BEHIND THE WORDS: Rachel Fordham



Welcome Rachel, we’re excited to have you on Reader’s Entertainment. First, tell our readers a bit about yourself.

Where you’re from, where you live? Is writing your full-time job?

I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, went off to college and spent the next few years living all over the country before coming back and settling only two hours from where I grew up. It’s green (thanks to the rain) and there are beaches all around me. I wear a few hats. My first and favorite is being a mom to my kids, who thanks to covid are homeschooling. I also do the bookwork for our business and then in between all that, I write!

How long have you been writing?

I started writing almost six years ago. I have always been a reader, but I didn’t try my hand at writing until one night when I was telling my husband that I needed a creative outlet. He said, “You read so much, why don’t you write a book?” I have been typing away since!!!

Briefly describe your writing day. Tell us about your latest release.

I don’t have the luxury (at this time) of having an organized writing day. I am often writing while waiting for kids to finish up at practice or while they are sleeping. Somehow it works out and the stories keeping making their way to the page.

What inspired this book?

My husband is a dentist and because of that we always notice dentist in media. Rarely are they shown as a hero, typically they are a villain or comic relief. I decided I wanted to write a dentist that was a hero!

I was excited to discover that the field of dental assisting was a new field for women to enter and one I had no seen featured in a novel before. After deciding I wanted to build a story around these to careers it was a matter of filling in backstory holes and then throwing obstacles in the characters way. I’m excited for readers to discover the story that ultimately came together.

Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book? Perhaps a juicy bit of back-story, or something only you know about a character? 

Of course! I’m not sure this counts as juicy but when I was growing up, I was a huge Anne of Green Gables fan. I loved the books and the movies. I wanted to name one of my children Gilbert, but my husband wasn’t on board with this plan. Since I never got to use the name I decided naming a character Gilbert was almost as good.

This novel’s male lead is named Gilbert Watts! When my husband read an early draft he looked up from the page and said, “You know, the name Gilbert isn’t actually that bad.” (I should have written this book earlier!)

What has been your hardest scene to write?

In my debut novel, The Hope of Azure Springs, there are some sad realities that the characters have to accept. I had recently gone through a medical challenge with one of my children and faced the reality that I might lose them. Writing a tragic scene in that book was painful for me because it hit too close to home. I was bawling on the couch while writing.

Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? Why?

Penny from Yours Truly, Thomas was the most difficult character for me to write. I adore her and would love to be her friend, but in many way she is different from me and I struggled to relate to some of her choices (even though, I was the one writing her story). The good things is I learned a lot while stepping into her shoes.

All writers are readers. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? 

I read a very diverse plethora of novels growing up but historical fiction and classics proved my favorites. I loved them and still do. I have vivid memories of reading Girl of the Limberlost, Little Women and all the Jane Austen Novels.

When I finally decided to write, I went back to my favorites and read them as though I were taking a course on them. I asked myself how the author did it, how she paced the novel, how she described things. I don’t know that I write exactly like any of them, but they were my first writing teachers and I’m grateful for that.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

These is My Words by Nancy Turner is a novel that I can go back to and read over and over again. It’s full of tragedy, but the way it captures a romance that spans more than just the “falling in love” years captures me.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

Potty training…not sure that is a secret talent but I have potty trained my biological children and multiple foster children. The count keeps getting higher.

Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy! 

Water. Boring, right? I prefer it to any other drink.

And what is your writing Kryptonite?

Hmm… the times I have been unable to write have been because my energy has all been used up somewhere else. When we got our first foster daughter her needs were so high, I didn’t write for a year. I also didn’t write when my son was first diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy.

I LOVE writing, but there have been times when the things/people I love more have needed me and I’ve had so step away for a while.

Which of your leading men do you think is the most swoony?

Usually whichever one I am writing, but if I had to put them all in a room and weigh their qualities, I might pick Gilbert from A Lady in Attendance. He’s the unexpected hero, the quiet, steady type you would want by your side forever.


Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving–and perhaps find love along the way.

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Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.