Behind the Book with Rachael Tamayo
Liz - Welcome Rachael, and thank you for joining me for Behind the Book! You call Houston, Texas home. Have you always lived there?
Rachael - Yes pretty much. I was born in Tyler, Texas but I’ve lived in smaller cities around Houston all my life.
Liz - What are some of your favourite parts about Houston, for those of us who’ve never been there?
Rachael - I love Texas! I haven’t been to far out of state. I’ve been to Arkansas, Tennessee, and that’s about all. Texas is hot, we don’t have much winter to speak of, and we are friendly. Down home, and happy. I
can’t pick just one thing!
Liz - You worked as a 911 dispatcher which would be an intense role. What lead you to that job? How have you drawn on your experiences there for your writing?
Rachael - I was in customer service for a lot of years and I decided to look on the city website for a clerical job. I found the posting there for the dispatcher, and applied. It takes about 3 months to get through all the background and interviews, and in the end I got it and the rest was history.I will say this, being a dispatcher changes you. You will come out the other side as a bit different than you were when you went in, and it did change who I was. In some really good ways, and some darker ways that come out in my novels. I gravitate to the darker stuff when I write- especially now that I have most of the romance out of my system. (mostly, check what’s coming next year from in in InD’Tale magazine.)
Liz - Eight successful novels under your built is a massive achievement. What first stirred the desire to write a novel?
Rachael - I was born a writer.I remember writing little plays in elementary school and performing them with my friends. I wrote little stories and made my family read them when I was little. As a teenager I wrote full blown novels by hand or with a typewriter and stashed them away.I think I was destined to do it. I can only imagine where I’d be if I hadn’t stopped in my twenties and waited so long to start again.
Liz - You started out as a romance writer before moving into thrillers. Is your process different between the two? Rachael - Not really. I start with an idea and nothing else. No clue where it will take me other than this is a thriller, this is a romance- you know? Romance is easy and formulated, the ending is guaranteed. Thriller is much harder!
Liz - Would you ever revisit the romance genre?
Rachael - Yes and no. I don’t intend to write anymore contemporary romance. It might sneak it’s way into a book now and then, however. Now, next spring I have a Dystopian novella coming out in InD’Tale Magazine that I’m writing with Paranormal romance author, Cynthia Austin. That one will start a new series and it will have some romance in it.
Liz - In Lucifer’s Game your main characters struggle with infertility which is an increasing issue and one I’ve battled myself. What was the inspiration behind this novel?
Rachael - I struggled with infertility for nine years. I’ve had three miscarriages, taken fertility meds, been checked over by specialist and only years later did they finally find out that I had MTHFR. It’s a genetic flaw, if you will. My body won’t process folate vitamins and therefore my babies would die in the womb. A special vitamin was all it took, and I have two kids now.The bones of the novel came one day on the way home from the grocery store. I was listening to the radio and Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones was on and lightening struck my brain- so to speak. Lucifer’s Game was born.
Liz - I love the concept of Crazy Love! Can you tell us more about it?
Rachael - Funny how ideas evolve into totally new ones- and that is just what happened here. When I was writing in my early years I had this book idea that I couldn’t make work, so I stashed it in the back of my brain and when I started writing again in my late thirties I pulled it out. The idea (which I don’t want to spill just in case) totally morphed into something else and crazy love was born. When I know that I’m writing a psychological thriller, the first thing I do is search out legit mental illnesses and find one that works, research it, and write the book around that. Erotomania is the one in this book, and it worked out so perfectly! I love that it turned out just a bit different that your typical stalker novel.
Liz - How long does it generally take you to write a book, from the moment you write Chapter One, til The End?
Rachael - About six months on average. I tend to write and roll back and start over several times until it feels right. I go through about 2 full drafts and 3-5 beginnings in this time.
Liz - Carnal Knowledge released in July of this year. Congratulations! Can you tell us about book two in the Deadly Sins series?
Rachael - Thank you! I honestly wrote this book with the ending in mind. I put my head together with a couple of my brainstorming buddies and this mind-blowing ending came to be before the rest of the book. I wrote around the ending, and to date this is my best ending. I wonder how I will top it!
Liz - Do you find it easier to write or more difficult to write a sequel/follow on novel?
Rachael - Easier. Starting a new book with new characters, new world is much harder for me. I get so deep into the characters and the world I’ve created, starting a new one right away is jarring and takes me time to do. Starting a new book is always a struggle for me for this reason.
Liz - You donated 50% of earnings from Carnal Knowledge to postpartum support, which is amazing! It’s still a topic that needs more light shined on it. What led you to select this cause?
Rachael - I started Tiktok on a whim and started talking about my experience and knowledge from 911, and one of my videos went viral. I got hundreds and hundreds of comments on postpartum on this video, and it dawned on me that I could use my platform to help. This illness is so stigmatized that women are ashamed to ask for help, and this needs to change.
Liz - As a fellow mum, I know it can be challenging at times juggling family and writing. How do you balance the two?
Rachael - I don’t even know, ha! I put family first and write in between. I can write anywhere the mood strikes, I’m not quirky in that way so that helps for sure.
Liz - Tik Tok is still quite the phenomenon, and admittedly, I know very little about it! What do you like best about it, and how do you utilise for your author platform?
Rachael - I have only been there for a couple of months myself, but honestly, I love it. You can really find some amazing and supportive people there. I built my platform on educating the public on emergency services and work my books in and it’s working well for me. I’m close to 60,000 followers.
Liz - What are you working on at the moment, or what have you got coming up?
Rachael - I am in the last phase of book three. Cleaning it up before sending it to the publisher. And I’ve put pen to paper and scratched out about 40 pages of book four.
Liz – Where can people find our more about you and your work?
Rachael - My website for sure. You can find me, email me, read my book reviews, and get updates as well as sign up for my newsletter. That is at www.RachaelTamayowrites.com I’m most active on Tiktok, find me @rachaeltamayowrites there too. I am on Facebook and twitter, and those links are also on my website. Thank you so much!