This month, Rachel Haimowitz is Riptide's featured author for the month of December!
To celebrate, all month long you can pick up some of Rachel Haimowitz's titles, filled with her gritty and intense style of writing, at discounts of up to 50% off! If you haven't had a chance to read any of the pyschosexual thriller The Flesh Cartel, why not start off with the book that introduced us to the harrowing world of Mat and Dougie, The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture, FREE all this month? And if you burn through that first episode, you'll definitely want to have the next installment ready, The Flesh Cartel #2: Auction, on sale for just $1.49 throughout the month of December. Rachel is not only known for having co-written the excellently plotted serial, but also the high fantasy, Counterpoint: Song of the Fallen, #1, available this month for $3.99.
Tell us about your recent Riptide release[s]. What was the inspiration behind it/them?
The Flesh Cartel, Episode 12: Paradise Island just released at the beginning of the month, and is part of a five-book series (about a quarter of a million words, when all is said and done!) being told in serial format. That story actually came out of a conversation (okay, several conversations) with my co-author, Heidi Belleau, who wanted to tell a dark, dark story about sex trafficking—one that was so intense that serving it up in bite-sized pieces would actually be the best way to share it. We’d originally planned on three novels broken up into three “seasons” of about three to four “episodes” per season (each episode coming in at about 80 pages), but it kind of got away from us a little: we’re on the fifth novel (season) now, and it’s looking like we’ll have a total of either 18 or 19 episodes by the time all is said and done.
What can readers expect when they read a story from you? What would you like potential readers to know about you and your books?
I write in a lot of different genres and with a lot of different heat levels, but I think the one unifying theme is intensity. I tend to like to poke at the darker places inside of people, and even when I’m telling a fundamentally sweet, romantic story, my characters are going to be on an intense ride. Sometimes that means hardcore kink, sometimes it means the worst case of unresolved sexual tension this side of the first seven seasons of the X-Files, and sometimes it means hitting absolute rock bottom before they can claw their way back up. It may not be angsty, but it’s gonna be hard. I make my boys work for their happy endings.
How long does it take you to write a book?
That depends on a lot of factors, including whether I’m solo or co-writing, and how busy I am with the day job, and how inspired I’m feeling, and how under deadline I am. On a good day, with a co-author and not a lot of day-job or life responsibilities, my co-author and I can do upwards of 10,000 words, most of which will ultimately be usable. A more common day with a co-author, where we’re both writing after work and maybe a little on the tired side already, is more like 3,000 to 4,000 words. When I’m writing solo and I’ve got the day off work and my muse is on fire, I might bang out as much as 7,000 words. Most days writing solo, though, even 1,000 or 1,500 words can be a challenge. And ever since launching Riptide, I’ve worked such long hours at the day job that a lot of days I don’t write at all. So even with a co-writer, it takes about three months these days for me to write a novel. Without one, I’m not finishing anything lately :-/
Describe your workspace.
I don’t have an office, so mostly I work at the kitchen table or on the couch. Aside from the laptop, you’ll usually find a cat and a cup of coffee. On the wall I face in the kitchen, I have a 2x3 foot wrapped canvas print of the painting on the front cover of Power Play: Awakening, and soon I plan to add one of the painting on the front cover of Flesh Cartel: Season 5. It’s incredibly motivating to look up and see all those pretty men :D
Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to cure it?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block, per se, so much as life just getting in the way sometimes. I wrote professionally (nonfiction: magazine pieces, press kits, white papers, ghostwriting, etc) for a long time before I became a novelist, and those jobs were always under heavy deadlines with a lot on the line, and so I learned to sit down and write—and write well—every single day whether I felt like it or not, whether I was inspired or not. Eventually, with enough practice at doing that, it got to the point where you really couldn’t tell, looking at the final product, whether the muse was cooperating or not. That discipline and experience carried over to fiction writing, so now if I need to, I can just sit down and bang out words that read basically the same as the ones I spit out when I’m fevered by the muse. But because, in a lot of ways, writing is still only half career for me, and the other half is pleasure, I rarely force myself like that. So there are days—or sometimes weeks—when I’m too tired or just not feeling it or other things seem more important, and I let the writing slide. Eventually the fire builds up, though, and you have to get those words out on paper before they eat you alive. Which is a good cure for the whole not-writing thing. So is having a co-writer, because knowing that someone’s waiting and depending on you to carry your weight really helps to hold you accountable.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
It looks like there’ll be either six or seven more episodes of the Flesh Cartel coming out—Season 4 will end in February, and Season 5 (the final season) will start in April and then end in either July or August. On June 2, 2014, I’m re-releasing an edited, updated version of Anchored: Belonging (complete with heavily tweaked ending), and with luck, not long after that, I’ll be releasing a new book in the Belonging ‘verse as well, which it’s looking like I’ll be co-writing with Heidi Belleau. Beyond that, I have a couple of Master Class shorts/novellas started that I’d really like to finish, and a heap of ideas wrestling each other for dominance, but no real sense of what will be coming past the summer of 2014.
Do you have a favorite quote?
On the jokey side, I love this one from Douglas Adams: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” On the more serious side, “So it goes,” by Kurt Vonnegut.
Ebook or print? Both?
Sweet or sour? Sweet.
Leather or lace? Leather.
Naughty or nice? Naughty in bed, nice out of it.
Tea or coffee? Coffee.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla.
Jocks or nerds? Nerds. Or even better, nerdy jocks?
Truth or Dare? Truth.
Cats or dogs? Cats.
Your first concert? Ogod, *hides face* New Kids on the Block. I was eleven. I had a jean jacket and a fedora. Don’t judge me :-p