Rachael is a multi-award-winning author. International bestseller, and love of all things dark and twisted. Rachael lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and children.
We have recently interviewed Rachael Tamayo and here she answered our questionnaires.
Here is an interview with author Rachael Tamayo
Hi Rachael! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a 45 year old mom of an 8 and 5 year old, wife of 17 years (I think?) and former 911 dispatcher. I did that for 12 years before PTSD got me and I had to get out. Im the author of 9 books, the 9th coming out in February. Born and bred Texan and I live in the Gulf Coast area.
How many hours a day do you write?
I write when the mood hits me. Sometimes I will go days/weeks without a word then the right scene finds its way into my head and I’m off and running. I’ve never been able to force it. As frustrating as waiting is, it’s the only way I can put out a story anyone wants to read.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Oh gosh, I’ve started one other Deadly Sins book with a co author, but it’s not been touched in a while. My current work in progress has proven elusive and I’ve scrapped and started over 6 times, but now it’s off and running. I also had started a sequel to Crazy Love, but never went anywhere the that one.
I’ll say three.
Rachael! How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Between four and 8 months usually. I think the pandemic and the stress has slowed many authors down. My current work is going to be the 4th, and it’s been a struggle.
Now, “Mine” is the most complex and difficult book that I’ve written to date. It’s got a lot of twists and turns in it and I had to go through it many, many times to make sure I didn’t mess anything up. It was daunting to write, but early feedback tells me that it was worth all the struggle.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book “Mine”?
My plots tend to snowball. They start out as tiny seeds of ideas and then as I write they become these huge things that I’m not sure how they happened. They come to life at some point, I think. I knew that I had this idea for greed, and it would be different than your typical “I want to take your money” story. It’s the best thing I’ve written to date.
How did you develop your plots? How do you select the names of your characters?
I honestly think that picking names for characters is one of my least favorite things about writing the story. I’ve been known to change character names halfway through, or even in the editng process after feedback. I don’t get attached to them. I scroll through baby name lists for the decade my character was born and choose the name that speaks to me.
My plots are born in my gut. That and the dark twisted parts of my brain that were rotted away after twelve years answering 911, and the characters I like to create, which are layered and very human and imperfect. I can get a good idea, but if it doesn’t “feel” right when I’m writing it I will stop, and I won’t move forward until I figure out what I’m doing wrong. I have so many ideas I haven’t been able to flush out because of my gut screaming at me to tell me it’s wrong. Its frustrating, but I trust it because It’s not led me astray yet.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I still have a job, I’m a dispatcher for a private (large) Hvac Company.
I try to have my idea for the next book before I’m finished with the current one. Not having an idea stresses me out. I have the bare bones, I start to write, and I will hit the delete button until I get it. Mine was no different. It started easier than others have, but parts of the plot slowed me down as I tried to figure out what would come next.
What is your favorite childhood book, Rachael?
To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s my favorite. Read it for school and then read it again and again on my own.
When we were kids, my sister and I used to choose a book and take turns reading to one another. In summer we’d read long into he night. We read Fried Green Tomatoes this way also.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Yes, I’d say reading Stephen King helped with my writer’s block. The reason being, I was searching and came across an article about his writer’s block when he wrote, The Stand. He mentioned writers getting stuck because they are in a rut, and in order to get out of it they had to do the unexpected and get out of it. Reading through his books I realized how fearless he really is when he’s writing, and how that created amazing stories, and how different all his works are from one another. It got me thinking, and I’m using that advise in my current work in progress.
You can find my reading list on my website, I review all my reads on my blog if you’re interested in finding out what books of King’s I read.
What are you currently working on?
Would you believe me if I told you the idea came to me in a dream? I swear it did. I woke up, texted an author I’m friends with (Isabella Adams, the Markos Mysteries and the Elon series) and she told me I had to write it. I scribbled it down just to make sure it wouldn’t fade away, as dreams do.
When I started it, I struggled to assign the correct sin as the story was evolving, as they do, when I write. Its become the Sin if Jealousy, and it’s going to knock your socks off. Don’t think jealousy between couples… it’s darker than that.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I love them all. I wrote an article about this very thing for InD’tale magazine. Bad reviews are not a bad thing. Find your favorite authors, the top sellers in any genre, and I guarantee at least 20% of their reviews are bad. Bad reviews mean that people are reading your books. They make the good reviews that much better, because readers will see that you aren’t buying good reviews, as some do. Bad reviews are just as good for your books as good ones.
Of course, if all you get at bad reviews, maybe you need to do some thinking on why.
I’m friends with Isabella Adams, author of the Markos Mysteries.
Cynthia Austin, author of the Pendant Series.
Tatenda Creed, author of the best paranormal series I ever read.
Andrea Roache, author of a great paranormal fantasy.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
My advise is this: Don’t marry your books. Your editors are your friends, and they know what they are doing. When mine told me to take the romance out, it was weighing down my thrillers, I did it and they were right. I was able to write a much better book. They are there for a reason, they know what they are doing, and listen to them. Now, that’s not saying their aren’t bad ones, but take what they say with a grain of salt and look into it. They might be right. I’ve tossed out entire books, and created entirely new plots for the same characters. It happens.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Money on marketing that works. I’m traditionally published, so I don’t buy my cover art or editing. Not all marketing is created equally, and it’s expensive for a reason.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I love telling stories that people love to read. Period.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes, “Mine” comes out on February 26th. It’s on preorder now, worldwide. You can pre-order this book on Amazon.
There are also contests and freebies available for this, details are on my website under the “Mine” tab. www.RachaelTamayowrites.com
You can reach me by email via my website. I’m also on Tiktok. You can reach me via my Publicist, Creative edge. That info is also on my website.
What you want to say about our website?
I could spend hours here. It’s a great place to find information on so many things I love to read about.