Hey everybody! Thank you so much for checking out the Author Showcase! In this episode features Canadian Author, Raquel Rich. I was lucky enough to catch her just before she took a trip to South America. We talk about her background, her writing process, books, marketing and more. Raquel was such a pleasure to talk to, an inspiration to other authors, and someone I look forward to having as a repeat guest on my podcast!
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Born and raised in Canada to Brazilian parents, Raquel lives in the Toronto area with her family. Married to the guy she’s been with since she was fifteen, her superpowers include being a mom to their two awesome grown-ass boys and one fur baby. She’s also an okay step-mom and an auntie to a clan of classy ladies.
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Raquel Rich is a self-employed English Language Teacher and an author with Words Matter Publishing. She loves to travel, suntan, walk her dog, and is obsessed with all things Beauty & the Beast. She despises cold weather, balloons, and writing about herself in the third person but noticed all the real authors do that. Raquel recently left (ok, got let go from) a career in the travel industry and rather than looking for a real job, she wrote her first book, HAMARTIA.
Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’s life. But someone is trying to stop them and when they discover why Grace must make a choice: let her son die or kill her husband. If she kills her husband, she triggers widespread Metagenesis, sealing the fate of the human race with a new plague.
Humanity is counting on Grace choosing to let her son die.
— Raquel Rich 🇨🇦🇧🇷 (@RaquelRiosRich) November 21, 2018
- In her debut novel, Raquel Rich tells the story of Grace Dartmouth, the mother of a nine-year-old boy who is suffering from Metagenesis, a disease that is ravaging the late 21st century populace. The horrible disease first tears a person’s soul from their body and then kills them, thus forever ending the natural chain of reincarnation for the afflicted individual. When Grace gets the nod to participate in a secret clinical trial that holds a shadow of a hope to save her son’s life, she’s taken on a desperate roller coaster ride that involves time travel, soul cloning, intrigue, ethical dilemmas, and sacrifice.Truly a strong point of Rich’s storytelling is the vivid detail that the memorable characters are brought to life in—all through Grace’s first person narrative. Assisted by her newly reconciled long-lost-friend Kay, Grace must try to compete her mission while navigating a place and time 80 years in the past (Las Vegas in the year 2000). Grace’s journey is an highly emotional one, and Rich brings you along for every bit of it. From the conflicted and confused feelings Grace has for her estranged husband to the anguish and helplessness that she bears for not being able to be there in person for her ailing son, you’re with her every step of the way.Time travel stories are always fraught with paradox, but Rich is able to pull off hers without it becoming too complicated or convoluted. The key is she keeps revealing just enough to move the story along. The result is a third act that unravels in a satisfying conclusion that will springboard you into her upcoming sequel, Deus Ex Machina.The book moves along at a blistering pace. The short chapter length will keep you turning the pages and telling yourself, “OK, just one more chapter before bed…”
- The very first chapter places us directly in the midst of the action. We have very little knowledge of what is exactly going on, but we readers do get a sense of urgency and desperation. Grace is obviously embarking on a dangerous and potentially fatal journey all for the sake of saving her son’s life… But will she even succeed? I couldn’t wait to find out!Raquel Rich blends futuristic sci-fi and a familiar-setting urban adventure into a novel that keeps its readers on the edge of their seats, waiting to find out which shoe will drop next. Throughout the novel, there are a plethora of mini-cliffhangers, keeping the suspense taught… Thus leading me into many a sleepless night; I just had to keep reading! Not only is the main storyline intriguing and a mystery in and of itself, but all of the minor arcs have their own little mysteries as well. This definitely allowed me to completely sink into the novel, losing myself within its characters and the setting of Las Vegas in the year 2000.The dialogue in Hamartia is honestly some of the best I have read yet. The humor is undeniable and each character has their own colloquialisms and distinct attitudes that they proudly display in their conversations with others. Much of the relationship between Grace and Marc (her husband) is through one-sided phone conversations, but even so, Rich is able to develop a dynamic, substantial relationship between a man and his damaged (ex) wife.Every single one of the characters have been fleshed out completely, each with their own unique mannerisms, beliefs, and even humor (hilarious humor!). As such, I cried when sadness and tragedy befell one of the characters, laughed as someone told a joke, blushed when romance came about, rejoiced when someone gained a small win. They became my second family, and I would rush home just so that I could continue their story.What I really enjoy from this novel is that there is both inner conflict as well as the grander, more normal outer conflict. Grace is not only on a journey to save her son’s life, but to save her own life as well. She must battle with the grief and guilt she feels over her father’s death, must learn to reconcile her feelings towards her (ex) husband, and must work together with a long-lost (ex) best-friend. As she searches for her son’s match, all of these emotions keep popping up, hindering the search, ultimately showing that she must fix herself before she can ever have a chance at fixing her son. But what does that mean for her son, Jordan? Is she even capable of saving him? Of murdering the many to save the one?I did not give this novel 5 stars, simply because I think it–at times–explains too much. It does not leave as much for the reader to decipher as I would like. Meaning that actions and emotions are bluntly explained via the narrator or a character’s thoughts (or occasionally through dialogue) rather than through the characters themselves showing us why they did or thought something. But that being said, I am excitedly awaiting the sequel, Deus Ex Machina to be published!
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