About the Author:
Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask for the occasional American Idol or Swamp People quality hour.
She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn’t truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart!
Ebook copy of Drowning by Rachel Firasek
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
Rachel: I’m a thirty-ish Texas native who corals two teens and husband that puts all of my heroes to shame. I have a sprawling spread of Mesquite trees and sheep in a hidden country community of Central Texas. I’m a switch. Sometimes I like paranormal, horror, or just a sweet romance, but it’s always romance. When I stumbled upon NA Contemporary romances, I just knew I’d found a home.
When and why did you begin writing?
Rachel: I started writing when I was a teen, but lost time and interest in my early twenties. When I hit thirty I decided to dig back in and to try to make a go of this gig.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Rachel: A writer or an author? I’ve always been a writer, but I considered myself an author when I signed the contract on my first sale, Piper’ s Fury.
Tell us your latest news?
Rachel: Well, you know that I have Drowning out. But…prior to Drowning, I worked with two great authors to write and produce a Halloween Anthology that ended up hitting best seller lists! I think that’s pretty awesome news. Oh, and I’m still going to try to make it to RT14! Who else is going?
What inspired you to write your first book?
Rachel: Well, my first book ever was a 98 page short story due for an assignment in my 9th grade English class. It was a historical fantasy with a heroine named Amethyst (that of course had purple eyes, because that’s what color eyes I wanted) and a white steed. Now the horse didn’t belong to the knight, oh no, that was Amethyst’s ride that she used to save the knight who was locked in a tower. J Yes, there was even a touch of the feminist in me back then.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Rachel: Almost all of my stories have a “get over yourself” theme. I’ll explain: When things happen in our lives that are difficult to overcome, we have two options: Get over it and move on, or wallow in whatever pity party that’s happening at the moment. I want to find the way to dig out of the party even when everything seems to want to keep you there. So, mostly that’s my themes.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Rachel: I read for entertainment, not for self-growth so I don’t know that any book has had a huge impact. I write for my therapy, but I do know that even though everyone moans and groans about the Twilight series, I’ve read it 8 times. Take away the creepy age gap, the dead and alive elements, and the weird lack of parenting, and it’s a truly innocent story meant to make us fall in love with romance again.
What are three things that always make you smile?
Rachel: My hubby, my kids, and my happy readers…notice—I said happy. J
Just for fun, who would you single out as your number one celebrity crush, and what would you like most to do with/to them?
Rachel: Johnny Depp. I adore his versatility. I'd have him dress up as Sweeny Todd and sing and dance with me in a ratty bakery. *cackles maniacally*
If you could live a day in the world of someone else's story, whose would you choose, and why?
Rachel: Oh, I'd live a day in Alice's world. Doesn't Wonderland look like a fab place to play.
What do you hope readers take away from Drowning?
Rachel: I want them to be moved. I want them to be jerked out of their comfy beds with soft pillows in the middle of the night and remember that sometimes, somewhere, there’s a child doing the same thing…only it’s not a nightmare they’re living through—it’s their life. I want everyone to realize that we’re all a pile of mistakes waiting to happen. It’s okay to take a wrong turn as long as you find the right way home. But most importantly, I want everyone to know that love does conquer all when the will is strong.
What do you love most about your hero?
Rachel: I love that he’s a little messed up. He makes bad calls and doesn’t always fit the typical hero profile…but then again, most of my heroes don’t. J Oh… and he plays drums…and is damn hot…and he writes music…should I keep going?
What about your heroine:
Rachel: Alice? Let me tell you… There’s not one thing that I don’t love about Alice. She’s so twisted. She’s a tease. She’s a strong person. She’s weak. She’s humble. She’s hot. She’s. Just. Like. You.&. Me.
Why did you create Drowning?
Rachel: It’s not often that I’ve stepped out of the box. But, my very first editor told me once to take the dark inside me and turn it into something. Well…that’s what I did. No, I’m not Alice…but I’m close. I know that pain…that terror…and I know what it’s like to overcome it…as much as anyone that’s lived through abuse can. (No, E. Harrison is not my father. I promise. But there was someone like him in my life once.)
Rachel: Well, I’m working on book 2. Burning and hope to have it out Spring of 2014. I’m also working on a new Contemp NA titled Something After. It’s not quite as dark as Drowning, but almost as twisted—if not more so.
Psychopath or Sadist:
by Rachel Firasek
**WARNING** This post may be a little difficult for some people who have dealt with abuse or been a victim of assault.
Today, we’re going to discuss E. Harrison—the villain—in Drowning. I’ll try not to let out any spoilers, but for those of you that have read the book, this should get interesting.
After doing some research on the topic, I have to adamantly declare Harrison a Sadist. Here’s why: Psychopaths have no emotion about their torture. Harrison takes immense pleasure in Alice’s pain.
You may wonder why I chose to make Harrison a sadist and not a psychopath. Well, there’s good reason. I try to write all of my characters with their own story. And even though I hate (and probably so will you) Harrison, I still wanted to create someone that we could somehow wonder about. What makes a person enjoy someone else’s pain? Is it about the control? Or the torture?Or both? And also, what kind of person enjoys hurting his own child? It’s not about child abuse for him. That’s different. This is calculated and has a purpose. Most people that are abusive are reactive and bullies. Harrison is neither.
So…although, I’d love to label him a psychopath, I can’t. And even though I know that this is a hard topic to discuss. Please understand that sexual sadism and what Harrison is are two different things. There is no form of sexual abuse in the book. He gets off on yielding the power to inflict pain on someone weaker than him. It’s about control.
My question for you is, do you know any psychopaths or have you ever dealt with a sadist? I don’t mean in funny ha-ha moments either. Have you ever had to reason with someone without emotion? How was the experience? You don’t have to name anyone. If you leave a comment for your lovely blogger here, you’ll be in a drawing for a free eCopy of Drowning.