Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rachel Tsoumbakos

This week's interview is with Rachel Tsoumbakos whose first published book is:  Emeline and the Mutants.  I'm currently reading that book enjoying it very much.  It combines elements such as zombies, vampires and even mermaids, but with a very fresh perspective.  Her next project is a vampire series that is currently being edited, and she writes for a True Blood fansite - True Blood Net - http://truebloodnet.com

She lives in Australia and has published articles with Australian magazine Living Now and its sister publication, Dare to Dream.

You can buy Emeline and the Mutants at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Please also check out Rachel's Blog and stop by and 'like' her Facebook Page

TAS: Let's get the plug out of the way.  Tell us a little bit about the project you are currently promoting - who will be interested and why?

RT: At the moment I am promoting Emeline and the Mutants. It's about what would happen to the world if an AIDS cure went horribly wrong and turned a large majority of the population into different types of creatures. Emeline Hart is the heroine of the story and is one of the lucky few that do not change. It's her job to rid the world of all the trolls, zombies, vampires, mermaids and other mutants that now exist. In the midst of all this chaos her brother, Warwick, goes missing and she befriends a dwarf who was secretly dating him.

TAS: What aspects of being an author do you most enjoy?

RT: Being able to write.

And being able to steal my friends identities and turn them into crazy hermits or brothel owners at my own whim and fancy.

TAS: What aspects of being an author do you least enjoy?

RT: Having a constantly messy house. I personally flunked out of the University of Domestic Duties (except for Floordrobe 101 and Organised Clutter for Beginners), but even I find the dust too much to bear sometimes. I am very lucky to have children who think our house is normal and a husband who prefers being able to brag about having an author as a wife over a sterile environment.

TAS: What moment as an author have you experienced that you are likely to remember 20 years from now (good or bad)?

RT: The first time I completed a manuscript. Up until three years ago, I had written plenty of stories, but never completed one. I forced myself to do NaNoWriMo in a last ditch attempt to be able to put an end to a story. It worked.

TAS: What bad habits do you have when it comes to writing/promoting your books and/or what do you wish you could do better?

RT: When writing, I do not take enough time to step away from the computer. I find by the end of the day I have claws for hands and eyes that feel like they have been laser gunned. With promotion, I just wish I was better at selling my product.

TAS: What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? Why does it get that honor?

RT: I just finished reading 'The Painted Caves' by Jean M Auel. It is the final book in a series that has taken the author over thirty years to write. I loved this series so much that I named my daughter after the main character. After reading the last book in the series, I am now trying to work out how to reclaim three decades worth of anticipation. Basically, the author has rewritten the third book in the series and not answered ANY of the questions raised with the first book.

TAS: What is your least favorite genre?  Do you feel you could write something that was at least average or better in that genre for the right price?

RT: Probably westerns or war stories. It's not that I think they are generally badly written, I just don't find either topics favorites of mine. And no, I would never, ever attempt to write either styles. Personally, I feel that you can only write well in a genre that you also love to read yourself.

TAS: Were you smarter than your writing/literature teachers in high-school and why do you answer the way you do?

RT: Of course I was ;-P

Seriously though, they are the teachers that taught me all that I know about the English language today. Besides them, I list my mother and her push to make reading fun that have lead me down this path.

TAS: If you could ask one question of one author (living or dead) and you would get a detailed, honest answer, who would it be and what would you ask?

RT: Jean M Auel: Why?

TAS: Tell us about the most interesting person you’ve ever met.

RT: I am a writer, every single person that crosses my path are interesting in some shape or form. Every character I have ever created has been based (however large or small) on interesting people around me. In Emeline and the Mutants, one of my characters, Nore Berry is based on a close friend of mine. So far, though, I still haven't found a place in one of my books for the lady who only does her grocery shopping while wearing leopard print. Over the last ten years, I don't think I've seen her wear the same outfit twice - that's a lot of leopard going on! I find it fascinating that she could be so obsessed with such a gaudy print.

TAS: Tell us a little bit about your home town and what makes it special.

RT: I live in a suburb called Greensborough (not Greensboro). I have lived here since I was very young. It's special to me because it is home and there is a wonderful sense of community. I'm sure it has other redeeming and important features, I am just unaware of them. We have a really cool abandoned cemetery, does that count?

TAS: If space aliens landed and said you could come with them to their planet to see wonders beyond wonders . . . but you would never see earth or your friends and family again, would you go?

RT: Hell no! I once went to a psychic who told me that I had learned all there was to learn on this planet, and that with my next life, I would be born on another planet. Needless to say, I did not go back to her again. I am a homebody, I cherish my humble piece of earth. Needless to say, my family and friends are everything to me.


Connie J Jasperson said...

This blog is always so hysterical! Now I will have to read Jean Auel and find out why the question was 'Why'!

Claire Chilton said...

Great interview! :D

I want to know more about the abandoned cemetary! I have visions of zombies getting out of their graves and leaving the cemetary in some kind of protest to the fertiliser lol.

jenny milchman said...

This scenario is always one that captivates me. Seems so possible. Thanks for the interview--I also love the cover of your book.