I mentioned a while back that one of my less successful projects was an adaptation of the Bible. Before it flamed out, I spent a lot of time with Genesis’ juiciest stories. They inspired the name “Rachel.”

Biblical Rachel is an interesting figure. She was attractive enough for Jacob to jump through a lot of hoops to wed and bed her, and unlike other Genesis women, she first appears as a laborer. She’s still defined primarily as sex object and babymaker, as Genesis women tend to be, but we’re encouraged to imagine a special spark of life to her, earthly passions completely compatible with godliness, as opposed to the generally repressed approach to God’s path many of us experience.

Guilded Age doesn’t really have interest in characters whose sexuality is the most important thing about them, but I was intrigued by trying to translate that spark of life to our context. That’s what helped me find this Rachel’s voice.