Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Day in the Life of… Rachel Harris

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A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!


Rachel Harris 022

As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.

As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.

When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.

MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is her debut novel.  She did have her own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn't televised

A Day in the Life of…Rachel Harris

Wow, that title sounds so much cooler than the reality is. If you’re gonna hang with me, you better strap in and get ready, because it’s a non-stop, run around like a crazy person who flipped her pancake type of day.

The first thing you should know is that I’m a homeschool mama who’s also an author. And while we do take breaks during the summer, our approach is more year-round so we can take larger breaks when holidays come up, the weather rocks, or mama is under a HUGE deadline.

Now, my girls are made of awesome and couldn’t be more excited about my writing (they tell EVERYONE they meet about my books), but they’re not exactly, how should I say this, quiet. They have energy that I wish I could bottle up and take liberally, but alas, I just have to try to roll with it and squeeze in writing whenever and wherever I can.

So here is what a typical day in the Harris Household looks like year-round:

6:30 TV flicks on as my alarm. I crack an eye open, turn it off with a huff, and grab my phone. From the comfort of my bed, I check email, respond to tweets and FB comments, and basically drag out the process of fully waking up as long as possible.

Anywhere from 6:45-7:45 (depending on how long I was able to drag it out) Jump in the shower and think over my story as the water beats my fog away, then get dressed, make bed, start laundry, make breakfast for all, and grab a can of Diet Mt. Dew, which is required sustenance for any thinking I’m about to do

7:45 Get the girls started on morning chores while I hop on the computer for immediate work, such as responding to longer emails and writing blog posts, and re-reading the latest chapter I wrote in my work in progress to get in the ‘zone’

8:00 First homeschool block. Bible, Manners, History, and Geography

9:00 Girls work in their Math and Language Arts workbooks while Mom sits at table, answers emails and tweets, and steals some reading time in on her Kindle

9:30.Girls read their independent readers as Mom grades workbooks

10:00 First wonderful break. Girls attempt to burn off energy while I switch out clothes in the dryer, unload dishwasher, answer more emails—they never end, dude.

10:30 Second homeschool block. Group Language Arts and Read Aloud Literature selections

12:00 Frantically run around and load kids in car for Homeschool P.E. Actually, this is a new thing for us starting this year where the girls have a P.E. class with other homeschool kids at a local gym, and Mom gets to work out in her own class. Yay to the end of writer’s butt!!

1:30 Writing time…well, when the girls don’t have extracurricular activities or field trips with our homeschool group, that is. The girls work on independent projects and have free play—this tends to be LOUD reenactments of whatever we learned that day, equally loud TV or video games, or, on a rare day, when the world is smiley and happy, quiet reading and naps. I LIVE for blue moon days like this. But since that’s NOT the norm, there are days when it’s especially chaotic and I totally bribe them with a trip to a McDonald’s play land or another equally air-conditioned wonderland where they can have fun and I can steal some writing time.

3:00 Send day’s word count to my awesome critique partners and edit! I edit as I write, but this is where I edit what my CP’s send to me, or look over what my author friends send me to beta read. Putting on my editor cap totally works different brain muscles.

4:30 Figure out what in the heck I’m gonna cook my family….consider ordering pizza….decide that would totally add to the writer’s butt I attempted to work off that morning, and then cook a half-way decent dinner. As it cooks, watch Veronica Mars reruns while I fold laundry and count it as RESEARCH since I’m writing a YA thriller. Plus, come on, the writing in that show just rocks.

5:30 Put away laundry and attempt to make the house look like a tornado didn’t tear through it before the hubs comes home. Chant a little…okay, I don’t chant, but I do often dance and sing off-key as I frantically run around straightening. The whole ‘whistle while you work’ philosophy, only I ‘spazz out as I work’

6:00 Family time. Eat dinner, sneak-read on my Kindle while pretending to watch random TV with everyone else. Get an idea for a new scene and run back to computer to jot it down

9:00 Bath time for mom! I LIVE for my quiet times in a tub filled with yummy-scented bubbles while I read uninterrupted. Love….

10:00 Cuddle with wonderfully supportive husband, watch Chopped on the Food Network, daydream about scarfing down all the wonderful goodies on the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets, and laugh over Big Bang Theory reruns

11:00 Crash. Sometimes my brain lets me stay up and read for a few hours, but other days, I just crash, y’all. This parenthood and author thing takes a lot out of a girl!!

So there you have it… a day in my life. Totally exciting, right??

Some days are even more hectic, and others are blissfully uneventful, but more often than not, this is what I’m doing. And you know what? I’m living my dream. Sure, a live-in maid, personal chef, and assistant would ROCK, but being with my beautiful princesses all day long and doing what I love… I wouldn’t trade this crazy life for anything.

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

Available from IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, The Book Depository, Books a Million, Blue Willow Bookshop, and your local independent bookstore.

Read an excerpt HERE!


  1. I absolutely love it. I wish I was a morning.person. I'm not up until 7:30 or 8, but truly enjoy my homeschooling as well.

  2. I'm exhausted just reading that schedule! Ack! I don't think I could that for too long before I imploded.

  3. Awesome life Rachel! Rock on with the homeschooling. :D It's great. ;)

  4. Sounds like our homeschool days. But even as wonderful as my girls are (and they are wonderful), I can honestly say that we have days full of working out issues with each other, addressing whining, learning how to talk to each other instead of "at" each other and learning how to just be the kind of people we are called to be.

    That kind of thing is WAY harder than the math and science! :)

    Always good to connect with another homeschooling mom and writer. Rock on!

  5. Sounds like an eventful day! My days are spent with my boys, laundry, dishes, cleaning, reading, blogging, etc. Stay-at-home mom is the hardest, but best "job" I've ever had. Much better than my former career, that's for sure. I couldn't imagine rock!


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