turkeys, 19 chickens, two cats, and a dog. Goats are next, I hope. What about you?? I’ve always wondered what your set up looks like.

Q. We are on six acres. We had 5 horses until recently when we had to put one down. Two indoor cats, at least three neighbor cats that hang out at our property, and my husband wishes we had a dog (but I am taking a break for now).

A. Oh, bummer. Sorry to hear about your horse. That’s rough. And I hear you about the dog. Love dogs, but I also love the independence of cats.

Q. Thank you. It was a hard day during a hard time. Magic was a great horse.

I ran across one of your blog posts as recently as last week, which prompted me to reach out to you. You’ve already had quite a year, even before COVID-19. Let’s see…your hubby got stung by bees, your household got the flu… I am trying to remember the other highlights.

You also were plowed into by another driver…dragged 20 feet into a field, as I remember it. Your horse got laminitis (ugh…so hard to treat in the winter). But…your title was upbeat. Down but not out. And your post inspired me because of your positive attitude. How do you do it?

A.Haha, yes! This COVID-19 stuff feels like a break from life. šŸ˜‚ Things have been hectic around here. The highlights were probably getting the flu twice (B then A strain), my husband went into anaphylaxis after some of his honey bees got mad, my old gelding is having hoof and teeth issues, and yeah, the car accident which also discovered some potential thyroid issues. It’s definitely felt like a lot.

Q. Yikes. I guess you should be an old hand with today’s crisis. Does it help that you are homesteading already? That seems to encourage self-reliance, growing your own food, that kind of thing…

A. As far as staying positive…sometimes, it’s a conscious choice to laugh and be happy, sometimes it comes much easier. I know we’re all grateful to be alive and have another day on earth. That makes a lot of the smaller stuff really seem inconsequential.

Q. That is beautiful. I love your perspective.

A. I have told my husband many times during this that I’m so glad we are living the life we are. Things are undoubtedly tough and uncertain, but he has a great job, we have fresh eggs, fresh milk, beef in the freezer, space for a garden, an orchard…like I mentioned, TONS of work but worth the peace of mind. We honestly get enough that we can also share with others. That’s a good feeling to be able to lighten someone else’s burden, too.

Q. Fresh dairy sounds sooooo yummy. Good for you. What kind of writing/publishing routine has worked for you through all these, er, interesting times? How often are you publishing what length novels?

A. Definitely have to be flexible! Since the kids are all home and we’re getting into the busy time of homesteading, I really have to be disciplined to “find” time to write. I sometimes wake up early to write, though some of my kids are larks and are up the second they hear my door open. I write during the younger kids’ nap time or when they are watching television. When they go to bed, I squeeze in a little more before I need to take a mental break. Currently, they are all full length novels.

I remember you mentioning you wrote a good chunk of one of your books while doing sprints at your kitchen island. I’ve started doing sprints too and have found I can get quite a few words down if I know where the story is going and no one else needs me. It might not be pretty, but I love editing so much more than the first draft.

Q. That is great. I can’t believe it, but we are out of time. That’s an awesome note to end on. I loved taking a peek behind your family farm. Thanks so much, Rachael!! I wish you the best with your new launch and enjoy knowing you as an author friend!

A. Thanks, Jewel! šŸ„° Always enjoy catching up with you. Hope you and your family are doing well.

Check out Rachael Eliker’s books on Amazon.

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