Sunday, 23 April 2017

Author Spotlight with Raquel Fletcher

Raquel Fletcher is a television reporter and world traveller, who lives in Quebec.
She’s a dog lover, Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, and a member of the Real Lives Team - a sub-group of Books Go Social.
Raquel is the author of The Year I Turned 25: A Memoir About Sex, Anxiety, and a Dog Named She-Devil.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a TV reporter, photographer, and blogger living in Quebec City, Canada.
I was born and raised on the prairies (cheering for the Roughriders) and love to travel all over the globe.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began keeping a diary at six years old.
That turned into a hobby, which turned into a genuine desire to become a writer.
I’m still working on that.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I consider myself a journalist first and foremost, and then a storyteller.
Writing is just the medium.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I kept a blog for a year ( where I took daily selfies in an attempt to bring self-reflection back en vogue.
The response was amazing – and readers encouraged me to turn the blog into a book.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write in first person present, but I’m still experimenting with my style.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In my memoir, I hope for people to get a better understanding of the collective woman experience in North America and reflect on the link that has to women’s mental health.

Are your writings based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I write about my own life because as a journalist I am always asking people to tell me the most personal things about themselves.
My blog and my book is a way to give back.

What books have most influenced your life?

Aleta Dey, by Marion Francis Beynon, changed the way I felt about literature and memoir.
Nausea, by Jean-Paul Sartre, is another novel I loosely based my own book on.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading fellow Quebec writer, Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead that takes place around an English-Language library in Quebec City.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am always interested in learning about journalists who’ve written books, but I love Canadian literature in general.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on expanding my blog to include more stories of self-reflection, mental health and women’s experiences.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Having a blog first was the first step to doing more with my personal writing projects.

Do you see writing as a career?

Right now it’s a beloved hobby.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

That’s a good question. I don’t think so.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

It’s sometimes challenging to write about a personal situation in a way I’m convinced will foster understanding among readers who haven’t experienced the same thing.
That’s my number one struggle.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I don’t have a favourite author – I love always discovering new authors and new work.

Who designed the covers?
I actually designed the cover of my book.
It was the idea of the cover that propelled the concept for the book.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part was my knowing when it was done, and when I was finally satisfied with the last draft.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be afraid of what other people will think about you or your work.
You are an artist and that means people won’t necessarily get it, but some people will.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for reading and supporting and being so kind to me!
I was writing on the internet long before I was writing in books and I never had the negative backlash that is out there.
So thank you!

What makes you laugh/cry?
Sad movies and books will make me cry.
My family, especially my sister always make me laugh.

Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I have a million hobbies, which is why I need writing to keep my head straight.
I am a naturally curious person and love trying out new things.
Right now I’m into acro-yoga, learning guitar and enjoying events that are going on in Quebec City.

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I have always been obsessed with Pretty Little Liars.

Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

My favourite food is anything Italian! I like country music.

If you were not a writer what else would you like to do?

In another life, I would be a ballerina.

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