What’s your name, and where aremyse you from?
My name is Rachel Oaks and I'm from Orem, Utah.
How long have you been writing?
I became dedicated to writing in junior high, which was when I first had an audience of my peers. Even though writing is something I do crouched over a computer or notebook, I'm not a terribly introverted person, so I thrive off of lots of immediate feedback.
What genre(s) do you write?
I'm most interested in magical realism. Day-to-day life can be absurd and fantastic, and I like see that stretched a little bit further. I also write a great deal of fantasy, but I prefer to collaborate on those projects for many reasons, the chief being I'm not a very dedicated world builder.
What’s your current WIP? Can you tell us about it?
I'm the co-creator and scriptwriter for a webcomic called Children of Eldar. It's a fantasy about three young friends who are thrown into a war-worn world on the brink of annihilation. They band together in the face of xenophobia, captivity, and a demon army set on devouring every living body on the planet. As they become familiar with the people and cultures of their new world, they find things worth fighting for. The artist, my fellow creator, is the remarkably innovative Jemma Young, and the comic will be online in March 2013.
What’s your current day job? How does it help or hinder your writing?
I'm an English teacher in Japan. The experience is stocking my arsenal with good material, but the hours and workload are not highly conducive to writing as such.
Who is your favorite author?
I enjoy Aimee Bender, because she writes simple and lovely stories about sad and lonely characters.
My favorite books are the ones that help me understand my own current situation better, and I read Bender's An Invisible Sign of My Own at exactly the time I needed to.
What other hobbies or activities do you do outside of writing?
I like to travel, and I try to take a trip every month or so. The train system here makes with really easy to get places, even though I don't have a car. My most recent trip in Japan was to Mount Koya, which is the headquarters for a Shingon sect of Buddism. I stayed at a temple, ate tofu, tried their outdoor bath, and sat so still for their morning ceremony my legs fell asleep. I couldn't even stand on my own afterward!
What is something unique about yourself?
My belly button. It's sort of an inny that wants to be an outie.
Do you have a blog, Twitter, and/or Web site we can link to?
My tumblr is Sunny in Seto.
You can see a pretty teaser picture of Children of Eldar at Eldar Chronicles until March of next year. After that, it will be replaced by a comic that will rock your world, probably.