Interview with Rachel Thompson, author of The Mancode: Exposed
Tell us about The Mancode: Exposed.
Well, it’s actually my second book of nonfiction essays about how women interpret the goofy stuff men do. I don’t let women off the hook either, discussing PMS, chocolate, and our dreaded feelings. It’s a satirical look at relationships based on my own experiences and observations.
So what genre is it?
Humor, nonfiction. My first book, A Walk In The Snark, is also nonfiction with a mixture of snarky and sad.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
It’s been out now almost a year, and the majority of readers are either men … or women.
Complete this sentence for us: If you like ___________, you’ll love The Mancode: Exposed.
Chelsea Handler. I get a lot of comparisons to her, which I’m quite flattered by. Mostly, I just think it’s our shared love of vodka…
You say, “Men are from Seinfeld, Women are from Friends.” That captures the gender differences better than that Venus and Mars thing. However, assume we’re really slow, and explain what you mean.
Thank you. Back in the 90s, my husband would demand total quiet in order to watch ‘Seinfeld.’ I didn’t get it – I mean yea, the show was funny but very guy-centric. Even Elaine acted like a dude most of the time. Whereas, I loved the show ‘Friends’ – clever writing, both sweet and funny. Very much appealed to chicks, no doubt. I mean, who doesn’t want a Joey? What.
We’ve got loads of questions about Twitter that we want to ask you later, but we see that your love of the platform (@RachelintheOC) has seeped into your writing. Why did you decide to use hashtags in The Mancode: Exposed?
I wanted to introduce each essay with one of my most popular, or retweeted, tweets – not just what I considered funny, but ones that resonated with folks. There’s a great free platform called Favstar.fm, which tracks this kind of stuff. It seemed like people who knew about Twitter and hashtags enjoyed it; those that aren’t open to something different dismissed it. Whatever. I enjoyed adding them in.
The Mancode: Exposed is very funny and, to use your word, snarky. How difficult is it to write humorously if you’ve had a tough day?
Writing is my escape. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had – I’m always happiest when I’m writing. Always have been. My brain is always on anyway, so even a tough day can end up being material.
Your books have been wildly successful. What kind of pressures does that put on you when it comes to writing a followup?
Thank you again. I kind of ignore the pressure, because I don’t know that it’s a real thing anyway. I close myself up in my office when I write, tunes on, no social media (#gasp). Writing is a solitary activity, which is what I love about it.
People know me primarily as a humourist, but I’ve written all kinds of poetry and prose for many years. After my last two books, even I wanted a break from the humor, so I started writing what has become my next book, titled Broken Pieces, which will be out next month before Christmas. It’s a combination of essays and prose that are reflections on love and loss. I do hope people see a different side of me with this book. Early feedback has been great, so that encourages me.
I also now have a monthly column at the San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), and BitRebels recently asked me to write geek for them also. Writing about so many topics keeps me constantly tuned in to people’s interests and needs.
In addition to being an author, you are a social media expert. We all know how to use Twitter and Facebook to post photos of our cat or whatever, so why do we need you?
Well, I’ll never refer to myself as an expert because I feel like I’m always learning from others. That said, I bring over fifteen years of sales, marketing, and advertising to my business, BadRedhead Media, along with my own experience of self-publishing and marketing my books. Many times authors have a difficult time seeing the big picture, understanding their branding, or the most efficient way to market while still having time to write. I help with all of that.
Your books are very well written and very funny, but I guess you’re saying that quality alone won’t sell a book?
First, you must write a good book. There’s no getting around that. Assuming that’s done (and show it to people who make you nervous – a reviewer, an author you admire), pay professionals to content edit, proof, format, design, etc. I’m a big believer in the ‘just write’ approach, but then you must have help editing. It’s a crucial part of the process.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born…kidding. I’m a writer, blogger, social media consultant, who works from home with two kids running around and a husband who rarely reads my stuff. It’s probably why we’re still married.
What’s your blog’s address? Where can we find your work?
I have two sites: RachelintheOC.com, my author site, and BadRedheadMedia.com, my business site. I blog a few times per week on each, and also provide a platform for guests on my author blog. The focus is real-life stories that shape us.
In addition, I have four promotional sites for authors: IndieBookPromo.com (for self-published authors), BookPromoCentral.com (small press and traditionally pub’d), YAPromoCentral.com (Middle Grade and Young Adult), and finally RomancePromoCentral.com (romance and erotica). Knowing how difficult it is to get the word out about our books, I wanted to provide a fully optimized platform for all authors. Costs range from $10 to $50 per month for different options.
Where can we buy The Mancode: Exposed?
Both of my books are exclusively Amazon at this time, though no Kindle is required to purchase an eBook. I’m considering paperback for my two books, or perhaps a boxed set when my next male/female book is out next year, titled Chickspeak: Uncovered.
I’m in final edits of Broken Pieces. I’m also working on Chickspeak: Uncovered, as well as an erotica short for an anthology I’m helping with. Beyond that, I’ve got a paranormal romance in the beginning stages and a social media guide burning a hole in my back pocket.
I miss sleep.