Host Jean: Okay, before I hand the mic over to Rachel let me tell you a little bit about her. I ran into Rachel at the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal RWA chapter loop. We pitched together during an online pitch session and became fellow Crescent Moon Press authors. You may have heard of Piper’s Fury and if you haven’t you probably will down the road. The book is great.
Well, she didn’t let sleeping dogs lie, because she has charged full steam ahead and released another three book series, The Curse of the Phoenix from Entangled Publishing (which has amazing covers, by the way). You can find her collection of books on her Amazon Author Page. In addition, Rachel owns several blogs, Romance Cafe & Sassy Street Sirens, and has a web presence out there to rival any of the best selling authors. I get tired just watching her. I don’t know how she does it all. Please note, she hasn’t even hit her anniversary date for Piper’s Fury. We’re talking less than a year. I wanted to preface her post to let you know this girl knows what she is talking about when it comes to time management.
Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales, before she settled on a blending of the two.
Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves.
She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at www.rachelfirasek.com .
Please stay tune, as Rachel has answered some questions about her upcoming release, The Last Beginning (Feb2012).
Rachel. I pass you the mic.
Rachel: So, when Jean so sweetly asked me to come on here, I worried over what I’d blog about. Hmmm….when I was on my last two blog tours I ran out of things to say and then it came to me. Write about what you know really well. Well, I know how to time manage—sort of.
I’m going to share with you how I made it through simultaneous drafts/revisions/edits/and blog tours without losing my sanity. Whew. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it—or even if I did.
If you find yourself in a similar position, no matter what you’re working on in your life, here are the steps to stay sane.
- Prioritize every aspect of your life—even the kids and hubby. Seriously, there were days when I’d look at my kids and ask, “Is this something we have to do/handle/discuss today?” They learned really fast that they had to give me a rating of importance. And, it taught them how to handle some of their own problems without running to me for everything. My kids are older, so this worked for them.
- Let your extended family/friends/random strangers that you play games with on FB know that you’re not intentionally ignoring them, but you’re super busy and when things settle you’ll be back in touch. It’s very important that you do this when you see the tornado heading your way and not while you’re in the midst of the wind. I did it backwards and what ends up happening is you alienate yourself because you’ve forgotten to take a moment and explain your situation.
- Learn your limits. I had to stumble through this one too. I thought I could hang all nighters for my deadlines and still go in to the day job. Uh, no, I’m not 20 anymore. So, I had to learn to let others know when I’m sinking. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s better to reach out and let your editor/boss/etc…know when you aren’t coping than it is to totally fail. Many times they can help you find solutions.
- Time manage. This is another one that I just totally failed at. See the trend here? Learn that yes, social media is important, but not if you don’t finish your X on time. So, make the few moments you tweet/post/blog more impactful. And, instead of talking to 25 people…limit yourself to 5 for the day. When you hit your quota, say farewell and move along. Or use these as a reward for hitting a goal.
- As far as the work….well, the truth is…if you’re going to work on multiple projects at one time with a deadline for each, you will have no life. None. Be ready for it. J If you go in expecting to never see the mall until you’re finish, that Starbucks was only a dream, and your bestie will only be allowed a two minute phone convo on a commute, then you’ll be ready for anything. Expectations can make a world of difference in this life.
Jean, sweetie, I hope this helps. I know it’s probably not what you were looking for, but looking back at this year, it’s all a blur of sweat and tears. J But, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything in the world. Best wishes and thank you so much for having me on.
Host Jean: Rachel thank you so much. I admire your ability to accomplish so much and now you have shared that secret with readers and fellow authors. So, Rachel isn’t out of the hot seat yet. Let’s talk about your upcoming release, The Last Beginning.
Though she’s always hated being a phoenix, Sadie has to admit immortality has its advantages. She’s seen and done more in the last 150 years than she’d ever dreamed of, but she can’t get past the fact that Osiris has done nothing but manipulate her and her fellow phoenixes.
Or that, when her last incarnation as a phoenix comes to a fiery end, the fire slowly begins to consume her body.
Sun god Osiris is ashamed of his role as ruler of the Underworld, but he unless he can figure out how to save Sadie, that’s exactly where she’s going to end up. Permanently. Terrified he’s going to lose her, he takes her on a hunt for The Book of the Dead, which is the only way he knows he can save her—even if it means she’ll hate him forever.
What challenges are there when writing a novella versus a novel? How do you overcome these challenges?
Rachel: Oh, good question. Well, I think the biggest challenge is getting the character right in half the space and not having the reader feel cheated. The way I do this, is to keep the plot very simple. I keep my leads together as much as possible and I make sure that the story always comes full circle. Shhhh…don’t spread my secret.
Host Jean: Okay, you’ve hit one of my favorite areas of Egyptian Mythology. I love this theme of phoenixes. Tell us a little about the myth of the phoenix, as it relates to your book.
Rachel: Oh, geez…share my research. I took the phoenix mythology from a Tarot flip, then did my research backwards. : P Osiris was a sun god, the phoenix was made of fire. “The Bennu was also considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris and the bird was often shown perched in his sacred willow tree.” http://www.egyptianmyths.net/phoenix.htm
This single line is really what sparked my interest and fantasizing about the bird. Check out the site and if you’ve read any of the books, you’ll truly know how weird I am and how far I can stray from an idea.
Host Jean: Tell us a little about your heroine, Sadie… Who was she before she became a phoenix? How does that affect her as an immortal and how she sees the world today?
Ah, Sadie, my little American. Sadie is from the 1850’s originally and she did some not so nice things to make her way out to California. She’s a devout believer in the Man upstairs and struggles with her perceived sins throughout the book. She’s worried she’ll burn in Hell, even after Osiris promises that she won’t. These two make me smile.
Host Jean: What phoenix is next?
This is the end of the line for my Phoenixes. I’m going to miss these ladies and maybe Osiris most of all. I hope you all enjoy the stories.
The Last Rising Book Trailer
“Firasek’s heroine will seize your heart and enchant your soul.”
~ Caridad Piñeiro, NYT and USA TODAY Bestselling author of the Sin Hunters series
And has been awarded a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
Piper’s Fury earned 4 stars from RT, 5 Stars from Bitten By Book, The Romance Reviews and many others. Piper’s Fury is an Eppie Finalist.