BIO

A writer of things. An observer of life.

Who am I?

Rachel was born in Los Angeles, California fifteen days after Paul McCartney announced the split of the Beatles. As a child, she kept a pen in her hand, writing everywhere—in notebooks, on loose-leaf paper, in her big brother’s prep-school yearbook and on the back of church bulletins. But never on walls, buildings or freeway overpasses. That is graffiti.

For four years, she lived in the forest at UC Santa Cruz. There, she received a degree in English and American Literature, and helped to charter the Pi Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated.

She left Santa Cruz in 1992 and returned to Los Angeles. Since then, she has worked a variety of jobs, including for incredible organizations like PEN Center USA West, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, City of Hope and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.


In 2002, her debut novel, A QUIET STORM, was published by Scribner to great notice, including reviews from O Magazine and Publishers Weekly, with a starred review from Library Journal and also chosen as a “Rory’s Book Club” selection, the must-read book list for fictional television character Rory Gilmore of The Gilmore Girls. She also published two e-novels: THE VIEW FROM HERE and NO ONE KNOWS YOU’RE HERE. In 2014, the first novel in the Detective Elouise Norton series was published, the critically acclaimed LAND OF SHADOWS, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and included on LA Times’ ‘143 Books to Read This Summer’ and the UK Telegraph’s ‘Top Ten Crime Books for Summer.’ In 2015, she followed up with the second in the series, SKIES OF ASH. New York Times called Lou Norton “someone you want on your side.” Rachel was also a featured writer on NPR Crime in the City. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America, and


has participated as a mentor in the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Writer-to-Writer program.

The next novel in the Detective Elouise Norton series, TRAIL OF ECHOES, will be published in May 2016. She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles, the land of exceptional drought – despite the recent El Nino effect.



  • ‘In the beginning was the word...”

    I write because I must. Because I can. Because someone has to tell you, yes you, that there's a dead body (real or imagined) in that alley over there because you need to know so that we can all stop the monster who's doing scary s*&t to other citizens.



  • You need the right weapons.

    Uniball Vision Needle Fine or Micro. Schaedtler F pencils, Sharpie highlighters. Legal pads. Each feel good in my hands. Not fancy but certainly writing indulgences.



  • All of writing is one big trespass.

    You can't write well and have manners. Writers offend, curse, gawk, giggle, poke, probe, ask too many questions. All the time.

TRAIL OF ECHOES

A Detective Lou Norton Novel - Coming May 31, 2016!

PRAISE

  • Lee Child

    “Detective Elouise Norton is the best new character you'll meet this year.”—Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author
  • Hank Phillippi Ryan

    “Spellbinding. Gritty. Original, complex, profound and riveting. This is a voice you have never heard—and will be unable to forget. Prepare to be blown away.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author
  • Gary Phillips

    “A hard-hitting tale of a modern, complex Los Angeles. Well-written and deftly paced, Land of Shadows is a story that stays with you after the last page is read.” —Gary Phillips, Warlord of Willow Ridge
  • Hilary Davidson

    “Intense, gritty and absolutely riveting, Land of Shadows took my breath away. A phenomenal book I’m recommending far and wide. This better be the start of a series!”——Anthony Award winning author of Blood Always Tells

When Lou and her partner take on the sad task of informing a mother that her 13-year-old daughter has died, Lou finds herself in the building she grew up in. The girl's death fits a pattern: dancers, artists, honors scholars, gone missing in the same district, the one Lou attended not so long ago. Lou is valiantly trying to make a go of life after divorce, but this case is personal, and it's only a matter of time before the killer comes after Lou herself.

         

ADDITIONAL READS

"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy
family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy

APPEARANCES

Here, there and everywhere.
I will be seeing you soon.

April 6
12:00 p.m.
AWP Presents "Women of Color Write Crime"
Gold Salon 1, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor 900 w. Plympic Blvd. LA, CA 90015
April 2
9:50 a.m.
Literary Orange – "Malice and Mayhem"
Irvine Marriott (near the John Wayne Airport) 18000 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92612
April 9
4:00 p.m.
LA Times Festival of Books
USC, Salvatori Computer Science Center 101
April 16
Walnut Creek Library Foundation Authors Gala
Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
June 4
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
June 5
 
Book Carnival
348 S Tustin St, Orange, CA 92866
June 7
Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Poisoned Pen Bookstore
June 8
A Great Good Place for Books
6120 La Salle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

INSPIRATION

If you are ever around a writer, know that you are being watched.
You inspire me.

ALL
AROUND TOWN
SIGN LANGUAGE
ARSENAL

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