Monday, June 20, 2011

Finding your voice with Rachel Firasek

First, tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a mother of three crazy kids. Each one is so different, it’s no wonder I can create all these characters in my head. They are definitely inspiring! I’ve been married for 15 years this October and it never gets old. I adore my hubs and lean on him more than any wife should… but when you’re working a full time day job, trying to play “mommie”, and starting a career as an author you have to have a rock—he’s definitely my rock.
We live in Central Texas on 26 acres with our dogs, duck (yes, just one) and 22 sheep. The rest of the animals are wild and not my responsibility, lol.
How do you find time to write? I know it sounds crazy, but I get up 2 hours before I need to put in a couple hours of writing time and I grab another 2-3 in the evenings. I don’t sleep.

How did you find “YOUR VOICE”
I really didn’t find it. Heather Howland (, my editor for Piper’s Fury pointed it out to me. She recognized my unique voice under the sloppy amateur writing and the problem words we all start out with. Once she taught me to clean it up, we uncovered something amazing. My voice! Viola. Nice and shiny and all my own. I really didn’t struggle with voice, this question is a hard one. For those that feel that they are struggling, it might not be a problem at all, it just might be buried under the clutter. J

If you could describe your writing in one word, what would it be?
What advice would you give a writer still searching for their “VOICE”?  
See comments above and I’ll elaborate. First of all, I feel like your voice is an extension of the way you talk. My first problem I had to deal with was I speak backwards. I have like… dyslexia of the mouth. My thoughts come out in an order that only really make sense to me. So, now, instead of just writing what I would say, I write what I should say. Somehow, it comes out right—when I think it through. Not all the time, but sometimes I get lucky. Lol.
My actual bit of advice is that if you don’t think you’ve found your voice, you haven’t written enough. How much is enough? Who knows. For me it was one book. For someone else, it may be ten before they settle into a style and voice that suits them. It’s a struggle and in today’s unpredictable publishing world, who’s to say that you don’t already have a great voice and you’re the only one thinking it’s bad. I don’t fret over voice. I just write the best story I can, clean up my work and submit.
I just told my husband this morning, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” And as big as voice is, if you’re always sweating it, you’ll never find it. Isn’t it always when you quit looking for something that it shows up?
Thanks for having me on the blog! These were great questions and I hope that I was able to help someone today, or at least entertain them for a minute. J
Strong Hard Love coming soon from Whiskey Creek Press
And for more about Rachel, vizit these special links :
           Twitter: raebob7
           Facebook: Rachel Firasek


  1. I found my voice by ignoring it. You're right--you have to write in order to find your voice. In my case, I decided to write from the point of view of someone who was very different from me. I struggled to write a first-person narrative in HIS voice. Every story and book I write, I look for the narrator's voice or the story's voice. The result has been works that are very different but that, I've been told, are distinctively "me". :)

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  2. Great interview! A neat real life story about how you found your voice!

  3. Awesome post, Rachel!

    "I feel like your voice is an extension of the way you talk"

    I totally agree. You can't force voice. It has to flow naturally. Be part or who you are.

  4. Rachel, I can so relate! My first critique partner was constantly showing me my sentences needed turned around. And after writing fifteen books, she still catches some of my backwards sentences. I thought it was just me. Maybe we should start a dyslexic sentence group. ;)

  5. Great interview. Why only one duck? I love ducks!
    I love to hear a writer's true voice. When someone writes to a template, it always shows.

  6. Yes, I knew the secret had to be NO SLEEP. After reading another interview with you, I was perplexed. There aren't enough hours in the day to do what you do. I'm glad I finally know the answer.

  7. No sleep. Me too Brinda. I'm going to try it Rachel, especially with a deadline of this coming Friday!!!

    Hmmmmm, finding my voice? I feel like my voice has been struggling for the correct forum for expression all my life. I started singing when I was four, acting when I was nine, coaching, directing, teaching...NOTHING gave me the sense of fulfillment that writing does.

    I only discovered my passion for writing romance in July of last year after a trip (pilgrimage) to Forks, WA (home of Twilight). I came home and wrote TWI-HARD, in one month.

    Okay, it totally sucked and is now buried and UN-dead.

    However, it led me down this mad path into learning the craft of novella/novel writing. In February/March of this year I was offered a contract with Entangled and another with Cobblestone Press (two different projects).

    The characters that come from me, are a part of me, and sometimes very different from "me," speak as I speak, and think as I think, and then sometimes utterly surprise me. And I fall a little bit more in love with them when they do that.

    Like real-life people. Sigh. Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Rachel!

  8. Great idea Rachel, for newbies like me to keep writing. Since you've critiqued my work, you know how I struggle. But I'm like a dog worrying a bone, savoring each stroke of my computer keys.

  9. Marian, we can't help but sink into our voice. It's a little bit of each of us and it's also who we want to be. Thanks for the comment.

    Aubrie, thanks! Its funny but two years ago, I couldn't have even told you what a voice was.

    Jus, that's exactly it! If your voice is broken, then you're faking it.

    Paty, I'm so glad to hear that. I've thought all this time I'm doomed to be alone. I'm all for the group, lol. Of course, we wouldn't be able to crit for each other, everything would be backward.

    Julia, I don't even really have the duck, it's more like he's deemed us a fitting family to call his. We woke one morning and had this huge white duck swimming on our tank. He stayed. We feed him dog food and now he attacks the dogs to get at theirs. It's super funny.

    Brinda, it's the key. After only three hours of sleep last night, in a strange bed due to my own natural disaster---post coming soon, I'm up and finally answering blogs and emails.. See no sleep. Your times coming. lol

    Lucy, you're so funny. I know what you mean about struggling through. But thing of all the things you experienced on your way to the real and happy you. Good luck with those deadlines, I'm fighting the same. :) It's a good thing.

    Susan, keep worrying it. And always remember to keep gnawing until someone else decides they want to take that bone away from you. It's the best feeling ever. :) Good luck, my friend.

  10. Great interview.