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MU’s Published Professors: Dr. Rachel Cochran and Dr. Scott Guild

Lizzie Schmidt
Dr. Rachel Cochran signing a copy of her novel, The Gulf, for a student.

Rachel Cochran and Scott Guild, MU’s newest English Professors, held a joint book signing and Q&A on Thursday, March 14, at Stokely Mansion. Both Dr. Cochran and Dr. Guild read excerpts from their recently published novels, The Gulf by Dr. Cochran, and Plastic by Dr. Guild, which is also an album. The event offered refreshments, conversation, and entertainment.

The event kicked off with Dr. Rachel Cochran reading chapter four from her novel, The Gulf. The novel is a southern gothic suspense novel, taking place in the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the late 1960’s. Her book includes themes of LGBTQIA+ romance, and historical fiction. 

“I got the idea of the place because I grew up in the Gulf Coast of Mexico, I find it to be the most gothic place in the world, it’s very odd and a strange, strange place, ” Said Dr. Cochran, “So I thought there should be a really gross southern gothic novel set there, and I couldn’t find one, so I wrote one.” 

Following Dr. Cochran’s traditional chapter reading, we are presented with multiple excerpts and musical performances from Dr. Guild’s Novel and Album, Plastic. Dr. Cochran provided the musical performances to the audience, singing “Boytoy,” and, “Fiona,” from Plastic: The Album. The novel is a comedic science fiction that sheds light on real societal problems in a dystopian way. 

“My book was very unfunny for the first five years I worked on it,” Said Dr. Guild, “it wasn’t until I got the zany, weird and humorous side in there that I started liking it.” 

Multiple students of both Dr. Cochran and Dr. Guild were in attendance to support their professors. Some students owned copies already, or purchased copies of their books during the event. If you owned a book, you could have a note written to you inside the front cover and signed. 

Q&A with Dr. Scott Guild, Dr. Rachel Cochran, and Dr. Kirsten Guidero, host of the event. (Lizzie Schmidt)

Senior Communication Major, Amari Fields, has had both professors in class and has read both novels. She currently takes Genre Fiction and Creative Nonfiction with Dr. Cochran. 

“It’s chilling, suspenseful, and a nail biter for sure, it kept me on the edge of my seat and had an ending I didn’t see coming,” Said Fields on The Gulf.

Fields also participates in The Fioretti, Marian’s literary journal, headed by Dr. Cochran and Dr. Guild. 

“It’s [Plastic] a dystopian read that I won’t forget, humorous, unique, and inspiring read. Not only is it a brilliant read, he gives us an album too,” Said Fields on Plastic.

Senior Student of Dr. Cochran and Dr. Guild with her copies of their novels. (Lizzie Schmidt)

Both Professors have been on a book tour recently, traveling to places such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Nebraska for their signings. They plan to add more dates in the future.

Both professors are currently working on more novels to come in future years.

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About the Contributor
Lizzie Schmidt, Editor-in-Chief, Social Media Manager
Lizzie Schmidt is the Editor-In-Chief of the Marian Phoenix for the second semester. She enjoys classes on news and digital journalism. Her area of expertise is news editing and magazine writing. She will be with us for another year, and she is excited to see how the Phoenix continues to grow!

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