By Katy R. Fassler
“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.” -Albert Einstein
Rachel Ore is not your average author or illustrator. Art and storytelling began as a tool to communicate with her family. Her voice is now sharing her gifts with the world.
Rachel was born in 1996 in California. After a horrible reaction to a vaccine at age two, everything changed. Rachel suffered a stroke which left her unable to speak or walk for a long time. With strength and persistence, Rachel has overcome so much. “I remember I couldn’t talk for a long time,” says Rachel. Roslyn Ore, Rachel’s mother, adds, “When she got older, she used to draw, and you would know if she was having a good day or a bad day.” Since the stroke, Rachel has been diagnosed with aphasia and, later, rheumatoid arthritis.
“I’m just a girl that likes to draw a lot,” says Rachel. “I used to do a lot of doodles when I was a little girl, and when I was in the fifth grade, I started really drawing. I normally draw animals because they’re easy to draw. I basically taught myself.”
Rachel adds, “When I was 13, I created ‘Pixie Dogs.’ I dreamed of faraway places and magical worlds, and that is what inspired me to do my own thing. I love dogs so I thought, ‘I could use dogs!’ I gave them little furry wings and antennas just to be cute.”
Rachel’s first book, Pixie Dogs: It’s Not Easy Being a Princess, “is about a princess learning that taking care of a kingdom isn’t a walk in the park,” she explains.
Victoria Napolitano, international award-winning designer, photographer, author, songwriter, film maker, and radio personality, helped make this dream a reality. Visiting the Ore family, who happen to be close friends, Victoria spent some time with Rachel looking at her many sketchbooks. “A week after my birthday, Victoria came over and wanted to see my drawings. After only a few minutes she told me she was going to publish her book,” Rachel says.
“It really was Victoria who made this a reality,” says Roslyn. “Because I knew (Rachel) had a talent, I knew she was good, but I didn’t know where to start.”
“Rachel’s favorite name is Amethyst,” adds Roslyn. “At one point we were thinking of publishing everything through the name Amethyst so people didn’t need to know it was Rachel and Rachel never needed to talk to anybody. But at the last minute, and I am so proud, she came and said, ‘I want to be me.’”
Rachel’s creating a whole world of Pixie Dogs. Beyond the book, she is creating merchandise for the many characters. You can purchase notebooks, mugs, t-shirts, Christmas cards, and more on her website. Rachel is really hoping to soon offer plushies!
Pixie Dogs: It’s Not Easy Being a Princess is dedicated to Rachel’s Nana, Maria. Maria was an encouragement and inspiration for Rachel. Unfortunately, Maria passed away due to Covid. Dedicating the first book was a way to honor her influence and to thank her for all she had done.
Rachel is always thinking of others. “I want children to make achievements. I want them to think, ‘If a character can do this, so can I!’ I want kids to know that there is still magic in this world, in a way.”
Rachel does really want to inspire other people,” adds Roslyn. “Rachel has this amazing ability to see the good in everyone.” Roslyn recalled a time when Rachel was in high school and came home in tears, very upset, regarding something that was said to her. Roslyn asked her why she didn’t respond to the insult. Rachel told her mother, “Why would I ever want to make anyone feel the way they made me feel?”
Rachel, now 26, is working on a second book and is already dreaming of how to expand further. Rachel is constantly dreaming up new characters and storylines. “My goal is to have my stories out there for people to enjoy. I would love to see them on TV shows, like in animation. It would feel like a million dollars for Netflix to make a show.” Rachel even knows who she would like to voice her characters. “I want to make other characters in other time periods and other worlds. The present, the past or the future, or even in ‘a galaxy far, far away.’”
Rachel’s father, Bobby Ore, is a veteran, actor, and stunt driver. Formerly a NASCAR driver, he now owns and operates Bobby Ore Motorsports in Sebring, where training is offered for military personnel, law enforcement, and stunt driving professionals. Ore has worked on films such as Gone in 60 Seconds, Project Swordfish, Dukes of Hazzard and many more.
This October, you have three opportunities to meet and speak with Rachel. She has been invited by the Heartland Library Cooperative to come to each library in Highlands County to speak, read her book, and sign copies of Pixie Dogs. Rachel will be at the Sebring Public Library on October 20th at 3pm, Avon Park Public Library on October 21st at 4pm, and Lake Placid Public Library on October 22nd at 3pm. Come meet Rachel and get a signed copy of her book.
Rachel is talented beyond pencil and paper. She has taught herself to draw digitally on an iPad Pro. She paints, sculpts, and creates art with anything she can find. She has recently participated in painting a mural, creating a butterfly seahorse.
Rachel is inspired by the world around her. “Basically, wherever I go, something happens and it just pops in my head.”
Pixie Dogs: It’s Not Easy Being a Princess is currently being reprinted with an ISBN number and an ebook version. When the new edition is released, it will be sold through Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, and more.
This is only the beginning, the tip of the proverbial iceberg, for Rachel. She has big plans and even bigger dreams. And what’s even more impressive, she will achieve them.
For more information on Rachel, how to order your copy of Pixie Dogs or to see the great variety of t-shirts, mugs, stationary and more, visit: www.OreGifts.com.