The world lost a beautiful soul on November 1, 2020.
I knew Roxanne as Rachel Caine because of her amazing stories that she shared with us. I was reading the Stillhouse Lake series and fell in love with her writing. I was so enthralled with the book and had just started posting author interviews, I had to reach out and ask her to be interviewed. She said yes with no hesitation and a beautiful friendship was born.
With my limited interactions with her, she was kind and very helpful in my early writing career. She gave me advice and she was really looking forward to reading my book, which won’t be released until March 2021. I’m sad that she won’t be able to read it, but I know she would have wanted to support me. Her works spoke to me as a reader and her attitude towards her craft inspired me.
Join me in remembering Roxanne today. I’ll share excerpts from her interview in 2019 as well as a list of her work and where you can find that.
Her assistant, Sarah, announced that there will be a live-stream virtual tribute to Roxanne on December 15, 2020 at 8pm. You can find that on her YouTube Channel.
Conrad grew up in West Texas and graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, in 1980. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University in 1985, with minor in music. Caine wrote and published novels and short stories since 1990. She was a professional musician who played with notable musicians including Henry Mancini, Peter Nero, and John Williams. She was also an avid movie buff and TV watcher and said she “prefers a good stout Guinness to wimpy American beers”.
From 1999, Conrad was employed in corporate communications as a web designer, editor, corporate communications manager, and finally as director of corporate communications for a large multinational company. She took an eight-month hiatus for most of 2008 to meet pressing deadlines, and retired from her position to write full-time in 2010. She lived in north Texas with her husband, artist Cat Conrad. Conrad did most of her writing at home and on the road during appearances.
In 2018, Conrad was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma. She passed away from that illness on November 1, 2020.
Rachel Caine iwas the NYT, USA Today, and #1 WSJ bestselling author of more than 50 novels to date in a wide variety of categories and genres. Her most recent series are the Stillhouse Lake books (thrillers), the Great Library series (young adult), and the Honors series with Ann Aguirre (young adult).
Interview Excerpts from 2019
What inspired you to first start writing? Is your motivation to write now different or the same as before?
I started writing at age 14 because I was frustrated with a TV show, and I didn’t think it had done the story right. So I rewrote it, and in the process, added new characters. Before I finished that story I killed off all the TV characters, so my career (then) as a fan fiction writer was very short indeed; I continued to write those original characters into new stories for years before I realized that I might be able to actually do something with my writing other than just entertain myself.
Fundamentally, my motivation remains the same: to tell a good story. I love writing, or I’d find an easier way to make a living (I had a perfectly good day job for a very long time). And of course, the motivation to keep going now has to be at least partially about contracts and deadlines! But mostly: I just love telling stories.
Can you share any tips on inspiring other writers to pursue their dreams?
The biggest thing I can offer is this: be persistent. Understand the business you’re getting into. Understand that it’s a very crowded industry, and getting more crowded every day. So you need to be in it for the long game. Finish something? Celebrate, then start something new. Don’t stop. Don’t think that you’ve ever “made it” because that goalpost changes every day. Keep working, reading, improving, listening, learning. You’re not as good today as you will be tomorrow, so learn your craft and learn the business on an ongoing basis because both will change over time.
What do you want to be remembered for as a writer? A person?
Honestly, I don’t think about “legacy.” That’s not in my control. I just try to be a good person, be kind, do what I can for others, and tell good stories. My legacy, if I have one, is the impact I have on the world for good or ill. So I try to make it for good, and I don’t worry about the rest of it.
Roxanne may be gone and moved on from the world, but her words have been left behind. You can find her works at a number of places and I’ll share those now.
Stillhouse Lake Series
The Great Library Series
You can find more of her work on her Amazon Page.
Leave a message on the Youtube link on December 15 and let her family read the amazing messages about her life and her writing.
In memory of Roxanne/Rachel. I know that she will live on in my heart and the heart of anyone who read and love her stories.