I’m so excited to welcome Rachael Phillips as my blog guest today! Rachael and I share the bond of belonging to the same local writers group and the same agency. I got to know her and her witty humor over cheesecake at an agency reception…Nothing like laughing off the calories, right? 🙂

Meet and Greet with Author Rachael Phillips | www.sarahforgrave.comRachael Phillips (www.rachaelwrites.com), an ex-choir director, began her unplanned writing career when the church secretary demanded newsletter articles at gunpoint. Now an award-winning author, she has published four biographies, three novellas, and a novel, (two more to be released by 2013), plus 400 articles for newspapers, magazines, and collections. She and husband Steve live in Indiana. They have three grown children and five perfect grandchildren.


Welcome, Rachael! Let’s dive straight to the questions so you can get back to spoiling those grandkids of yours. 🙂

Opener Question: What seven words best describe you?

Redeemed introverted extroverted writer, Christ-worshiper, ice-cream addict.

Either/Or Questions:

1) Spring or Fall? Whoa, if you’d said summer or winter, I could have answered right away: winter! I’m not a sun goddess. But spring and fall are both my favorites. Hmm . . .since I have to make a choice here, fall. I live in Indiana, where our spectacular fall colors are a well-kept secret. I love the crispness of blue-sky days that energize me, the harvest of the land that mirrors this harvest stage of my life, fields of pumpkins, and the flavor of fresh- picked apples.

2) Fast and furious or Slow and methodical? Mostly fast and furious, unless you’re talking about cleaning closets.

Meet and Greet with Author Rachael Phillips | www.sarahforgrave.com3) Seattle’s coffee or Miami’s beaches? I might be more of a beach babe, if I had the body to match! Given reality, I’ll take a hot cup of Seattle’s coffee, a rainy day, and an equally delicious and stimulating book.

4) Martha Stewart wannabe or Let someone else decorate? Let somebody else do it! Somebody who can tap nails into walls without the opposite wall cracking in a million places.

5) Pepperoni pizza or Veggie pizza? I’ll take veggie pizza, as long as you go light on the onions. I like pepperoni, but I get the feeling I’m snarfing down a thousand calories per bite.

6) Bike ride or Stroll through the park? Bike ride. My husband and I bought a tandem bicycle after our youngest started college, an empty-nest gift to each other—a dream come true that turned into a nightmare until we both learned to give a little! After a month or so back in Marriage 101, it became our favorite fun pastime. I wrote an article about it for Marriage Partnership magazine (check it out at http://www.christianity.com/christian%20living/features/11622785/).

7) Beethoven or Beach Boys? I enjoy both, but if I have to make a choice, I’ll take Beethoven. I often play classical music while I write. It brings out the creativity in me, yet doesn’t distract me the way Christian contemporary or rock does.


Wow, lots of fun tidbits in these answers, Rachael! I agree with you 100% about fall. It’s my favorite time of year. And I’d be right there with you at the coffee shop in Seattle, bundled in my sweater, and reading a book. Now the tandem bike? I’m not so sure how my  hubby and I would survive that adventure. We’d probably be signing up for Marriage 101 too. Sounds like you and your husband figured it out though…What a neat hobby to share together.

Thanks for visiting today! It was a pleasure to have you.


The Greatest Show on EarthMeet and Greet with Author Rachael Phillips | www.sarahforgrave.com
The widow of a too-daring Hollywood stuntman seeks a stable, risk-free life in an Indiana small town—only to find her twins performing in a circus and herself taking the biggest risk of all: a new love.

Cedar Creek Seasons

Linked like every-one-is-different charms on a Pandora necklace, the shops, galleries and historic stone architecture of Cedarburg, Wisconsin invite artists, tourists—and four romantic novellas in a winter-spring-summer-fall collection called Cedar Creek Seasons.

In Tune with You, by Rachael Phillips: Twenty-five-year-old Francesca, part-time choirmaster, plans a magnificent cantata for Easter until her pastor requests she include children. Enter a tone- deaf children’s drama coach—and his rowdy troupe.


Blog Readers: Let’s talk…Have you ever ridden a tandem bike? What’s the most adventurous bike trip you’ve ever taken? Or if you’re not a biker, what’s your favorite outdoor activity on a perfect fall day?



Meet and Greet with Author Rachael Phillips

34 thoughts on “Meet and Greet with Author Rachael Phillips

  • September 24, 2012 at 5:17 am

    I’ve never ridden a tandem bike. I have trouble co-ordinating with just one on the bike.
    I’m a “let someone else decorate” type of person myself.

    I enjoyed the interview thank you.

    • September 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Thanks for dropping by, Mary! There are some advantages to tandem riding on the back–I can enjoy the countryside and check out people’s porches and lawn chair arrangements, even close my eyes and feel the wind in my ears while my husband has to stay alert and steer!

  • September 24, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Rachael and I have something in common. We both live in Indiana. While we have never tried riding a tandem bike, I do have a coupon good for a free afternoon bike ride. Up town we have a shop that rents them out. We haven’t used the coupon yet…maybe next Spring/Summer.
    Thanks for the interview and allowing me to meet a new author. (To Me) I would love to win a copy of either book.
    Judy judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • September 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

      Hi, Judy, Thanks for the blessings 🙂 I highly recommend the tandem. If you think riding one might mess with your marriage, try it with a crazy girlfriend with whom you can share giggles, Band-aids and ice cream afterwards.

  • September 24, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Good Monday morning, Rachel and Sarah! I have wanted to buy a tandem bike for several years now — it looks like fun and I like the idea of the biking teamwork.

    • September 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Good morning, Beth! You look smiley today 🙂 I’m still in Texas, post-ACFW conference, on my way to Louisiana to visit my parents. It’s a fresh, gorgeous morning, the kind on which I like to grab husband, picnic lunch, and tandem, and escape. I think you’d find a tandem lots of fun! I would, however, recommend that you try it a time or two on a rental first, to get a feel for it.

  • September 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I’m definitely not a biker!
    I love going – driving -on the Blue Ridge Parkway during the fall.

    Shared via twitter.

    • September 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Hi, Amy,
      Oh, isn’t the Blue Ridge incredible during autumn! I’ve gone to writer conferences in that area. Even the memories overflow my cup of imagination, the fall colors, the crisp air, a surprising feeling of rebirth in the autumn rather than spring! Blessings on your fall.

  • September 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

    How much do I love this description: Redeemed introverted extroverted writer. Much!

    ~ Wendy

    • September 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

      Thanks, Wendy! After I wrote that, I thought–whoa, you should edit this big time. But it’s so accurate I had to leave it as it is–especially, praise God!–the redeemed part 🙂

  • September 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

    It’s good to meet Rachael, thanks Sarah! I’ve ridden a tandem bike a few times. It’s not as easy as it looks! 🙂

    • September 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Hi, Karen, Great to meet you, too! Yes, not easy. I think the most difficult part for me involves complete trust in my partner. Riding on the back of a tandem, I can’t see what’s coming, and I can’t control the steering if a crazed combine driver pulls out in front of us. !!!

  • September 24, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I rode a tandem bike many years ago, and it’s hard work. I can understand why you ended up back in Marriage 101.

    Your book sounds almost as interesting as you!

    • September 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Susan. One of the most interesting parts of being an author is meeting God’s fascinating, unique people from all kinds of backgrounds. Some I only get to meet on-line. But I look forward to sharing eternity with all of them. What conversations we’ll have then!

  • September 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I’ve never ridden a tandem bike and have no doubt it would send me and hubs back to marriage 101 too! LOL Cute interview, ladies.

  • September 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thanks, Jessica! I’m always excited to connect with my writing buddy Sarah, who has been gracious enough to introduce me to her friends. As for riding the tandem–it has taught us both a lot and even gave me the courage to drive with hubs sitting in the passenger seat (which we couldn’t do for 20 years). By the grace of God, we’re still married.

    Oh, if any of you are interested in reading my novella about an older couple who test their relationship by riding a tandem, you might enjoy Ride with Me Into Christmas in A Door County Christmas, which I modeled after the first ride Steve and I took together.

  • September 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I haven’t ridden a tandem in a long time. The last time I did was when I was probably 11 or 12 with my dad on Mackinac Island. We rode all the way around the island. It’s one of my favorite memories of spending time with my dad. Our family likes to take bike rides on the rail trail close to our house, but these days we each ride our own! The books sound like a lot of fun!

    • September 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Debbie, Isn’t Mackinac Island amazing? (The homemade fudge rates a blue ribbon, too!) So glad our conversation today evoked such a tender, wonderful memory for you. My husband and I ferried our tandem to the island and rode around the island, too. After that climb in the interior, way up a hill to the fort, we deserved the fudge!

  • September 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Oh, I just love the fall! One of my favorite things is taking walks with my hubby at night. So beautiful, and so romantic.

    • September 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks, Lindsay, for a great idea! There’s no moon like a harvest moon, sitting on the horizon like a giant pumpkin. The brilliant glory of daytime leaves gives way to brisk fall nights just made for handholding and snuggling! Hope you and your hubby enjoy this fall.

  • September 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for giving Rachael such a warm welcome, everybody! Isn’t she wonderful?!

    I love the tandem bike stories and the autumn sentiments. It’s one of those perfect warm-yet-crisp days here today, and I’m enjoying a caramel latte while I read your responses. Just what I need as I recover from a busy and wonderful weekend.

  • September 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Enjoy that latte, girl! ACFW is awesome, but whoa, we need a little R & R afterwards. I’m at a Mac’s in Ruston, LA right now, but I’m preparing to be pampered for a few days at my parents’, about an hour away 🙂 More hugs, smiles, and fattening food, here I come!
    Thanks again, Sarah, for making this a fun, special day! Blessings on all of you, and I certainly hope to run into you sometime soon!

  • September 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Rachael, it’s great to meet you! I too am with you on the “let someone else decorate”. I would love for someone to just decorate my house for me. 🙂

    Sarah, hope you had a great conference. I’m going to email you now. 🙂

    • September 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      A personal decorator would come especially handy with your pregnancy, Melanie! One can always dream, right? 🙂

    • September 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Yes, Melanie, I keep dreaming that someone will visit me, take pity, and gather all my neighbors to do a makeover on my house!

  • September 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I don’t go for decorating, either Rachael. When I think of bike riding, I have memories of being about 10 years old and my mom and three aunts taking me, my brother and sister, and five cousins on rides on the back roads of Indiana. Some of it is fuzzy, but we had those tall bike flags on our bikes, got way too many flat tires, and once went a very long way for pie to a restaurant that was not open! 🙂

    • September 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Oh my, Cathy, what a disappointment to ride all that way and not find pie at the end! It sounds like you have lots of memories to enjoy.

    • September 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Cathy, NO PIE??? Incredible that you’re a smiling, well-adjusted adult after such a childhood trauma! We’ll have to have double a la mode at Payne’s sometime to help make up for it 🙂

  • September 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I loved your fun title, Sarah! It’s what had me clicking right over to read the post. Well done!

    Gwynly and I own a tandem. We first rode it when we were dating. I learned right away how important it is to trust him. If I didn’t follow his wise counsel, I could cause us to crash. The lessons I learned while warming the back seat on his big bike have proven helpful in many other areas of our marriage as well. These days we make a pretty good team. =)

    • September 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Sounds like your tandem helped you work through Marriage 101 too, Keli. 🙂 How fun to learn more about you…I didn’t know you had a tandem bike!

    • September 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Congratulations, Keli–you survived tandem riding even before you said the big “I do!” Hope you and your husband enjoy many miles and picnics together!

  • September 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    i haven’t had an opportunity to ride a tandem bike…favourite activity on a fall day…watching a football game 🙂

    • September 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Ohhh, I love football season, Karen! It gives me a great excuse to wear sweatshirts and drink hot chocolate. 🙂

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Hey, I love watching football, too, karen! Now, if only I could use up as many calories as those guys on the playing field!

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