mmmmm…Donuts….I don’t care where they build a donut shop….if they’re gluten free I’ll drive there. My favorite donut shop is actually about three hours away from where I live and I do indeed drive all the way there for the incredible quality of gluten free donuts several times a year…does that make me a freak? Maybe…it definitely
makes me a foodie though. As a foodie I have to tell you about Donuts in an Empty Field by Rachel
Barnard because the only thing better than food is reading about food (no calories that way.)
Launching on National Donut Day, June 3rd if you don’t know, Donuts in an Empty Field is a young adult novel about two best friends, the local food challenge, and a mysterious bucket list. The more main character Vanessa fails the food challenge, the more she takes it out on the boy she blames for her father’s death because letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.
Let’s talk to Rachel a bit and then an excerpt from the book….
An easy one… What would you do if you were the last person on this earth?
How would I know I was the last person on earth? I would probably cry and then go searching for chocolate.
ummmm, chocolate….er….sorry got distracted there, If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, I’m guess it wouldn’t be chocolate, but what would it be and why?
I would eliminate sleep if I could get away with it, because even though I dearly love my sleep, if I didn’t need to I wouldn’t. I would have seven or more hours every day to do more things! I always want more time in the day to get things done.
Don’t we all. Ok Let’s get it over with, What made you decide to start writing? Was this something you always thought you’d do?
Ever since I learned how to read and write, I’ve been writing. I’ve written my autobiography many times over, even though I’ve only just started stacking up life events worthy of being told. I always knew I was going to write, the question was whether I could rely on it as a career. That is still the question and I have yet to quit my day job to write full time. I like not having to rely on my creative outlet to support me and to not feel like I have to finish within a certain time frame for any of my writing projects.
Does not having the pressure help you avoid writers block?
Unlike most writers I know or have read about, I don’t write every day. When the particular story that I’m thinking about is pressing to get out, I write it until it’s finished. That’s the easy part. The part that usually gives me writer’s block is editing and fixing up the manuscript until it’s ready for public consumption. To get through this writer’s block, I write out a detailed schedule (that I don’t always stick with) to complete the writing/editing and try to tell people my goals so that I feel compelled to reach them. I also make the time to write so I don’t have as many excuses to not write. Doing anything writer-reader related usually kicks up my inspiration to continue and thinking about the story itself helps me get past any stickler writer’s block moments when I’m not sure where to go next.
Well it clearly works for you. Donuts is your third published work, Can you tell us about your other works?
My first novel, Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams, is about a young girl who thinks that she can overthrow the government and goes to great lengths to put herself in the right position to do so, but is thwarted by both the new transfer student and her own self-centered view of the world. The story centers on her time at an elite Academy and how the students there are trained to become world leaders.
My second novel is a young adult low-magic fantasy – fairy tale adaptation. It is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and is about learning to accept yourself and others. It’s called At One’s Beast, a play on the words ‘at one’s best’ and is told from the point of view of the three main characters, Alcina (the sacrifice), Zos (the beast), and Aethon (the third wheel).
I have to confess I haven’t read either but my husband loved Ataxia. So tell us a little about Donuts in an Empty Field, Why would someone pick up and read this book?
Donuts in an Empty Field is for a young adult audience, specifically teenagers or emerging adults who want to read about a protagonist who’s working through grief and how to be a best friend amidst personal issues. This book is also a fun insight into the teenage mind and what really goes on after school.
Sounds like that would scare a few parents, LOL. Were there any alternate endings you considered?
No, actually, the ending was always clear to me in my mind. Only the details changed.
I love that. Only the details changed. Last quick question before you read an excerpt, Song that fits the book for theme song?
Raspberry Beret by Prince.
An excerpt from Chapter 3:
Becky and Anja, Nichole’s other friends sit down with us. I turn away so Nichole won’t see my disgruntled look as I resettle on the bench to make room. Anja is more overweight than I am, but it only adds to her beauty. She has the most inviting heart shaped face I’ve ever seen and she carries her weight in womanly curves. It helps that she’s taller than I am so the weight is better distributed. Becky is the powerhouse tanned white girl that nobody
wants to piss off. She is so athletic she almost joined the football team, but opted for jujitsu instead when there was a scheduling conflict. Nichole turns to talk with Becky and I fidget.“Aren’t you going to eat?” Anja asks me.I sit on my hands to stop them from moving and shake my head.
“I’m not really hungry,” I lie.
She nods like she understands, but she doesn’t. None of them do. If I start eating right now I might never stop. Another thank you to Dad. If I’m not angry, I’m hungry and I have to be careful with my self-control. Not that I never eat… I just don’t want to eat junk in front of Nichole’s judgmental friends.
Nichole offers me her other slice of pizza.
“No thanks, I’m good,” I say, trying not to lick my lips at the hint of fresh dough scent that lingers in the air.
Becky waves to someone walking up to the table. He steps forward, and suddenly all my attention is on him. With burn scars bubbling up his neck and cheeks, everybody at the table pays attention to the new guy. He looks down at the table and scuffs a toe in the pavement, his tray of cafeteria food wobbling in his hands. I try to figure out what’s wrong with his left hand and it takes me a moment to realize that he’s missing two fingers. The remaining fingers are misshapen and swollen-looking.
Nichole gets up beside me. “Becky,” she says, her voice trailing off, as she just stands there. She glances beside Becky pointedly and wrinkles her nose slightly, before turning back to Becky.
“This is my younger brother, Ben,” Becky says.