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Interview with Rachel Pudelek

Rachel’s Path to Publication

Today I chat with the lovely Rachel Pudelek, the debut author of ‘Freyja’s Daughter’, who shares with us her path to publication. Her debut ‘Freyja’s Daughter’ is scheduled for release on May 22, 2018

Rachel Pudelek is a dog-hugger and tree-lover. Growing up with three sisters sparked her passion for both women’s history and women’s advocacy, which led to her career as a birth doula and childbirth educator. These days she channels those passions into writing fiction. When she’s not writing, Rachel enjoys hiking, attempting to grow her own food, or reading.


Rachel lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, a cat named Lucifer, and two well-fed guinea pigs.

Hi Rachel, I’m so excited to have you on my blog, and thank you so much for sharing your ‘Path to Publication’ experience with us all. I know so many of my readers will love to hear about how you went from an aspiring author to a published one, and many will gather inspiration from the journey!


  • How long have you been writing for?

I started to write toward publication the summer of 2009. My best friend and I made a pact while hiking a mountain that we’d stop dabbling with writing and actually try to get published. As soon as I came down from that mountain I got to work.

  • How long did it take you from when you started writing, to when you became a published (or soon to be) published author?

I started my first book in 2009 and sold my debut in 2017, so eight years.

  • Where do you write from, home, office, coffee shop, etc? And do you have any pre-writing or actual writing rituals (such as lighting a candle, listening to music, etc)?

I normally write from home. If there’s too much activity going on in the house I’ll write from a cubicle desk at the library. As far as writing rituals, whenever I’m editing I have special “editing suckers” that I treat myself to for accomplishing my least favorite task in the writing process.

  • Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in-between?

Definitely somewhere in between. I create an outline before starting a book and then pants the rest.

  • What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I think it’s amazing that I get to create worlds and beings in those worlds and then share them with the real world. That’s my favorite part.

  • What is the most important part of a novel to you: plot, characters, or setting?

For a novel to be great each of these elements must be done well. But I think when I’m reading a book, if there’s a character I can really get behind, the setting and plot aren’t as important for me to still enjoy the book.

  • Describe your writing routine (how long do you spending plotting the novel, time spent writing, editing, submitting it):

I sit on my book ideas while I’m working on other books. I let it build itself while it waits its turn. Once I have enough elements to evolve my idea into a book, I take about a week to outline the story. If I’m not interrupted with edits for other projects, I can usually write a full length novel in 2-3 months. Then I let it sit a week or more while I work on something else. I come back to it with fresh eyes and begin the task of editing for story structure, character development, etc. Once that’s done I send it out to beta readers. Based on their feedback I adjust and do another round of fine-tune editing. I then send it to my Kindle and read it like a book; this way I catch different issues and can fix them. It’s polishing. I then send the book to my agent who reads it and sends me an editorial letter. I take a couple weeks to revise based on her notes. Once I’m done I send it back to her, all sparkly, and she prepares to take it on submission. 🙂


  • How many books a year do you usually write (or are you aiming to write):

Around two full length books a year, or more. It depends on the genre and market and what other books I have to finish edits for. This year I’m aiming to write two full length novels and a couple novellas.

  • How did you get your agent, or your publishing contract (if applicable)?

My path to publication story is long and crazy; so much so that I’ll be talking about it on the Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire podcast in July. But the short version is that I started querying my first manuscript in 2010 and in early 2013 the second manuscript I’d written garnered multiple offers of representation from agents. I signed with one of them, but after a couple of years we parted ways. I then contacted Jacqueline Flynn who had been one of the agents who’d originally offered to rep me. We chatted a lot and bounced new book ideas around. She loved my idea for Freyja’s Daughter and signed me on the agreement that I’d write it for her to sell. Jacqueline took Freyja’s Daughter on submission and within two months editors were contacting her to let her know they were taking the manuscript to acquisitions. We got the offer for publication three months after going on submission

  • How did you cope with rejection during the querying process?

The very first rejection stung the worst. After that, I started getting used to it. I mean, they weren’t fun, but I also knew they weren’t personal. I hated the waiting more than the actual rejections. The ones that hurt were the “so close” rejections when agents said they didn’t know why they were passing, or how they were on the fence about offering. I coped by querying more agents and writing more books. 🙂


  • Describe the time when you got ‘the call’ regarding publication:

Oh, gosh. My answer reveals a lot about the type of person I am. I knew there were a couple editors taking the manuscript to acquisitions. So I had a feeling the offer was coming. And my agent rarely just calls me out of the blue. So I was working at my library job when I got the call. I looked at my phone and told myself I’d wait till break to call her back. On break I listened to her message telling me to call her back as soon as possible, and I knew her call was to tell me I’d gotten an offer. But I also knew that her saying those words would make me cry. And I didn’t want to cry at work. So I shook in excitement while I processed books and waited to call her on my way home. Turns out, when she told me I didn’t cry at all. I was all business, wanting to know the contract details and our next steps. I think I’d waited so long for one of my books to sell that it took a while to actually sink in. 


  • What were your biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout the publishing journey?

That agents and editors don’t just look for a well-written book. There’s a whole lot of factors they have to think of when considering a book. I can’t tell you how many agents and editors have told me they loved my manuscript (I’ve written more than a few), but couldn’t sign it because some element in it isn’t selling well at the moment. Or that they already have a similar title in the pipeline.

  • Looking back, what do you think you did right that helped you break in?

I didn’t quit. Seriously, not quitting is huge. Also, I was open to learning and adjusting.  

  • Best advice you’ve ever been given, or have heard, about writing?

Persistence is key; persistence to never stop learning the craft of writing, to always push yourself forward, to never quitting.

  • Any advice for aspiring writers on writing and submitting?

Find a critique partner at your level of writing or higher, and take their notes into consideration. And know that this business is a business, those rejections aren’t personal.

  • What advice can you give to other writers on building a platform and gaining a readership base?

It starts with connecting to other writers, supporting one another, and eventually that blooms into a community of authors and then a community of readers.

  • What’s up next for you, and what are you working on now?

Freyja’s Daughter (Wild Women 1) releases May 22nd, so I’m busy preparing for that. I’m also working on Lilith’s Children (Wild Women 2) and I have a couple other projects with my agent, one of which is a twisty paranormal YA that I’m super excited about.

  • How can people connect with you?

I am all over the internet. They can follow me on my social media pages or send me a message via my website.

They can connect with me through my website:

I can also be found on FB:

Or Twitter:    And Instagram:

  • Anything else you want to add?

If your path to publication is a long one, it does not mean you write horribly or that you should give up. The very first time an editor took a manuscript of mine to acquisitions was in 2012. Since then my work has had multiple offers of representation from agents and has been taken to acquisitions. And still, it took eight years to get published. Every path is different. As long as you’re walking yours with confidence and perseverance, you’ll eventually make it.

Thank you so much Rachel for sharing your Path to Publication with us! What an awesome journey, with many more adventures to come. Good luck with your release of ‘Freya’s Daughter’ – can’t wait to have a read 🙂

And for those of you who want to have a read of  Rachel’s awesome book ‘Freyja’s Daughter’, it’s scheduled for release on May 22, 2018. Click on the pic below for more info.

‘Freyja’s Daughter’

Faline Frey is a bounty-hunter, more comfortable relying on perp files and handcuffs than using her huldra powers to take down a suspect. No sense in catching the unwanted attention of her local Hunter authority, a group of holy soldiers born to police the supernatural and keep Wild Women—huldras, mermaids, succubi, rusalki and harpies—in check.

All that changes the night she heads out for a date, hoping to get lucky. Instead, she gets screwed.

Now her sister is missing, along with Wild Women from all over the country. The Hunters are on her tail and the one person offering to help is her ex-lover, Officer David Garcia, who has just enough ties to the supernatural world to hang her with.

To unite her enemies against their common foe, Faline will need to convince the Wild Women to do the one thing she fears most—exhume their power buried deep beneath centuries of oppression. That is, if she can keep them from killing each other.

About Rachel:

Rachel Pudelek is a dog-hugger and tree-lover. Growing up with three sisters sparked her passion for both women’s history and women’s advocacy, which led to her career as a birth doula and childbirth educator. These days she channels those passions into writing fiction. When she’s not writing, Rachel enjoys hiking, attempting to grow her own food, or reading.

Rachel lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, a cat named Lucifer, and two well-fed guinea pigs. FREYJA’S DAUGHTER is her debut novel.

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