Michigan Author Rachel Schurig

Three Girls and a leading Man Cover | Rachel Schurig

By Jeffrey Buck

Authors typically write about what they know or where they’ve been. Places they frequented as a kid become settings and friends become characters. Local author and Michigan State University alum Rachel Schurig continues to use her familiar surroundings as inspiration in her own writing.

Schurig, a teacher-turned-author, taught special education to young adults while dreaming of publishing her first book before turning 30. That dream became a reality when she discovered the ease of self-publishing through Amazon. Over one year later and with more than 50,000 copies sold she is currently writing her sixth book and enjoying her first year as a full-time author.

Her current series, An Unexpected Love Story, plays homage to northern Michigan and the places she loves visiting. We had a chance to catch up with the busy author and find out what inspired her to become a writer and the steps she takes when planning for a new book.

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Woodward Spine: What was your favorite book growing up? Why?

Rachel Schurig: My favorite book growing up was Anne of Green Gables. I was a lot like Anne; she was always getting into trouble for spending too much time daydreaming and reading.

WS: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

RS: I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but never thought I’d be able to get published. When I started hearing about people having success self-publishing for Amazon’s Kindle, I knew I had to give it a try. I was determined to have a novel published by the time I turned thirty. Instead, I had three!

WS: What’s the hardest part when writing a book?

RS: The hardest part for me is getting started. There’s always a period where I doubt myself and my idea. Once I force myself past that doubt I usually get into a good groove. Then I find it hard to stop!

WS: How often do you come up with ideas or plots?

RS: I’m constantly coming up with new ideas. Whenever something pops in my head I make a note on my computer, notebook, or phone. I have enough plot ideas to keep me writing for a long, long time!

WS: Do you follow a writing process or steps?

RS: I usually write out a very general outline and some character descriptions. I don’t outline very much because I like to let the story take over. After I have a general idea of what I want to write, I start drafting. I jump around a bit in the story, sometimes writing scenes out of order so I can get all my ideas down as they happen. If I’m excited about a scene I always write it first. Once I have a draft finished I start doing some revisions and proofreading. When I’m pretty happy with the book I send it to beta readers: experts in my genre who let me know if they like the plot, characters, and prose. I incorporate their notes, do some more proofreading, then send it off to a professional editor. Editing is definitely a very hard step and I’m very relieved when I get through it!

WS: How long does it take for you to write a book?

RS: Once I get going, I write pretty quickly. I can usually finish a first draft in six weeks; that is, if everything goes according to plan. When I’m working on a draft I write every day, sometimes all day. The draft, of course, is just the first step. The rest of the process takes much longer.

WS: Who or what has influenced your writing?

RS: My writing is very influenced by growing up in Michigan and by my closest friends. There are bits and pieces of my friends in all of my characters. I like to set my books in the metro area so my characters can visit local places that I love.

WS: What are you working on now?

RS: Right now I am working on the 2nd book in a new series, An Unexpected Love Story. It’s my first book set outside of metro-Detroit; it takes place up north, another area I’m very attached to. Whenever I talk about my books I hear people say that they’ve always wanted to write a novel. I think everyone should give it a try! I wrote one of my best-selling books during National Novel Writing Month last November. I would encourage anyone to try it out; it’s a great time!

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All five of Rachel’s books are currently available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To learn more about her books and to follow her journey in the world of writing and publishing be sure to check out her website rachelschurig.com

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rems330

“Like” Rachel on Facebook: Click Here

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About Jeffrey S. Buck

I'm currently a Project Manager at Cypress Partners, LLC in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I graduated from Wayne State University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism. Looking to broaden my view of the world, I spent a semester abroad studying at the University of Salford, a Greater Manchester University in England. I enjoy doing an array of activities, including following Detroit sports teams, SCUBA diving, traveling, reading, playing tennis, hand-written letters and going to the movies. I am the co-founder of the Woodward Spine, a blog about Detroit and its surrounding communities. The Woodward Spine aims to inform its readers about relevant news and events through creative and informative posts in these core areas: news, opinion, entertainment, history, sports and development. The Woodward Spine serves the tri-county metro Detroit area, concentrating mainly on the communities that lie along the Woodward corridor.
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