Coalescence hidden variable fractal interpolation function (CHFIF) proves more versatile than classical interpolant and fractal interpolation function (FIF). Using rational functions and CHFIF, a general construction of A-fractal rational functions is introduced for the first time in the literature. This construction of A-fractal rational function also allows us to insert shape parameters for positivity-preserving univariate interpolation. The convergence analysis of the proposed scheme is established. With suitably chosen numerical examples and graphs, the effectiveness of the positivity-preserving interpolation scheme is illustrated. © 2021, The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.