Rachel E. Pollock

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Armistead Maupin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Paul Collins, ...more

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April 2011

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As a writer, I'm hard to pin down.I write fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and technical documentation in the field of professional costume production for stage and screen.

I received my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans in 2013. I teach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Costume Production MFA program, and I make a lot of random stuff for actors to wear.

I spent a decade working as a nightclub DJ and promoter before focusing on the far more lucrative and less dramatic field of professional theatre. Some highlights from those years include leading over 1000 people in the Time Warp while spinning at the New Orleans House of Blues, and providing music for the first Boston Tattoo Convention
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Rachel E. Pollock Wow, thanks for the great question, Alice! It's hard for me to figure out how to count projects in process.

I have a novel out on submission currently,…more
Wow, thanks for the great question, Alice! It's hard for me to figure out how to count projects in process.

I have a novel out on submission currently, which I know will involve further revisions when it finds a home with an editor/publisher; but it's hard for me to think of it as something i'm working on, since i can't work on it at this stage of the game!

I have two other novels in progress at present, one for which i've finished the first draft and the other which i'm first-drafting. I am the sort of person who needs distance between the completion of the first draft and the revision/rewriting. (I'm also someone who sometimes comes back to a first draft and goes, "This is complete shit and cannot be rewritten into something i'm proud of." I have a couple of totally abandoned novels that fit that bill.)

I also have the long-term goal of expanding my masters thesis (creative nonfiction) into a full-length book some day, but there's a lot of time i need to spend in some far-flung archives in order to do that. So, while i consider it something i'm working on, that book's going to have to be a project that builds slowly while i also tend to the rest of my writing career.

And, i also like to continue to write short-form work (primarily essays and short stories), which I'd some day like to assemble into a collection or two; so maybe I should count those along with the thesis expansion as "eventual books," so to speak!(less)
Rachel E. Pollock In my most recent cases, the first and foremost answer is, I know the publisher from graduate school (Bill Lavender of Lavender Ink/Dialogos). But, i…moreIn my most recent cases, the first and foremost answer is, I know the publisher from graduate school (Bill Lavender of Lavender Ink/Dialogos). But, i think there are probably a few more factors involved than just that, and that there are things one could do to raise one's chances of being selected to receive ARCs-for-reviews on here. [Aside: ARC stands for Advance Reader's Copy, sent out before the book's released to build buzz.]

For one thing, establish a presence; it helps to be an active member of the Goodreads community. Do you add books on a regular basis to your shelves? Do you then subsequently rate them? Do you not only rate them but write about them? And do other readers Like your reviews? If you haven't added a book since 2013, you won't get ARCs from publishers for sure.

See, i use Goodreads as a tool for tracking my own reading. I rarely finish a book that i don't write at least a paragraph on my response to it. I like going back and seeing what i read over the past month, or season, or year, reminding myself of books i loved, books that disappointed me, surprised me, excited me, books i abandoned or books i loved to hate.

And i read fairly serendipitously--sometimes i'm reading for work (i read a lot of play scripts in this category) and while i was in grad school i read for classes, but nowadays i read on whim, usually several books at once. I always have a bedtime book, a commute book, a lying-on-the-couch book, all going at once. And i even also sometimes have a poetry book going, too.

So, from a publisher's perspective, all this makes me a pretty good prospect for reading and reviewing ARCs. I do read widely and frequently, across genres and types of books. I share what i read regularly, and i write about how the books struck me. Readers respond to my reviews, too, with Likes.

I think there are a few things to keep in mind if you do wind up reading ARCs on here.

I'll always start off acknowledging that i got the book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Full disclosure's a good policy on that. When i see reviews on a book that's not released yet and they don't state that kind of thing up-front, I assume they must be the author's family/friends, particularly when they're all five-star raves.

Which brings me to the point that you then need to give that honest rating and review. Did you love it five stars worth, really? Would you love it five stars worth if it hadn't been free? If you didn't know the publisher, or the author, or the subject of a CNF book, or whatever?

And, recognize that Goodreads is basically a social medium for book-readers--you are not writing a book review for the Times here, and if you put up a review for a book that reads drastically differently than, you know, every other book review you've written about the non-ARC books you've read, your friends and followers will notice and wonder WTF's up.

For example, i normally write about books in terms of how i felt about them--did i like the book, the characters, the pacing, the plot, the voice, the writing itself. I also tend to write about technical elements about the book--i like looking at books as physical objects, the font choices, the layout, the graphic design, any illustrations, and I also leap on copy-edity things like when a book is peppered with homophone errors. So, if i rave-reviewed an ARC that was full of typos but didn't even mention that? My friends and followers who are familiar with my reviews who then read the book based on my rave might wonder how honest my review was if i omitted that. And i tend to write my reviews in conversational vernacular, as if i were just holding forth my thoughts on the book at a coffeeshop or bar. I cuss and drop slang and make jokes, and so when i review an ARC, i don't suddenly pretend i'm writing an analytical paper for academia. If i thought, "This book blows chunks," or "This book would be better off recycled into toilet paper," then i'll probably put that, verbatim, in my review. Though so far, i haven't had an ARC that i thought was asswipe material, thank every single star.

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Average rating: 3.54 · 2,218 ratings · 228 reviews · 11 distinct works
Sticks in Petticoats: Paras...

4.80 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2007
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Resurrection Engines: Fifte...

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3.21 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Confessions: Fact or Fictio...

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4.30 avg rating — 20 ratings — published 2010 — 4 editions
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Steampunk (Steampunk, #1)

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3.53 avg rating — 2,145 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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Voices of Multiple Sclerosi...

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4.15 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 2009 — 4 editions
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Imagining Heaven

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2010
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Ready for Consumption: An A...

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4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2013
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The Sky is Falling (SteamPu...

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4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2007
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A Journal of Misapplied Tec...

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4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2007
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Knoxville Bound: A Collecti...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2004 — 3 editions
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More books by Rachel E. Pollock…

Book Review: 3D Printing and Maker Lab for Kids



Okay, it's only obliquely topical I suppose, in that this blog is not remotely about fun activities for children. However, many professional costumers are also parents, and as we incorporate 3D fabrication technologies into our process more and more, it's fun to consider sharing those activities with our children.

And in fact, I think this book could actually be great for adults who want to le... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on December 08, 2019 08:23

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Betsey: A Memoir
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Bird Box by Josh Malerman
" We watched this one and it unnerved me. "
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
"A fast read through a nightmarish scenario. I kept picturing the unseen creatures like the aliens in "Signs," imaginary until they're real. As in many post-apocalyptic tales, people are often the things to be most afraid of in the world."
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Betsey: A Memoir
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Secondhand by Adam Minter
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3D Printing and Maker Lab for Kids by Eldrid Sequeira
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The Pollinator Victory Garden by Kim Eierman
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As an avid and ecologically-minded gardener, i have to say: what a great book! I love literally everything about it.

The author discusses the importance of pollinator species from bees to bats to beetles to butterflies...even birds! She lays out what
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More of Rachel's books…
“Down we felt as up we grew, dancing our didn'ts and drinking our dids.”
Rachel E. Pollock, Knoxville Bound: A Collection of Literary Works Inspired by Knoxville, Tennessee

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Rumi

“I threw the pearl of my soul into a cup of wine. I went down the primrose path to the sound of flutes. I lived on honeycomb.”
Oscar Wilde

“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”
Voltaire

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
Mark Twain

155258 Nano in February — 12 members — last activity Jun 19, 2016 02:40PM
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3152 Chapel Hill/ Durham (NC) Book Club — 107 members — last activity Aug 25, 2016 06:55AM
We are a group of readers that alternate between Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. Check out our bookshelf for books that we have read or join us and ...more
288 Durham, NC Goodreads — 158 members — last activity Jul 27, 2015 12:22PM
A place for people in Durham, North Carolina to talk about what they're reading. Upcoming author readings and book events. Favorite bookstores.
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A GoodReads group for people who are on Litsy to bond further outside the fantastic app, and to find each other.
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