Thursday, August 11, 2016

Guest Blogger: Rachael Tamayo

Amazon Author Central Page
https://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Tamayo/e/B01HC2VZ0C/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Chase Me (Friend-Zone Book 1)   The Stones


Please tell us about your latest book.
Chase Me: Friend-Zone Book One. It’s a romance in a three book series about friends that realize their feelings for each other go beyond that of normal friendship, and overcoming the “friend-zone”.
Adrienne Lawrence loves her friends. It seems, however, that she doesn’t get along with her family as well. One hot Texas summer, Adrienne manages to fall headfirst over her own big mouth when she lies to her Mom about a long term boyfriend in efforts to squelch her Mom’s nasty comments about having a date for a family wedding. Clint Montgomery, one of her best friends, kindly steps in agreeing to play the part of the devoted boyfriend during a week-long venue wedding across the country. After a week of pretend kisses and smoldering looks, the lines between what is fake and what is real seem to become fuzzy. The only problem is, Adrienne doesn’t want to become one of the women that Clint leaves in his wake, but fighting what she’s feeling is becoming almost impossible.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I currently have a short paranormal story out called The Stones. I also have a new short paranormal called Gretyl and the Witch that is in editing.
My current project is polishing up book two in the friend-zone series, Reach For Me, before submission for publication. I’m also working on revisions of book three, Claim Me. No shortage of projects for me!

How do we find out about you and your books? You can find everything you need on my website, www.RachaelTamayowrites.com, including my bio, what I’m working on, where to find all my books for sale and my social media pages. I also have a blog post, frequently visited by many other talented authors.

Why did you decide to write romance novels?
Good question! I’m not sure where it came from, to be honest. I’ve almost always written romance of some form or another. Even in my paranormal works and in my current suspense draft, there is a heavy romantic element. Writing it comes naturally for me. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It’s just easy to write about, wrap my mind around.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Depends on what it is, really. In Chase Me, I feel that my personality shines through in the humor that I wrote into the book. I love to laugh.
I also pull little details from my life that no one would likely notice and sprinkle those into the books. Things people have said to me, for example.
In my drafted suspense novel Crazy Love, I had a harder time with this one. It’s a bit out of my comfort zone and working a person with such deep seated mental illness into the novel proved a challenge. I drew off my work as a 911 operator for some of that. I deal with the mentally ill quite often. It was creating a full character with a life and emotions and mental illness that was challenging. I feel that straying out of your comfort zone is the only way to really find out what you’re made of as a writer, however.


When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I wrote often as a teenager. I wrote two books and even submitted one of them a few times to be published. (No Luck!) The characters that I wrote way back then inspired my current series.
About a year ago I decided to start writing again after many years. I found a critique group and that was what helped me to find my voice, my style, and hone my work into what it has become. When I submitted my first one about six months ago, I realized that the book itself wasn’t quite what it needed to be just yet. So I sat down and wrote Chase Me, and set the original book aside. (That original book is actually now book three in the friend-zone series.) Once I got Chase Me finished, I started to submit it to agents in January, and to publishers just a little bit later. It wasn’t long at all before publishers asked me for full manuscrips and I ended up finding Solstice. They were the second publisher I queried.


Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
My process might be a little weird? I don’t know.
I can draft a book from blank paper to a full length book in about six weeks. What I do then, is submit the draft chapter by chapter to my critique group and wait for feedback. While that is happening, I move on to another and I draft something else while I wait.
The reason I do that is because it clears my head. When I move back to the book to revise it and use the notes of the group to fix my plot and any other errors, I have a much clearer perspective of what I’ve written because I have taken the time to step away from it. I tend to lose myself in a book when I’m writing. I get so deep into my characters heads that it’s hard for me to focus on fixing plot issues unless I find a way to clear my head for a read through. This way seems to be working well for me.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Not really. However, with a three year old at home, I don’t often sit down at home and write. He’s way to interested in the buttons on the keyboard and “helping me”, haha! I have a lot of down time in my job. I’m a police dispatcher and 911 operator, and given the stress levels of what people like me do, we are allowed to use the time between calls at our desk as we see fit (within reason.) This is when I write. I save my work on OneDrive, a cloud based system that allows me access anywhere.
I’ve also been known to write on my phone. I pretty much just go with then the moment hits me.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I don’t know that I have one. I can write anywhere the mood hits me. If I’m not a a computer I’ll use my phone. I crank out a draft pretty fast, then work on revisions until I get it right.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
Constant interruptions. They don’t really bother me or mess with the flow of the story in my brain, if that makes any sense. Scenes stay in my mind until I can get them down on paper. It’s the only way I can clear my head for the next scene!

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Sometimes I’ll take a break and read a good book. The writing of another writer can be what it takes to inspire me and give me the nudge I need when I’m stuck.

Where do your ideas come from?
Life in general. Nothing in particular. I never know when an idea will hit me. As I have been writing this current series, two minor characters have inspired me to write a second series in the future. These two characters will get their own books in the future.


What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
This is a good question. I am a believer that they do have their place in romance. It’s real. It’s life. You love someone, you want to touch them, right?
I don’t think that erotica is necessary to make the book/scene “hot.” I think that sensual and sexy can be even hotter than graphic, pretty much pornographic sex scenes. Leaving something to the reader’s imagination can be so much sexier than describing every single detail and every little touch. I think I’ve found a good middle ground between the “closed door” romance and the erotica, somewhere in the middle. My books to have sex in them, but I keep it sensual. Sexy. We all know how to have sex, I don’t feel it’s necessary to tell the reader every thing the characters are doing.
I used to find them difficult to write, before I found my “voice” when it comes to sex scenes. I grew up very religious, and I’m a faithful person. I struggled a bit at first, but now I have found my “happy place” so to speak and I don’t have a hard time with them.

What kind of research do you do?
If I need research, I use the internet. I try to write about things I know, or things that I can find easily online. It comes off more realistic to me when I have an idea about it. I know my limits when it comes to this. I tried to write about something once that I don’t know anything about, and it just didn’t come out right.

Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
I’ve drafted a suspence novel called Crazy Love. It’s coming out extremely well, I hope that I’ll have the creative imagination in the future to write future things like this.
I’ve written two paranormal short stories as well, I’d like to push myself into writing a paranormal book in the future.

What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend think of your writing?
My husband is not a reader! He is very proud of me though. He understands what a dream come true this has been for me and he urges me to keep it up.

Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I’m 39 years old and I’ve been married for 12 years. I have a 3 year old son and our second child is due in February of next year. My husband has 6 brothers and sisters so we have a large family with lots of little cousins for our son to play with! We get together with family often, since we all live close by.
I graduated from high school and did a semester of two of college, but I never finished. I have been dispatching for police and 911 for ten years now and I’ve won a Telecommunicator of the Year award.
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Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
My favorite author has to be Ted Dekker. I love is stuff. It’s so completely original and outside of the box, I envy his imagination. I’ve read just about everything he’s ever written.
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
I am so picky about books that I read, I have trouble finding writers that I stick with. Once I do, I read everything they write and end up waiting for their next book!

What do you think of critique groups in general?
They can be the thing that makes you as a writer. Listening to what someone else thinks of your writing can prepare you for the mind of a reader. You must have outside opinions of your book if you expect to be a real writer and deal with the public reading what you are throwing down. I couldn’t have done it without my group!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to be a best selling author and maybe even be able to quit my full time job and be a stay at home mom and full time writer. I will never stop writing.

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve written four books in the last year or so, and two short stories. Being a writer is my dream.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
Over the span of my life I’ve written six books, published one. I’ve also got two short stories published.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I intend to read my books, yes. After going through the writing/revising/editing process, I need a break from each one. After some time passes, I will sit down and read my work with fresh eyes!

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Hmm…My favorite has to be Shane. My readers haven’t seen much of him yet. He’s at the very tail end of Chase me, and he’s the romantic lead in book two, Reach for Me. He was so much fun to write. He’s different. On the outside he’s a tall, sexy, blue eyed devil covered with tattoos and riding around on a motorcycle. On the inside, he’s a guy that prefers to sit and read a book, never turns on his TV, and plays to many video games.

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
Chase me came easy to me. It was fun and I loved writing Clint’s character. The hardest so far has been book 3. That’s where I am now. I think I’ve had these two characters in my mind for so many years that I’m struggling with it. I’ve revised this book through three totally different plot lines. I’m working on what I think is the final revision now. It’s hard to close a book on characters that you feel like you’ve been creating for half your life!



What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?
Finding the right plot. Once you learn to write, a plot is the most important thing you can do. If you mess it up, it doesn’t matter if you can write like Stephen King or Shakespeare, no one wants to read a book that has a crappy plotline. Good writing doesn’t make up for a bad story.
Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Not so much. From time to time I come to a point where the next scene isn’t coming to me and I have to step back and just give it time. It might take a couple of weeks, but I refuse to force something. When I do that, it comes out bad. If I wait, it will come, it always does.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer? Hearing what people that have read it think. I’m a brand new published author. I can’t tell you the smile it gives me to have that feedback. It inspires me to keep going. I can’t see that ever getting old.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing? What I was doing about two years ago, just working my full time job and living my life. (Probably dreaming of writing, ha)

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
If you want to write, do it. Don’t stop. Show people your work. Other writers especially. That will be what will help you to find who you are as a writer. I think a writer is born, not taught. A writer is created by God with an ingrained need to put words on paper. Learning how to do it properly is just a step in the process. Writers that I know can’t stop. Even if their books didn’t sell, they wouldn’t stop. We can’t. It’s a physical need for us. So don’t stop. Keep working. With every work you write, you will improve. With every painful critique, you will get better. With every comment from an agent or publisher in a rejection, you will learn. Someday you will get there if you don’t stop.
Remember, agents and publishers are just people. They have their likes and dislikes. Just because one doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean another won’t love it.
Also, look into your genre. Read it. Follow the rules (within reason). It’s a fantastic way to learn what will work in your future published work and what wont.

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