Interview with Rachael Tulipano
What genre do you write and why?
Of all literary genres, I enjoy writing romance most. From innocent crushes to descriptive intimacy, there’s something about a love story that hooks nearly any reader. I feel that a book is incomplete without at least some love interest. Love stories offer a nice contrast to violence, action, betrayal, and the like. Having some scenes of tender intimacy, companionship, and sacrifice in the name of love usually make the hardships characters experience more justifiable.
That being said, I don’t write romance exclusively. I pride myself on pushing my limits and challenging myself when it comes to genre writing. Presently, I’ve written paranormal, dabbled in Young Adult (YA), and am now writing my first New Adult (NA) trilogy. All of these genres feature love stories, but they’re not quite classified as solely “romance”. To me, romance is an essential addition to any genre I write, now and in future manuscripts.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is Unwanted, a New Adult dystopian romance. Unwanted is the first story I’ve written in the NA dystopian genre. It covers new ground, which for me is an exciting challenge!
Unwanted follows the life of Quinn Mayer, a second child in the fictitious country Stonewall where the government has issued a strict one-child policy. Set in the future, the world lost 95% of the human race after the population census rose to twelve billion people. As if knowing what to do, Earth cleansed itself, eradicating nearly all of humankind. As such, the United States fell, and in its wake the country Stonewall was born. To maintain a sustainable planet, Stonewall issued a nationwide ordinance that requires families to follow a mandatory one-child policy.
Extra children are known as Unwanteds. Legally, the military can execute unwanted children if they’re discovered. If an Unwanted survives to age eighteen, they then become Untouchables. Untouchables refer to second-born children who survived their years as an Unwanted and are now safe from execution. Untouchables are legally protected from assassination, but society (or the people known as Underlyings) continues to shun them for what they are.
Unwanted begins with Quinn’s eighteenth birthday, charting her journey into Stonewall. She becomes the most hated in her sector Ash and the face of Untouchables nationwide. Quinn receives great hate, many death threats, and witnesses Unwanteds murdered all around her. Quinn quickly discovers she needs to effect change to fight for basic human rights and freedom.
Her greatest ally comes to her in the form of Reeve Sutton, an Underlying of all people, and a soldier at that. While Reeve should hate Quinn for what she is, he finds her curious, beautiful, and misunderstood. Their friendship and mutual attraction bring them together, a unique bond that could possibly challenge President Lynch and all of Stonewall forever . . .
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
Presently, I’ve been marketing my books on a variety of platforms: Facebook (www.facebook.com/rachaeltulipano), Twitter (www.twitter.com/rachaeltulipano), Instagram (www.instagram.com/rachaeltulipano), and my website (www.rachaeltulipano.com). I’ve also hosted several giveaways on Goodreads. I plan to launch more giveaways in the future, especially via my monthly author newsletter. Interested participants should subscribe to my newsletter to access these free, exclusive giveaways: www.rachaeltulipano.com/newsletter.
One of—if not the—most important marketing method I’ve been using lately is networking. Social media has been pivotal in bridging me with fellow writers and authors. The connections I’ve made in the last few months alone are invaluable to me. I do believe the most important marketing tool of all is word of mouth. Having people who believe in you, support you, and ultimately advertise your work for you is crucial to any marketing campaign.
I’ve been returning the praise, too! When I meet authors on Twitter or Facebook I add their books to my Amazon shopping cart and do my best to endorse their work on my pages. Self-promotion only helps to a point. It’s really what other people say that makes a difference. I do my best to promote others to share the love and spotlight. I believe writers supporting writers really is the way to build a solid author platform. With a firm foundation of loyal readers and supporters, the books are bound to sell themselves!
What advice do you have for other writers?
Write from your heart. It’s a tad cliché, but the best advice I can give to fellow writers and aspiring authors at this point in my career is to write from a place of absolute passion and enthusiasm. Writing to fill a void in the literary market or to claim the title isn’t enough. Writing in hopes of becoming a New York Times bestselling author shouldn’t be your main goal, either. Writing should be your side hustle, full-time gig, or hobby because you can’t imagine your life without it. If you write, do it for your love of storytelling and the rest will fall into place.
Write content that speaks to you, moves you, and ultimately makes you feel something. I’ve started a plethora of projects that I quickly abandoned because they didn’t feel right. For example, just because there’s a market trend in YA lit doesn’t mean you need to push out a YA book in hopes of earning high royalties. A good story is bound to sell itself. If you’re passionate about a story and it means something for you to tell it, that’s when you write. Write with no intent of gaining anything but a good book to share with the world. After all, money is no object. It’s the love for the craft of writing that matters most.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
My favorite quote about writing is by Toni Morrison. In her wise words, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
The moment I found this quote, everything clicked for me. Authors are readers first and foremost, and often times imagine stories that don’t yet exist. Being a writer means rising to the occasion to put that story into words. If I’m disappointed by what I don’t see in bookstores, libraries, and the like I know it’s my chance to write the book I’m longing to read. This quote in particular inspired me to write my debut novel Torn.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Interested readers can learn more about me by visiting my website www.rachaeltulipano.com. I offer synopses of my novels Torn, Mated, Unwanted, Untouchable and Underlying. Additionally, I share links to all of my social media platforms there.
One social media account worth noting in particular is the Instagram platform for my Unwanted trilogy (www.instagram.com/the_unwanted_trilogy). It’s a new feature I’m experimenting with that gives readers exclusive snippets from my upcoming trilogy. I post a new quote each day with stock photos I believe relate to specific passages and scenes from the books!
Finally, my newsletter is also a great place for people to find out more about my writing. I first launched my author newsletter in April 2016 and so far it’s working really well. I share exclusive content with my subscribers and plan to host giveaways to reward my supporters for believing in me. To sign up, simply visit www.rachaeltulipano.com/newsletter.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite literary character that I’ve created is Bria Lawrence from my paranormal romance novels Torn (book one) and Mated (book two). When first writing Torn I sketched Bria up by embodying her with all of my favorite traits: undeniable beauty, unwavering devotion, a streak of humor, raw sexuality, magnetizing charm, and acute intelligence. To me, Bria is the most complicated yet enchanting character in this paranormal romance series.
Her biggest weakness is how effortlessly she trusts everyone she meets. She consistently gives others the benefit of the doubt, even when they’ve crossed her. Still, Bria remains my favorite because although she’s a vampire, she’s very compassionate. She feels everything, and at times she feels too deeply. Her emotions often drive her decisions, which in both books becomes her greatest misfortune. She is fiercely loyal, and while her happiness means everything to her, the happiness of others comes before her own. Bria lets characters Landon Pratt, Natalie Taylor, Alexander Stanton, and Aidan Collins choose their happiness, which in turn affects her.
The complexity with which I wrote Bria is interwoven across the series. Upon meeting her in Torn and bidding her farewell in Mated it’s safe to say all readers will have a soft spot for Bria. Though flawed, she’s perfect in every way that matters and my most beloved. I have yet to write another character that I cherish as much as Bria.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I believe readers will enjoy my books because they encapsulate a multitude of emotions and cross genres. I like to incorporate a lot in my writing: romance, violence, betrayal, grief, light humor, and then some. I do my best to create real, likeable characters while also crafting interesting villains. Sometimes the line between dark and light blurs, holding the reader accountable for choosing their own hero/heroine. With all of these characteristics, I believe my writing is catered to almost any reader, regardless of preferred taste. There’s a treat for everyone in my books, it’s simply a matter of testing out a new author and giving my writing a try!
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Readers can purchase my books by visiting my website www.rachaeltulipano.com. Under the “books” tab on my website, each novel cover is featured and is clickable. The link will take you to a new page where you can read a full synopsis of the story and browse through listed reviews from other readers. Each book link also will take you to my Amazon author page.
To directly visit my Amazon author page, please visit www.amazon.com/author/rachaeltulipano. This website features my titles that are currently published, with options to purchase both print and/or e-reader formats. If you feel so inclined, please post your ratings and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads to help other readers discover my work!
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
My current work in progress is Untouchable, the sequel to Unwanted and book two in the Unwanted trilogy. Untouchable is intended to begin where Unwanted ends.
This second installment brings Quinn Mayer straight to the president’s mansion. Facing President Lynch head on, Quinn joins forces with another Untouchable, Kye Lux, to change the way the president reigns over Stonewall. Quinn learns that her love interest, Reeve Sutton, may have betrayed her trust and now she’s convinced she can’t confide in Underlyings at all, not even her family! This discovery may have lasting repercussions that could haunt her.
President Lynch is threatened by Quinn’s knowledge, and as such decides to pass a new law: Untouchables are now legal to execute, just as Unwanteds are. After being an Unwanted for eighteen years, Quinn knows what it’s like to live in fear of death every single day. Her greatest nightmare is having to relive those haunting memories, especially now that the entire country knows her name, what she looks like, and who she is.
In Untouchable, Quinn Mayer is on the run. Soldiers are searching for her, hunting her down in every sector of Stonewall: Ash, Cinder, Slate, Ember, and Somber. She begins to realize anyone can betray anyone in the harsh, cruel, unjust world of Stonewall.