Today I am pleased to welcome Rachael Wade, author of Amaranth and her new release, The Gates. After the interview, be sure to catch my review of Amaranth and The Gates and Enter to WIN a copy of The Gates.
Welcome, Rachael. I have to tell you I was ecstatic when you agreed to this interview because I loved Amaranth and The Gates and can’t wait until .
Wow, thanks, Regan. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m honored to stop by your blog today. :)
1. My first question is one that I’ve been wanting to ask you ever since I read your fantastic novel, Amaranth. I love the title; it’s what drew me to your book, well, that and the awesome cover. How did you come up with that name?
Good question. I’m not sure exactly what inspired it. All I know is when I came up with the concept for the Amaranthian exile, I wanted to name it something that the city represented. So I was thinking about eternity and immortality, and then the theme of Gavin and Camille’s love—an everlasting, loyal kind of love. So I began playing around with words that meant “everlasting,” and Amaranth happened to be one of them. Apparently, it also refers to an imaginary, undying flower and a plant. And while I wasn’t referring to the plant, I do like the idea of this indestructible flower that “freezes” life. Hence the frozen souls in the series...
2. I read that you always have a playlist while writing and that you sleep, eat, and shower with your iPod. Can you tell us a little about the playlist for The Gates, and why you chose those songs?
Haha, yup, I do really eat, sleep, and shower with my iPod. It’s my little sidekick. Well, music really helps me set the tone for painting the scenery in my stories, and the songs on The Gates playlist were chosen because something about each one was very atmospheric and eerie. Additionally, the words in each song on the list meant something literally or figuratively for my characters during the progression of the story. I always say that if you listen to my playlists from beginning to end, you’ll pretty much see and hear the entire story in sequence. It’s that crucial to my writing process—I pretty much outline the story with a soundtrack or I can’t write.
3. Here’s a question for other newly published authors if you wouldn’t mind sharing some of your trade secrets. What are some of your best strategies for marketing your books?
Sure thing. When it comes to marketing, I basically invest what I able to financially in advertising, particularly sites like Kindle Nation Daily. Other than that, I mostly focus on interacting with readers and writers in general. I focus on being myself, being a person, talking about normal things like life, music, art, and the day-to-day grind. I’m not a fan of shoving my work down peoples’ throats. I don’t hop on Goodreads or Twitter and spam people with links to my work. I figure if they get to know me and they like me, they might check out my work some day. I leave the hard-selling tactics to paid advertising and some occasional plugs on my Facebook and Twitter, and put most of my energy into building relationships with people. I enjoy that naturally, so I think that’s why it works for me. Goodreads is my backyard. I live there. But aside from the occasional event invite offering a giveaway copy of my book, I spend time there discussing books and life with the people I meet and that seems to send a lot of readers my way. It’s a win-win. I meet some really great people, make new friends, and build my platform at the same time.
4. This is a two-part question. Have you always lived in Florida and if not, where else have you lived? And part two, if you had a choice to live anywhere in the world, regardless of price, where would it be?
I’ve lived in Florida since I was 3 years old. I was actually born in Philadelphia and lived there as a baby. But I’ve been a Florida girl ever since. And if I could live anywhere in the world regardless of price, it would be right near Eastsound on Orcas Island in Washington. It’s my favorite place in the whole world and hope to make it a reality some day. I’m trying to visit once a year now because I can’t stand being so far away. Coincidentally...it’s used as a setting in Preservation. :)
5. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer and if not when did that occur to you?
I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid, was always interested in writing for film and writing screenplays. But finding out a career working with marine animals wasn’t going to be my path after all is what led me to finally decide to write for a living. (I worked and volunteered at Sea World for a while, was going to work with animals.) That and too many dead-end jobs. It hit me hard one day that I wasn’t happy with my career goals and it was because I wasn’t doing what I loved the most—storytelling. I just never thought it was possible as a “real” job, even after English teachers in high school and college encouraged me to pursue it. I never bothered. I used to write lyrics for music, used to sing and perform, so during that time, I found an outlet to use my love for words through writing music. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to write full-length stories, so I finally did and am thankful I took the plunge.
6. Here’s a question you recently asked me and I thought it was a great question, so I’m asking you. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?
It is a great question, but a tough one, right? Haha. I’d say Katniss Everdeen because of her strength, but I wouldn’t want to be dropped into her world. So I’d say Ana Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey, just to have a few minutes with my favorite book boyfriend. I could go on about a movie character I’d love to be, but if I start down that road, I’ll never shut up. ;)
7. As a novelist, what part do you like best, creating the story or editing it and can you tell us why?
I like creating the story the most, coming up with a concept and getting to know my characters. The characters are always my focus, so developing them is my favorite part of writing.
8. Many authors go through their manuscripts a multitude of times and as a writer I know, we are never really ever satisfied, but there comes a time that we have to say, “finished.” How many times did you edit your books before you finally said, “enough?”
Oh, man. I think that is the toughest part of the writing process—letting go. I tend to be a perfectionist, it’s definitely a flaw of mine, so I always find something that I want to improve. Now when I read Amaranth, I cringe, wishing I could’ve changed this or changed that. And I’m sure I’ll feel that way with my new releases. I think I already do. Typically, though, I go through 3 or 4 drafts on my own before I hand it over to my critique partners and editor. Those final rounds, when my editor is cleaning things up and handing it back for the final pass—that is when I’m absolutely spent. I want to toss the manuscript in the ocean at that point. Thankfully, I’m learning to let go with each new work. When you’ve exhausted your resources, spent hours tweaking continuities, and have done all you can, I think you just know you’re done. It’s the best you can do. If a typo of grammar error makes it through after all of that labor, most readers will recognize that you are human, and so is your editor. Nothing will ever be perfect in the eyes of the author or the reader, so accepting that helps me to know when it’s okay to let go.
Oh yeah, one more question. What exactly is sponge candy?
LOL! I take it this question is referring to a stop at Anna Dase’s blog? In my book, it’s the best candy ever. It’s a Buffalo NY and Canadian thing, which is where a lot of my family is from, so I grew up with it. It’s always really hard to explain because it has a distinct taste and you won’t know how good it is until you try it, so I always send newbies here: http://spongecandy.com/faq/what-is-sponge-candy/
Thank you so much for joining me today, Rachael I wish you all the best of luck with all your books.
Thanks again for having me, Regan. I really appreciate your support.
The Gates is in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is available on Kindle and Nook on 4/25.
MY REVIEW OF THE GATES:
The Resistance Trilogy is not your normal vampire story. Rachael Wade has created an amazing world for these creatures and she does a terrific job going from our world to theirs. The Gates has everything, vampires, witches, spells, portals, villains, suspense, mystery, and my favorite, love. Even sex this time. J
I love reading from the male point of view and was quite pleased to see some of that in this book. I think reading from the male POV gives that extra edge into the hero’s mind, and quite honestly, men baffle me so when I get to read what they are thinking, even if it is just someone’s fantasy and imagination, I consider it a treat. That might be why I love reading romances written by male authors so much. But I love it even more when a woman does it, because after all, we know what we want more than the guys do and when a female writer can do it and make it sound believable, that’s magic, and Rachael Wade knows magic. I loved the twists she weaved into this one and was extremely pleased by the turn of events.
Ms. Wade’s writing is spot on and solid. I’m really looking forward to the next one in this trilogy and her next book.
MY REVIEW OF AMARANTH:
This little gem took me by surprise on two counts. One because it was very good and the other, because I read it based purely on the cover. In fact, I never even read the short synopsis posted so I had no idea what it was about and the title gave me absolutely no clue, since the word amaranth is a plant often cultivated for food and cereal in Central and South America. (I admit, I had to look that one up to be sure, I knew it had something to do with plants). The name, Amaranth, and the cover intrigued me so much I had to read the book. I know you’re not supposed to base a book on its cover, but this time you can.☺
I find it fun sometimes to read a book not knowing anything about it. It really makes the journey, somehow, more magical, so I won’t tell you much about it and the beginning didn’t give me much of a clue either, but I was drawn in immediately from the very first paragraph. Amaranth is an enjoyable, quick read (mainly because I couldn’t put it down) with a lot of twists, which I love. Great job, Ms. Wade, I am looking forward to the next book in this trilogy.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!