Today on Meet the Author we’re talking to R. L. Walker….a fellow history and archaeology lover!
YA mystery and adventure
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Recently, I married the love of my life in my childhood library of Wagnalls Memorial. I am a middle school English teacher in Columbus, Ohio where I have started a writing club for my students. Growing up an only child my escape and adventure was reading which I still love.I grew up traveling in the carnival which inspired my first novel. My family has food concessions, Rube’s Concessions, and I am the third generation. Later on, I attended the University of South Florida and received my B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology where I spent time at Betty’s Hope Archaeological School. Which helped inspire parts of my second novel. Upon receiving my Masters in Education from Ohio University I went on to teach English in southern Ohio before moving. My husband and I have a historic home that we are slowly working on restoring, so add handywoman and painter to the list of things I do.
What inspired you to start writing?
I always loved getting caught up in my daydreams,but I started putting them to paper as a middle school writing teacher to model creative writing and the writing process with my students.
How many books have you written and published?
I have written 3.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I would have to say Crimival because I loved the ideas in the first book, The Disappearing Act, and now that Crimival is my third book I have had time to hone my craft. I enjoyed writing the twists and turns and developing the characters of my stories a bit more.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I choose my characters names because I wanted something interesting so I picked names that I always liked. Plus they were names my husband said no to as future children’s names. Then, I let my students vote on the character names from my list of possibilities.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I would want to be stranded on an island with Kai because she is strong and resourceful. Plus she has the ability to shapeshift into a hawk. She would be great to talk with, but also be able to help us get off the island. If nothing else she could fly for help. My character, Zoe, was based a bit too much on myself as a kid, so we would probably fight instead of working together like I would with Kai.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I would have to say it’s a tie between Kristin Hannah and Martha Kelly. I love their descriptive historical fiction that tells the stories of women living through harrowing ordeals. I loved The Nightingale because I was guessing which sister survived the whole time and it hit all the feels. However, my ultimate is Jane Austen even though her writing style is not exactly my own nor has she influenced my writing
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
The first thing I remember writing was journaling about the adventures of my cat when I was little.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Currently, I am a middle school English teacher near Columbus, Ohio. I have also taught in South Korea and worked as a server in college. I also spent some time as an archaeology volunteer in college.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I would probably travel back in time to ancient Egypt or some of the other various ancient civilizations to experience life then but would want to take my husband on the trip as well.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Hmm this is difficult as there are tons of historical figures that I would love to meet, I would have to say that I would love to meet the person who built our house. I have been discovering more about them through research, but I would love to have seen them build it and ask them tons of questions.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love hiking and exploring nature in our National Parks along with kayaking. I enjoy traveling, reading YA, mysteries, and historical fiction. My husband and I both enjoy history and spend time exploring historical places and working on our old house. During the summer I love to garden and grow both flowers and veggies.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Oh my, I have had several strange experiences. Most recently my husband and I went to England where he looked up a cool pub to go for dinner. The bartender was great and looked like my cousin. He really helped us and treated us not like a tourist but a new friend. Later on, we went back to Marepeth Arms and he took us on a tour of the underground cells where prisoners would be kept from Millbank Prison before being sent to Australia. We love 19 Crimes wine which has all the crimes that could get you sent to Australia. It was very interesting and fun vacation happening.
That being said, I do get deja vu and often find myself in interesting situations as one does being a traveler.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
I would tell myself to go write! Don’t doubt yourself and you never know what you can or can’t do if you don’t try. I frequently would stop writing thinking that no one would want to read it or that it was horribly written. Now I know I just need to edit and I am quite surprised when I get notes from people who have read my books. My writing has inspired my students to write. Therefore, you never know who is watching and who you might influence so you should just try.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
It is difficult to pick just one book to read,but I would have to say I am Malala is a great one for our time. Mainly because I just love Malala and how she continues to fight for what is right even though it had terrible consequences for her. If we could all use our experiences to make a difference in the world, what a better place it would be. She is quite younger than myself, but I look up and admire her. She really is a great role model for young women, plus her book details an area of the world which most of us know nothing about.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
Crimival is my latest book and is the sequel to The Disappearing Act. Zoe is back for another fun-filled carnival summer. This time she has her own trailer selling her newly discovered product of deep fried soda pop. She has to balance running her own business and using her telepathic powers to figure out whoever is sabotaging the ride company. Hopefully finding the bad guy before someone gets hurt!
Thanks so much for taking part in Meet the Author! It’s lovely to hear from a fellow history lover and it’s fab that you have a degree in Archaeology! I’m so jealous!
As usual guys, any comments/questions for either of us, let us know below or drop us a line on social media.
Have a great Saturday lovelies and thanks for reading.