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Interview with author Rachel Newhouse

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I’m happy to introduce Rachel Newhouse, author of the exciting Red Rain series. She writes clean, Christian Sci-Fi for Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers. Today we get to learn about her newest young adult dystopian sci-fi release, Red Rain Omnibus Volume 2.

Bio: Hi new friends! My name is Rachel Newhouse, and I’m a self-published author of clean Christian sci-fi. By day, I’m an administrative professional; by night, I’m a nerd for all things sci-fi. I live in Kansas City with my husband, pit bull, and (in the summer) a questionable amount of hot chili plants.

Please tell us about your current release:
“You should have stayed on Mars, sweetheart.
The year is 2075. Earth is ruled by a one-world government. In order to maintain unity, all citizens must deny their national, racial, and religious identities—or suffer the consequences.
After a video of her act of insurrection goes viral, seventeen-year-old Philadelphia Smyrna and her family become the government’s most wanted. When she intercepts a radio transmission from her father asking for help, she knows she must find him before the government does. Adopting a fake identity, Philadelphia leaves the safety of Mars and returns to Earth. There, she calls on her father’s old contacts and uncovers the truth she was never meant to find: Dr. Smyrna was an insurrectionist, the mastermind behind a plot to end the government’s religious intolerance. Now the rebellion plans to finish the job and liberate the “unassimilated” once and for all. And they want Philadelphia to take her father’s place.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book is the second collected omnibus in my young adult series. There are now twelve books in the series, and I’ve been working on it for twelve years, so this was a special milestone for me. Plus, all six (!!) of the books in this omnibus were published this year (send help, I have a problem), so this was a big accomplishment for me.
I started this series because I’m obsessed with the young adult dystopian genre (may the odds be ever in your favor) and wanted to create clean sci-fi featuring solid Christian characters. I had no idea the series would grow to be this big, but there’s no stopping now!

Of all the ways I had imagined spending my Sunday afternoon, getting a tattoo with Nic in the ghetto of a Martian city was nowhere on the list.
Well, “tattoo” was a bit of a misnomer; in reality, it was a minor cosmetic surgery. “Just like getting a nose job,” the technician explained as he swiftly slid my fingers into the metal device that would keep them still for the delicate procedure. “Relax, babe.”
I was doing no such thing. Lying in a cracked dentist’s chair in the shuttered back room of a tattoo parlor with both hands strapped down was giving my anxiety a lot of material to work with. The only thing keeping my heart from forcing its way up my throat was the fact that Nic stood behind me, watching.

What’s next for your book or future plans you’d like to share?
The next book in the series comes out in February! My plan is to release another “arc” of the series in 2024—that’s six more books. Yes, I’m insane.

What got you interested in writing things for others to read?
Don’t laugh, but my first foray into writing for the public was with LEGO fanfiction on an internet messaging board. (Did I just date myself?) The other users loved it, and that’s when I realized that someone other than myself might enjoy my stories, too.

What’s one challenge you had to overcome to write?
I once deleted my entire author brand—how’s that for a challenge? Several years ago, I went through a very tragic divorce and dropped off the grid. I unpublished my books, deleted my author website, everything. When I was ready to write again years later, I had to start from scratch. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the process of finding new readers.

Do you write full-time? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a day job, so writing happens after dark. The key to finding time to write is to limit my “yes.” I have to remind myself that every time I say “yes” to something else—another project, a social event, etc.—I am saying “no” to writing that night. Remembering this helps me prioritize writing and only say “yes” to things that bring me real value and joy.

As a child, did you think you’d be writer? Or what did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve been creating stories since I was little, but it wasn’t until my teens that I realized I could write them down. Since then, I’ve always known I was called to be a writer in some capacity.

What’s something fun you like to do outside of writing?
I love to cook, especially Asian food. We like it hot, so during the summer I grow a variety of chili peppers, some with heat ratings of over 2.5 million Scovilles. Honestly, I just love to tell people that my garden could kill them.

Are you part of a writer’s group and if so, how has it helped?
I actually lead a writer’s group! I think the most important function of a writer’s group is accountability. Just knowing you’re going to have to tell your peers what progress you made can help you stay on track. If you don’t have a writer’s group, consider getting an online accountability partner for the same purpose.

How can Readers connect with you?

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