Tell me about your latest book.
My newest book is the fifth novel in my A’yen’s Legacy paranormal sci-fi romance series, Hidden In Ashes. It does stand alone, but I recommend starting with the first book, My Name Is A’yen. It’s free everywhere.
The series is set in the far distant future, after we’ve made contact with a humanoid alien species. As is humanity is wont to do, we stole from them and enslaved them. A’yen’s Legacy is the story of their fight to regain their freedom.
What’s next for you?
In the fall, I’m joining the world of shifter and mythology-based paranormals with my first shifter romance, To Hold A Siren’s Heart. Sirens from Greek mythology, shifters created by the Egyptian gods, and a blood feud between the Greek and Egyptian gods of war. It’s a lot of fun to write.
Who are your writing role models?
I don’t know that I have role models so much as me being a serious fan girl of both Nalini Singh and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’ve met Nalini twice. Her especially, if I can write half as good as her one day I’ll be over the moon thrilled. Her imagination astounds me, and I love her almost poetic dialog descriptions. That woman can capture more emotion in a handful of words than any other author I’ve read.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
I actually have a very charmed life. I’m single, no kids except for my cat, and live at home with my parents. Due to chronic health issues, I only work part-time. I’m also a pretty extreme introvert, so I don’t go out much. I don’t have much difficulty balancing things most days, mostly because there’s not a lot to balance right now.
When I do have to balance things, it’s because of the aforementioned health issues. Fibromyalgia to be specific. That’s what steals my energy and makes life interesting in a bad way sometimes. I learned a long time ago to guard my down time and not bend my schedule to others’ whims. The physical price is never worth it.
What are your other passions outside of writing?
I don’t really have any, to be honest. Not ones that I’d qualify as a passion. I have several hobbies I enjoy, including counted cross-stitch, knitting, and coloring. And in the summer, floating in the pool with my mom and sister. We talk about all kinds of stuff out there.
I’m part of multiple pop-culture fandoms ranging from Doctor Who to Star Trek: The Next Generation to Sherlock to Orphan Black, but I don’t actively participate in any of them online. I just enjoy the shows a lot. Though I have been to a comic con to see Matt Smith from Doctor Who, and Alan Tudik from Firefly. And the opening night midnight showing of Star Trek: Into Darkness.
But passions? Nope, just writing. Putting words on the page, dreaming up characters, learning more about the craft, it’s truly my happy place and where I’m most fulfilled.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you have a dream, go after it. Don’t let work commitments or any other kind of time suck derail you. Chase it until you catch it, then hold on for life. You won’t regret it.
You can find out more about Rachel at her website: http://www.rachelleighsmith.com/
My Name Is A’yen, A’yen’s Legacy #1
They’ve taken everything from him. Except his name.
The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A’yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master’s murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.
Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A’yen’s trust. But she’s a breeder’s daughter and can’t be trusted.
Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A’yen’s mind about her importance. When she’s threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association’s radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.