Monday, 10 June 2013

Archaeology Career Interview: Author Rachel Grant

We caught up with Author Rachel Grant, Professional archaeologist and four-time Golden Heart® finalist, Rachel Grant writes contemporary romantic suspense with archaeological and historical storylines...

Rachel Grant
Where did you graduate (and what in) and what are you doing now? 
I graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Florida State University in 1991. That same year I completed my archaeological field school with the University of Washington and left Florida for a job in Washington not long after graduation.

I spent the next ten years working in Cultural Resource Management—eight of those years in the Pacific Northwest and two in the Washington, D.C. area.

When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology? How did you make the move towards becoming an Author?
Yes, I was thrilled and lucky to get a job right away after graduation. I spent one year as a dig bum and several years working as a staff archaeologist for small CRM firms.

Anyone who has ever sorted a bag of eighth-inch material from a shell midden knows how insanely boring that task can be, and to entertain myself I would spend my time coming up with ideas for archaeological mysteries. I'd known since high school I wanted to be a writer but studied archaeology because I needed something practical to fall back on.

Rachel Grant: Concrete Evidence
My husband is also an archaeologist (B.A. from University of Washington, M.A. in nautical archaeology from Texas A&M). Since receiving his M.A. he has worked as an archaeologist for different branches of the U.S. Department of Defense. In late 2001, his job took us to Hawaii for three years, at which time I left my job with a small CRM firm to raise our young daughter and finally pursue my dream of writing a novel. 

My books are firmly set in the world of contract archaeology. In Concrete Evidence the treasure hunter is the bad guy, and the heroine’s historical research was inspired by a project I worked on when I lived in the D.C. area. I love being able to bring authenticity to the world of archaeology in fiction and using the format to clear up some of the basic misconceptions about the profession.

What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
My greatest success as an archaeologist was simply the fact that I was able to earn a living doing work I loved. There is nothing better than going to a new area—whether it’s a small town in Eastern Oregon to record a lithic scatter on the Oregon Trail, or flying to Sitka, Alaska to research an area for a Cultural Resources Management Plan—and getting paid to interview locals, visit museums, and hike in the woods. I’d do that on vacation!

My greatest success as an aspiring writer was signing with an amazing agent and finaling four times in the romantic suspense category of the Golden Heart contest.

My greatest success as an author is receiving glowing reviews and fan mail. There is nothing more thrilling than knowing people are enjoying my books.

Read more about Rachel's books on her website: and group blog:

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting interview! I've read the novel and think it's a terrific archeological suspense! Most amazing was her excerpt at the end telling us which aspects of the novel were true (incredibly, it was all the stuff I thought was made up!) Highly recommend.