INDY AUTHOR TALK WITH Rachel Rawlings – Planning the Perfect Con


This Indy Author talk will be our first of four HallowReads installments for this years event in October!  I am so excited!  One, because I LOVE HALLOWEEN!  TWO, because my illness last year caused me to NOT be able to attend and THREE, because this will be the beginning of a beautiful annual partnership with myself/Nerd Girl Official and author Rachel Rawlings/Hallowread Events Coordinator!  Soooooo exciting!!!  So enough of my rambling and on to Rachel’s IAT about “Planning the Perfect Con”


Planning the Perfect Con

Don’t worry this guest blog isn’t a grifter’s manifesto. Although that sentence did just spark a story idea- but I digress.

The lovely ladies over at Nerd Girl have so graciously given me a chance to tell you all about the HallowRead Convention for fans of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror. This is our second year holding the mini con in haunted and historic Ellicott City, MD. It’s shaping up to be bigger and better than last year, which I didn’t think was possible since I  managed to book Darynda Jones for my first ever convention. Don’t even ask how, because I’m still not sure myself. HallowRead started with an idea to create an intimate environment with fun activities for readers and authors to do together. I wanted something affordable for everyone so that we’d attract the best authors and entertainers for our attendees. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done just that.  So how do you top close to thirty best selling authors, ghost tours, panels and an interactive thespian performance of Dracula? You go bigger and better of course!

HallowRead is more than panels and book signings. It’s a place for authors and readers to really interact. Want to go on a ghost tour with some of your favorite authors? You can do that. Want to go watch some of the best Steampunk authors dressed in full garb read from their books while having a full tea service in a Victorian tea house? You can do that! (And I highly recommend it!) Want to participate in a live paranormal investigation in one of the many haunted locations in Ellicott City? Yes, you can do that too! 

I count myself blessed that so many people believed in me and my crazy idea to start mini con in a little town like Ellicott City. The town welcomed the idea and really helped me get it off the ground. They continue to support the event and I couldn’t do it without their help! We’ve moved to a beautiful new building at the Roger Carter Center to host our panels, signings and the new author workshops we’ve added for all levels of writers. There’s story time for the kids and craft projects, live music, grave rubbings, the Fangover breakfast and more! Monster is our official drink sponsor and the stores and restaurants are offering special discounts for HallowReaders the whole weekend as well. We’ve got authors from all over the country and even across the pond- Ireland to be exact. So be sure to get your tickets and come out to party with us! You won’t be disappointed!

October 24-26 2014 Tickets are on sale now!

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Q&A with Rachel Rawlings

 Rachel Rawlings

Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

A. This is a little known fact about me- the inspiration part. I’d dabbled in writing every since middle school, poems and incomplete stories mostly. Even then I was passionately in love with reading and deep down wanted to write. Life happens and then marriage and three children- I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Flash forward to 2009. I was working the night shift and reading a very popular author. Thirteen books into her series I had become increasingly frustrated with the author’s vision. sure i understood it was her world, her story to tell but I kept thinking ‘if it were me, I’d write it like this’. And then I did. I’d email my best friend and the only other member of my book club, a chapter at a time until the book was finished. 

Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

A. Some of the most influential authors in my life were Anne Rice- my personal hero, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe and Tolkein. And books, there’s so many…. To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, Treasure Island, The Most Dangerous Game (actually a short story) and of course the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. 

Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be?  Have they been in your head for a long time?

A. Maurin had been bouncing around in my head for a while. She’s the no nonsense, bad ass heroine I like to think I am, lol! She’s a work in progress, trying to grow and find herself in a world that is ever changing, much like ours but with a slew of immortals and supernatural creatures. The men have a tendency to creep up on me. I think I’m writing a secondary character and then end up demanding more face time. Cash earned himself a novella that way. 

Q. What motivates you to write?

A. I write because I enjoy it. It’s not easy, the words don’t always flow. Some days the word count is negative because I back out more than I keep but I have stories I want to tell and can’t ignore. I’m working on two at the same time- a first for me- with two more openings written. My to be written pile has waged a war with my to be read pile. It just may win. For me, it’s a love of the written word, I love words, love to write, I need to write. it’s not about the fame or fortune- though that would be an added bonus- just knowing someone read and enjoyed what I wrote is the real payoff.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing?

A. Time, carving it out every single day. I still have a family and outside priorities that I have to juggle. Writing is a very solitary thing, at least it is for me. getting over the guilt of taking time away from the ones I love to spend time in the worlds I love to create is tough.

Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

A. Writing The Morrigna reaffirmed two things for me. One- that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and you can be what ever you want to be, even a writer. And two- nothing worthwhile is easy. That might actually be three things, lol.

Q. Where do you get your ideas?

A. I don’t know where exactly sometimes like the book on my to be written pile Payable On Death was sparked b the song by Heaven Knows by Pretty Little Reckless, the name of the book came from the initials of another band P.O.D. I’m not sure what it means for the band but when I was a bank teller it meant Payable On Death. They played concurrently on 98Rock- a local radio station- and before you know it I had a character who sold her soul to the Devil at seventeen and had been fighting to make up for it ever since. They come from anywhere and everywhere. 

Q. What does your family think of your writing?

A. My kids think I’m pretty rock star when they see a picture in a local paper or I’m off to another convention. My husband thinks my head is probably a scary place to live but he’s my biggest fan. I’m truly blessed to have the love and support of an amazing family.

Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

A. Write every day. Write one sentence, one paragraph, one chpater. Just write. Everyday. Hire an editor, it’s money well spent. do the research to find the right one. You want an editor who will challenge you, ask questions, help you fill in the gaps and remove the unnecessary words. When you find them, hold on to them.

Q. What book are you reading now?

A. Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper, she’s a light fun read with a paranormal twist. It’s a great way to get away for a day or two. Reading is my homework and it’s fantastic. Stephen King once said and I’m paraphrasing here “If you don’t have time to read, how can you have time to write?” I take that very seriously.

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The NerdGirl

Blogger, Reviewer, Promoter extraordinaire, I don’t think you will find ANYONE that loves books more than her. Gladys will read anything but prefers paranormal and fantasy. She likes historical and some contemporary ….. as long as its not predictable.
  • I *wish* I could go to HallowRead. ~^^~ Maybe next year? (Please say I have a chance)

    • Gladys Gonzales Atwell

      I will send you the info so you can get on the list for next year! :-) ♡ Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl

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