My name is Rachel Burkum, and I'm a writer of novels, short stories, poetry and more. I was born and raised in NY state and homeschooled K-12. I currently reside in Iowa where I work as a store manager and layout/design assistant at a Christian non-profit organization that produces Bible visuals for deaf people. While not working or writing, I dabble in photography, enjoy gardening and horseback riding, and I am a black belt Taekwondo student.
What was your favorite homeschool memory?
Flexible hours and one-on-one attention from my teacher/mother. I firmly believe that much of my well-rounded education is directly related to the lack of busy classroom pressure, and the privilege of being taught by someone who truly cared and was willing to help me understand what I was learning and not just teach me to input the correct answers.
What made you start writing?
I always loved creative writing in school, but really didn't gain an avid interest until high school. As children, a friend of mine and I would often pretend to be characters on a made-up horse ranch. Later, we'd often joke about writing down the story, but I'm not sure what finally convinced me to actually do so. I had so much fun that the "story" evolved into a short novel. After that, I was hooked. I couldn't stop writing.
What is Discovering the Dawn about?
Discovering the Dawn is about two main characters learning to move on from their pasts. Kate is a bitter young woman, hanging on to the pain of her father's death. She lives with her aunt and uncle on their horse farm, and when her uncle hires a new stable hand, she cannot stand seeing someone take her father's place. Matt is running scared, but no one knows why. He feels God has led him to a new life until he realizes Kate will do all in her power to see him leave the horse farm for good. Something will have to change in order for both young people to work through the shadows of their pasts and discover the dawn together.
What inspired you to write it?
Working through the past is something with which many people struggle. I suppose there's a part of me that hopes this plot might inspire or touch someone who can relate. In all honesty though, inspiration has really come mostly from figments of my imagination. All of my novels, so far, contain faith, love and horses. My faith in God drives me to incorporate it into all plots. Good clean romance is always fun, so I like sprinkling that into stories as well. For many years, horseback riding was the main focus of my life, gaining me much experience and the ability to incorporate that knowledge through my books. Inspiration? It's all around me.
Where can people get it?
Discovering the Dawn, along with my other books, may be purchased directly from me through my website at www.rachelburkum.com. Detailed ordering information can be found there.
Do you have any new books in the works?
Right now I'm working on a devotion book for horse-lovers while holding several more plots for novels in the wings. Having more than one project going at a time seems to feed my inspiration so I try to always have something in the works.
What would you say to those who what to write a book?
Do it! If you have a passion to write, then by all means, write. Who's to say whether or not it may become a published book? If it does, then it is as great accomplishment to be proud of. And if it doesn't, writing is never, ever wasted. It's a win-win situation.
Do you have anything else you would like to share?
If there's one thing I've learned through my writing, is that it's an adventure that has yet to reveal a destination. Writing opens the door to worlds beyond imagination, expressing thoughts often hindered by the tongue, yet given life through those beautiful blank pages. God has given me a passion to write, and I feel blessed. I can only hope that what I've written may bless others as well.