Rachel is one of the Wheels taking over Read.Write.Repeat! They are the graduating cohort in OSUC’s MFA program. You don’t want to miss what they have planned for their episode, which will air May 13th. In the meantime, check out what Rachel has to say about some of her favorite books. You can read more about the capstone project and the upcoming episodes here. Each of the Wheels responded to our Proustish Questionnaire, which will post every day between now and the 13th.
The Proustish Questionnaire
Q. If not yourself, which fictional character would you be?
- Odysseus from The Odyssey–Sometimes all you can do is try and talk yourself out of a situation you brought upon yourself.
Q. Who are your favorite heroine and hero from fiction?
- Sam Vimes of Terry Pratchett’s The Watch Series, who can’t help but be a suspicious bastard about everything. Cordelia Naismith, from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, who can’t help but be rational and empathetic in equal measure.
Q. If you could have dinner with any three authors, dead or alive, whom would you dine with?
- Terry Pratchett, hands down and I’m done. Since I’m pretty sure I can’t clone him three times over, my fall backs would be whoever recited the first version of Beowulf and Alexandre Dumas. I wouldn’t be able to understand a word of the conversation, but I’d never be able to say it wouldn’t be insightful.
Q. Do you have a current or “forever” favorite book?
- Am I allowed to put down all 50m odd of Terry Pratchett’s books? No? I need to stop bringing him up? Okay, I’ll set a limit of five years. My current favorite book I’ve read for the first time in the last five years would be The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. Beautifully written, and a fantastic adventure, she blows me away with her descriptions and her dialogue, not to mention her ability to sneak exposition into every entertaining crevasse.
Q. Which fictional character would you want to befriend?
- Puck from A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Come on, gimme a hard one.
Q. What villain from fiction do you love to hate?
- Odysseus’ ego. There’s nothing more deliciously ridiculous than a character being their own worst enemy.
Q. Tell us about the books in your life that have fed your soul, brought you solace, pleasure, or joy, or eased your mind.
- I will once again preface this answer with ‘anything written by Terry Pratchett, ever’. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll talk about other stuff.
When stuck in an airport with a dead battery and nothing else, I will happily buy yet another copy of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. It sucks me in by page 5 every time–when an ancient god decides to create a virus that causes computers to snow-crash because of language, you can’t pull yourself way.
David & Leigh Eddings’ works, especially the Elenium and the Tamuli, are enormous guity pleasures. I have the biggest soft spot for a sarcastic and competent group of knights fighting to stop the world from ending.
And I will always and forever be a Harry Potter girl.
Q. If you could exist in any story world, which would you choose, and why?
- When he wrote American Gods, Neil Gaiman painted a weird, complex, America that was simultaneously familiar and foreign to anyone who’s ended up driving too fast down a country road too late at night with neon lights in the distance and a god in the passenger seat. It was beautifully eerie, resonant, and captivating in a way that makes me want to never leave.
Thank you for taking the time to fill this out! Do you feel the digital hugs we are sending your way?
Meet Rachel Wiley-Bard
Rachel Wiley-Bard is a coffee-stained, star-obsessed, armor-wearing writer who has a love-hate relationship with adjectives, the hyphenate, and her name. She writes fantasy from low to high and stubbornly insists on a wider range of representation in a genre boxed in by tradition. A strong proponent of fluid sexuality and gender no matter the landscape, she thinks fantasy can stand to be queerer.
Rachel has lots of opinions on tropes, the nature of escapism, and the difficulties and pleasures of world building. She cultivates them amongst lavender bushes, strawberries plants, and honeycombs in the garden. Sometimes the bees help.
(Painting by Stefanie Crowe. Find more of Stefanie’s work at ascrowesfly.com)
Connect with Rachel:
Check out Rachel’s website, Rachel Wiley-Bard, for more information on her upcoming work.
You can also connect with her on your favorite social media platform:
- Spotify: chapstickaddict
- Twitter: @rachelwileybard
- Instagram: @rachelwileybard