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Interview: May 2015

A lot of older siblings want to inspire their sisters and brothers --- to teach them to be kind human beings, to go after their goals and stick up for their beliefs.

But Rachelle Dekker went above and beyond --- she wrote an entire book (and soon-to-be series) to teach her sisters that “they are worth everything.”

The result is THE CHOOSING, in which Carrington Hale’s Choosing Ceremony goes horribly awry and she’s sent to spend her life as a Lint, the lowest level of society. But rumors of rebellion rattle all of her beliefs, and, surprisingly, resonate deeply with her.

Read below to learn more about THE CHOOSING, the first book in The Seer series, as well as Rachelle’s must-have writing accessory, what it’s like to have a bestselling author for a father and how her imagination and real-life inventions aren’t as different as she once presumed.
 


 

Teenreads.com: What inspired you to write THE CHOOSING?

Rachelle Dekker: My sisters. Someone asked me what message I wanted to pass on to my sisters, and all I thought was, May they always know they are worth everything. So the idea for THE CHOOSING was born. A sort-of retelling of what I have learned about worth, in hopes that they would be inspired to know how much they are worth.

TRC:  The characters in the book are very vivid and complex, particularly Aaron and Carrington. How did you come up with their personalities?

RD: I usually base characters on people I know, and Carrington and Aaron were no different. Since most people are vivid and complex, it was easy to pull inspiration from those around me.

TRC: Do you have a favorite character from THE CHOOSING?
RD: Larkin. I always love to write a good sassy, strong female.

TRC: The character Remko has a stutter. What drew you to write about someone with a speech impediment?

RD: I’m not sure, exactly. For the purpose of overcompensation, I needed Remko to be very weak in one area of his life so that he could be strong almost everywhere else. Because of his speech impediment, Remko tries to never be seen as weak in areas he can control. It was just something that was necessary for his character development, and it was really a challenge to write, which I always appreciate.

TRC: What was the most difficult scene to write?

RD: I always struggle through the middle of the novel. This is where I start to second-guess everything I’ve written so far and wonder if anything I have planned is any good. I don’t remember any difficult scene in particular, though. The entire center was a tug-of-war with myself.  

TRC: Did you do any research while writing THE CHOOSING? If so, what was the most interesting thing that you learned?

RD: I did some early on. The book is set over 100 years in the future, so I wanted to know what experts of our time believe the world will look like then. The most interesting thing I discovered was that the idea of a serum that extends human life (like the one you have in THE CHOOSING) isn’t that far off. It’s a bit scary to think that the inventions we come up with in our imaginations to cause global catastrophes could actually happen in our lifetime.

TRC: THE CHOOSING is a dystopian novel. Which fellow dystopian author would you like to have coffee (or tea) with, and what’s one question you would ask him or her? 

RD: I’d love to sit down with Suzanne Collins and talk through how she came up with all the different mechanisms she used for the Hunger Games in books one and two. Also, the writers of “The Walking Dead” so they could tell me what is going to happen in the seasons to come!

TRC: Your father, Ted Dekker, is a bestselling author. Did that affect your decision to write a book? Did he give you any advice about writing or the publishing process?  

RD: Early on, in my teen years, it kept me from writing. I didn’t want to do anything my father was doing. Once I got over that, though, it didn’t affect my decision to write at all. In fact, he begged me not to, because he knew how hard the journey was. But I was certain this was what I wanted. Now he’s very supportive, giving advice and just being an ear to listen and understand the unique struggles I face as a writer. I’m incredibly grateful to have him by my side. 

TRC: Can you tell us about your writing process (e.g., did you write an outline, always write at a certain time of day, etc.)?

RD: I am an outline lover. I always write with one. I write in the mornings. I usually try to get in at least four strong hours of fresh work, and then edit or do other business stuff in the afternoon. And I always write in glasses. Not sure why, but the moment I put my contacts in I get distracted, so the glasses stay on until I’ve gotten done what I need.

TRC: Who is your favorite author right now, and what books are you currently reading?RD: This is a hard one because I love so many. I pretty much can’t get enough of John Green or Libba Bray. I’m currently reading CONFESSOINS OF A MURDER SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro and I’m really enjoying it!

TRC: What were your favorite books to read as a teen?

RD: The Clearwater Crossing series by Laura Peyton Roberts! I was obsessed with them. I devoured them. I’m not sure what it was, but from the first page of book one (and there were like 19 books in all) I was completely drawn into the characters’ lives. I was brokenhearted when the series ended.

TRC: You’re writing a sequel to THE CHOOSING! Can you tell us anything about it?

RD: Not without giving anything away! I will say that you will continue the journey with characters you have already grown to love, but you’ll meet a handful of new ones as well. There’s more action and more danger and the characters struggle with finding the truth while drowning in fear.