Rachel HS Ginocchio, MPH
For as long as Rachel Ginocchio can remember, her parents answered any and all of her questions (sometimes more than she actually wanted to know). So, when other kids asked her questions, Rachel was eager to pass on her knowledge. Who knew that many years later, it would land her a master’s degree in public health (MPH), a career in sexuality health education, and a passion for teaching, consulting, and writing about all the ways humans reproduce and form family. Rachel lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two spectacular children.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I loved From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. The author had me with the title alone, and when I dove into the antics of Claudia and Jamie running away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I couldn’t get enough. To this day, I can still picture them bathing and scooping up coins in the fountain, and solving the mystery of the beautiful angel statue.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
My favorite line from a book is “Aggle flaggle klabble!” from Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. I can relate to Trixie’s angst in trying, yet failing, to communicate something really important. It’s also the perfect line to use when I just can’t find the right words to express myself. Mo Willems is my favorite kids book author because he uses humor to get his charming characters out of whatever situation they’ve inevitably gotten themselves into.
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
That is such a hard question, because I fall in love with authors all the time. I have read so many great books lately that it’s hard to choose. So I think I’ll fall back on my historical go-to’s.
I greatly admire Gabriel García Márquez because he wrote my favorite book of all times: One Hundred Years of Solitude. I loved how, while reading the book, I was often not quite sure when reality ended and fantasy began.
I love the lyrical, poetic writing style of Toni Morrison. I often have to work to understand just what I’m reading, which makes digesting her books all that more rewarding. To me, nobody captures the ugliness and beauty of humanity as rawly and powerfully as she does.
John Irving is my third pick for favorite author, because I have busted out laughing while reading many of his books. I love rooting for his characters—no matter what moral dilemmas they face or how they choose to resolve them.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
From a young age, I loved words and relished reading well-written sentences—whether poignant, funny, or raw. I fantasized about being a writer, but I kept that secret to myself. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to work towards making my dream a reality. I was looking for a book about “where babies come from” so I could explain to my children how they came into the world and into our family. But no matter how hard I searched, I couldn’t find a book that included their experiences or those of so many other families. So I wrote my own book!
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
This might not be the most romantic advice, but I believe in it wholeheartedly: Figure out how to come to terms with, and even enjoy, the editing process! So many people of all ages love to write, but they hate going back to modify their work—which often entails throwing out a bunch of material or rewriting sections for the upteenth time. If you are able, find a way to appreciate the process, because in the end, editing is what is going to turn your work into a masterpiece.