Thursday, January 20, 2011

Author Rachel Haimowitz Swings By on Her Blog Tour

Today, I'm giving you the chance to discover a wonderful new author whose writing may take you places you never dreamed of going--and that's a good thing. Say hello to Rachel Haimowitz, who today continues to answer burning questions from readers. For more questions and answers, and more about Rachel herself, check out the information below about the rest of her blog tour. And also read to the bottom to see how you can win free stuff!

Take it away, Rachel...

From Mindy MacKay: As someone who writes m/m with bondage, do you identify more with your Dom or sub character? Or are their heads equally easy to slip into for you?

From a personal perspective, I’d have to say I identify more with the Dom, as that’s the role I take in real life. That being said, being a good Dom—to me, at least—means doing everything in your power to understand your sub’s motives, needs, wants, desires, fears, secret fantasies, boundaries, even their thoughts from moment to moment. So in that regard, it’s quite possible that I identify more with the sub. Certainly in a real scene, my sub is my entire focus. In my written scenes, the sub the Dom’s entire focus, too. And because understanding a sub’s inner processes is so important to me, I do tend to write quite a bit of my BDSM scenes from the sub’s POV—more, actually, than I write from the Dom’s POV. So I guess the short answer is that it’s easy for me to slip into both their heads, even if the Dom POV comes more naturally to me.

From Jen B: How difficult was it to take that first (or 100th) idea and actually created an entire story from it? My brother and I were just discussing how difficult we find it to go from idea/outline to actual story.

Short answer? Hard. Ideas are easy; I’ve got more of those than I could develop in ten lifetimes. Taking that first wisp of an idea and fleshing it out into a story-world is a little less easy, but arguably (for me at least) the most fun part of writing. It’s where you can let your imagination fly, where you can explore every possibility, where nothing is set in stone yet and no answer is explicitly wrong. I find it helps tremendously to have at least one person you can use as a sounding board during this stage; they’ll come at it with different eyes and different life experiences, and will invariably find connections you could not.

Moving past the fleshing-out stage and actually sitting down to write is by far the hardest part of creating a story. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, so I tend to just write for a while and let the world and characters take me where they will. But about halfway through that process, the shape of the story becomes clear enough for me to stop and outline the rest. That’s my compromise between the creative freedom of explorative writing and the tight, well-paced focus of outline writing. Mind you, the beginning almost always needs redoing, or at least editing quite heavily, once I hit the outline stage. In Counterpoint, I cut about 40 pages out of the beginning and wrote about 25 new ones to replace it with. Anchored was a little smoother going, as that story was birthed more or less fully grown right from the start: an adult Athena popping from Zeus’s head. It was only the world details that needed changing in Anchored, as I discovered them along the way.

From Veronica: I’m always curious where people find their inspiration. So I want to know where you get your plot ideas. Are they just floating around up there in the gray matter? Do you sit in Central Park and make up stories about the people that pass by in your head…You know…Got an odd source of inspiration you feel like sharing

For me, I think it’s mostly just about keeping my eyes and ears open. The oddest things can trigger an idea. If you want to hear what triggered the idea for Anchored, hop on over to Nina Pierce’s blog (, where I did a guest post earlier this week that addressed exactly that. For the most part, though, it’s just totally random. I’ve learned to follow all my little “what if” musings and daydreams, to let my mind play with them and to write them down; you can mine gold in those fleeting thoughts.

Sometimes there’s a collision of concepts, too. For instance, a couple weeks ago I was watching some crappy crime procedural that was investigating an organ-stealing ring. And then I read an excerpt from a book with an immortal character. Somehow, my brain mashed those two things together and said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to have some kind of human with regenerative capacity being held captive by a black-market organ ring? They’d take his liver, and he’d grow a new one.” From there I started thinking about what kind of human: Genetically modified? Magically immortal? Cursed by the gods like Prometheus? Not human at all, but an alien with compatible organs? And then I started thinking about what kind of plot I could build around that story. Will anything ever come of it? Who knows. But I’ve got a file full of notes, and maybe one day it’ll be a story.

From Barbara: How does look your typical writing day? Do you write in the mornings, evenings or it doesn't matter to you?

I’m very fortunate not to have a 9-to-5 job, so I have a ton of flexibility in how and when I write. I work my day job from home and set my own hours and workload, with rare exception (scheduled client interviews, or a rapid-turnaround press kit, for example), so most weeks I’m able to spend a good chunk of each day working on my own stuff. I tend to be quite the night owl, so a typical day might see me waking at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and writing so far into the night I watch the sun rise the next morning. Other times I’m on “normal person” hours, and I go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6 and start writing first thing in the morning. As long as I get enough sleep (and I may be the only person in America who does), I can get the writerly juices flowing at any time of day or night.

Here's a little bit about Rachel's latest book, Anchored:
Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder—being a slave—makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company who's owned him since childhood, decides to lease him on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.

Daniel's not stupid; he knows there's only one reason a man would pay so much for what little free time he has, and it's got nothing to do with his knowledge of current events. But he's never been made to serve like that before, and he fears he won't survive the experience with his sanity intact.

He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him time and again when it comes to ordering Daniel to bed. Daniel knows what Carl wants, but it seems as if Carl isn't willing to take it, and Daniel's not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, love just might flourish where once there'd been only fear and pain. Can Carl become the anchor in Daniel's turbulent life, or will he end up the weight that sinks his slave for good?   

And a bit about Rachel herself
Rachel is an M/M erotic romance author and a freelance writer and editor. She originally dipped her toes into cable news and book publishing, decided the water was cold and smelled kinda funny, and moved on to help would-be authors polish and publish, write for websites and magazines, and ghostwrite nonfiction.

Her first novel, an M/M fantasy erotic romance titled Counterpoint: Book One of Song of the Fallen, released in August 2010 with Guiltless Pleasure Publishing. Her second novel, an M/M alternate-history erotic romance titled Anchored: Belonging Book One, released January 17 with Noble Romance Publishing. Her third, Crescendo: Book II of Song of the Fallen, will release in the fall of 2011. In between, Rachel is writing shorts and novellas, including the M/M BDSM collection Sublime: Collected Shorts, and a not-yet-released cyberpunk novella titled Break and Enter, co-written with Aleksandr Voinov.

You can find Rachel tweeting as RachelHaimowitz, chatting in the Goodreads forums, and blogging at She loves to hear from folks, so feel free to drop her a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.

Where else you can find Rachel:
*Complete Anchored Release Party Schedule:
*Yesterday's blog tour stops: (book review by Bryl Tyne), and (classified ads from the Anchored world: "Slaves for sale!")
*Today's other stop: (Character interviews with Carl, Jane, Dave, and Eric Foster)
*Tomorrow's stops: (book Q&), and (review and interview)

Win Stuff!
To win either of the prizes below, simply leave a comment, along with a way to get in touch with you should you be the lucky winner. Rachel will draw a winner on the last day of her tour, January 23. Prizes are:
  • 1 ebook copy of Counterpoint: Book I of Song of the Fallen OR of Sublime: Collected Shorts (winner's choice).
    1 swag pack featuring cover art from Anchored and my other works

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  1. I enjoyed the post and the blog tour. I look forward in reading Anchored.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  2. I joined the tour a little late (thanks go out to Amara for reminding me this morning). I'm enjoying learning more about Anchored and your writing process. I'll be going back and catching up on what I missed earlier this week. Thanks for hosting Rick & thanks Rachel!


  3. More fun questions, it was nice to see inside your perspective as a writer, Rachel

  4. @Booklover and Alex: Y hallo thar, folks! Lovely seeing you again! :D

    @Brandi: So glad to have you here! Definitely catch up on the back-stops; some of the tour hosts did some very cool things :D

  5. This tour has been SO MUCH FUN!!!

    I can't wait till tomorrow :P

  6. @Bookworm: Heh, aw, I'm glad you're enjoying it :D Tomorrow's gonna be awesome for sure: Kari Gregg made a beautiful video book trailer, and the ladies over at Desert Island Keepers actually managed to get Daniel to open up a little about his life.

  7. For as many stops on this tour I am amazed by how fresh it has remained. Except for the blurb nothing has been repeated. Good Q & A today.

  8. @She: Hello again! :D I'm kind of surprised we all managed not to repeat anything either. When I started planning this tour, I was only looking for 6 host blogs, which was all the content I figured I could manage. Somehow I ended up with 21, and many of my hosts worked very hard to bring some amazing content to the tour. I'm just tickled by it all :D