Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rachel Olson Interview and Giveaway

Good morning fans!

We have Rachel A Olson on our page this week! Come, get to know her!
Somewhere amidst her forty-hour job and playtime with her three-year-old, Rachel finds time to walk the streets of worlds only existing on manmade paper. She resides in small college town Northwestern Nebraska with her young son, just across town from her parents. She enjoys socializing with adults, sipping strawberry wine, and head banging to music that doesn't carry a beat worth the effort of rock star hair slinging.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think I actually knew I wanted to be a writer until about 7th grade. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and even made my own children’s book at about age 7. But I don’t think I knew for sure until I wrote my first book in Jr. High.

How long did it take you to write your book?

My debut novel, The Seventh Layer, took about 4 months total. When you have a pretty clear idea of the entirety of the story, it doesn’t take long.

What genre is your book? What made you choose to write in that category?

The Seventh Layer is a Scifi/Paranormal. I’ve always had a fascination with things beyond what we know the Human race is capable of. I’ve believed in ghosts and spirits my whole life. It definitely makes an impact on you when you have conversations with the creatures in your closet as a 5 year old.

What was your work schedule like when you were writing?

I work a 40 hour day job and am a single mother. I work more than I’m at home. Fortunately, my job provides me a lot of free time, so I’m able to get a lot of my writing done at my office.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I don’t know if I really have any extremely interesting quirks. I know a lot of writers like to have background music or even the TV on, but I prefer absolute silence. I also have verbal arguments with myself, and scribble a lot. As a visual thinker, sometimes it helps just to put a pen to blank paper.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

As for ideas, several of them have been influenced by my dreams. I’ve always had strange dreams, ever since I can remember. As for information, if I intend to stay as realistic as possible, I do a lot of research. Accuracy is definitely a key factor in writing, and I just so happen to have an absurd love for research.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

In my lifetime, I’ve written over 20 books. Most of them were either trashed or lost in all the moves I’ve made over the years. However, I have two published, one being a collaborated effort. As of right now, I have to say that Love During Death, co-written by Jessica Humphrey, is my favorite. It’s got a more light hearted feel and just seems a bit more real to me. It took us nearly two years to finish it, and I’m definitely happy with how it turned out.

Where can your books be found?

Both The Seventh Layer and Love During Death can be found on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/rachelaolson

The Seventh Layer is now available on Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/rachel-a-olson

I am currently in the process of trying to get The Seventh Layer on Apple iBookstore, and will be venturing into the world of Google Store as well (eventually). Keep your eyes open!

Are you currently working on another book? If so, is it part of a series or something different?

Yes, my current work in progress is called Sovereign Plague. It will be another standalone. I have intentions of releasing a sequel to The Seventh Layer, but it won’t be available until sometime in 2014.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to spend time with my son. He’s almost four, and is the absolute joy of my life. I also enjoy reading, singing, watching movies, and graphic designing.

What does your family think of your writing?

This is a bit of a touchy question for me. My mother is a very devout Christian. My stepdad is too, but he’s lived a hard life and seems to be a bit more open minded. My mother really isn’t impressed with my writing. She would prefer that I only write Christian related stories. Though I’m not against doing so, it’s not what I’m interested in; it’s not my passion. Aside from them, I seem to have a decent amount of support from my siblings, primarily my younger stepsister. My current work in progress, Sovereign Plague, is actually for her. She’s been begging me to write her a story for almost 10 years now, and I’ve finally got a story worth writing for her.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books?

It’s not a lie when “they” say that you are your own worst critic. I’ve never really considered my work that great, but it’s always been something I enjoy. It’s really the only major thing I do for myself. The biggest surprise was discovering that other people enjoyed my work. Not just enjoyed it, but loved it. I’m starting to believe that my voice is stronger than I ever thought possible.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My number one suggestion: just do it. There’s no right or wrong way to become a writer. If you have ideas, put them on paper. Books write themselves, you are just the vessel that carries them.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say

I’m still a fairly new writer, and I think I still fall under the “no name” category. Very few people know who I am thus far. So, the majority of my readers are close friends or a few friends/acquaintances I’ve made along the way. Because of that fact, I do hear from them quite frequently. They offer continuous words of inspiration and encouragement. If it weren’t for them, my fans, I really would be a nobody.

What do you think makes a good story?

Voice. Every story needs a voice. If you can “hear” the characters talking, feel how their feeling, envision their surroundings and the things they go through, then the author has done a fantastic job at giving the story life through his/her voice.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I think I’ve always known I would do something artistic. As a young child, I loved to draw. I still do, but I’m not near as passionate about it as I was in grade school. I also liked to write, but never put much thought into what I wrote until I got older and more sentimental. Music has also been a huge influence in my life. My mother is an amazing Alto, and my dad was a pretty decent Baritone in college. So, when I was a young child, I wanted to be an artist of colors. When I was in Jr. High, I couldn’t choose between writing and singing, although I did prefer writing. In high school, I really focused on my singing, but I ended up combining my two strongest passions and would write lyrics. When life caught up to me, I set aside all my dreams and passions. I married, divorced, had a child, moved home. And that’s when passion collided with life and brought me here.

Are you self published or do you have a publisher? If self published, what made you decide to go that route?

I am self published, and don’t intend to change that anytime soon. Initially, I went Indie due to lack of finances. However, once I really got into all the nitty gritty stuff and started learning about all the limitations that a traditionally published author has, I very quickly realized that I’m much better off self published. I’m a stubborn redheaded stepchild. My personality would clash with a publishing agency, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

Stalker links:

Is love worth having even if it's not meant to be kept?

After a series of strange and deadly events, Fia Dannii discovers what it is truly like to live after death. Stuck in the in-between, Fia sets out to discover what in life she missed that would be preventing her from passing on. When Dion walks into her life after death, Fia struggles to believe that he holds the key to her afterlife, and her heart. Fia has to choose between loving Dion or walking the earth forever as an entity, stuck in the in-between.

Want to win some Rachel Olson Swag and a copy of Love During Death?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Rachel,
    I really enjoyed your interview with Nicole. It's nice to know why authors make the decisions they do with going the traditional publishing route or the indie route. I believe you've made the best decision for yourself.
    I wish you much success with your writing.

    1. Hey Lori! Thanks for reading! I'm really satisfied with my decision, and have actually had a lot of fun so far. When I first started my journey, I had heard a lot of horror stories from other Indies about how much work it takes, but I've enjoyed it all. It's the kind of word that fits me.

      Thanks, by the way, for shooting me a message on Facebook. ;) Keep on reading! POWER TO THE BOOKIES! I need to start a book club or something with a retaliation fist pump image as the logo...

  2. ¤•**´✿Congrats Rachel!!¤•**´✿

    I really enjoyed reading the interview between yourself and Nicole. Ya sure have had an interesting "journey" shall we say... (so far)!!

    Ya do make writing sound easy to accomplish when you said, 'My number one suggestion: just do it. There’s no right or wrong way to become a writer. If you have ideas, put them on paper. Books write themselves, you are just the vessel that carries them.'

    I ❤ℒℴνℯ❤ That!!! It's sooo encouraging to others especially the Young people that have the ambition and drive, with your Passion ya should start a Newsletter!!
    I wish ya sooo much more SUCCESS**´✿

    God Bless You and Yours,

    1. Hey Becky, so sorry it took me so long to respond back. A newsletter is on my list of things to accomplish, but I'm in the beginning stages of putting together something pretty amazing (it's a secret, for now). Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share a little piece of my world through this interview. Your support is graciously accepted. :)