Drumroll please – announcing…my very first interview!
I met the lovely Rebecca Paula, a writer of historical romance, via the website Figment while we were both engaged in the wilds of National Novel Writing Month, and somehow we tumbled into a delightful writerly friendship. She’s a great lady for good advice and has been running into some amazing opportunities lately. She agreed to answer a bunch of questions for me, so without further ado, here she is! I hope you enjoy her just as much as I have, and be sure to follow her on Twitter – she’s going places!
1) Let’s get to know you:
–Your favorite color: It changes. Sometimes it’s blue, sometimes yellow, most of the time it’s pink.
–Your favorite animal:…would be the cat. That’s mostly because I have the greatest cat ever in the history of ever, who’s hilarious. If you follow me on Twitter, I talk about Bella a lot.
–Your favorite snacks: I am addicted to cheddar rice cakes. They’re my go to snack while I’m writing. I also love tea, especially Earl Grey.
–Your favorite tv shows: I’m pretty obsessed with British TV. I can’t pick a favorite, but Downton Abbey is close to the top of my list. I also love Covert Affairs and New Girl.
2) When was the very first time you remember wanting to write? What inspired that moment?
In fifth grade, I was assigned to write a diary from the POV of Brian from Hatchet. That was really when lightning struck for me and I found my place. From that assignment on, it’s just been me wanting to write, whether it was fiction or nonfiction, I wrote.
3) What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m working on a lot. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to write full-time right now, so I’m taking advantage and working, working, working. I’ve finished Etiquette with the Devil, which is the first book of seven in an historical romance series. I’m revising its sequel, The Lady and the Guttersnipe, and am drafting the third book. I’m planning on writing a short contemporary romance this summer too on a dare from my husband, which will be based in New England.
4) Talk about your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process, and a little bit about how you work.
I love revising. I could revise forever. There’s something magical about the whole process. Drafting is touch and go for me in terms of love and hate. I think my least favorite parts have been summarizes my stories – so synopsizes, loglines, etc. Those are cruel. I would much rather cut words and “kill my darlings” than tackle anything that shortens my story. I hope it’s a skill I learn with time and becomes a bit easier.
5) Name some authors you esteem or books you’ve read repeatedly- what about them inspires you?
As far as books, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read The Great Gatbsy and Wuthering Heights. Those are two of my favorites.
I love F. Scott Fitzgerald and the lyrical style of his prose. I love that his stories are romantic yet tragic. I always thought his stories were honest portrayals of the human experience. I admire Meredith Duran for her beautiful writing and unique historical romance plots. I love that she steps outside of the normal mold of a typical romance novel. Her plots are always fresh. And I admire John Green…because he’s John Green. His writing is breathtaking and poignant.
6) Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get over it, and if not, why not?
I totally believe in writer’s block. We’ve all had times where we want to yell at our computer screens because we’re stuck. I think the most important thing is to learn that yes, it does exist, and you can get through it by writing. Seems obvious, but whenever I’m stuck, I switch to another scene or POV, sometimes even another project. If you write, you’ll eventually get unstuck and work through that tricky spot.
7) What would you tell someone who’s never put pen to page- or fingers to keyboard- because they are convinced they can’t do it?
The trickiest thing about writing is writing. It won’t be an easy process, but there isn’t a better feeling than printing out your book and seeing the stacks and stacks of pages with words your wrote. Be careful not to be caught up all of the writing advice out there and the “writers” who love to talk about writing but never actually write. Trust that you have your own voice. You can write what you love or something completely new and exciting, but write, write, write.
Becka especially wants you all to know:
I love meeting other writers and talking books, so follow me on Twitter (@beckapaula) and say hi, or visit my website at rebeccapaula.com to find out more about my writing.
And there you have it everyone – my first interview, and with a wonderful friend to boot! Now get out there and do that most difficult part of writing: start writing. As Becka says, don’t get caught up in do’s and don’ts so much that your voice gets squashed, and never spend more time talking about writing than doing it – write what comes to you and never look back.
Don’t forget to check Becka out at her website and on Twitter, and keep an eye out – Flash Fiction Friday will be up next! Now- to your instruments, and let the writing begin!