Rachel Firasek, whose recently published novel Piper’s Fury has made her an EPPIE finalist, has agreed to answer my questions about publishing and she may drop by to answer yours.
1. How did you get started as a writer?
I’ve almost always been a writer. In junior high I helped with the school newspaper and had my first publication with poetry. In high school, I did some extra reports on the sly, lol. But, three years ago, my husband took a position as a contract laborer in Kuwait. I had a lot of time on my hands. A lot of lonely, cold time. Writing filled that time and writing romance made me feel a little closer to him.
2. Why did you decide to send your novella The Last Rising to Entangled Publishing?
Heather Howland was the editor for Piper’s Fury and I adored her. When I found out she was leaving and heading on to Entangled, I knew that I wanted to work with her again and I really liked the platform for Entangled Publishing. Also, Liz Pelletier managed to turn Savvy Authors into an amazing tool during her first year. Anytime you can build a community for authors that quickly, you’re doing something right. I want to work with and be surrounded by those kind of people. I’m a forward thinking woman and in this unsteady world of publishing, I wanted to hook up with the press that had a bigger vision.
3. Getting the call is the moment many unpublished authors fantasize about, that moment authors here that a publisher wants her work. Can you describe your experience?
Hmmm… each one has been different. Piper’s Fury was my debut and will always be a little more special. You never quite capture that first one twice. But, that’s not to say that if I ever land an agent and make a break into NY that I won’t hop up and down. When Entangled requested my Curse of the Pheonix series, I was so honored that they wanted me. Have you seen some of the authors over there? They are absolutely amazing and that is when you get the new set of nerves--the “how am I going to keep up” nerves. Lol.
4. How long was it from the initial publisher’s request to seeing your manuscript in published form?
Well, that differs with each press. The Last Rising was contracted in late April and Published in September. Piper’s Fury was contracted in October 2010 and published March 2011. Most of them have been in the six month range, but as more authors submit and publishers take on more works, I think we’ll see the production pushed out. JMO.
5. What steps were involved to take your manuscript from a submission to a published novel?
Holy cow. Well, with Entangled Publishing it has been like this: sign contract and send it in. About a week will pass and you’ll get all kind of logins, more papers to fill out and some other basic upkeep. You’ll go through at least three passes of revisions and then on to copyedits and maybe a few other touch up passes. If your deadline is out far enough, you may have some time in between. It’s all pretty hectic. And then you go straight into marketing.
6. What surprised you most about being published?
I think it’s been the response. I’m a little nobody from Waco, TX. Seriously, why would people want to talk to me, interview me, or even read my books. But, I love it even if I don’t understand it. Please keep contacting me and reading. I love you guys!
7. What advise would you give other unpublished authors who hope to interest your publishing house in their manuscript?
Be original and come with your “A” game. Have betas and cps read for you. Find a mentor and have them help you improve to the next level. Entangled Publishing is not your average publishing house and they are looking for a way to break molds but still apply to the mass public. It’s kind of my fave thing about them.
8. What reasons would you give an unpublished author for sending his or her manuscript to Entangled Publishing? What do you particularly like about your publishers?
I think I answered most of this above, but the biggest thing I love about them is the communication. This is my third publishing house to work with and by far it has been the most informative. I’ve learned so much from this press. And when we have a question, if the publisher, marketing director or our editor doesn’t know the answer, they find it for us. It’s truly amazing.
9. How has your life changed since being published?
I don’t sleep. Nocturnal took on a whole new meaning in my house. Lol.
10. Typically, how long does it take you to write a book? What’s your writing schedule?
I can push out 30K in a month when I’m hot on a story. Sometimes even more. It just really depends on how much a story means to me.
11. How do you get ideas for your stories?
Well, Piper’s Fury started out as a Graphic Novel. Lol. Straight X-Men-ish and latex jumpsuits. But, it wasn’t working. So four re-writes later and we had Piper. I wrote a short erotica for Whiskey Creek Press after witnessing an accident on the interstate. Men in blue looked really hot at 70 miles an hour. The Last Rising was inspired from the thunderstorm that hit Orlando, FL after the RWA National Conference in 2010. Read the book, and you’ll know why.
12. What excites you about your current work in progress?
I’m working on a YA. I’ve never written in this genre and the fresh voice is a comfort and a great break from the world of PR. Oh, and it has shifters which I hear are not that hot in YA anymore, but I’m going to make it work. I have faith. ;)
13. Could you share an excerpt from your book/s?
“Why is it I can’t get you out of my mind? You say we haven’t met, but my dreams remember you.”
Oh yeah, he’d dreamt of a woman for months now. She resembled his dream woman in so many ways, but he’d never seen his fantasy lover’s face.
She struggled against his clutch. “Mr. Alcott, I assure you we haven’t met. And for your other question, I don’t know why, but you need to release me.”
Why did that quivering bottom lip make him suspect she was lying? Turner rested his forehead against the top of hers and sucked in her scent. “Please, tell me I’m not losing my mind. Tell me you don’t visit me every night and I’ll promise to leave you alone. I just need to know.”
He sounded like a crazy man but she had to tell him. She was the only one who could put a stop to his mind’s constant fantasizing, and this feeling of déjà vu every time he saw her.
Ice wriggled in his arms, her thighs chafing against his slacks. “Mr. Alcott, you need to let me go.” She glanced around his shoulder. “Brodie is probably staring out that glass window and I would hate for him to get the wrong impression.”
She was right. He needed to get ahold of himself, but he didn’t have the strength to walk away. His hands traveled up and over her shoulders, stalling on her neck. Brushing his thumbs against her jaw, he pressed her head back and stared into hard eyes—no emotion. Couldn’t she see the battle he fought?
He teased the corner of her mouth with his thumb and her breathy gasp pleased him. So, she wasn’t completely immune to him. He dropped his head until his mouth hovered over hers.
“Shhh. I just need a taste of the sunshine.”
14. Where can readers find you on the web? (Twitter, blog, facebook, website)?
All of my links can be found at http://www.rachelfirasek.com/ I’m on twitter by @RachelFirasek
Thank you for having me on the blog today. I look forward to answer any questions your guests have.
We hope you’ve found Rachel’s interview interesting. We appreciate your questions or comments.