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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Rachel Coker

Rachel Coker

Rachel Coker is a homeschool student who lives in Virginia with her parents and two sisters. She has a passion for great books and has been surrounded by them all her life -- in fact, as a young child, Rachel helped her parents in a family-run Christian book business. When not writing or playing the piano, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Rachel Coker: Teen Author

Rachel Coker: Teen Author

(February 2013)
Katie Hart
Seventeen-year-old homeschool student Rachel Coker infuses her own teenage experience into poignant historical novels.

“My first fiction story was a school assignment in sixth grade,” Rachel shares. “I guess my mom was pretty impressed by my short story, because she sent it to a professional writing coach who offered to work with me for a few months to hone my fiction skills.”

Short stories and a novella led to starting her first full-length novel at age 13. After finishing it, she queried agents, signed with one, and at 15 received a contract offer from Zondervan for Interrupted: Life Beyond Words.

Her sophomore novel, Chasing Jupiter (also Zondervan), takes readers to 1960s Georgia, where 17-year-old Scarlett Blaine struggles to hold her eccentric family together and fulfill her autistic brother’s dream of flying a rocket to Jupiter. “I love how raw and real the characters in Chasing Jupiter are,” Rachel says. “They’re not perfect—in fact, they’re far from it, but you just can’t help but love how crazy and cute they all are. They have a genuine love for each other that is stronger than the circumstances surrounding them.”

She believes her age gives her books an edge that other young adult novels may not have. “They’re stories about teenagers written by an actual teenager, so they have a raw realness to them that I think a lot of other YA books lack. I write about what it’s like to be young—the heartaches, joys, humor, and love that comes with being 17. And other teens relate to that!”

Rachel lives with her parents and two younger sisters in Virginia, where she writes and owns a photography business, as well as continuing her schooling. “All my years of home education opened my eyes to the exciting and vast world of classic literature,” she says, “and many of those books inspired my later works.”

This article originally appeared in the February/March 2013 issue of FamilyFiction Edge digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!



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