June 26, 2017

Ask Raine

Here’s where you’ll find the answers to your most pressing questions about Raine and her books. Do you have a question that doesn’t appear on this page? Use the handy contact form at the bottom of the page to submit your question to Raine and she’ll be happy to answer it! (Just don’t ask her how magnets work.)

How do you pronounce Saraqael?

I’ve been asked this a lot. I admit that it was a bit of a risk, selecting a name for a title character with such an unusual spelling. But I loved how it flowed with the fantasy elements of the books, and it also fit my wish to include biblical names in the stories. Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael are several others you might recognize.

Saraqael is pronounced Ser-AH-KAY-el. He’s depicted in the Bible as a high holy angel. Although there are several other versions of his name out there, this was the one that called to me.

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Why did you decide to publish independently?

This is one of the toughest decisions an author faces. As a freelance editor, I’ve seen my share of independently-published projects cross my desk, only to see the authors fail to achieve the success they envisioned. Successful self-publishing requires a huge investment of time and money on the author’s part: writing, editing, cover design, website/blog production and maintenance, publication formatting, marketing, sales…all of these important tasks are the responsibility of the author.

So I did try the traditional route. I scoured blogs and websites until my eyes crossed. I bought and read books about writing and querying. I badgered those closest to me to read sample queries until they wanted to run screaming in front of a Lynx bus to escape me.

Of the queries I sent out to agents, I received two requests: one for the full and one for the partial. The agent who reviewed the full manuscript for Becoming said he thought I “really had something,” but the story took too long to get started. I will be forever grateful for that input, as it resulted in a significant revision that made the story that much stronger. I re-queried that same agent after making the revisions in hope of catching his interest. I have yet to hear back. I’m also still awaiting a response from the agent who requested the partial…again, many weeks ago.

It isn’t that I’m impatient. Let’s face it: writing isn’t an instant process. But the more I read stories about successful independently-published authors like Amanda Hocking, John Locke and Joe Konrath (among many others), the more I began to see self-publishing as a real option. Particularly by publishing for e-platforms, I could control how quickly my books were published and what price they were set at, and I’d earn far more per sale than through a traditional publishing arrangement.

Hmm.

Then I thought, hey…I’m a pretty clean writer. No one’s perfect, but I have a number of volunteers to help me catch errors and inconsistencies. And—what do you know?—my husband is an IT aficionado, and I work with a couple of creative designers specializing in marketing materials.

It occurred to me that I could really do this. So I did.

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Have you written any other books besides the Estilorian series?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating stories. I’ve written several adult fantasy short stories that might one day get dusted off, polished and published. I’ve also written several historical romances, one of which I tried pitching to agents for six months until I set it aside. By then, I had started Becoming and decided that was the direction I wanted to go with my writing career.

I have also co-authored a nonfiction book for wedding vendors (The Susan Southerland Secret: Personality Marketing to Today’s Bride) along with renowned wedding planner Susan Southerland and branding expert Kristy Chenell. Susan and I are presently working on a second book about working mothers and the (often humorous) challenges faced when work and family collide. I fully intend to pursue nonfiction as well as fiction writing. The diversity helps stimulate my creativity.

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Will there be more books about the Estilorians after the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy?

Yes. The Firstborn Trilogy is even now underway, featuring a new class of Estilorian….

Check back soon for more info.

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Would you review my work?

As a member of Goodreads.com, I’m working regularly on adding to my book reviews. Tag me on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads with information about your book. If I can fit it in, I’ll check it out!

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Can I get you to provide a testimonial or book blurb about my book?

If I review your book and have positive things to say (which I’m sure I will, right?), I will certainly provide a blurb for marketing purposes. I believe writers should support each other as much as possible. That said, please be respectful of my time and understand if I have to say no.

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Who designed your book covers?

The amazingly talented Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design.

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