Interview with Author, Rachel Yurchisin

1.      Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became an author.

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and I’ve lived there my whole life. I’ve gone to school in the Parma, Ohio region for both grade school and high school. I wrote my book because there was an assignment in 5th grade to write a book. It was very official (for 5th graders) with pictures and binding. Last summer I was looking through some old grade school boxes and came across this book that I made. My mother and I decided to send it to Halo Publishing and they accepted it right away- I’m very fortunate in that regard. The rest is history!

2. Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary, tell us about your publisher, and also how you got the idea for this book.

My current book is entitled,“Diary of My Days in Kenya.” It is a fictional story loosely based upon the real life occurrences of a nomadic lioness who nurtures baby oryx as if they were her own young. During a drought, a naturalist, Susan Polling, and other professionals, are sent on assignment to observe and document this special pairing. The book’s spirited protagonist, Polling, offers the reader interesting insights as to why this unique phenomenon has transpired. The story explores how the traditional relationship of predator and prey is transcended, presenting a spellbinding account of how a parental bond, even a non-traditional one, can never be broken.

Halo Publishing International is a great publisher. Being a young author who does tons of extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs, it was pretty difficult to find times to have meetings over the phone. Lisa Umina, an author and founder of Halo Publishing, is extremely understanding and helpful. Also, when it came to publicizing my book, the process was quite simple and easy to accomplish. When I write another book- I would definitely go back to Halo Publishing!

I got the idea for “Diary of My Days in Kenya” from a true story of a lioness who adopts baby oryx that was reported about in the Plain Dealer in their Saturday edition of “World Watch” column.  The basis behind the book is true, the characters and the occurrences are created by me.

3. What is a typical writing day like for you?

I am quite the procrastinator so usually it would be a day that I don’t have anything else planned other than writing. There would be periods of time that I would be sitting in school and get an idea and would just have to write it down. It is great to have an epiphany but not so great to get behind in what the lesson was about in class!

4. What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love being able to express myself in the written word. If I didn’t have that outlet I don’t know what I would do. If I feel like I can’t control anything else in my life, I know that the second I pick up that pen or pencil, I have the power write out how I feel and express my feelings in a positive way.

5. What is the most difficult part of writing?

I can start writing and just keep going and going. The hardest part for me is figuring out an ending. I never want my stories or anything I write, even essays for school, to end.

6. Why do you like working with children and teens?

I wrote “Diary of My Days in Kenya” while I was in the fifth grade, so the book was written in the mind-set of that age-group. I’m only a junior in high school now, and I’m feeling like publicizing my book and having this much success already is helping me reach-out to some of my class mates that have been writing and are looking into becoming published authors themselves!

7. Do you make school visits or do speaking engagements? If so, please describe a typical presentation.

I haven’t made any school visits or anything of the like as of yet. I hope to go to my grade school where I wrote the book and publicize the book. I would like to speak to the middle grade school students who might have similar thoughts about the books that they had to write in fifth grade.

8. Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?

I don’t have a website of my own- however anyone who would like to order my book they can go to . You can also learn more about me on Halo’s website in their Authors Café.

9. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on school work and getting ready for the state competition for my tennis team at school! I hoping to audition for my school’s fall and winter plays this year as well.

10. What is your best tip for aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid to send a publisher what you wrote. Most of the time people don’t send out what they’ve wrote in fear of being rejected. It is an understandable fear; however with a few changes it will eventually be accepted. Just go for it!

11. What advice would you give children and teens as they prepare for life?

Try to find something that you enjoy; find a passion of yours and find an occupation that fits those requirements. If you accomplish that goal, you will find that you’ll never feel like you’ve worked a day in your life because you’re doing something that you love!
12. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership?

I want to thank my mom for doing everything in her power to help me succeed not only in my writing, but also in my life. To my dad for always believing in me, and saying,“ I knew you could.” To my papa who added color to my book and to my life. Finally, to the readers, I hope you enjoy the book and thanks for all your support!


  1. Thank you for having Rachel on your blog and sharing more about her and her writing with us.

  2. A lion and an oryx, a predator and a prey - in a parenthood relationship. This must be really a moving story. And, the possibility of this occurring, having been inspired by an actual incident fuses fiction and reality.


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