Hello and welcome to the brand new racheltonkshill.com!
After years of having my writing related posts rubbing shoulders with my embarrassing teenage LiveJournal posts I have finally given them their own space. My first professional website, the place to find all of my writing related output. For those of you who have stumbled across my writing for the first time, let me introduce myself.
So, who is this Rachel Tonks Hill anyway?
First and foremost I consider myself a writer.
I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember, and actually making myself finish them since my early teens. This is not my first blog, and much of my early writing, the stories I wrote as I honed my craft, are readily available in various places on the internet.
I am also something of a thrill-seeker, taking on ambitious (and potentially foolish) writing challenges. Such as writing an entire novel alongside my doctoral thesis. It was stressful, but I finished both my thesis and my novel, and both now have pride of place on my bookshelf.
This penchant for ridiculous challenges means I know a thing or two about finding time to write despite life trying to get in the way. And I know a lot about putting your work out there even though you’re terrified of failure and rejection. I want to pass the things I’ve learned on to you, the person reading this blog who might be in the same position I was.
Why Tonks though?
Okay, you got me. You won’t find Rachel Tonks Hill on my PhD certificate. It’s a pen name.
I’ve been going by Tonks for almost a decade now, and when choosing my pen name, the brand I’m going to centre all my work around, it felt right to include it. But how did I acquire the name in the first place?
Buckle up kids, it’s story time.
Way back in the mists of time, when I was a lowly university undergrad, I dressed up as Nymphadora Tonks (from Harry Potter) for Halloween. Now, being that it was early on in the term, none of us were particularly good at remembering each others’ names. A friend of mine, no doubt aided by alcoholic beverages, forgot that I’d introduced myself to him as Rachel.
But he did remember I’d dressed up as Tonks for Halloween. He started using it.
Being a bit of a fan of the character, which was why I’d dressed up as her in the first place, I encouraged this. To the point where I would refuse to tell people my “real” name. Cut to the present and it’s the name I use most often.
My friends call me Tonks. Their parents call me Tonks. My partner calls me Tonks. Even my GP has started calling me Tonks.
I am Tonks and Tonks is me. It wouldn’t feel right to be writing without her.
What kind of things do you write?
The usual sandbox I play in is down the sci-fi and fantasy end of the playground. Writing is about making shit up and with sci-fi and fantasy you get to make everything up.
But I don’t restrict myself to those particular genres. I’ve been known to write romance and horror and occasionally noir. Sometimes I write things that blend multiple genres together.
What is more important to me is that I tell stories that matter.
What do I mean by that?
I mean stories that make a difference to someone. I want to write stories for the people who don’t normally get happy endings. For people who feel broken or alone and don’t have to.
I write the stories that would have made the biggest difference to me when I was a kid. And if I can make a difference to just one person’s life with my writing, if I can make just one person feel a little less alone then it will have been worth it.
That is the kind of thing I write. That is why I write.
That’s great but, why are you blogging?
I’m blogging for the same reason everyone does: because I have things to say.
But more than that, I’m blogging because I have been through some shit, and I can help you get through your own shit. The only thing harder than going through something that negatively affects your ability to write is going through it on your own. Doesn’t matter whether that’s fear or doubt or illness. It sucks. I’m here to make sure you are never alone.
You’re here because you have questions about your writing life, because you doubt your ability to reach the goals you’ve set yourself. You don’t think you can “make it” as a writer. I’m here to answer your questions and reassure you that you can.
Sometimes I think that the hardest part of life is believing that you can. Well I believe that you can do it, and I’m going to help you believe it too.
What are you going to be blogging about?
Unlike the blogs I’ve started in the past, this one is going to have a much more singular focus.
This blog is about writing.
I’ll provide advice for you, talk about things I’ve learned, help you work around the pitfalls of a writing life and maybe even share funny anecdotes about the life of a writer.
It’s also going to be a place I can share news about my work, any upcoming events etc. New book coming out? You’ll be the first to know.
This blog may end up containing many things, but all of them will be related to writing somehow. And all of them are going to be for you.
Who I am blogging for
I am blogging for you.
The writer who is struggling to find time to write. The writer who doubts the quality of every word they put down. The writer who has had to take a break for whatever reason and wants to get back on the horse. The established writer who wants to know that other established writers are going through the exact same things they are.
If you consider yourself a writer in any way shape or form, then this blog is for you.
And if you’re not a writer?
If you’re someone who my writing might help feel less broken and alone? If you’re someone who needs a character who is just like you in sea of characters that are the exact opposite? Well this blog is for you too. And so are my books.
“How can I get involved?” I hear you cry
First of all you can get involved by leaving a comment on this post or liking my Facebook page. If you want to get in touch about personalised writing advice, or to book me for a talk or seminar, please go to my contact page.
Pitches for guest posts are also welcome through the contact page. Questions, comments or other random noises of an informal nature can be made via twitter. And if you like my writing then please think about purchasing one of my books.
Please do get in touch! Ultimately, this blog is for you and the only way I know what you want and need is if you tell me.
I look forward to us taking this journey together.