Rachel Hartman is the author of three young adult fantasy novels: SERAPHINA, SHADOW SCALE, and TESS OF THE ROAD. Her fourth novel, IN THE SERPENT’S WAKE, will be published February 1st, 2022. Her novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list and have received many awards, including the Morris Award, the Sunburst Prize, and the Monica Hughes Award. Rachel lives in Vancouver, BC, with her husband and whippet.


Here are some of the many things famous singers haven’t been saying about Rachel:

“She’s a restless young Romantic — wants to run the big machine.” — Rush

“She’s just the beast under your bed, in your closet, in your head.” — Metallica

“Rachel (a dog) having undergone further modifications, ponders the significance of short person behaviour in panchromatic resonance and other highly ambient domains.” — Frank Zappa

“She comes in colours everywhere, but we’re not entirely convinced she combs her hair.” — The Rolling Stones

142 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Hi Rachel. Just finished an ARC of Seraphina for netgalley. It’s amazingly annoying to realize that the book hasn’t even released yet and I’m already hankering for a sequel. There will be one, right?
    I understand the part about not being sure unless the publishers are happy with the sale of the first book but you did leave us with a lot of open threads – so I’m gleefully assuming that if you can you will give us a sequel.
    Great book, fantastic characters – just one thing that nags at me… every race (magical or real) has a primitive, primal beginning; it is only logical that so do your dragons. Given their existence in the wild and their intrinsic feral nature how did they develop into such coldly calculating creatures?
    We associate coldness with reptiles and I can understand how such long lived creatures could have minds that ponder the mathematical symmetries of the world – but why the aversion to emotions? Did they begin to feel this aversion after they realized they could shift into human forms and experience human emotions?
    Thanks for the great book, and the very best of luck for the future. =)

    • There will be a sequel, yes! I am working on it right now. As for your questions, some of those are explored in the sequel. I am very, very bad about giving spoilers, and I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything. But I will just say these are excellent questions and I’m so glad the book inspired thinking in these directions. Because yes, and individual dragon might have an aversion to experiencing human emotions (so different from what it’s like being a reptile), but there is a larger cultural aversion, and why is that? You are right to notice that.

      • I am so happy you’re working on the sequel already. I was re-reading parts of the book yesterday trying to work out some other questions that occurred to me. Is it alright if I post more questions here or should I hold off till the book’s released. If the latter, then where/how do I send said questions to you? (My questions will inevitably contain spoilers and I don’t want to ruin the book for others either).
        Thanks again,

          • After the book comes out, there’ll be more potential readers visiting your site – spoilery special sections would be too much temptation for them. =D
            Are you on goodreads? Us, Hartman Fans could corral you there with messages.

  2. My husband brought me an advance reader’s copy of Seraphina, and I just finished rereading it for the 3rd time. I wanted to say that I love!! it and can’t wait for a sequel. I tend to be a little shy of dragon books as so many of them feel a bit trite, but you definitely brought a new twist to a familiar theme. Thanks for such a wonderful story!

  3. Seraphina is without doubt one of the best books I have ever read (and I read 2 books a week!). I do hope that this is just the first book in a long series!!

  4. Hi Rachel, I’m searching for a way to contact you and am not finding any. So I wanted to let you know that besides reviewing Seraphina for my own blog (Candace’s Book Blog) we would like to feature you on Novels, News & Notes for your NW Neighbors. A blog where we spotlight Pacific NW authors. If you would like to part of it with an interview or something along those lines please send me an email, we’d love to have you on!
    I look forward to maybe hearing from you!

  5. Just a quick note that better later than never, Seraphim will be offered in the AUG12 Previews catalog I became aware of it thanks to receiving the PW promotional email. I’m looking forward to making the book available to comic shops

      • The listing is on page 379 of the Aug 2012 Previews. My rep at Random House will keep me update on the 2nd volume and just sent me a copy of the book and can’t wait for vacation days to read it.

  6. Loved Seraphina; such a joy to read!
    I’ve had a look through the website and can’t find an e-mail address; I wondered if you’d be interested in featuring on my blog? I feature reviews and interviews; if you’re not free I understand.
    Look forward to the sequel 🙂

  7. Hey there! I just finished Seraphina today, and upon completing this magnificent book I just HAD to comment that this novel was honestly amazing, and that I’ve never read a book so heart-wrenching, creative, and simply awesome before. I haven’t read many books set in this time period, let alone any with dragons. Also, when I went to Indigo in search of a different novel, it was by mere chance that I found this one sitting in the exact spot as the other book had just a week before. My mom tells me “sometimes the book picks you”, and I’m so thrilled this one did. I’ve read books under many different genres, but with your writing, you could make anyone love a tale of fantasy like this. Thank you for writing this, it’s been a pleasure to read, and on top of it all, I’m so proud to now such a talented author such as yourself lives in the same country as me, hahah xD Anyways, totally one of my favourites, and I’m sure the sequel will be great, and no matter what happens, you’ve become a favourite author, hands down :). Good luck, and thanks again for taking all of us on that incredible journey with Seraphina!

    Now that my rant is done, question: do you know if you’re ever gonna do a book signing? If so, would Toronto be one of your visits? Thanks again.

    • I will be in Toronto later this week! I don’t know everywhere I’ll be appearing yet, but for sure I’ll be doing a library event with Kelly Armstrong on Thursday evening. Hm, that probably deserves its own blog post…

  8. Seraphina is one of the best books that I have ever read!
    Usually I attempt to take my time reading a book so that I do not finish it to quickly, but with this one I just coulden’t stop myself from compleating it in a few days.
    Looking forward to a sequel.

  9. I just finished Seraphina this afternoon.
    That was the very first romance I ever picked up and read willingly.
    That was in part from the praise it got from the likes of Naomi Novik and Christopher Paolini.
    However, the quality of the writing, the depths of the characters and the freshness of the lot kept me reading the whole way through, (even when I might have been supposed to be paying attention in maths class…)

    Full praise, I reccomend it to anyone who’ll listen and I hope a sequel isn’t long in coming.

    Good luck in future.

      • I am ok with fanfic, sure! That’s an opinion that has been evolving over the years. I should do a post on it sometime, although that always seems to open up an enormous can of worms. 🙂

    • Aw, so glad you enjoyed it! I don’t think of it being romance, at least not primarily, but if you’re not into romance AT ALL, I can see how it might have seemed quite romance-heavy. The sequel is coming, indeed, although I’m probably meant to be working on it right now (kind of like you in maths class, ha ha!)

  10. Cool.
    Somehow, Seraphina strikes me as the type who’d make an interesting character in a context like the Inheritance cycle (I’ve got a near-unhealthy fascination with crossovers) or something like that.

    Good luck again with that sequel.

  11. I finished Seraphina last night and found it to be a very compelling read, even when I was so exhausted I should have been sleeping! The characters are wonderfully real, the world is very believable, and I can’t wait to find out who the other grotesques are, and how Seraphina will work out her relationships with Glisselda and Lucian. By the way, I’m 54! Love the story.

    • LOL, this is one of those questions which would make my husband scream, “Spoilers! SPOILERS!” whether I answered in the affirmative or the negative, so I’m afraid I can’t answer either way. However, I enjoy hearing your theories. If you publish a paper on the subject in a reputable journal of Goreddi Theological Studies, please do let me know. I would happily subscribe to your newsletter.

  12. Hey! I read Seraphina in one I because I could not put it down. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It was complex and eloquent in every way. I hope to read more from you!
    All the best, Keegan.

  13. My daughter bought your book and loved it ! Sped through it while on vacation and then I read it to ! What a wonderful captivating story. Thank you and both my daughter and I can’t wait for the sequel!

  14. Dear Rachel, For my 55th birthday I purchased “Seraphina” because I love dragons and the story sounded so entertaining. That said, I’ve since read it and enjoyed it throughly. Looking forward to the sequel – I’m leaving all the guessing what’s to come in your lap. Thank you for creating another wonderful world to lose my self in. Take care. Kevin

    P.S. Not quite sure what it says about a 55 year old male reading literature for young people – hopefully that I’m still young at heart. HA! HA!

  15. Hi! I am reading Seraphina in my Language Arts class. I am really enjoying it so far and I think that everyone in my class is as well . Please keep writing more amazing novels! Thank you!

  16. I just finished reading Seraphina and it was awesome! I’m so sad it’s back to reality and I have to wait for the second book. But I absolutely love Orma and Lucian. The dragons are a favorite with their social awkwardness.

    • Welcome to the fanclub.
      Have a brownie. =)

      As for the dragons, yeah, they are an interesting departure from the standard portrayal. Seraphina has a running subtheme of social awkwardness throughout, however and does an excellent job of summarising the position of those who have few social graces.
      Well, that’s how I found it.

      And again, welcome.

  17. I just wanted to take a moment and say that I LOVED this novel! I am so devastated that I will have to wait (even a moment seems to long at this point!) for the next installment! Seraphina is intelligent, artistic, funny, brave and flawed. The perfect heroine, in my opinion. I adored her and her journey of self discovery through out the entire text and cannot wait to see where life takes her next! Thank you for creating such a strong, female character whose motives are not strictly motivated by a boy!! I adored the realistic and relatable romance between her and Lucian!

    Your world has ensnared me, completely captivating my heart!

  18. Pingback: Book Review: Seraphina

  19. Hello there! I just wanted to say I’m in the process of reading your book now..May I say it is very intricate! Alot of the instruments mentioned I have not even heard of..But my lovely friend helped me out, as he has an interest in all musical instruments..I’m not sure there’s one he doesn’t know, haha..Your characters are very well thought up…I enjoy that more than anything, really..I plan on being a writer, and I must ask how long it took you to think up such characters..Mine seem to come to me in dreams.

  20. Rachel,

    Picked up Seraphina on a whim and feel lucky that I did. I devoured YA fantasy from the likes of Tamora Pierce, Sherwood Smith, and Victoria Hanley since I was old enough to have a library card. With the YA shelves of B&N being packed with paranormal romance that gets old after the first Twilight book, it was absolutely refreshing to read a book that didn’t have a subpar plot that was carried primarily by some love interest. From the beginning to the end, Seraphina had me hooked and reminded me of being a kid and reading Tamora Pierce for the first time. So looking forward to covering my bookshelves with your sequels.!


  21. Just finished Seraphina….one of the most original and well written novels I’ve read in a very long time. Glad to hear a sequel is in the works. I’m looking forward to it.

  22. I purchased SERAPHINA on black Friday, and finished it sometime Saturday evening. I laughed and cried, and I just wanted to say thank you.

    This book is remarkably imaginative, smart and beautiful. I read YA books constantly and I have trouble finding books that develop on something that doesn’t exist yet – that is, a book that’s not a derivative of the most recent best seller. Dystopian, Romance, Paranormal (or a combination thereof) is great, but it’s gotten really old in the light of The Hunger Games and Twilight.

    Anyway, before I get too preachy, please let me extend a heartfelt thanks for providing a great, well-developed and in-depth read that transcends anything I’ve read to date. Anxiously awaiting the sequel.

  23. hi! I am a high school student in ithaca who is reading your book for an SSR book (independent reading book pretty much). I was reading your website for some information on a project that i am working on for class and a few things were missing. so i just have a couple of questions. what year were you born? and why did you write the book or what inspired you to write the book? it would help me a lot i you could answer these! thank you!

    p.s. I absolutely love your book it gives dragons a whole new look! i love it!!!

    • 1) I was born in 1972.
      2) That’s a super complicated question! The shortest answer is that I’ve always wanted to write, but that doesn’t begin to cover it. If you look for any online interviews I’ve done (click on the “news” category, and you’ll find posts where I’ve linked to them) those will give you a more complete picture of my inspirations.

  24. I just finished Seraphina a couple of days ago and I loved it!!!!! It is now in my top 5 list of favorite books. It kept me reading and your writing style is beautiful and had me mesmerized. I have a couple questions though. How old is Prince Lucian Kiggs? I don’t remember it specifying in the book and I just wanted to compare his age to Seraphina’s. I tried guessing but his responsibility and authority makes him seem older than he actual is. Also, I have a suggestion for the sequel if it’s possible. It would be cool that if there’s a pronunciation guide along with the dictionary in the back of the book; I just like to know how to say words that I’m unfamiliar with. Thanks so much and again I LOVED the book!

  25. My name is Ella-Jay, I am 14 years old and I live in the UK. Firstly, I want to say that I am obsessed with your book and your writing style.l I have always loved animals (both mythological and real) but especially dragons but the dragons in Seraphina made me love them more. I have always liked taking stories out of the books and as such I have created (or am in the middle of creating) things inspired by Seraphina. For instance, for part my Music GCSE, I composed a score of film music based on your novel, and I am part-way through making a prop sleevelet covered in “dragon scales”. I am also planning to knit a miniature model of Seraphina. I would love to hear back from you and would be more than happy to send you pictures of my artwork and/or a digital copy of my composition.

    Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. I am trying to get all my friends to read it and I am (very impatiantly) waiting for the sequel.

    Ella-Jay Osborne

    • Ella-Jay, this is such a wonderful, wonderful note, and I am so sorry to be slow to reply. I’m working on the sequel, and it leaves me kind of useless I’m afraid. I would love to see – and HEAR! wow! – anything Seraphina has inspired you to produce. I am moved and humbled that you enjoyed the book so much.

  26. My name is Brodie and I’m 16, living in Australia. I have just finished reading you debut book “Seraphina” and it was simply fantastic. I couldn’t put it down. Fantasy and romance tied together with drama, I love it!
    I hope you do write a sequel. I’m full of praise and admiration of you work.
    I also hope that there is a movie made, partly because becoming an actor is my dream and Seraphina would be a most exciting and interesting role to play! I’ve been in a couple of musicals, acting in minor roles and also playing in the band.
    Back onto the book, I am definitely going to recomend it to my friends of all ages.

    Please do write a sequel! Thankyou,

    Brodie O’Carroll

  27. Im an avid reader and I always have a book on me wherever I go, It only took me a day to read this book as I couldnt wait to discover all the secrets you have hidden in it. Love it and cant wait for the sequel.

  28. Hey Rachel!
    I just wanted to say that I loved Seraphina. I actually picked it for a group of friends. We have a sort of informal book group. We never have had mic luck with selections, but it was finally my turn to choose, and boy am I glad I chose Seraphina! It was an amazing book with romance that, in a world filled with cheesy romance, was surprisingly refreshing and well-written! We all loved the book, and we’re dying for the sequel. The one bad thing about life is the waiting!

    Thanks so much for writing. Can’t wait until the sequel is out!

  29. You need an entry on Wikipedia. Your books come up (individually) but there is no consolidated list of Rachel Hartman-ness. That would be a lovely thing – after all, you are not obscure and something should be there…You know, a bio, a list of published works, and your awards…

  30. Just finished your book. Best I have read in a long time. I love your ideas and writing style. It kept me engrossed from beginning to end. So much so that my house is a mess! I need to drag myself away to try and rectify the situation that I have got myself into with my obsessiveness! Cannot wait for sequel. I hope I do not have too long to wait!

  31. Pingback: Seraphina | Teen Picks

  32. Iam an old adult…lol….I have , like everyone else, fallen in love with your book. I high light the words I don’t know and look them up, sometimes as I go along. I think it is awesome that some of you writers are taking a chance on higher education words, It’s good for children to learn them. My question now is, are you planning on doing any more book signings? I live in southern CA, and don’t want to miss you if you come this way again.
    Thank you Mary

  33. I just wanted to say I love Seraphina and cannot wait for Dracomachia to come out 🙂
    Thank you for your fresh and interesting approach to dragons, your philosophical additions, and your delightful characters! I agree that the romance is very refreshing and well-written… and I’m glad she hasn’t given up on Kiggs despite his being engaged!

  34. Hi Rachel Hartman!! I am a huge fan of Seraphina!!!!!!! I was wondering when you think the sequel will be finished? And also if you are planning on writing other books too? I apologize if you have already answered these questions!

  35. I would also like to know if you will ever come to any naperville, illinois locations because i would really like to get my book signed. 🙂

  36. You have just been introduced into my life, via a recommendation on an urban fantasy site (although Seraphina is not exactly urban fantasy). Seraphina has now been recommended by me to all comers on another writer’s site as a must-read. I stated that you write like Robin McKinley, but with more wit and sarcasm. Great praise, indeed! Keep the books coming, please. And THANK YOU for a responsible romance for a change. Sheesh.

  37. Pingback: 2012 End of Year Book Survey | A Modern Girl / モダンガール

  38. Hello. I really enjoyed Seraphina, but that’s not exactly an original sentiment on this site. So instead, I like waffles. For our semester test in English, we are doing something unconventional. We don’t know quite what it is, as our teacher refuses to say. We had to choose a book for it, and I chose Seraphina. Could you e-mail me at sometime?

  39. Hi Ms. Hartman! I love your books! I was wondering if you had a mailing address where I could send you a letter? Thank you!! 🙂

  40. Hi, Rachel
    (Can I call you that? For a strange reason I always call authors by their first name)
    I just finished Seraphina yesterday.
    And I loved it.
    Of course, I also thought The Audition was lovely, too.
    Fermented fish heads? How hilarious.
    And of course Orma just had to take a book from the library -.-
    I loved it and can’t wait for Shadowscale
    (That’s the next book, right?)
    -a fan

  41. I’ve been reading a lot of so called high fantasy over the past year. Call it the guilty pleasure of an aging Baby Boomer. I must tell you that as much as I’ve enjoyed the other books I’ve read for the tales they’ve told, your’s is the first to elevate the use of the English language above an eighth grade level. Your use of prose raises the bar for other writers of fantasy. Engrossing story, well rounded characters and eloquent writing. A pleasure to read.

  42. Dear Ms. Hartman,

    My name is Tara. I am from the Netherlands, and I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Seraphina’. It has been very long since I read a book in which the characters became so real to me that I laughed and cried along with them. I have given it to my younger sister, telling her that the worldbuilding is excellent and that the dragons are totally different from what she’s seen/read. Speaking of which, the dragons are truly unique ! The fact that they are very close to human beings but are still considered ‘different’ really resonated with me, as did Seraphina’s personal development. The romance also felt natural , which was largely due to the fact that it was introduced about halfway through the story, instead of waving it in one’s face from the start. Hence it was a pleasant surprise that did not distract too much from the main storyline.

    I cannot wait to revisit Seraphina’s world and the characters that inhabit it.

    Tara S.

  43. Dear Ms. Hartman,

    My name is Tara. I am from the Netherlands, and I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Seraphina’. It has been very long since I read a book in which the characters became so real to me that I laughed and cried along with them. I have given it to my younger sister, telling her that the worldbuilding is excellent and that the dragons are totally different from what she’s seen/read. Speaking of which, the dragons are truly unique ! The fact that they are very close to human beings but are still considered ‘different’ really resonated with me, as did Seraphina’s personal development. The romance also felt natural , which was largely due to the fact that it was introduced about halfway through the story, instead of waving it in one’s face from the start. Hence it was a pleasant surprise that did not distract too much from the main storyline.

    I cannot wait to revisit Seraphina’s world and the characters that inhabit it.

    Tara S.

Leave a Reply to Tiffany Shreves Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s