Q&A: Rachel Roasek, author of “Love Somebody”


Recently we had the chance to speak to Rachel Roasek, whose fun debut novel To love someone, a modern tale for young adults by Cyrano de Bergerac, is now available! We got to ask Roasek our burning questions about his writing process, our thoughts on love triangles, and more!

Hi Rachel! Thank you very much for joining us! Why notDon’t you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Glad to be here! I’m a big gay weirdo who loves all kinds of good stories no matter where they come from – books, movies, TV, games, etc. I live in New Jersey with my lovely partner and our pets, Lupe and Lily.

What do you do when youdo not write ? What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

I also work as an audiobook voice actor and narrator, so I work on it a lot of the time. Either that or watch YouTube/play video games or take a walk in the nearby woods. I don’t know if that counts as surprising knowledge about me, but I also have an unhealthy borderline knowledge of Lord of the Rings trivia and D&D rules, so, you know. There is this.

And speaking of writing, what has been your experience interviewing/publishing a book during a pandemic? Any advice for other writers who are in the same situation?

Writing in a pandemic was weird. I usually write in the evenings and on days off, but just when I was supposed to start writing To love someone, the whole world stopped. My job is gone. So writing was the only thing I had to do. It kind of kept me sane but drove me crazy at the same time – how do you walk away from a project when you can’t actually go all over? But I will say that all that free time is probably the only reason the book was done so quickly. For other writers dealing with this, my biggest piece of advice would be to not let the writing wear you out. It’s supposed to be fun. If it hurts to push yourself, maybe take a step back for a while, if you can.

Tell us now about To love someone! What can readers expect?

It’s easy to expect a romantic, premise-based comedy, but there’s a little more to it. Basically, it’s mostly about the three leads figuring out what they want — a relationship, their lives, and themselves. Sure, it gets messy (hard not to, when the plot is just a really elaborate catfishing scheme), but that’s part of the fun!

What inspired you to write this fun and weird take on a love triangle?

I love anything that allows me to include my ridiculous amounts of knowledge about classical and renaissance theater. Since this book is based on Cyrano de Bergerac, it was a match made in heaven. Also, honestly, a lot of love triangles frustrate me. Someone is always hurt, or there’s a clear right choice, and the person who isn’t chosen in the end is always heartbroken. The original story in Cyrano is definitely like that. I don’t think it always has to be that way. There are ways that everyone involved can be happy, or at least satisfied. This is the kind of story I wanted to tell.

Speaking of love triangles, there are so many beloved romantic tropes – which are your favorites to read and write?

I’m a sucker for a good foes-to-lovers story – the drama! The anguish! Confessions screaming at each other mid-fight! But I’m not picky. I love all the romantic tropes that allow the characters to yearn. Just buckets and buckets of stuff.

I love how much teenage anxiety, angst, and self-discovery this novel contains. There are mistakes made, broken trust and tons of regrets that made the story so authentic! Without too much spoiler, was there a favorite scene for you while writing Sam, Christian and Rosstory?

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I won’t say they were my favorites to write, but the scenes with Christian and his parents are some of my favorite parts of the book when I think about them now. Their writing was really stressful, but the words came so easily. On a lighter note, I’ve been looking forward to writing Sam’s realization of his feelings for Ros for WEEKS, and finally doing it was a blast. I love a good “uh oh” moment in romance.

Yes To love someone were to be adapted into a film, what are the three songs that should appear on the soundtrack?

BIG question. There are two Orla Gartland songs that should definitely be on it – “More Like You” and “Pretending.” “More Like You” has the same vibes of Sam and Ros slowly falling in love without realizing it, and “Pretending” is just Sam’s theme song. For Christian, I can imagine a kind of introspective montage on “Don’t Let Me Fall Behind” by Jukebox the Ghost.

With To love someone will be released soon, are you already working on another project? If so, can you share a tidbit about it with us?

In fact, yes! I have a few ideas floating around. One is a second world fantasy, the other is a modern fantasy based on Celtic/Cornish folklore. Both YAs, but I also have adults and middle schoolers in the pipeline.

Finally, do you have any book recommendations for our readers?

In the contemporary YA world, I have to recommend Who I was with her by my very good friend Nita Tyndall. It’s voice acting, it’s super well written, and I LOVE a good angry protagonist. On the more fantastic side of things, I’m a big fan of the Seraphine duology by Rachel Hartman. The world building and characterization are amazing, and the other novels set in this universe (road tess, the next In the wake of the snake) are also fantastic.

Will you pick up To love someone? Tell us in the comments below!


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