Memoirs of a Virtual Assistant

Rachel RuebenToday it’s my turn on the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour and I’d like to take the time to talk about me.  Where do I begin?…  Gosh, no wonder Mark Twain never finished his autobiography, this stuff is hard!  Okay, I guess I should start by saying I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was 12, but was told by my writing instructors, you couldn’t make a living at it.  So I went to school and got a certification in IT crap.  It was my plan B, just in case the writing thing didn’t work out.

I went into freelance writing but hated it, I mean the hustle was ridiculous.  The constant querying and networking involved was a huge pain.  So I decided to go into the workforce and get a “real” job.  However, my plan B was officially ruined after the economy crashed.

Just as I was about to go back to school, I saw a posting on Facebook for Red River Writers looking for a virtual assistant for one of their podcasts.  Having no idea what a podcast was, I Googled it and was immediately stoked.

As I listened to authors talk about their books and how they couldn’t live without writing, something clicked and before long, I was writing fiction again.  In fact, one day when our host Dellani Oakes was having technical issues, I was called upon to read one of my children’s stories.  “What?”  I said aloud.  You see, I hadn’t been published yet so this was daunting.  I managed to stammer and stutter my way through my story all the while, sweating bullets.  No seriously, I was Schvitzing like a pig and in the middle of January no less!

After that I was no longer a rookie, and right before one of our shows, Dellani, asked me what I was working on.  Dumbfounded, I had no idea I was supposed to keep writing while I queried.  I figured I’d just wait by the mailbox and see what happened LOL!

Hag by Rachel RuebenIn 2011, I decided to write a YA novel after the highly publicized suicides of several young gay men.  I had no idea where these characters would take me, but by 2012, I had a completed manuscript.  Since I had so much trouble getting an agent with my children’s book and after noticing that my kind of work wasn’t being published by the mainstream I decided to self-publish.  In March of 2012, I released “Hag” to the world and it managed to make all the way to the #10 spot on Amazon’s bestseller’s list.  So I’m in this for the long haul, and with a little hard work, I’ll be able to do it again with my upcoming book, “Eternal Bond.”

Keep your fingers crossed!

~ Rachel

Today, I’m being interviewed by several fellow authors on The Fantastic Blog Hop.  Do me a favor and give them a little love by clicking like or commenting. ❤

Juli Page Morgan: www.julipagemorgan.com/blog
S. A. Hussey:   http://sahussey1.wordpress.com/
Ruth Davis Hays:  http://jorthusbooks.wordpress.com/
Dellani Oakes: http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/
Karina Gioertz: www.friedgatortail.wordpress.com
Karen Vaughan:www.karenwritesmurder.com
Kristen Duvall: www.kristenduvall.com/blog

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How I Turned My Starter Novel Mess Into Success!

Starter Novel Mistakes
Embarrassed by your own work?
By Madeleine_Via Flickr

Last month while bracing for Hurricane Sandy, I came upon an early version of my vampire novel Eternal Bond.  Not only was I shocked by how old it was, but I was really shocked by how bad it was!  Eternal Bond was my starter novel which I abandoned in 2009.  What was so wrong with it you ask?  Well, everything!

  • I used first person, a difficult viewpoint for a rookie to write in.
  • There was no clear antagonist or protagonist.
  • It was set in the 21st century.
  • Too many flashbacks.

I got so lost, I abandoned the project.  It wasn’t until last year, that I picked it back up and literally started over.  Opening a new Word document I began from scratch and literally changed everything.

  • I Used third person.
  • Had a few villains and heroes.
  • I Placed the story in 16th century Europe.
  • I didn’t use hardly any flashbacks.

Here’s what I came up with: The new and improved Eternal Bond Chapter 1

Eternal Bond By Rachel Rueben
Coming this Dec.

Ebook Giveaway!

 

Rachel Rueben's Hag
Available for free on Amazon!!!

In anticipation of the release of my vampire novel “Eternal Bond” I’ve decided to do a little giveaway.  “Hag” my first YA novel is on Kindle for free all weekend!  You heard me right, just hurry up and get there soon before it’s too late!  Here’s the link: http://buff.ly/T6ocjH

There’s even a three chapter excerpt from Eternal Bond as an added bonus!

 

It Wasn’t Supposed To End This Way!

As I got closer to the end of Eternal Bond, I got more and more anxious because I had no idea how it was going to end.  This confuses the heck out of people.  They always ask, “How can you not know how your story is going to end?”  Easy!  I let my characters decide how they’ll end it and what my characters did shocked even me.  The heroes I so carefully created failed miserably and the bad guys wound up stealing a victory that was never meant for them.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will share a little more from my novel Eternal Bond:

Eternal Bond By Rachel Rueben
Coming this Dec.

When Clara awoke, she wasn’t in the carriage house anymore instead, she was lying on a couch in a dimly light room.  Hearing a creaking sound, she thought someone was approaching and she slowly got up from the couch.  Turning around, she saw James hanging from the ceiling.

With a leather noose wrapped around his neck, the leather creaked, as the body swayed back and forth.

Though her lips moved, nothing came out, but a whimper.  Then a small feminine hand appeared pushing the body, making it sway faster.

Cheerfully, a familiar voice said, “Morning.”

Needing no introduction, Clara recognized who it was.  It was the devil’s consort herself, Apollonia.  Stepping out from behind the body, she revealed herself and the enormous smile on her face.

Grabbing a candle, Apollonia went over to the body and examined it with a spectacle remarking aloud, “Nicely executed, just deep enough and very clean!”

Shaking from head to toe Clara stood there scared silly.

Running her fingers through James’ hair, she said, “He was chosen just for you young, strapping—delectable.”

Clara began feeling ill, upon hearing it was all just a set up.

Looking over her shoulder at Clara, Apollonia said, “I told you Clara, thou art highly favored.”

Apollonia went back to amusing herself with the corpse, using pressure points to making the eyes bulge and lips move.

Eventually, she tore herself away from her entertainment to talk further with Clara.  Reaching out to touch her, Clara immediately jerked back from her.  Though Clara had failed in a most miserable way, she wasn’t ready to embrace those failures.

Instead, she was drawn to a window that looked like it was slowly shedding tears.  To her, it seemed as though the angels themselves were shedding tears from heaven.  Watching as the drizzle slowly crept down the glass, Clara found herself unable to react anymore, so she didn’t.  Looking over at the body and out the window again, she stood still.

Sinking deeper and deeper into despair, Apollonia spoke up and said with a tender compassion, “I know what you’re thinking, and none of it is true!”

Bewildered said, “You know not my thoughts, only God does” and she believed that, but she questioned whether He even cared anymore.  Her very soul was being eaten alive by her enemies, and all she received was silence from the throne of The Most High.

Taking the more sensitive approach, Apollonia spoke aloud everything in Clara’s tortured mind.  “You spend all your life following their commandments, whipping your very thoughts into submission.  Then, just as you taste mortality you discover, there’ll be no reward for you!  All those years of fearful sowing, yielded nothing but the whirlwind!”

Clara looked back at her in shock, because Apollonia had managed to recite every single one of her thoughts.  Clara knew she was in trouble, because Apollonia was starting to make sense.

Meeting her in the middle of the room, Clara asked, “What do you want?”

“Salvation just like you!”  Apollonia answered.

“After death comes judgment, not salvation.”  Clara said.

Sensing she was on the verge, Apollonia continued her assault asking, “Death itself was judgment on man, so what is this?”

“I do not know.”  Clara said confused.

“Then let us teach you!”  She said trying to secure the victory.

To seal the deal, Apollonia extended her hand in friendship and without looking, Clara accepted it.