Rebecca Hamilton is another author I met thanks to Twitter. I’m looking forward to today’s interview with her. Rebecca’s debut novel The Forever Girl (Book 1 of the Forever Girl Series) was recently released and I’m excited to say I won a free copy for my Kindle. Please join me in welcoming Rebecca and don’t forget to leave a comment for her.
Hi Rebecca how are you?
I’m a bunch of things right now. I had a lot of mixed emotions over releasing my novel and right now I’m still a bit excited and a lot nervous. At the same time, it feels weird, like it hasn’t really happened yet. I’m also feeling quite honored to be interviewed on your blog. I can’t thank you enough for having me. Hope things have been well on your end.
Thank you for stopping by Writing Like Crazy
Okay Rebecca Let’s jump right into the interview.
First, I’d like to know what made you decide to become a writer. Did you have an aha moment or was it something you did ever since you can remember?
Honestly? Originally, it was a bucket list item. You know, something I wanted to do before I died. (I’m too much of a fraidy-cat to put skydiving on my list, but I guess it turns out this whole writing thing comes close.) Anyway, I was never able to really come up with an idea or finish anything. Then, about four years ago, I had an idea. Finally. And as I wrote that book, it turned into 3 ideas. And as I’ve revised the book, it’s turned into 7 ideas. And along the way, I came up with some other stories as well. So I guess once I started, it just sort of … took over.
Book 1 of The Forever Girl is about a girl named Sophia who is dealing with family skeletons. Can you tell us a little more about this book?
The novel is a bit of the paranormal and also a bit of the mundane. And by mundane, I hope I don’t mean boring. What I mean is, I explore a lot of issues in the novel. Normal day-to-day issues, like dealing with tough family members, being judged or not feeling at home in your home-town. Sophia’s cursed with a buzzing in her head and when she tries to get rid of it with a Wiccan spell, the buzzing turns to whispering voices. As she looks into that, she discovers a family secret about an ancestor hanged during the Salem witch trials. Solving the mystery might cure the noise, but it turns out that in order to find her answers she will have to fall into another life she never expected. There’s a lot of themes there, however, with the biggest one being acceptance—acceptance of yourself, acceptance of others, and acceptance of the way things are.
*Neat, I like the idea of the buzzing becoming whispers. It’s definitely nothing I have heard of before.
Besides Sophia, what other characters will we find in The Forever Girl?
The most memorable characters to my readers have been: Sophia’s mom, a woman with bipolar who maybe means well but is often harsh and out of touch with reality, and Charles, who brings up a lot of issues of trust … can he trust her, can she trust him, can either of them trust themselves or their future together? A lot of readers seem to either love or hate Sophia’s friend (Lauren)’s quirky attitude, which leads them to favor Sophia’s other friend (Ivory) who’s a bit jaded and tells it like it is.
What inspired you to write this book?
Oh man. Now you’re making me think. It all started four years ago… Umm… 🙂 Okay, I’m going to be honest but it’s not gonna be pretty. I read a series of novels (I won’t say which ones, because that would be mean) and thought, “If this can get published, then so can I!” Ha! How little I knew. (Like the fact that the author was mega famous BEFORE any of her books were published) Anyway, I do feel like a butt for having thought that way. The story itself … IDK, it just came to me. What a freaking cliché, huh?
When did you know that this book would be part of a series?
About half way through the first book. One of the characters sort of … took over unexpectedly, which ended up changing the entire second half of how I thought the story would unfold. That part of the story will make it to book 4 though, I believe.
Can you tell us about your road to publication? Was it a long journey?
Oh, I could bore you with this story. Really I could. To keep it short, I started writing four years ago and I’m just now putting my first novel out there.
Do you have an agent?
I came close many times, even had some agent approach me after seeing my work online, but nothing ever came of it. I seemed to have better luck with editors believing in my work.
Did you spend a lot of time querying for this book? May I ask how many rejections you got?
I queried for about a year. Every agent that covers my genre rejected me. I lost count. Over a hundred, I think. Some were very nice and asked to see future works. One of them plans on buying a copy of my novel. Another said my work reminded her of another author she represented who had won awards, but that publishers wouldn’t pick up the novel so she had to pass on mine. It’s a tough market. I met some really cool agent-people along the way, though.
Rebecca do I understand you are a co-owner of a publishing company? I think that is super cool, can you tell us a little more about this?
My partner and I were both looking into self publishing around the same time we were considering starting a small literary magazine. We decided to combine our idea to self publish with our idea of publishing others into one effort–at least for now. That’s how Immortal Ink Publishing was born. We used my first novel as a test pilot (and have learned a lot) and have since acquired a few more titles to be released in 2012. We want to stay small, and we want to put our all into the authors we do publish. That said, we also want to support other indie authors–whether they be self published or published through other small publishing houses–by reading their works and promoting them if we find the read enjoyable.
Can authors come to you to have their work published?
Yes. We’ll be opening for submissions in May. We may open for a paid short story anthology sooner than that, too, where we will be paying those who submit (and are selected) $50 per story plus 5% of the profits each.
What was the reaction from your family when they found out Mommy’s book was going to be on shelves?
I don’t think they get it LOL. They knew immediately I’d spend any money I made on them, though.
I adore the cover for your book. What did you think when you first saw it?
When I saw the cover model, I about fell over at the likeness to my MC. That is EXACTLY how I envision my MC. (Except I know the model has blue eyes and Sophia does not. But otherwise…)
Her Sweetest Downfall and Come, the Dark are the next two books. What can we expect from these?
Her Sweetest Downfall is one of the novellas. It’s related to the series, but not explicitly part of the series. I guess what’s neat about all the books under the Forever Girl brand is that they all can stand alone. The Novellas (called “Journals”) will be put out between releases of The Forever Girl Series Books, as long as I have a story to tell. They are more loosely related to the main story line. Then, within the series itself, there is Sophia’s Trilogy (which consists of books 1, 4, and 7 in the series). Come, the Dark is the second book in the series itself, and this story is a bit more experimental in style. I think it might be my favorite in the series, to tell the truth. There will be romance, paranormal elements, more on the Salem witch trials, and a bit more of a historical flavor (as opposed to the contemporary style of The Forever Girl).
I love the titles of your books. How did you come up with them?
I honestly have no idea. The Forever Girl was actually named for me by my friend Gerry Johnston, an amazing up-and-coming horror novelist.
How can readers find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook page?
How can they purchase your book? Can you tell us where it is available?
Currently it’s available in several Amazon stores, including the US and UK. It’s also available on Smashwords and Barnes&Noble. It’s coming to iBookstore soon as well, and a print version will be available in the near future.
I will say I mostly only use Smashwords to provide a discounted copy (via coupon, for giveaway participants). The regular listing price is the same as the other sites and I don’t the formatting is as nice, so I don’t recommend buying through them unless you’ve got the coupon 🙂
Okay, I love to end interviews with some fire questions I hope you don’t mind
*Do you have a thinking spot?
The bath. Not on purpose. It’s just where all my good ideas come to me. Unfortunately, then I have wet hands and can’t write those ideas down .
*What is your writing ritual?
I always write at night.
*Do you keep Journals?
Not really, but I recently started keeping a day planner! Sometimes I write poetry when I’m hurt or angry.
*What is your favorite word?
Tacos. Especially Moes.
*What are you reading right now?
The Grimoire: Lichgates by SM Boyce. (PEOPLE NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT!)
*Do you have a favorite author?
Nancy Pickard. I adore her stories. She’s brilliant. I can’t really put it into words. You’ll have to read her work to see what I mean. AND she’s just a really nice person. We’ve had a few email chats. She has been one of the few authors who inspires me to bend the rules a little for the sake of suspense.
Rebecca this was an awesome interview. I can’t wait to download The Forever Girl onto my Kindle. I wish you success, peace, and happiness. Thanks for stopping by
Thanks for having me!!
Is there a thought you would like to leave us with?
A quote, from George S. Patton: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
You are very interesting Rebecca, I hope nothing but success for you.
Thank you so much, Maribeth 🙂 My main goal is to bring books to readers that they will enjoy, and I’m finding there’s many ways to pull that off.