Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
Well, I've loved to read ever since I was a little girl. Stories took me out of everyday life and let me travel and learn about all sorts of people.
When I was a girl, I used to write in a journal. When I was a teen, I sometimes wrote in my journal and occasionally wrote poetry, but never did much actual writing. It wasn't until I began telling my children made-up bedtime stories that I began writing them down, and that started me on my writing journey.
I mostly write on my living room sofa with my laptop on a footstool thing. (That’s very descriptive, isn't it?) Eventually I want to have a desk in the office I’m supposed to share with my husband. That’ll happen eventually in our new house here in Utah.
Writing freehand feels like it should be more romantic, but honestly? I hate it. I love being able to move parts of paragraphs around in nearly an instant, copy/paste, and delete with abandon. My personality and mental organization works so much better with typing. Not to mention that I’m extremely good at losing paper and notebooks.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part about writing is twofold. The first part is where something I write just feels good. Like it fits, and all the words hit the exact spot. It feels good, like a snuggly blanket when it’s cold in the wintertime. And the second part of my favorite thing about writing is when a reader brings my story to life in their own head, and we make a connection through words. I think it was Stephen King who talked about how it takes a writer and a reader to make one whole story together. (Don’t quote me on that—my memory is terrible!) But I love communicating with people through stories.
How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?
I could make something really cool up, but really, they just sort of come in different ways. Sometimes a “what if” way, but with Captain Schnozzlebeard, well, I was in the shower, making up a song about pirates after reading a children’s pirate picture book. All of a sudden, Captain Gus Schnozzlebeard popped into my head, blustery and big-nosed, and all fancy-like. It was kind of a neat experience.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I belong to a few writing communities, so I keep my eyes open for events and review opportunities. I have several signing events coming up as well as a couple of presentations, which I’m excited to do. Basically, I just try to be myself and make friends.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
Mostly in the afternoon when I can find some quiet time, or at night after my children go to bed. We’re changing our family’s whole routine after this summer, so I’ll probably write more in the early afternoons.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I do have a new book out. Captain Schnozzlebeard and the Singing Clam of Minnie Skewel Island is my first traditionally published book, through Trifecta Books. The second in the series is in the works and deals with purple were chickens who give people the rooster pox. (Middle grade books, if you couldn't tell.J ) I also have another project for adults that there will be news about in the next few months.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I have a young adult novel that is very involved and is quite different from my middle grade books. It’s very loosely based on The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. The themes are quite different than in the traditional tale, and have to do with a young mermaid learning that she is valuable just by being herself—even if she has no idea who she is. The first chapter of this book placed second in its category in the 2014 LDStorymakers First Chapter Contest, so I’d really like to get it finished.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
You might never believe you have enough talent. And you know what? I've talked to people who've “made it,” and the common thread among all of them is that writing and publishing takes work. Hard, hard work. No matter what path you take to publishing, you need to work at it. Even if you have scads of talent. So read writing books, get critique partners, attend any conferences you can. You will always have room to grow and learn, even if you end up being a massive self-publishing hit or get your dream agent and score a huge contract with a major publisher.
Also, remember that no matter where you are in your publishing journey, there will always be people who you feel are ahead of you or coming up behind you. That doesn’t matter. You are where you’re supposed to be on your own path, because no one else can travel your path for you. But here’s the thing—you can’t sit still. You have to actually move your feet and head down that road.
Thank you, Rebecca!
Learn more about Rebecca at the following links:
My website is www.rebeccablevins.net.
Here's the Amazon link to my book
Read the character interview here