Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guest Author Rachel Firasek & Giveaway!

What's Your Style?

I recently took a branding class offered up by my fabulous new publisher, Entangled Publishing, and we discussed making your name stick. Now, I’m not going to try to paraphrase what happened in that class, but it sent me into information overload and I began to ponder how I can use what I learned in other areas of my work.
Okay, we’ve all seen the commercials that have brand names with a slogan attached that we’ll recognize for the rest of our lives. Some of them are 10-15 years old. “Just do it.” “The quicker picker upper.” Those are just a couple that comes to mind, but what about your favorite authors. I’m thinking about my faves and I know that there is something in every story that is a signature style/voice/theme for that author that brings me back to their work over and over again.
L. K. Hamilton will always give you a bit of macabre with her snark and sex. Gena Showalter has a sensual rhythm to her hot heroes and tends to tackle the darker emotions. Lyndsay Sands offers up humor with every bite.
They have found a way to brand their stories as much as their name. That’s what keeps their readers come back for more. So, what does this have to do with me? I re-evaluated my writing last night over a nice Mescato. Probably not the best time to do this, but sometimes we get too caught up in our own heads. I found that the stories that I’ve written that I love always take you down a path you weren’t expecting. That’s kind of my brand. It’s not an intentional path, it’s just a very natural method my brain chooses.
There will always be a bit of gore that my editor’s will have to shake their finger at. I’m a horror fan, no other excuses needed. The characters will be tortured sweetly. And most importantly, they will always be as real as I can make them. I spend too much time with them for that not to happen.
So, today, I ask you: If you are writer what does your writing style say about you and your brand? Does your style have a brand? If you are a reader, what does your favorite author do that keeps bringing you back to them over and over again? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to know. I’ll also offer up an ecopy of my latest release, Piper’s Fury to one participant!! Thanks for coming by and sitting through my meandering. J
It's an empath thing...
Using your "powers" to help the Dark Hills Police Department hunt down serial killers doesn't leave much time for dating. Not that Piper Anast is complaining. The last thing she needs is some guy brushing up against her and pumping his pornographic thoughts into her head.
When she meets Bennett Slade, a sexy, tormented vampire, Piper stumbles headlong into a telepathic connection with his missing daughter. She can't leave the kid to the evil surrounding her unwanted visions, nor can she resist her draw to Slade. He's the first guy she's been able to touch vision-free in, well, forever.
As she and Slade close in on the evil creature holding his daughter, Piper's powers morph into a deadly fury. To save Slade's daughter-and herself-Piper must face down demons she never knew she had and trust the one thing she keeps from everyone.
Her heart.
Rachel’s writing career began at the impressionable age of twelve with a poem dedicated to the soldiers of Desert Storm. A dark macabre affair that earned her a publication in an anthology and many raised eyebrows from family and friends, she hid her poetry and artistic style for years…
Tucked away in the heart of Central Texas, with the loving support of her husband and three children, she dusted the cobwebs from her craft. Returning to those twisted regions of her mind, she creates dark urban fantasies and soul-searching paranormal romance.
To learn where love twists the soul and lights the shadows, visit Rachel at http://www.rachelfirasek.com/

Rachel will give away one ebook copy of her latest release, Passion of the Soul: Piper's Fury. Comment for a chance to win!


  1. Rachel, while I totally and completely see and understand the advantages of branding, I personally, for my own self, can't stand the concept and I don't do it well, at least not so far. Branding does not keep me coming back to authors - liking their work, branded or not, keeps me coming back.

  2. Hi Rachel, just dropping in to say Hi.

    I love your author/book/brand slogan- it fits your work perfectly.

    I have a slogan for me as a writer and book lover/reviewer/publicist "story strumpet and tome loving tart" - it showcases that I love books and write erotica- at least that's the goal. LOL.

    I need to work on my slogan for my paranormal books. Haven't got around to brainstorming my own stuff yet. :-)

  3. I agree that branding is important. It helps us make an impression on our readers. Just like say you see a Campbell's soup can you think Mmm mmm good. :) Someone sees our name or one of our books and remembers a certain element. Great post Rachel and I'm a new follower to Castles and Guns :)

  4. Julia, I think you might be the esception, lol. Even your blog is completely un-branded. Which is what keeps me coming back. I never quite know what I'll get and I rely on you for that element of surprise. Voila, there's your brand. :)

    Roxanne, I just finished your latest Paranormal Erotica but haven't had a spare moment to write the review. It was much hot, girl. Enjoyed it quite thoroughly. I can't imagine that you wouldn't have time *snickers*

    Elise, you hit the nail on the head. I'd love for someone to say, mmm mmm good about my stories. lol

  5. Like it or not, branding is an element that is here to stay. With the number of books now being released digitally, trying to get yours noticed within the crowd is part of why branding can help. But as someone pointed out above, it's the writing and storytelling that will keep them coming back.

    My partner and I decided to brand ourselves early and we emphasize it. With every story you pick up with us you'll find Excitement. Suspense. Passion. It's simple but says it all.

    Great post!

  6. Gabriella, thank you for stopping by and for reinforcing what I was saying above. Even if you don't think you are branding your books, even if it's unintentional, everyone has a style/theme to their writing. It's what will cut us from the pack!

  7. Thanks for visiting today, Rachel! I've recently been thinking about branding and the importance of staying true to reader expectation/the reason why readers pick up a specific author. I'm still thinking on it, but your post added to the pot. I'm with you on information overload, but in general. Lol. Great post!

  8. Great meanderings Rachel. I think what will brand me most is the humor that naturally comes out in my writing. For some reason my heroines always have sassy or saucy attitudes and they think they're funny. lol

  9. Great blog Rachel!!!

    MIne usually have some gore too... Gotta have a touch of horror, right? :)

    Lots to think about...