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Rachael Lippincott

El Templo #93 (abril-mayo 2023)
Por Raquel Periáñez y Carlota Bouwmans
177 lecturas
Rachael Lippincott grew up in Pennsylvania and studied English Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2018, she wrote Two Feet Apart from the script by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis while the homonymous film was being made simultaneously, which was released the year after. All This Time (2020) is also based on a script by Mikki Daughtry, while The Lucky List (2021) is her first original novel. She has also written She gets the girl (2022) with her wife Alyson Derrick, a romcom inspired by their love story.

 

Your first novel, Five Feet Apart, was published in 2018. Since then, you’ve released another three books. Now that you have more experience, what do you remember about your debut and how do you think you have evolved as a writer?

I remember what a whirlwind process it was and really feeling like I was pushed off the deep end. Everything about the publishing process was so new to me, and knowing what I know now, the speed and intensity of that experience was understandably a bit mindboggling. From writing the book, to hitting the New York Times Bestseller list, to the movie, it was all so surreal (and stressful!) and I’m definitely grateful and glad to have had a book release of that calliber.

I think I’ve learned so much since publishing Five Feet Apart, and from the experience of publishing it. Not only about who I am as a writer, and what works best and most efficiently for me when writing and drafting, but also about the industry. I’ve learned who I want to be as a writer, what I value, and what kind of stories I want to tell. I’ve learned what defines success for me, and that vision has definitely shifted over the years.

The writing process for Five Feet Apart, with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, was a bit different from the traditional process of a book adaptation. How was the experience of writing a novel over a script, and how was it different from writing All This Time?

It definitely was! I think the process for both books was pretty similar. Taking a script, or a slightly more fleshed out script, and turning it into a book. In both instances, I felt like I could definitely put my mark on the story, with Will’s point of view in Five Feet Apart, or just trying to capture the visual experience that the script encompasses.

With All This Time, just working with Mikki, I think we really hit a point where we understood each other between mediums, and it was super cool to see.

The Lucky List was your first solo novel. What are the advantages and disadvantages of facing the blank page alone?

Having more creative freedom. Having the story be entirely your own. I guess both of those can also be disadvantages! There’s a huge plus to getting to brainstorm and create a world with another person. It certainly makes writers block better!

She Gets the Girl, your most recent novel, is a rom-com about two girls who meet on their first day of college. Your wife and you have written it together, and you met under similar circumstances. How much of Rachael and Alyson is in Alex and Molly’s story? What has the experience of writing with someone so close to you been like?

It was definitely the inspiration for it! The first draft was a copy and paste of our love story. Every draft after that we gave it over to Alex and Molly, the characters and the story stretching to become theirs.

Writing with Alyson was the absolute best. She always says that first draft was like writing love letters back and forth to each other, and I really believe that. I’d write every book together if I could! Just getting to work together at our kitchen table, laugh over ideas that are a bit too chaotic, see people read and fall in love with the book. It was so special.

Many fans that have read The Lucky List and She Gets the Girl say they would love to see a 90’s style rom-com based on them. What do you think about that? Would you like to see one of your stories on the big or the little screen?

That would be the coolest! Would love to see a few more sapphic rom-com’s on the big (or little) screen. It would be a real honor for one of those two to get there one day.

Although all your books are different, they all touch sensitive topics, such as illness, addiction or grief. How do you deal with writing those stories? Does the process involve any research?

Five Feet Apart definitely did, since the portrayal of Cystic Fibrosis was so vital to the story. Talking to a respiratory therapist, having every draft of the screenplay looked over and consulted on.

The other topics I really try to write truthfully and honestly from personal knowledge. My mom having cancer, family members struggling with addiction and alcoholism. If I ever feel the portrayal isn’t ringing true, even if I’ve experienced some form of it, I certainly do my research.

What do you enjoy most about writing YA, and more specifically, stories with sapphic main characters?

I love telling stories from such an exciting and pivotal point in life. High school, starting college, figuring out who you are, your first time falling in love. These are also the stories that people can really relate to and understand at any age, whether you’re a 9th grader dreaming about your future, or in your 50s reliving or experiencing this special time through the lens of another person. YA is a really universally accessible genre.

I love writing stories with sapphic main characters because these are the stories I would have wanted to read when I was a teenager, and the stories that most excite me now. They are the books I needed when I was in high school, so to give them to this next generation feels really special.

You have announced on social media that your new novel, Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh, will be published this August. What can you tell us about it?

Yes! I’m super excited for this next one. It was pitched as Bridgerton meets Freaky Friday, and is a sapphic romcom about a girl who gets sent back in time to regency England to find love by the grumpy old man that is a regular at her families convenience store. It was REALLY fun to write, and I hope that comes out on the page!

We can't wait to read it! Thank you so much for answering our questions and until next time!