Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog Tour: UNLOCKED by Rachael O'Bryan: Q&A and Showcase

Book Description

January 13, 2011
This is a novel in stories about the impact people can have on a person's life. It discusses the main character Rebecca's relationships with some the athletes she met while working as a tutor in college. It's a book that deals with learning from one's mistakes and trying to move on. It touches on love, friendship, heartache, acceptance, and self-confidence, among other issues. The stories in this book are based on some of my own experiences and I hope that people will find them relatable.


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Author Bio:
Rachael O'Bryan grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended college at Temple University. After college she pursued her law degree, starting off at Tulane University and then graduating at American University. Rachael is a lawyer, but pursues writing in her free time. Besides writing Unlocked, she keeps a blog at http://rachaelsnewyork.blogspot.com. Also, on June 1st she launched her own business - an online women's magazine. The magazine is operated under Rachael Magazine LLC. The self-titled magazine is geared towards professional women in their 20s and 30s that want it all. You can subscribe athttp://rachaelmagazine.com. When Rachael isn't working, writing, or running her own business she enjoys reading, traveling, watching The New York Mets. and following the University of Louisville basketball team. She currently resides in New York City.
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Q&A:
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Q.  What inspires your writing?

I think whatever is going on in my life at the moment inspires my writing. I find writing to be therapeutic. It helps me learn a lot about myself and helps me clear my head sometimes. I think also my desire to someday write full-time, to have a career I'm passionate about, pushes me to work hard on my writing. 

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I write on the side, it's not my full-time job. However, I love doing something creative and producing something I'm very proud of. Also, I love it when people can relate to what I write.  And, for this book in particular, I love that through the main character Rebecca I got to show people who I was. I'm generally a private person, so for my family and friends Rebecca's thoughts were a glimpse into my own personal thoughts and issues. Writing has helped me become a more open person I think. I keep a blog now (rachaelsnewyork.blogpost.com) about my life in New York where I share a lot, a little more censored now though after someone read it that I really didn't want to, but it's still a lot for me to put out there. 

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

The first part that is tough for me is just making the time to write. I juggle a lot of things. I try to stay busy and sometimes writing gets pushed to the side. The second part that is tough is marketing the book. I self-published this book in November of 2010 and didn't really know how to market it. This is my first venture into marketing it - about a year and half later.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

My day job is a lawyer, although it's not even my dream lawyer job. My dream lawyer position was always to work at a firm that serves as antitrust counsel for the NFL. I would also love to work in education policy and improve the education system in this country for all children. Also, I'm launching (or by the time this posts have launched) my own online magazine for women - www.rachaelmagazine.com. It should be launching late May/Early June. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

Oh gosh that's hard. That reminds me one of the toughest things about being an author is coming up with interesting and appealing titles. So the most thoughtful answer I could come up with after talking to my friends was To Be Determined. I think it has two meanings - one is that my life is evolving and there are still things to come that will define who I am. My greatest achievements haven't happened yet I think. Also, it means that I'm a very determined, independent woman. I really try to accomplish all my goals with a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

Another hard question. I'm a big fan The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I'm also a huge fan of Jhumpta Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. And for classical literature I would go with Crime and Punishment

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

I read a lot more memoirs and non-fiction than fiction usually. However, I just joined a book club a couple months ago led by Meredith Schorr, author of Just Friends with Benefits. I recently read her book and definitely identified with the lead character Stephanie. I loved her relationship with Eric, that guy friend that is like your brother. It reminds me of my relationship with my friend Buchie a little (on the good days lol). And Stephanie at points tends to over think things or read into things too much and I'm guilty of doing that a lot.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

Rebecca is everything I am/was. I was once the insecure girl that put everyone else first. I think I've changed a lot from the person Rebecca portrays. I think some things will never change - I'm still shy and I still have insecurities like everyone else in the world, but I'm much more confident. I'm who I think Rebecca was becoming as she reflects on her past relationships with people. And writing that book helped me take strides into becoming the person I am today.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

Spring - I love to walk around the city and eat outside at all the amazing restaurants in New York. It's also not too humid yet. 

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book(s).

I can't think of anything funny that happened. This is really my first effort in promoting the book. I can say though that as soon as I hit the last button to publish the book on lulu.com I panicked a little. I knew the book was based so much on things that happened to me and now everyone was going to know it. Also, when I moved to New York I told this guy I liked I wrote a book. He asked if he could read it and I was trying to find a polite way to say no. I don't like guys to read what I write when I first meet them. My writing can be very personal, especially a book like this that is based so much on my interactions with guys. The last thing you want it to look like is that you had so many issues with guys lol.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

I'm working on a bunch of things right now. I'm about to launch my online magazine (mid May/Early June). I'm really excited about that. I've been working on it for about a year now I think and I'm really excited to have my own business, to have a platform to write on, and to provide a platform for others to share their writing. I'm also working on a memoir and I have an idea for a novel.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

I love my book.  I did most of the editing myself.  I had some help from friends in a couple places, but it's really like 98% all my work.  It's a little scary to have people review it that don't know me, especially since I didn't have a skilled editor look at it, but I hope people find the book relatable and enjoyable. I also wanted to add a couple things that are different from my about the author page listed in the book. I no longer live in Maryland - I'm a New Yorker now! And I maintain a different blog than the one listed in the book it is rachaelsnewyork.blogspot.com. I also keep a sports blog, that I write on occasionally at storiesfromthestands.blogspot.com. And look out for my magazine set to launch June 1st at rachaelmagazine.com.
And finally I want to say to all the writers out their - I found my voice through writing. I find writing to be very empowering. Everyone writes for different reasons, but I think one thing everyone should remember is that when you write, write for yourself first. Don't write with the thought that you need to get a book deal to be rich, etc. - things don't usually work out that way. Write for yourself and if other people also enjoy it that's an added bonus.


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