We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Rodarte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I first began my business as a way to offer freelance instructional design for online education and writing/editing expertise. As time went on, I realized I wanted a way to make my own voice heard. With self-publishing an option, I took the plunge and started publishing my own books. My Sassy How-to Series, which includes my signature title, “How to Be Your Own Sassy Heroine” gathers stories from my own life with ideas on how women can start becoming their own sassy heroine following a divorce or breakup! The theme of my writing is also about female empowerment and how women can help each other regardless of race, ethnicity, religious preference, sexual identity, etc. To that end, readers may enjoy my romantic comedy fiction, Dating in the Desert, Books 1 & 2 of the Sassy Saguaros Series. They are packed full of sassy heroines who are strong, quick-witted, intelligent women. While they may have a hard, thick skin and be a little prickly on the outside (just like the Saguaro cactus), readers will also find soft-hearted, compassionate female characters.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Sassy Heroine concept started as a coping mechanism for me to get through my days after my divorce. To see myself as a sassy heroine, helped me get through trying hours and days because my emotions were all over the place. As I started to see myself emerging from the drama just like the sassy heroines I watched in romantic comedies or read about in chicklit stories, I felt less scared and better able to handle chaotic, stressful situations that popped up. Over the years, I’ve used the technique in many challenging situations. Now especially I use the technique more than ever as our world has changed with Covid-19, an economic crisis, and the political climate. I think if you can escape to your imagination and see yourself as that sassy heroine at the end of the movie, it’ll help you get through every minute, every hour, every day. At the end of the day, you must have hope that the dark phase will pass, and you’ll eventually emerge smiling, happy, relieved, and stronger than ever. Soon I hope to publish “The Ultimate Sassy Heroine Survival Guide. ”At the end of the day, my books are deeply experiential and relevant to our times, as I am navigating these difficult times with everyone else.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take a friend to see the varying neighborhoods and unique cultures that Phoenix has to offer. One of my favorite places for Happy Hour is Pier 54 in the Lakes in Tempe. It’s a wonderful, low-key neighborhood bar that sits at the end of the lake and also offers boat rides. Every time I visit I feel like I’m in Key West, without having to travel across the country. To contrast, I would next take my friend across town to El Charro Hipster Bar and Café on Grand Avenue for empanadas and to soak up the restaurant’s gorgeous Mexican-decorated space. I would also take them to Los Altos Ranch Market in central Phoenix for more authentic food and to shop for authentic Mexican groceries. No trip to Phoenix would be complete without a visit to my favorite resort restaurants for brunch: T Cook’s at the Royal Palms Spa and Resort and Café Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho. For activity, I would take my friend to the Japanese Friendship Gardens for a stroll. I would also plan an evening at the top of South Mountain to get the entire view of the city and watch the sunset. I would then plan for a walk up “A” Mountain in Downtown Tempe. Next, we would go to Papago Park to hike in the red rocks. Of course, no trip to Phoenix be complete without a visit to the shops and eateries in Old Town Scottsdale.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give special Shout Outs to the marketing/social media professionals I had a blast working with since I began this journey. First shout out goes to a virtual assistant marketing company, UBD Creative, who provided me with amazing media opportunities, such as appearing on panels with other authors; creating a media kit; setting up my newsletter; networking with other authors. I learned so much about how to find my audience on Facebook and how to do targeted marketing. Plus, I valued our brainstorming sessions on developing my brand. I can never forget all the wonderful evenings spent strategizing and plotting out my brand, and in general, talking about relationships and more around how to be a sassy heroine. Next Shout Out goes to Claire Fifield aka @theglammompreneur. Through her Sip ‘n Shops, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, I had the opportunity to host Meet and Greets. She gave me the opportunity to hone my public speaking skills and to meet so many other wonderful ladies in business. Plus, I love all the social media branding we have done together. Christianne Acosta and her group, Influential Women and Men of Arizona, deserves a shout-out for so many wonderful networking lunches and the opportunity to meet other like-minded women and to share my books with the group. Last but not least, a shoutout to Missy Pruitt-Chastain owner of Peace, Love, Meow Cat Rescue and La Gattara Cat Lounge and Boutique, whose cat café provided numerous hours of “cat therapy” when I needed it. Plus, I found like-minded people, good drinks, good food, and good conversation. Of course, I can’t forget the black-and-white kitty I am fostering through Peace, Love, Meow Cat Rescue. Zorro deserves a shout-out as well for the many hours he sits sweetly at my side while I’m writing.