Friday Spotlight with Rachel in the OC
Our artist in the spotlight this week is Rachel Thompson, better known as best selling author, Rachel in the OC. Not only is Rachel’s book, A Walk in the Snark a #1 Kindle bestselling eBook on Amazon.com, she also authors a popular, fun and perfectly snarky blog that I visit more often than I should. So, let’s get started with the Q&A portion of Rachel’s visit. After her Q&A, Rachel has graciously agreed to provide an excerpt from her soon to be disgustingly successful latest book, The Man Code.
Q. Hi Rachel! Where are you from?
A. I was raised in Sacramento, Ca. I left in my twenties and have no intention of ever moving back. I do visit family and friends about once a year, though. As an adult I’ve lived in New Jersey, New York City, and now in Orange County, CA. Beaches rock.
Q. Tell us all about your latest news!
A. My book, A Walk In The Snark, hit #1 on the Kindle Motherhood list over Labor Day for the first time (beating out the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Tori Spelling—ha!) during the Indie Book Collective’s #IndieBookBlowout (my book was promo priced at 99 cents). I hit #1 again on October 8. No special promo…normal $2.99 pricing. You tell me…
Q. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A. Some people say when you write every day, you’re a writer. When you publish, you’re an author. For me, publishing my first book definitely solidified my feeling that I’m doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.
Q. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A. Yes! In fourth grade, my teacher read us The Secret Garden. I fell in LOVE. I was so fascinated by the story, the characters, the style of writing. I wanted to create something that amazing. It’s still one of my all-time favourite stories.
Q. What inspired you to write your first book?
A. I’d started my blog (RachelintheOC.com) back in ’08 and the more I wrote, the more feedback I received that people wanted my essays in book format. I added in a third more original material, edited the blog essays for book format, created transitions and intros, added quotes and other front and back matter, and sent it off to an editor.
A. As cofounder of the IBC, I’ve learned so much (and teach authors monthly in our free social media webinar) about the importance of establishing an author platform and building social media. A NYC agent approached me on Twitter after reading my tweets and blog. We met live in July and she’s now reading my next work as I write it, The Manocde: Exposed, due in December.
Q. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
A. Time. I’m a busy mom of a tween girl and very busy six-year-old boy. Thank goodness for my MacBook Air and iPhone. I never have difficulty with the actual writing, given that it’s humour, non-fiction. My brain never shuts off. That said, I recently contributed a horror short to the IBC anthology The Evil Within that will be released in a week or so. Writing horror fiction was hell on earth for me. I’m grateful to IBC founder Carolyn McCray and cofounder Amber Scott (both amazing writers) for taking my ideas and putting them into actual story form that people can ya know, read.
Q. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A. I adore John Irving. His characterization is second to none. Garp? Amazing. You remember them years later.
Such a coincidence! Just this month, out of the blue, I decided to walk down to the bookstore to pick up a copy of The World According to Garp so I could read it again. But enough about me. Back to you.
Q. Do you have any advice for other writers?
A. Write every day. This is your job. That said, promote and interact every day. If you write it, they won’t come if they’ve never heard of you.
I hate people who never heard of me for that exact reason.
So, Rachel. It is time for me to ask the hard hitting questions. I am sorry to do this to you but I can’t change the rules, I can only make them up as I go along…
Q. What is your oddest quirk?
A. I only ever wear black. Ok, some dark gray. I don’t think it’s that odd. My family does though. We live by the beach. In Orange County, CA. What, they want blue?
Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
A. Jessica Rabbit (“I’M NOT BAD; I’M JUST DRAWN THAT WAY.”) She’s the ultimate hot, sexy redhead. #rawr
Q. What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
A. Dirty martinis, baby
I also love dirty martinis. I don’t feel at all guilty about it either because I put so many olives in the glass, which makes it healthy and sophisticated.
Q. Okay, let’s wrap up this Q & A, with the question I have most been dying to ask. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
A. I’m boring. I never, ever dress up for Halloween. This year I’m making an exception for my tween daughter. I gave in. She designed something special just for me. It’s a black v-neck tee that says: COSTUME in bright orange letters. I’m going all out, baby.
No costume…ever? Rachel, I gotta say, that’s a little lame. Hey, I scoured the interwebs for you and came up something….
Jessica Rabbit dirtying up a martini! You can pin it above the word COSTUME. It adds a certain je ne sais quoi, don’t you think? No? Okay. Well, if you change your mind, here is where you can find the pin.
Rachel, before you go, would you mind classing up my blog by providing a witty and clever excerpt from your current work in progress?
Excerpt from Rachel in the OC ~
The Mancode: Exposed
SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
Just saw a very funny Youtube video about the differences between men and women.
The comedian says men have inside their brain A Nothing Box. It’s how they can fish or zone out on TV for hours at a time.
He also says women can’t stand it when we see our men in The Nothing Box. Because we’re always abuzz with Something. Women can’t do Nothing. Why?
Women attach emotion to experiences, so everything becomes burned into our memories. Men don’t remember stuff. Not because they don’t feel emotion. They do. Mostly it’s because they just don’t care.
Sure, it’s very stereotypical. But it’s also very, very funny.
Earlier in our marriage, my husband and I decided that every few years we’d go to marriage counseling. We’re both believers in occasional therapy and feel it’s an important way to discuss feelings that may be uncomfortable in a one-on-one setting. Not like “your breath is stinky” but more like “when you walk around with the remote control in your pants I want to kill you.”
I asked our therapist if he felt JP had ADD, because it seemed to me he just didn’t listen. He seemed distracted when I spoke, and I didn’t feel like he was giving me the attention I needed. The therapist put him through a series of tests and came back to us with his results: totally fine.
Therapist: “He probably just tunes you out because he doesn’t really care what you’re talking about at that moment in time.”
In other words: Um, yea. He’s a typical man.
Chicks like to provide backstory. Men want the bottom line. All that stuff we tell them? It’s just BUZZZZZ. They don’t hear it. It’s all noise that’s preventing them from getting to the ending, the good stuff. What’s the bottom line?
Mancode Rule #4,543,232: Men are from destination. Women are from journey.
Men can’t listen when we launch into our explanations. They are physically incapable. They stare off into space. They get the jimmy leg. They’d pretty much rather be anywhere but here. It’s not that they don’t care; they can’t care. They are unable to hear all of that precursor stuff that means everything to us, because it means nothing to them.
Why? They don’t need to know all that stuff. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything because they’re already at the table waiting for you, while you’re still on the phone making the reservation.
It just doesn’t matter.
Yet for us? All that stuff? Those are our signs. We enjoy our journey. We like to go slow, explain things. This is how we women get places. It’s our map. We talk about what leads up to situations because that’s our path, our direction. And what do men do with directions?
Need I ask where this is going? (Um, yea. Cause I’m a chick.)
Men drive and figure it out as they go. They will not stop to ask – god, no. That shows vulnerability. (Note to map guys: you will look at your maps. You will consult your maps. But you will not ask for help on your maps. And do not get me started on the folding.)
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, maps, journey, directions, destinations – yea, I could be talking about sex. I’m not saying I am. But I could be.
Okay sure yea, I totally am.
An example: The other day ALL my iPhone apps stopped working, suddenly, and for no apparent reason. Husband: “Well, you must have done something to screw it up.”
Okay, problem-solver, thanks. I called AT&T, who put me on with Apple. Turns out husband had changed the email and password (to keep the kids from downloading apps on their iPads, haha) and that’s what was causing the problem. They could walk through the solution with him – at a cost of $40. (It’s called Apple Care. I love how caring they are.)
He was having none of that. He would figure it out. By himself.
None of what I said had apparently radiated the depths of his Mancode brain.
He was man. He would fix. Grunt.
Several hours, a temper tantrum and much cursing later, guess who was ultimately on the phone with Apple Care? Sigh.
We had a good laugh about it the next day, but it was definitely tense at that moment. If he had followed directions, if he had listened, he could have solved the problem easily and without all the temper and angst.
Is it because he’s a man that he feels the need to figure stuff out on this own? (Can you hear my eyes rolling?)
Yes. Even he agrees with this. Men take action and then, when it doesn’t work out, think about it later when they have to backtrack to figure out where they screwed up. Where chicks go A to B to C to D because that’s what the map (or GPS, the best invention – next to Ziplocs – known to man ) says to do, men go Z to B to L to um, twelve.
Me: When did you think about where you messed up? Cause we certainly didn’t discuss it.
Him: In front of the TV. It’s where I do my best thinking.
Me: And by that you mean none at all?
Now that’s what I call The Nothing Box.
Dear Readers, isn’t Rachel amazing? Make sure to stalk her all over the interwebs. Here are a few place to find her: