Isabella: Thank you so much for sitting down with me for this interview! If you could, describe your Sense of Self in three words.
Raegan: Hi. Thank you so much for having me! Three words I’d use are: loving, funny, smart
Isabella: You started your own book club, #ReadingWithReagan. What is the importance of reading and creating a connected community of readers, especially in these pandemic times?
Raegan: Storytelling makes us feel connected and helps us to understand each other. It gives us a chance to leave our bubble and to walk in others peoples shoes which can make us more compassionate toward each other. Since we’ve been stuck at home during quarantine, those stories can take you away from the current situation, and you can learn about the world through them. A book is like a person, it's complex and full of twists and turns. It has a personality, brought about by the characters the story holds. Each book is different, just like people. Also, each book makes you happy or sad, angry or confused, just like people in the real world do. When you read a book, it’s an early birthday present. You’re presented with a new story that you’ve never met, a new person or life. When you read, you get sucked into the story, going into that world, and watching the story unfold. How you interact with the story, however, depends on how it’s written. If it’s in first-person, who become that character, watching through their eyes as their life unfolds. If it is in third person, you watch from above, taking in as the person learns and grows, just as you can grow with a story as well.
Isabella: How do you select the books you read?
Raegan: If there is an author I like, then I will read other books that they’ve written. If people recommend books to me, I’ll read them as well. I know what genres I like too, so I’ll look in those sections, seeing what appeals to me. It’s really random, I think. I love stories about characters that are flawed and messy. I love characters that are bold, brave, and making a difference. I want to read books that inspire me or books that can start a conversation.
Isabella: I know that you’re a fellow writer - what inspires you to write, and how does writing make you feel?
Raegan: A lot of times, I’ll start writing if I have a dream about something that I think is unique and I like the story. I’ll just wake up and be like, “This would be an awesome book”. When you write, it’s such a wonderful feeling. Creating events and people that no one knows about is so awesome, because you can bring these people to life and make them your own. I love basing my characters off of people I know….a habit my friend has, or a saying an uncle says. All these different components come together to create unique, different people who are their own person. I love to draw my characters as well, to be able to look at them and think, “What would she do?” Even though I know how the outcome is of my book, I’m still left in suspense, thinking, “Oh my gosh, What’s next”? An author named Anaïs Nin once quoted, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” It’s very true. Authors put events or memories from their life into their stories, so that they will always have that moment saved forever.
Isabella: Can you tell me a bit about your upcoming book, “My Story As A Gold Nugget”?
Raegan: I created the book when I was nine years old in school. It was originally a personification essay that just evolved into a book. I’ve since changed the name to ‘The Goldie Diaries’ because I figured that the original title was too long. It’s about a gold nugget named Goldie who is 12 years old and lives in Brazil. One day, she gets captured by a human and taken to a museum with one of her friends, Pyrite. Together, they have to figure out how to get home, while also helping other rocks get home as well. When I wrote this book, I was really into gems and minerals and aimed for the book to teach you about different minerals, cultures, and countries, while still being fun and entertaining. Over one of our hiatuses, I wrote a pitch for it to become an animated TV show. We are still in the process of looking for a home for that, but in the meantime I’ve written another book that’s more YA that I’m super excited about!
Isabella; You and I have the same favorite actress, the absolutely incredible Audrey Hepburn. What is your favorite role of hers? Do you try and emulate her style through your own acting?
Raegan: I love Audrey Hepburn so much. During the quarantine, my mom and I watched tons of old movies, and Audrey Hepburn’s movies made up a lot of them. It’s so hard to pick what movie is my favorite; they’re all so wonderful. I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Charade. I don’t really try to emulate her. I don’t think I could ever be as graceful and classy as Audrey Hepburn!
Isabella: Congratulations on the new season of Young Sheldon! What has it been like growing up with the character of Missy, and how do you feel like her character has changed from the first season to now?
Raegan: Thank you! Missy has grown so much over the seasons. She’s gone from a nine year old in elementary school to a 12 year old middle schooler. As she’s gotten older, the writers have continued to peel back the layers to her. She’s not just the “sassy sister” anymore, she’s a character with all of these feelings and emotions that I think a lot of people can relate to. Even though I’m older than Missy, I feel like I experience many things through her: Going to middle school, first crush, first heartbreak. I’m so grateful for three more seasons so we can watch Missy grow and learn as she gets older.
Isabella: What is your dream role?
Raegan: I love sci-fi and action movies, so anything vaguely close to those genres. I love Marvel and Star Wars too. I would be so happy if I booked a movie or show for one of those franchises.