Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guest Starring... Rachel Thompson!

My Voice

by Rachel Thompson

Someone asked me how I know to trust my voice as a writer.

I get that a lot.

There is a program my husband teaches about communication styles; it is one of his most popular. You do a self-assessment and then have five to six others fill out the same assessment on you also. This is critical because self-assessment is correct less than fifty percent of the time. (This is usually because we place ourselves subconsciously where we want to be, not where we actually see ourselves. Good ole ego.)

I have taken this assessment a few times over the years and I am always in the same spot on the grid: task-oriented and assertive.

When I say I’m a snarky bitch I can back it up, baby.

There is nothing about me that screams THIS CHICK IS WARM AND FUZZY! So when people are looking for cute or nice or sweetness and light from me, I often wonder: WTF?

I clearly know who I am. I’m very comfortable in my skin. Having this kind of information is, I find, extremely helpful. I took the first of these types of tests in college when I majored in Communication Studies. When I met my husband, JP in my late twenties, I did more testing (we met in a work environment). I’ve done several more throughout the years and they have stayed consistent.

I’ve read intensively on the subject of communication for many years. Despite years of corporate brainwashing which I’ve now fully recovered from, I find it fascinating and supremely interesting that I’ve come full circle back to my college major – writing about communication between the sexes.

So how do I trust my voice? I can’t imagine writing any other way. I write what I feel, from my soul. I don’t worry about what others will think. I shook that monkey off my back a long time ago. That is a huge obstacle for so many people and to be honest, one that has given me the freedom to write about so many amazing topics.

The author Lorrie Moore teaches her students to “write as if your parents will never read it,” which most people don’t have the nerve to do. When I read that, a light not only went on for me, it broke into a million pieces. Because I was blogging and I knew my mom read every post (and still does. Hi mom.), I needed to just let that go.

It was okay that my mom read everything, but she needed to accept that her adult daughter was going to write about sex; and not just sex in general but the actual having of it; and not just the having of it but lovers; and not just lovers but my ex with whom I’d recently reconnected; and not just our reconnection but his shocking suicide; and not just his suicide but how deeply it affected me...and on it goes.

Taking those essays and forming them into my book A Walk In The Snark (self-published this past January) was very exciting for me. It was my chance to bring my voice together into a cohesive book form for my fans, and for people who have never even heard of me.

I added 25% new material, some of my most popular tweets (one of the few books to have done that), and it has sold really well in strictly eBook format. I average between 5-6 sales per day, where the average indie author sells four books/month! – and of my 30 reviews on Amazon, 95% are positive (with the exception of a few cranky men :). My themes are Mancode, Chickspeak, and lost love.

Snark is consistently in the top #10 ranking on the Kindle Humor/Motherhood list, #20 on Humor/Parenting and Family; and hit #1 bestselling status on Smashwords in May #woot. I’ve had a wonderful write up by @2morrowknight in the Huffington Post books section (about me, the book, and the Indie Book Collective which I cofounded last October); and I’ve been approached by an agent – on Twitter! who read the book and loved it. We’re meeting in NYC at the end of this month.

Speaking of the Indie Book Collective, I’m also a coauthor of Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success. My coauthors, Carolyn McCray and Amber Scott, are amazing authors and my cofounders in the IBC. We share our wide range of personal experiences in both indie publishing and social media. Soup to nuts any author needs to write, publish, and market their book.

And with our special promotion, Menage a Blog, 7/18-22, anyone who visits my blog http://RachelintheOC.com on Tuesday, July 19 and leaves a comment will receive a FREE COPY and will be automatically entered in our free Kindle contest! There are twelve amazing authors on the tour and all are offering free books – be sure to visit them all!

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me. If you want to find out more, please visit my blog, buy my book A Walk In The Snark, Twitter @RachelintheOC, Facebook, or email me at RachelintheOC@gmail.com, or visit the Indie Book Collective and become a part of something great.

A Note from Indigo:
Visit my new Reviews Page for an in-depth look at Dollars and Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success. Want to win a copy of this amazing resource for writers? Just leave a comment on my blog, along with your email addy, and we'll send you a copy of Dollars and Sense!


  1. Sounds like a great book! TamariaSoana@yahoo.com

  2. I love that advice you mention. Writing with worry about what people will think of you because of it hinders your muse. Great post!

  3. Quite lovely reading more about you, Rachel, and of your books. Hope all goes well with the Menage A Blog.

    @ Amber I'm like that sometimes, but gliding out of doing so to my muse more freedom with writing.