Rachel Yurchisin’s love of science and nature has inspired her to write her first children’s book in the hopes of passing on her passion to other young ‘budding’ naturalists. Yurchisin is a junior in high school and participates in educational programs at her city zoo and natural history museum.
VS: I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today, Rachel. As a teen author, what do you do to help balance your writing life with your family life?
Rachel: I have my family help me with my writing process. They have always supported me in anything that I do, they were the ones that were telling me to write more instead of spend time with them!
VS: When did you start and how long have you been writing?
Rachel: I wrote “Diary of My Days in Kenya” when I was in fifth grade, but I still continue to write poetry and reflections in my spare time for fun and for school.
VS: What inspired you to write?
Rachel: In fifth grade, it was part of the curriculum in English class to write a children’s book. I choose the topic of a naturalist who documented the actions of a lioness who adopted baby oryx; the inspiration came from a newspaper article that highlights the natural world on a weekly basis.
VS: What is a typical writing day like for you?
Rachel: I write whenever I feel like it really. I just write for the sake of writing- when I’m in “the groove” of writing I get on a roll and that’s when my greatest writing shows.
VS: You mentioned how your family helped with the writing process of your book. How has your family been supportive of your writing?
Rachel: My mother was my editor and sounding board for my ideas. My father helped me with phrasing and getting a new perspective. My grandfather is the man who did all of the illustrations and not only put color in my book but also in my life. My entire family is extremely supportive of my experiences with the writing and publishing of “A Diary of My Days in Kenya.”
VS: What was the first thing you ever had published?
Rachel: “Diary of My Days in Kenya” is my first book publication. I had multiple poems and short stories published in anthologies and contests throughout Ohio and some national poetry publications.
VS: Can you share with us a little about your current book “Diary of My Days in Kenya”?
Rachel: My current book is entitled “Diary of My Days in Kenya.” It is a fictional story loosely based upon the real life occurrences of a nomadic lioness who nurtures baby oryx as if they were her own young. During a drought, a naturalist, Susan Polling, and other professionals, are sent on assignment to observe and document this special pairing. The book’s spirited protagonist, Polling, offers the reader interesting insights as to why this unique phenomenon has transpired. The story explores how the traditional relationship of predator and prey is transcended, presenting a spellbinding account of how a parental bond, even a non-traditional one, can never be broken.
VS: What do you enjoy most about writing?
Rachel: I love being able to express myself in the written word. Not many people my age write poetry let alone a book. I feel very special being able to add that to my resume; a facet of my personality that makes me different from the crowd.
VS: What is the most difficult part of writing?
Rachel: Whether it’s for a book, a poem, or even an essay for school, I have always had a problem with ending a thought. I can keep on writing about a subject forever and my sentences progressively get more “wordy.” That’s when I know I need to just stop and “get to the point” of what I am trying to say.
VS: What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book?
Rachel: There always must be a balance; a ying and yang aspect for the characters and the life they lead. When there is a certain character or situation that tugs at the reader’s heart - it makes the book more purposeful and rewarding. When an author has a strong command of language and a diverse vocabulary, it allows the book to rise to a different dimension.
VS: Thank you, Rachel for sharing your thoughts on writing and about your book, “Diary of My Days in Keya”. We all wish you much success and are inspired by you.
Halo Publishing, Int. and the World of Ink Network will be touring teen author Rachel Yurchisin’s book Diary of My Days in Kenya, which released in May 2011.
Diary of My Days in Kenya is a fictional story loosely based upon the real life occurrences of a nomadic lioness who nurtures baby oryx as if they were her own young. A naturalist’s observations of the lioness and her adopted baby oryx offers the reader an interesting insight as to why this unique phenomenon has transpired. The story explores how the traditional relationship of a predator and prey is transcended, presenting a spellbinding account of how a parental bond, even a non-traditional one, can never be broken.
Diary of My Days in Kenya
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: 978-1-935268-89-5
Genre of Book: Children’s/Educational
Publication Date: May 2011
About the Illustrator: Fred Fulcher, the author's grandfather, is a retired Clevland firefighter and business entrepreneur residing in Parma Hts., Ohio. He is a self-taught artist and has enjoyed creating the illustrations for his first children's book.
Places where Diary of My Days in Kenya is available for sale:
You can find out more about Rachel Yurchisin’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/RachelYurchisin.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Yurchisin and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.
In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with Rachel Yurchisin about her book and writing.
The show will air live January 23, 2012 at 6pm EST. You can tune in live at the World of Ink Network site at http://www.blogtalkradion.com/worldofinknetwork. You can listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit: http://worldofinknetwork.blogspot.com