The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Rachael Lippincott - Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh

September 04, 2023 Marissa Meyer Season 2023 Episode 167
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Rachael Lippincott - Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh
Show Notes Transcript

In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Rachael Lippincott about her new YA, pitched as a sapphic Bridgerton meets Freaky Friday rom-com, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND PITTSBURGH. Also discussed in this episode: the challenges of working on very distinct points of view, using music to get into a character’s POV, how deep to go into the research when writing a historical, the desire to time-travel back to the Regency era – knowing much of it might be romanticized, the pros and cons of co-writing books with others -  including a spouse - and more! 

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[00:10] Marissa: Hello. Hello, and welcome to the Happy Writer. This is a podcast that aims to bring readers more books to enjoy and to help authors find more joy in their writing. I am your host, Marissa Meyer. Thank you for joining me today. One making me happy this week, and it's a big one. It is, in fact, a dream that I have had for my entire writing career about to happen, about to come to fruition here. In a few days. I am going on a writing retreat cruise, which is such a dream come true. I'm so excited. I'm going with some wonderful friends. I'm going to be joined by Lish McBride, Ayanna. Gray, and Margaret Owen. We're taking a seven day cruise through the Alaskan Passage, and I just have so many fantasies of sitting at the window on our laptops, drinking our wine, watching the beautiful glaciers go by. Maybe we'll see a bear or a whale. I don't know. I am just so excited. I can't wait. And, of course, hope that it will also be remarkably productive because I've got so many books in the work that I really am very eager to get wrapped up. So. Yeah, I can't wait. I cannot wait. This is, like, definitely something that I've wanted to do for a very long time. Of course, I am also so happy to be talking to today's guest. She is the author of The Lucky List and the co author of all this time. She gets the girl and 5ft apart. Her newest novel, Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh came out last month. Please welcome Rachel Lippencott. 

[02:03] Rachael: Thank you so much for having me on.

[02:05] Marissa: Thank you so much for joining me. And congratulations on the release of your new book.

[02:11] Rachael: Thank you. Oh, my goodness. And congrats on the cruise. That sounds awesome. Definitely a little jealous. That Alaskan Passage is going to be incredible.

[02:20] Marissa: I know. Have you done it? Have you been to Alaska?

[02:23] Rachael: I have not, but it's one of those things that's for sure on my bucket list that I have to do.

[02:28] Marissa: Oh, my gosh.

[02:29] Rachael: I know.

[02:29] Marissa: It's a total bucket list item. No. And I remember talking to Ali Carter this was years ago, and she was saying that she just will occasionally book herself, like, solo on a cruise ship and treat it as a writing retreat. And ever since then, I've just been like, that is the most blissful thing I can possibly imagine.

[02:52] Rachael: So I'm over the moon. Yeah. Alaska and then cruise ship. That's, like, two things I got to add to my list. That sounds incredible.

[03:02] Marissa: For sure.

[03:03] Rachael: No.

[03:04] Marissa: I hope this will inspire so many writers out there. It should be on everyone's list.

[03:09] Rachael: Of course, I haven't done it yet.

[03:10] Marissa: I'm just assuming that it's going to be marvelous.

[03:13] Rachael: Expectations are high.

[03:14] Marissa: Expectations are, like, super high. But really, how could it not?

[03:19] Rachael: No. For sure.

[03:22] Marissa: All right. I'm so excited to talk to you.

[03:24] Rachael: Today.

[03:25] Marissa: But before we start talking about your new book, the first question that I always have to ask I want to know your origin story. How did you become a writer?

[03:36] Rachael: Yeah, definitely. Well, I grew up really loving to read. It was like the classic thing where my mom was like, reading to me even before I was born. And I also did that with my daughter too. But I just really loved books growing up. And I think it was around third grade, I had a teacher who used to give me extra writing prompts in school to do during recess and after school. And it was like the classic stuff, like, the door is thrown open and somebody walks in. Just stuff like that. And at the time, I had been a huge Magic Treehouse fan, so I think I was pretty much just like, turning in, like, Magic Treehouse fan fiction every week. And I remember distinctly that was the year where I was like, I would love to be a writer when I grow up. This is the dream come true. And so kind of from there, it was something that I was always really interested in. When I went off to college, I was actually pre med, and then I ended up taking a class for a gen ed called Writing Youth Literature, taught by Siobhan Vivian at the University of Pittsburgh. And I was like, all right, this pre med thing is not going to work out. This is what I need to do. So really, from there, I just really fell in love with writing again or just nurtured my love of writing again. And right after I graduated, it maybe had been just a couple months, and Siobhan kind of reached out to me and she said that there was an opportunity to turn screenplay into a novel, and that ended up being 5ft apart. I wrote a sample first chapter. I read through the screenplay, and I fell in love with the story and the characters and also the inspiration and the idea behind 5ft Apart to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis. And as I said, I wrote a sample first chapter and I threw my name in the ring and I did not expect to get selected, but fortunately, I was. And that's really, I guess, the start of the story because from there, it's been a book a year ever since then, so interesting.

[05:37] Marissa: So you were not published when they offered you this?

[05:41] Rachael: No, I wasn't. Yeah, it was just purely from the chapter that I wrote, so I hadn't been published previously.

[05:50] Marissa: Did you have manuscripts in the drawer somewhere or was this your first time sitting down to write a had?

[05:58] Rachael: Because I was writing youth literature, I had Google Docs galore of just different stories that I'd written and different ideas that I was really excited about. But this was definitely the first time that I'd had a book anywhere near.

[06:14] Marissa: A publisher how interesting that's so just like getting thrown into the fire. I mean, to take what became a fairly successful movie and like, okay, you're the one. Turn it into a book now. That seems like so much pressure.

[06:30] Rachael: Yeah, it definitely was a big whirlwind. I think now, hindsight being 2020, I really see just how much of a whirlwind it was even in the beginning, from start to finish. I remember I think I found out that I got it in April and the book published in November. The turnaround for everything. I wrote the first draft in 14 days. It was wild. It was truly just a whirlwind of a time. And I definitely was kind of thrown off the deep end in that sense. Yeah. I feel like looking back on it, it definitely is so surreal that that's how it happened.

[07:07] Marissa: That is a very unique origin story.

[07:10] Rachael: I have to well, that's good to hear. Yeah.

[07:14] Marissa: No, I've asked that question a lot and I have not heard one like that before.

[07:19] Rachael: Yeah, it's so cool, though. Yeah, it was so cool and obviously so grateful to Siobhan for finding that opportunity and sending it my way and yeah, I couldn't be more grateful.

[07:32] Marissa: Yeah. And of course, you haven't looked back now. Okay, so did you have an agent? Do you have an agent? What part did that happen?

[07:39] Rachael: Yeah, it came afterwards because I had the book deal and then it was kind of turning around and then being looking for representation from there. So I got my agent from, I guess, having the opportunity to do 5ft Apart, which is very, extremely lucky.

[07:57] Marissa: Yeah. Okay, so you write the novel adaptation from this screenplay, you turn it in. Then what? Did you have a bunch of ideas or manuscripts you'd started that you were like, okay, I guess I'm a book writer now, so what's next or where do you go from there?

[08:18] Rachael: Definitely I had some ideas, but at the same time it was, I guess, a little bit of like a stage fright situation where it was like, oh, my goodness, I just had this 5ft Apart experience. It was unbelievable. Past anything I could have ever conceived of. And so I think I was a little bit nervous at first to kind of see what I could churn out on my own accord. I had some ideas and I remember being really excited about them, but maybe just a little bit nervous to kind of put them on the page. And actually, I think when I finally did have the I guess the courage to do that, my third book, The Lucky List, it was almost simultaneously right around the time that all this time happened. It was like within a month I found out that making working with Mickey Daughtry and there was another opportunity to work with Mickey Daughtry to kind of help her adapt a story idea that she had into another book was about the same time that I also had my own original idea. So all this time happened prior to that by the hairs on my chin, pretty much. And then The Lucky List was really that book that had been with me for a while that I was really excited to tell and yeah, I'm just glad that it finally found its way onto a page.

[09:42] Marissa: Yeah, definitely. Are you still writing first drafts in two weeks?

[09:47] Rachael: Oh, gosh, no. Especially not now that I have a now one year old. Oh, my goodness. I feel like I just would not be able to sleep at all. I don't know how I even did that then, but I feel like I did really learn from that experience how efficient I can be if I work off of essentially an outline. So that was a big help to me going forward in my writing career.

[10:15] Marissa: Yeah, no, for sure. That's funny. I just recently heard a quote and of course I'm not going to be able to think about where I heard it or where it came from, but it was something to the effect of one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is proof that we are capable of doing difficult things. And that clicked with me.

[10:36] Rachael: I love that moments that you look.

[10:38] Marissa: Back and you think, wow, I can't believe I did that. And then going forward, you always have that in your back pocket. Like, if I do, I am capable of this.

[10:49] Rachael: Yeah. Wow. I really love that quote. That's so true. Yeah. I'm going to keep that one in my back pocket. It's a good one.

[10:56] Marissa: All right, so here you are. Now, your fifth novel just came out. Would you tell listeners about Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh?

[11:07] Rachael: Absolutely. I'm really excited about this. And it's a bit of like a sapphic bridgerton. Freaky Friday. Two of my favorites. It's about a girl named Audrey who's sent back in time to Regency England to find love by the grumpy old man that's a regular at her family's Pittsburgh convenience store and a girl named Lucy who is from 1812 and is set to marry this man that she absolutely despises. So as their paths cross and as they kind of work together to figure out how to get Audrey back home, they not only find themselves coming into their own, but they find out that they are in fact, falling in love with one another. So I was super excited about this one.

[11:48] Marissa: It's so cute. And I mentioned before we started the recording that there are scenes from this book that feel like they were plucked right out of my own imagination and like, my own fantasies, which has to be so universal for those of us who love Jane Austen and know this historical period. Like that idea of getting sucked back in time and having to explain what a cell phone mean, I'm just going to assume that you are also an Austin fan and a fan of era love romances. What is it? Why do we love this so much?

[12:28] Rachael: Oh, my goodness. I think it's just so I know for me, it's like, in my head, so romanticized. Probably because you have movies like the 2005 Pride and Prejudice that are just so picturesque and beautiful or even bridgerton or just all of those movies and those adaptations, they have that great dance scene where there's the palpable. Tension and chemistry and just like, there's the costumes and oh, gosh, I feel like it's so easy to as I said, romanticize and kind of really just the tension is there. The excitement is there. It just was like, such a cool time period to dive into.

[13:10] Marissa: No. And there's something about just the manners of it, the etiquette, totally. The politeness of everybody, but also how that has such a dark side with the gossip and how easily a person could fall out of favor. Of course, it's, like, lends itself to so much drama.

[13:31] Rachael: Absolutely. No, I think that's so true. I feel like one of the most popular moments in the 2005 adaptation with Karen Knightley is like the Darcy hand flex. And if you break down the intricacies of the scene, it's totally that. It's like he's helping her into the carriage, but he's not wearing a glove and he should be wearing a glove. And they're like bare hands. It's just so interesting diving into the Etiquette and the line between proper and what is SKIRTY on improper alongside palpable romantic and sexual tension. It's exciting.

[14:07] Marissa: Oh, my gosh, I love that movie so much. That's my happy movie.

[14:11] Rachael: Yeah, it's my wife's comfort movie. And I feel like that's probably where all of this started for the idea for Pride and Prejudice in Pittsburgh really started coming into fruition because we watched it a bunch and she really converted me over. I was a BBC Truth or the old one from 1995. And then, I don't know, something happened and this is her comfort movie. And I remember watching it when she was pregnant and just kind of like, refalling in love with the story and Jane Austen's work. So it's great. It's a great one. No, for sure.

[14:44] Marissa: I remember because I was always a fan of the Kira Knightley more than the BBC myself. I mean, they're both great, all amazing.

[14:54] Rachael: But I remember back in the day.

[14:55] Marissa: There was, like, two factions.

[14:58] Rachael: Oh, my God. Yeah. Some people will fight, like, tooth and nail for whatever adaptation they're all in for. And it's really interesting.

[15:11] Marissa: Oh, fandoms.

[15:13] Rachael: Totally.

[15:15] Marissa: Okay, so we've got these two characters, one from contemporary Pittsburgh, one from 1812 England. And I love that we get to be in both of their heads, their perspectives, and the voices are understandably very different. So talk to me about just, like, capturing the voice for each character.

[15:38] Rachael: Yeah, that's a really good question. I feel like I was a little bit nervous to write Lucy's point of view. Lucy's, the character from 1812, because prior to this, I'd only written in the contemporary romance 2020 something voice. So I was definitely a little nervous. I feel safe writing in Audrey's. POV so to have to capture the voice of a girl living 200 years in the past in Regency England, I think was a little bit of a challenge for me. I feel like something that really helped was just reading a lot of Regency romances and watching those movies like we talked about and really trying to capture it as faithfully as I could. And also it was just kind of fun to dive into something different. It is dual POV so I did have the comfort of going back to where I feel best, which is the realistic contemporary romance blends with Audrey. But it was nice to kind of take a little bit of a risk on the Lucy POV as did you.

[16:48] Marissa: So would you bounce between the two? And if so, was it difficult, like, having to slide back into the other point of view between chapters?

[16:58] Rachael: Yes, I feel like I would not intermix them. Like, on one night I would work on Lucy, and then the next night I would work on Audrey. And that really helped with kind of my headspace around mean, there were times, obviously, during revisions where I didn't have enough time to do that. So the space between the two know, not be able to happen. It would have to be immediate. But yeah, I feel like when I was writing, it was definitely know, this is a and you know, that's a very different head space to be in, maybe even different music that I listen to to kind of get ready to write for the day.

[17:36] Marissa: I was going to ask, did you have like, okay, Audrey's, playlist has Taylor Swift, and then playlist is all like.

[17:45] Rachael: Totally like, I genuinely there was I feel like I would listen to just like the soundtrack from prime to Prejudice a lot when it was like, I was like, here we go, this is Lucy's music. But as I mentioned, sometimes you do get into revisions and you don't have the time or the leverage to kind of do that. And I feel like it was actually I was maybe shocked that it was easier to go from Audrey to Lucy than Lucy to Audrey, which I guess almost kind of contradicts almost everything I just said. But I just remember I just felt somehow more comfortable and maybe it was because I was excited by that point in revisions to be writing in such a different voice than what I was used to. Yeah.

[18:33] Marissa: And then also, I guess by that point, you've been in her head enough that maybe some of those initial hesitations were gone.

[18:41] Rachael: Totally. It almost kind of felt like I had pulled it off enough to sell the book and then also be on draft three. So by that point, it's like, okay, it's passing. What we're doing is working. Got this. So totally. I definitely feel like maybe by that point, I was a lot more confident in what I was putting on the page, and I just felt like I could just enjoy it and really dig into it.

[19:05] Marissa: Yeah, no, that's always a great place to get to.

[19:07] Rachael: Yeah, absolutely.

[19:10] Marissa: So people who have heard this podcast a lot will know that I am very intimidated at the prospect of writing historical fiction, because there's just so many things that seem like it would be really easy to get wrong.

[19:27] Rachael: Oh, totally. No, I hear you. That was absolutely a fear of mine.

[19:32] Marissa: Yeah. So how did you tackle that? What was your research project or your research process like?

[19:38] Rachael: Yeah, I mean, it was definitely really interesting. I've always really loved history. I minored in history in college, and I feel like it was just really exciting for me to kind of I feel like, as I said, I do do contemporary romance. It was kind of cool to dive back into that love of history and kind of just small stuff, like learning about what dinner parties were like and all of the different courses that they would have and what the foods would be and introductions and what the house would be set up like. And I feel like it was really cool for me to delve into that research. And it really helped that I had a specific year that was kind of pinpointed and I intentionally kind of made it, like, the specific year that pride and prejudice is. I feel like that was kind of almost like a manual for me. I was like, oh, interesting. There was kind of that connection there that made it maybe a little bit easier, more helpful, because I did have this book that was in an identical time period in an identical location, pretty much. So that really helped. But, yeah, I feel like I was just really excited to kind of do the research and just, like, small stuff absolutely came up. Like, the war of 1812 obviously came up at some point, and so it was really actually interesting to dive into that and be like, oh, no, we set. The book is there prior to the war of 1812 taking place, so it doesn't actually make its way across the Atlantic after the war starts for two months. So the people in England don't even know they're in a war. So it's just small stuff like that. That was just really fascinating to dive into, but also nerve wracking, because when the war of 1812 copy, it came through, I was like, oh, God. But I had the research to back up. But it definitely was a moment where I was like, oh, God, like, sweating. This is it. The whole book is done for.

[21:32] Marissa: And then you have to go back and check your research. I know I researched this. I know I looked it up, but what if I still got it wrong?

[21:40] Rachael: I know, I was like, maybe this isn't quite possible. So, yeah, I feel like there were a lot of things like that. And I'm sure somebody that this is their area of expertise will read the book and be like, are you kidding me? What am I looking at here?

[21:57] Marissa: But we'll see people who read and love Regency romance. There's a willingness to suspend that disbelief.

[22:07] Rachael: Totally. Yeah. And I mean, one of my favorite shows is Dickinson, and that obviously really took some leverage and really ran with it when it came to the historical elements.

[22:20] Marissa: Bridgerton. Bridgerton.

[22:22] Rachael: Totally.

[22:23] Marissa: So far. But we love it. It's part of the reason we love that.

[22:28] Rachael: It's, like, one of the most entertaining things ever. For sure. For sure.

[22:32] Marissa: So were you, like, when you had this idea and you're going to do this time travel romance, did you do a deep dive into the research or were you more on, like, a need to know basis?

[22:42] Rachael: I feel like I was a bit more on, like, a need to know basis, but I feel like that's only probably because when I started writing, it was like after I had really been entrenched in reading Pride and Prejudice and looking at the time frame and finding.

[22:58] Marissa: Already done your deep dive.

[23:00] Rachael: Yeah, I feel like I'd done a bit of a deep dive before then, but there still were stuff on a need to know basis that I needed to just cross check and figure out and scene to scene kind of put together to just kind of build out the world that Lucy and Audrey are in in 1812. Yeah.

[23:20] Marissa: And there's always little details that you don't know you need until you need them.

[23:23] Rachael: Yeah, absolutely. Even like, stuff like the corsets, they had been made well bone, but what were they doing by the time 1812 hit? And it was more comfortable and what was happening with that. So it was interesting on, as I said, need to know basis, what was going on at that time?

[23:40] Marissa: Or like, what are the specific dances that were popular during the summer of 1812?

[23:46] Rachael: Because yeah, that was for sure a Google search word for word that I'd done. I was like, what dances were really happening around 18? Just copy pasted it right into the document.

[24:00] Marissa: So, of course, one of the most interesting things about this book is that it's not just a Regency romance. It's not just a time travel Regency romance. It's a sapphic time travel Regency romance. And it was one of the things that I was so anticipating that moment when we start to get into the love confession, because, of course, they're both feeling things. We have Lucy, who comes from a world in which the idea of falling in love with a girl is so fairly unheard of for mean, I have to imagine that posed some interesting challenges, but also seems like it'd be kind of the fun of it.

[24:45] Rachael: Totally. Yeah, it was really exciting, I feel like, especially from Lucy's POV where she does kind of know the slow and steady AHA moments, know her feelings for Audrey. But yeah, that was something that I really enjoyed exploring, I think, honestly, because it really is something that we see in both of their journeys. You think on, I guess, paper value, these two girls cannot be any more different. One's from 1812 and is very perm and proper and one's from like, Pittsburgh in 2023 and her parents own a convenience store. But I feel like it was really cool that I guess on that element, Audrey really kind of comes into her bisexuality and Lucy discovers her feelings for girls. And I think it was really exciting for me to have them both exploring this part of themselves kind of at the same time. And it was really precipitated by the two of them meeting. And you do kind of have the baggage of their time know, as you mentioned, where Audrey is from present day and perhaps more willing to accept her bisexuality and the attraction that she feels for Lucy. And Lucy is really in a society and in a position where she's been raised for the sole purpose know, marry well, to marry a man. And any divergence of that is so totally and completely foreign to her because it's not a common reality. And so it was really cool to kind of have them begin to have feelings for one another and we see this push pull relationship and then an acceptance of those feelings in a super classic Pride and Prejudice Regency swoony way. I just had a bunch of fun slowly building to that and kind of having their two parallel explorations of self and that moment. Yes, sizing it all up.

[26:44] Marissa: It was such a great moment, too. And we don't want to spoil anything, but there's totally helmet. Pride and Prejudice is definitely an inspiration.

[26:54] Rachael: In a really great way. Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. That was one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Oh me. Definitely. It's everybody. Totally.

[27:07] Marissa: And I do think it's fun. And I think this is maybe one of the reasons we love time travel in general, is because it's always interesting to look at past periods of time and history, to see it through a modern lens. Because on one hand, we get that vicarious fantasy nature of going to the balls and getting to experience this more kind of simple, aristocratic lifestyle. And yet, on the other hand, we also get to shine light on what were some of the problems. And of course, this novel in particular explores, like, yeah, there's a fantasy element to this time period, but also Lucy is the property of her father and she's going to become the property of her husband. And she has very few choices that she can make. And if she missteps in any direction, that's like the end of her life, essentially.

[28:08] Rachael: Surely.

[28:08] Marissa: Yeah. And so it's such a great genre to play with those kind of two opposing forces.

[28:15] Rachael: Yeah, it really was. It was very fun and very interesting to do that and yeah, I feel like that is definitely something that's really exciting about time travel is you do get those really romantic bits, the ball, the dresses, the romanticness of it. But then you do have Audrey coming from 2023 and she's really able to kind of look at this and also, I guess, help Lucy because I think Lucy all along is obviously aware of it. But I think Lucy starts becoming more less resigned to her reality, obviously, as the book goes on. And she's able to kind of do her best to stand against it and stand up for herself. And I feel like that's my favorite part of the book is just Lucy and her coming into her own and her self discovery and pursuit of what she wants instead of what she's told she should want. That was a lot of fun.

[29:19] Marissa: And of course, the two of them meeting each other, it just naturally plays into some really intense character arcs and maybe more intense for Lucy. But Audrey definitely has some soul searching to go through, as know, and you mentioned like Lucy going on a path to discover what she really wants and building her confidence to actually go after that. But Audrey has a lot of those same sorts of realizations like, what do I really want? And it's great how the two of them kind of play off of each.

[29:55] Rachael: Other in that way. Yeah, they really do. And I think honestly, that was something that was really cool was know audrey got rejected from her dream art school and she feels really and broken up with by her boyfriend and she just feels really kind know, out. At sea and lost. And she can't find anything or feel inspired to draw, which is this passion that she's had for her entire life. So I feel know Lucy has this huge character arc. And you really think going into the story think almost that Audrey's is going to be bigger in a sense. Maybe just because it's so much clearer and so much more obviously laid out for the you know, I really think Lucy's character arc is so big and so exciting, and I really think them meeting and helping each other and really inspiring each other and helping each other grow. And figure out where they are and who they want to be and what they want to be together was something so special to write. And having somebody see you for you and helping you be the best you that you can be is just something that's always so classic.

[31:14] Marissa: It's very empowering. It's a very empowering story.

[31:17] Rachael: The two of them together. Definitely. Yeah.

[31:22] Marissa: If you were sent back to 1812, what's, like, the thing you would be most excited about?

[31:29] Rachael: Oh, my goodness. I feel like obviously I would say going to a ball or something, but then I also have absolutely no idea how to do any of those dances. So I feel like probably that dance teacher. Totally. If I went back in time, I had, like, a crash course and I could just go and just have a ten out of ten, right out of a movie, right out of a book moment at the ball. That would be so much fun. I feel like it would just be so exciting. Also, maybe even I don't even have to dance. Maybe just, like, standing in the corner and getting to see everybody dance and how things were back then and yeah, I feel like that would just be so exciting. Yeah.

[32:13] Marissa: I really want to know our interpretation, our fantasy of it. How close is it, actually, to totally.

[32:21] Rachael: Yeah. I feel like we definitely probably gloss over a lot of things from like.

[32:27] Marissa: People probably smelled worse.

[32:29] Rachael: I was about to say they did not have deodorant. There was not deodorant going on. I'm sorry, but bathing in orange peels is not going to cover you for a whole night of dancing. So yeah, I feel like a lot of stuff has been glossed over, but it still would be cool to check it out.

[32:48] Marissa: We were in France here a couple of months ago and took my kids to the palace of Versailles and hearing the reality of how just utterly disgusting it was.

[32:58] Rachael: Oh, my gosh. Yeah.

[32:59] Marissa: French court. I'm like, well, we don't include that in our novel.

[33:03] Rachael: No, for sure. Yeah. There was definitely some stuff that I did the research on, and I was like, I cannot put this in just, like, general stuff like bathroom or bathing or stuff like that. I was like, people do not need a deep dive into this and this little sapphic romcom. This is not what people need to see. I did love that you at one.

[33:24] Marissa: Point mentioned a chamber pot, and Audrey, we're not going to go there.

[33:29] Rachael: I, like, mentioned it and then never mentioned it again. I was like, I just want you all to know that this is here and it's happening, but we're not even going to think about it ever again.

[33:41] Marissa: Which is so perfect, because, again, that's like, we're in a contemporary girl's perspective. And of course, that's one of the first things I'd be thinking about, like, hold on, but how does this actually work?

[33:54] Rachael: No, definitely. Yeah, me too.

[33:59] Marissa: Okay, so I want to switch gears a little bit for our last few minutes because I know that you have done both solo novels and you've also done co authoring projects for you. What are some of the pros and the cons?

[34:17] Rachael: That's interesting.

[34:19] Marissa: Yeah.

[34:20] Rachael: So I feel like I've done different variations of, you know, I've done the adaptation variation for two of them. And then I had a very pure co writing experience when I worked with my wife, Allison, on our book. She gets the girl together, and I'm going to go off of that co writing experience. The best part is, well, other than getting to work together with my spouse is only having to write half a book. I got to be honest, that's a huge pro. And edit half a book, that's a great time saver. Way less stress on that. And I think also, it's just exciting coming up with a story with somebody else that's equally excited to be writing that story. I think that was just a lot of fun, just bouncing ideas off of one another. And also, I feel like my wife and I'm sure in any co writing experience, people come up with ideas that you wouldn't even think of. And I feel like that's always really exciting because it can take the book in a different direction than you maybe were even thinking and make it so much better by having that extra bit of input in it. And then with solo writing, you are at the wheel, so you have complete control, for better or worse, of the story. But I feel like both are really exciting. I feel like I definitely like the experience of getting to work together with someone to create a story together and also just getting to sit alone with a laptop and some of my favorite music and just kind of escape into the story on my own time. There's something really special about both.

[36:07] Marissa: Yeah. I did not realize that your co author was your yes.

[36:12] Rachael: Yeah, alice and Derek. Yeah, we are.

[36:17] Marissa: That. I actually just had a husband wife writing team on here a month or two ago, not that long ago. It was so interesting, like, hearing how they would kind of balance writing together, but also married life, like work life versus home life. Was that a challenge at all?

[36:38] Rachael: Totally. I feel like it wasn't too much of a challenge for us. We spend a lot of time together, and I feel like it was just almost exciting to kind of explore writing a book together. I feel like now definitely would be different because we have a baby. So you can't be up at 03:00 A.m. At the kitchen table just, like, laughing and drinking your third cup of tea and coming up with ideas, but.

[37:09] Marissa: You might have regrets.

[37:11] Rachael: You might be up at 03:00 a.m. Anyway. Totally. Well, might as well. But, yeah, I feel like it was really cool, and I feel like something that was interesting was, I guess, maybe like a dynamic shift that kind of happened because for me, this writing, she gets the girl. That was my fourth book, and for Allison, it was her first published book. And in our day to day life, Allison is kind of like the more steady one, and I'm like the chaotic mess. And so the experience was almost completely flipped because I was like, okay, this is what we have to do. We got an edit letter back, and for the first time, she's like, oh, I've ever seen her. Just completely a mess. What is going on?

[37:59] Marissa: We can't possibly do all of this.

[38:01] Rachael: In three and a half weeks. That's not possible. And just being like, trust me, we're standing at the base of the mountain. But it'll get done. You just have to step by step. Slowly but surely, it'll happen. So it was really interesting kind of having a shift in our dynamic from our typical day to day to me being the one that's like, don't worry about it, kid, it'll be fine.

[38:27] Marissa: That's so funny. So would you say before that, when you were writing and having books coming out, was she the one that would have to talk you down?

[38:37] Rachael: Totally. Yeah, she absolutely was. For 5ft apart, it was so fast and such a whirlwind and so much pressure. It's my first book. I don't want to mess up. I don't want to do this. And oh, my goodness, I totally just had some times where I was beside myself, where it was just, like, the amount of time that I had to do a revision or the amount of time I had to write the entire first draft, it was just, like, a lot. So, yeah, for that experience, it was definitely the inverse.

[39:08] Marissa: Yeah, no, that makes sense. Our spouses really do have to put up with a lot.

[39:12] Rachael: Totally.

[39:15] Marissa: Deadline writers are not as much fun as non deadline writers.

[39:19] Rachael: That's so true. That's so true. Very different people. Yes.

[39:25] Marissa: All right, are you ready for our bonus round?

[39:27] Rachael: I am so ready. Let's go.

[39:30] Marissa: What book makes you happy?

[39:33] Rachael: Oh, my goodness. That's a really good question. This is the first book that popped into my head, but maybe it's because I have a one year old now and she really likes reading together at night. But one of these books that I loved reading growing up was Westlandia, and it's like, a really great picture book. And yeah, I feel like that one just, like, getting to read it with my baby is so exciting. You have your favorite books from childhood that you now get to introduce to your child, and that's probably a book that makes me happy. Not a very random answer. I was, like, staring at the pile of books not too far from me and trying to think, but I feel like that's the most honest one I can give.

[40:16] Marissa: No, I relate to that so much. I mean, when we had kids, the first thing I remember getting really excited about was just reading to them in general, but then also, like, oh, this will give me a chance to reread Charlote's Web and The Chronicles of Narnia and all of those books that were so special to me. And it really is one of the.

[40:37] Rachael: Greatest things about parenting. It is so great and it's so special. Yeah, I'm excited. Also, as she gets older, she says one word and it's our dog's name, but I'm excited for her to really fully understand the book and be able to talk to her about it and we'll see if it's her favorite, too, in the future.

[40:59] Marissa: Absolutely. No, that's funny. Both of my kids said kitty first.

[41:02] Rachael: No way. Oh, my goodness.

[41:04] Marissa: And then they both said daddy second and mommy was third. And I that's bitter about it ever since.

[41:10] Rachael: That's so funny because Poppy is learning all of these new sounds and she's been saying dad a lot recently and she got a mommy and a mama. So it's like, sure, we'll count it.

[41:24] Marissa: That's hilarious. We're just going to assume it's just easier to say, let's just go.

[41:29] Rachael: It is. Apparently the M sound is one of the hardest sounds for a baby to make.

[41:34] Marissa: There you go. I'll stop being bitter and resentful about that.

[41:37] Rachael: Totally.

[41:40] Marissa: Okay. What are you working on next?

[41:44] Rachael: I have been working on my 6th book. I can't talk about it just yet. Classic publishing things. But I am so excited. It's another sapphic romcom, I think I can say that. And, yeah, it's just been a lot of fun to write and I really love the characters that I'm writing and, yeah, I'm really excited for this one.

[42:05] Marissa: Lastly, where can people find you?

[42:08] Rachael: You can find me on Instagram, at Rachel Libincott, on TikTok. I have a joint account with my wife at Allison and Rachel that's been a lot of fun. And I'm not even going to bother with the other ones anymore because Twitter is now don't. Even if you find me on there, cool. But if you don't, don't worry about it.

[42:31] Marissa: Awesome. Rachel, thank you so much for joining me.

[42:34] Rachael: Thank you so much for having me on. This was a lot of fun.

[42:36] Marissa: Readers, I hope you will check out pride and prejudice and Pittsburgh. It is out now. Of course, we encourage you to support your local indie bookstore, but if you don't have a local indie, you can check out our affiliate slash shop slash Marissa Meyer. And don't forget our merchandise on etsy instagram and tpublic. We have two upcoming episodes that I want to tell you about. Just later this week, we're going to be releasing a special bonus episode with authors CJ. Redwine and Mary Weber talking about the Writers Sanctuary, which does a lot of fun things for their community and hosts a lot of really cool retreats. And I know they're going to be so fun to talk to you.

[43:20] Rachael: I'm so excited.

[43:21] Marissa: And then next week, finally, we are going to have Ayesha Saeed to talk about her new novel, 40 Words for Love. If you're enjoying these conversations, please subscribe and follow us on Instagram at Marissa Meyer, author and at Happy Writer podcast. Until next time, stay inspired, keep writing and whatever life throws at you today. I hope that now you're feeling a little bit happier.