Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Post: Rachel Thompson

Today, we welcome some honest to goodness heart-warming thoughts from the mind of Rachel Thompson!
1. So, just to clear it out onto the table, I'm a man reading your book about all of the differences between men and women. Does this worry you about the things I'm going to ask?
Okay 1) Mancode question and 2) Not at all. Should it? J Plus, I had over twenty beta-readers and fifteen were men. In addition, my Twitter following is made up of almost 50% men. Bring it, Cory.

2. Having a dear husband at home, does he ever get mad at some of the jabs you make at mancode humor?
Gosh, not at all. One of the reasons I married him was his sense of humor. He’s a smart, funny, secure dude who constantly comes to me with ideas for essays. Or explains to me why men behave in certain ways. He’s my sounding board for much of what I write. Though he did take a pic of me sweeping yesterday. I guess that would be a jab, right?

3. Have you ever found that your best inspiration can come from somewhere outside of your own home? Is there a "guy paradise" where Mancode is on full display?
Actually yes. I write about this in the forward to both of my books. I had several long-term relationships prior to marriage. I have two sisters who are married. My own folks have been together over fifty years. In addition, I worked in very male-dominated industries for over fifteen, well, almost twenty years: retail, commercial sales, and pharmaceutical sales. Almost every manager I’ve ever had was male. 80% of the physicians I called on were male. So I certainly draw from those experiences.

In my world today, I interact daily with hundreds of people, male and female in both a professional and personal capacity. I write of course, but I also cofounded the Indie Book Collective and I have my own social media clients, interestingly 80% of whom are male. As long as they do what I tell them, we all get along fine.  

4. Have you ever had someone react to your writing in a bad way? Someone who gets retaliatory with their responses? Sometimes, people just can't take jokes.
 Yea, constantly. I receive comments on Twitter or Facebook, my blog, or even reviews on Amazon. I look at it this way: I’ve targeted something in them that has created an emotional response, good or bad. That reaction is terrific for me as a writer. They don’t have to like me. They can slam my work. But that reaction makes me happy.

5. Do you think Mancode and Chickspeak will ever become common vernacular? It seems to be the best description I've heard so far.
Thanks so much. Well, Mancode was something I honestly didn’t realize was already out there in various forms: there’s a Christian man’s handbook, there’s a guy from some Bachelor-ish show that wrote a book, and of course if you search the term on Twitter, some bad words I cannot repeat here show up haha. I was just in my own little blog world at the time, doing my thing and that’s what I called it. It just FIT. As I wrote more essays, the term took on a life of its own as people began requesting more Mancode!

Chickspeak is definitely mine. It’s my term for helping out the guys. What “I’m fine” or “I’m tired” really mean.

6. As far as overcoming DNA, is it strictly nature? Or do you think nurture may provide just as much basis? (strictly non-medical opinion, of course).
It’s a combination of both. Here’s why I say that: I have a six-year old son who is a little imp. Does all the typical boy stuff, is fueled by testosterone, and yet still snuggles with me and tells me he wants to marry me one day (I’ll break it to him when he’s a little older J. I watch daily the struggle of nature vs. nuture and I know the beast can be tamed. And trained to change the toilet paper roll.

7. Have you ever heard any complaints about Chickspeak tendencies? (And if you haven't, please ask, I could provide a few.)
Are you a fly on my wall? Yes. The vernacular is strong in this house. He can’t understand why I can’t get to the point and I can’t understand why he doesn’t want the backstory. Classic ‘women are from journey, men are from destination’ issue. I discuss this in Mancode with my theory that women speak in circles because we have breasts, and men speaks in points because you have…

And why he doesn’t know to pick up or keep chocolate in the house at all times…after nineteen years? He’s gonna get THE LOOK. I mean, come on. But he still gives me a hard time for giving him a hard time. So that’s classic right there.

See, we know we’re being silly and complicated. We accept that. Why can’t you?

8. How do you handle when the particularly frustrating portions of Mancode rear their ugly heads? I know men aren't always sensible. Do you have a response/contingency plan?
Yes. Vodka. And complicated Dot-to-Dots.

9. What can readers expect from future forays into your mind? Are there more essay collections on the way?
 Yes, I’m writing Chickspeak: Uncovered right now. After that, it’s a toss up between Chickspeak vs. Mancode or something entirely different…a Kidcode collection; or even a more serious set of essays. I added a few more poignant essays to A Walk In The Snark (a #1 Kindle Bestseller )and many people still contact me asking for more of that side of me. So there are a lot of different directions to go.

10. Why is Mancode/Chickspeak a source of such inspiration for you? Is it something you've (unofficially) "studied" all of your life? Or is it something that just kind of happened while you were writing?
I started as a psychology major in college before switching to Communication Studies and Journalism. One of the Comm classes was about male/female communication. So I suppose it started with that field of study – combining the psychology of how both sexes think with how we communicate with each other has always fascinated me. I’m constantly looking for explanations for behaviors, whether they’re male or female; but it’s that interplay between us that is most interesting.

People get frustrated with me for stereotyping (part of why I titled one section in Mancode:Exposed ‘DNA and Stereotypes’ – to discuss it head on), but as a group, we’re not very original in our actions from a communications point of view—male or female. My husband teaches communications skills to sales corporations (his program is based on Harvard studies blah blah) and each of us falls into one of four categories. How we communicate (now I’m not talking behavior here) is not rocket science. We are a fairly predictable species.

Not all men are incapable of changing the toilet paper roll. Not all women love chocolate and get upset when there isn’t any to be found anywhere in the whole house cause she’s PMSing and OMG where is that husband of hers cause she’s gonna wring his neck! Those are behaviors.

So long answer: yes, I’ve studied it but I’m not an expert and in no way make a claim to be. I’m no ologist, as I say in the book. I’m just a girl, asking the world to drink martinis with her. And hopefully laugh.

Thanks Rachel for stopping by The Ink Puddle! That was quite possibly one of my favorite interviews I've ever hosted.
If you're interested in our review in The Mancode: Exposed, click here.


Landon said...

Well, at least Rachel admits that she's silly and complicated...

Great interview! Good questions and informative responses. Thanks.

RachelintheOC said...

Thx Cory for a terrific time and Landon, for your comment. I had so much fun answering these questions!

No men were harmed in this making of this interview. Well, not too many. :)


dawnmomoffour said...

*Giggles* at the "No men were harmed in the making of this interview. Well, not too many"
Seriously, I don't think I've read any of your posts and not laughed out loud or at least cracked a major grin! I've read parts out loud to my hubby and even my kids. Thank you for making my days brighter.
-Dawn aka dawnmomoffour

Caid's Mommy said...

Rachel you are so much fun to follow on this tour! I had your first book pop up on my kindle app on my phone one day so I tried it...obviously loved it! Now I am almost done with the second one and wondering how long I will have to wait for Chickspeak!?!?

My fiance is not a reader but he just may read the Chickspeak book after all he has heard from the Mancode one he can only laugh and nod his head in agreement! Best Wishes!

Ao Bibliophile said...

you're as funny and witty as ever Rachel! this was a great interview and "kidcode" piqued my curiosity. it would be interesting to read your essays on what comes out of the "mouths of babes". c",)

RachelintheOC said...

Hi all -- what fun comments. I feel so warm & tingly (and no, it's not from the vodka. ok, maybe.)

I'm working hard on CHICKSPEAK: UNCOVERED but I just released MANCODE: EXPOSED less than a month ago. You guys gotta give me a little bit of time here, right? I still have to do stuff like oh, IDK, sleep and eat.

Kidding. I'm thrilled you are enjoying my books so much. Beyond thrilled. Please please please go write some reviews on Amazon if you haven't already. It helps so very much.