Q&A with Rachel Vail
In celebration of the release of the first books in her A is For Elizabeth series we were lucky enough to talk to author Rachel Vail about her inspirations and future projects!
How did you come to write books in the world of Elizabeth?
I wrote a trilogy of books from the perspective of Elizabeth’s older brother, and fell in love with Elizabeth – her confidence, her logical but often incorrect take on the world, her humor. I begged for a chance to write her stories, and luckily my editor loved her too! When I found her rhythm – short chapters, easy to read but with depth of character and emotional intelligence leading the way, I knew I had found something not just super fun to explore, but also important.
What are you currently reading?
Just finished Doing Justice by Preet Bharara and Educated by Tara Westover, and am in the middle of The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas. It has been SUCH a good reading summer so far. They are all extremely excellent, highly recommended.
Do you have a personal favorite book of all time?
I don’t have a favorite book of all time because I am very greedy for stories... and one awesome thing about books is, unlike scoops of ice cream, you can choose an unlimited number without worry! I will always fall for a book with a compelling story and flawed, believable characters. If it has a strong sense of voice and place, even better -- and one that makes me question my assumptions or laugh will own my heart.
This is such a brilliant question, one nobody has asked me before! I LOVE it! I always need to figure out what my characters like and dislike to eat, wear, cuddle with, sleep in – and READ! Elizabeth was not an early reader and is frustrated that some of her friends read more fluently and quickly than she does. Some of her favorites include: Fancy Nancy, A Silly Story, the Junie B Jones books, some but not all of the Captain Underpants books but she is not saying which is which, Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, Barnyard Banter (that was her favorite when she was little), A Hole Is To Dig, The Carrot Seed, Battle Bunny, and All of Us by Carin Berger.
What's next? Any upcoming book projects you can tell us about?
I have a novel for young teens (older Middle Grade/young YA) coming out next year, along with the third and fourth Elizabeth books!!! Since the first 2 are called A is for Elizabeth and Big Mouth Elizabeth – any guesses on what letters start the titles of books 3 and 4? Any guesses about what the TITLES will be?
Rachel Vail is the author of children’s books including Justin Case, Sometimes I’m Bombaloo, and Righty and Lefty. She is also the author of several books for teens and middle grade readers, including If We Kiss, You Maybe, Gorgeous, Wonder, and Never Mind, which she wrote with Avi. Vail was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, NY, just down the street from her future husband, though she didn't know that until much later. She attended Georgetown University, where she earned her B.A. in English and Theater. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
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