What surprised the two of you about working together?
RACHELLE: How easy it was, really. Once we let go of ownership in any idea and the desire to project our treasured ideas on each other, the path flowed with ease and grace. Who says one idea is better than another, anyway? We all have ideas of how things should be, and as we release the “shoulds,” a new creative energy arises. The whole novel is actually about letting go of all the “shoulds” that keep us in fear. Fear kills creativity.
What compelled you to write The Girl behind the Red Rope?
RACHELLE: I had been working with the story idea for some time before we decided to make this novel a collaborative work. I was initially intrigued by the question “What if our fears were like monsters that followed us?” Because aren’t they really? Once we decided to work together, we expanded the idea further and fleshed it out to what it is now: a story of love over fear, light over darkness, and freedom over all we have been taught will keep us safe and secure.
If we think of fear, darkness, and the safety offered by all the “shoulds” in life as what we call evil, we quickly see how pervasive it is in this world, including in religion itself. We don’t easily see all those monsters that hold us captive in this life, and once we do, we are rather shocked. It’s no wonder fear rules this plane of existence—we continue to feed it under the guise of wisdom and godliness. But in love there is no fear. So how does one awaken out of the darkness of fear into the light of love? That’s the conundrum this story engages.
Who is the girl behind the red rope?
TED: When you read the novel, we think you’ll see the main character as someone you might be familiar with because she is all of us. Grace lives in the safest place on earth. None of the devastation of the world can reach her. There’s a rule for everything, and all the temptations that call to us are absent. This place is the purest place on earth as long as she stays behind the red rope.
What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, everything. What was once seen as the desire for purity is quickly seen as fear of not being pure. Indeed, fear is the god we so often bow down to. We have been deceived into thinking it will keep us safe. But letting go of that lie is counterintuitive to all we have been taught about ourselves and the world we live in.
In the end, the girl behind the red rope is the whole world.
Click through to continue the interview!