Sunday, January 15, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: Rachel Thompson author of The Mancode: Exposed

About the Book...

Is it possible to truly expose men? Thompson explores controversial questions like: 
  • Can we outrun our DNA?
  • Will we women always be slaves to our talkative nature (apres sex)?
  • Will men never be free of the chains of emotional withholding?
  • Can we transfer man's paper towel changing abilities from garage to kitchen? 
It's about all the levels in which we communicate...viewed through Thompson's looking glass of humor and deconstructed with her special brand of snark.

***You will either LOVE this controversial book or you will HATE it. If you don't have a sense of humor, DON'T BUY IT.***
  • Thank YOU for making THE MANCODE: EXPOSED a Kindle TOP 100 bestseller! 
I'm over 40. I don't have a blankie. I have vodka. 
  • Praise for The Mancode: Exposed -- already #1 Kindle bestseller in Marriage, Parenting & Families AND Parenting & Relationships! 

About The Author...

I’m a chick who writes stuff that makes you laugh. My blog has been nominated for funniest blog this year. I’ve been told I write in the style of that Dickens guy. Kidding.

I’m a mom, a wife, and a recovering pharmaceuticals rep. It’s been a long process but I’m doing okay, thanks.

I usually write about men (The Mancode), marriage, kids, being a mom, living in the OC (ya know–being a pale redhead living in a sea of blondes) and vodka. Not necessarily in that order depending on the day.

I also write occasionally about serious stuff, like the death of someone I once loved or lost love–so don’t be shocked if you come visit and don’t see the funny.

Don’t come here looking to find advice about how to be sweet or nice. I’m pretty much allergic to both of those words.

If you want to learn how to find humor in everyday life, well, I’m really not your girl either. Mostly I just laugh at stuff and make up words (See “Refrigeratoritis and Manesia.”) Yet somehow it all seems to work.

And don’t call me cute. (Hint: babies and puppies are cute. Grown women are not.)

Special note to men: I write frequently about “The Mancode” — like how you guys do goofy stuff and we women try and often fail to understand. (Um, change the toilet paper roll much? Yea, that’s what I thought.) If that offends your sensibilities, keep walking, er, typing.

So, welcome to RachelintheOC. Now go read a post or two and find something to laugh at, would ya?

I have to go help my husband find the butter. Again.

In Rachel's Own Words... 

I write nonfiction essays. Most are about two pages. I put these essays together into collections. Two collections actually: A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed. Both are Kindle bestsellers on Amazon; Mancode even made it into the Top 100 Paid this past week, a huge milestone for any author.

I published my first book last January. The majority of my reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I’ve even had a write-up in the Huffington Post for my indie success and for the work my Indie Book Collective cofounders, Carolyn McCray and Amber Scott, and I are doing – a volunteer group where our goal is to help authors learn how to market and sell their books.

I’ve learned that with this success come negative reviews, many directed at me personally, not at my writing. People make enormous assumptions about who I am as a person without knowing a thing about me. Lots of people told me this would happen; that it’s a true measure of one’s success.

Veteran authors say not to take it personally.

Good advice. Then you get your first review that calls your book “garbage, trash, awful.” Something you’ve worked on for the better part of a year; for some, many years.

What do you do?

It’s important for any author to learn how to deal with the haters. You can’t please everyone. Accept that.

How do I deal with these negative reviews? Here’s my three-part strategy:

1.  Laugh. I write about men and women, vodka, chocolate, and sex. I warn people up front that I write about adult themes and yet people are still offended. That’s funny to me.

Also, I also use those terms humorously, many times as metaphors and yet people are extremely literal, thinking I drink constantly, eat mountains of chocolate, and constantly well, ya know. If I did all those things all the time, I’d be a) too drunk to write, b) weigh 500 pounds and c) well, this is a G-rated blog so use your imagination.

I also write nonfiction. Which means I write about my experiences, not my readers’ because well, I don’t know them. Makes sense, right?

Well, not always. Sure, I write about men and women, so there are universal themes, which the majority of folks seem to relate to. Those who don’t are quite vocal about my inability to write from their perspective (um, what?), or that I must be an alien life form. Okay, then.

I guess I’d have to be a Vulcan to use that mind meld thingy, right?

2.  Analyze. Reviews are good market research. It’s a good idea to understand the issues readers have with your writing. Sometimes it’s not what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it, right?

For example, I use my most popular tweets to begin each essay in The Mancode: Exposed. For people familiar with my blog, my writing or Twitter, this is not a problem. Even my many beta readers and reviewers were okay with it. But I gleaned from my grumpies (as I call them) that hashtags (#hashtags) are an issue. They don’t get it, or they think I have typos. This is valuable information and an easy enough fix (I’ve now added an explanation in my most recent update as well as on my Amazon page).

I even had to explain hashtags to Amazon. #eyeroll

It’s also great demographic data. Trust me, I would not recommend my book for the ladies-who-lunch church book club. #justsayin 

3.  Ignore. People assume that since I live in the OC (Orange County, CA) and mention Prada, I must be “well-off.” My book is humor, so I don’t write about the fact that we lost our nice, large home two years ago and now rent a much smaller one, that my Pradas were bought on sale several years ago, and that I do in fact work my tail off, not only for my husband’s business but also as a freelance social media consultant, as well as volunteer hours every day helping authors as a cofounder of the Indie Book Collective.

None of that is funny or all that interesting. Do I correct these people who want to make judgments about me? Nope.

Why? Because I write my books to give people my truth, my view of my life at the time, and share my take on the interactions between men and women, love and loss, and to provide an escape from the daily detritus of our everyday lives.

It’s important to surround yourself with people who support your writing but ultimately, an author must trust their own voice and vision. I don’t take reviews personally, good or bad (though I appreciate the good ones more J).

I do my thing. I’ll keep writing my books, even if only a few people buy them. There’s a wonderful satisfaction in knowing I’m doing what I love, finally, after many years of retail and corporate life.

(I worked at Longs Drugs as a cashier to pay for college. People would lose their um, marbles if I was off a penny on cat food or generic cigarettes.)

Bad reviews are olives in my martini, baby.

I’m writing. My books.

And that’s enough.

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** Thank you Rachel for stopping by The Marsh~!! Thanx for your thoughts on negative #reviews for I have had my fair share of the #Nasties...I tend to be overly truthful in my #reviews and some just can't take the heat and act like my few paragraphs are going to end their careers...LOL One such authoress, with 30 books under her belt, stalked me for weeks calling me names I've only ever heard on the streets...UGH I wish you all the best in success on your quest and may your muse continue to shine~!!  OH and TRUTH IS GOOD~!! **