Rachel Phifer (2)By the time I graduated from high school, I’d attended eleven schools in four countries and seven towns throughout eastern and southern Africa, as well as Texas and Georgia. My parents gave me an adventurous, if somewhat unpredictable childhood. It’s not surprising then that I developed a love for books and imaginary friends, since they could come along with me when we moved to the next country. 

After high school, I returned to the states for college. Continuing my love affair with books, I majored in English (and added psychology as a second major). Since college, I’ve lived and worked in Houston. I’m retired now and working on my next book. When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with family, taking long walks, learning about new things, and of course, reading.  

A few random facts that don’t fit neatly into my bio: 

  • I’ve studied Chichewa, French, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Swahili, German and Spanish, but I’m not conversant in any language besides English. Personality tests tell me that I should be proficient in multiple languages, but what do they know? In my defense, I rarely stayed put long enough to learn the languages of my home countries.
  • I read everything: literary, fantasy, history and historical fiction, science (written for the non-scientist), philosophy, etc., and I watch everything: from documentaries to cheesy romances to dark post-apocalyptic series. 
  • I usually write at my desk with the blinds open to street, where I can see people walking their dogs and kids returning home from school, but I can write in an armchair or my bed just as well, or when my house gets too chaotic, at the library around the corner.  The only thing I really need is my computer and lots of quiet.
  • I once stole a library book (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier when I was 13) because I was in the middle of reading it when we moved from South Africa to Texas. My apologies to the Mthatha library. It’s been over four decades, so hopefully they’ve forgiven the fines by now. If it makes any difference, I felt terribly guilty about the whole thing. 
  • I love nature. Since I live in the suburbs that means I take pleasure in my walks along the sidewalk where nature is fairly tame – cardinals and sparrows flitting from tree to tree, bees, massive oaks, wildflowers and on a lucky day, a deer or two just off the sidewalk. Sometimes there’s even an alligator in the silted creek under the bridge.