Monday, 28 May 2012

Interview with Rebecca Emin

Today, we’re chatting to Rebecca Emin. Rebecca specialises in writing flash fiction and books for older children. 
Her new novel, When Dreams Come True has just been published.

Rebecca's Website
Rebecca's Writing for Children & Teens Blog
Rebecca's Amazon page HERE

Tell us about your proudest writing achievement.
I don’t think I could pick just one. I am just happy to finally be doing something I always wanted to do, but the highlight of it is when people get in contact to say they have enjoyed something I’ve written.

What are your writing strengths and weaknesses?
I have been told by a couple of other writers that I write for 10-14 year olds with details that they wouldn’t think of. I think I’m lucky that I find it quite easy to write for this age group. My weakness is the time factor. With three young children, admin for our company and day-to-day life it is sometimes hard to find any writing time at all in a week.

Do you have a writing routine or any odd writing quirks?
I don’t really have a routine, I just write when I have the time and inspiration. I find I write better in the mornings though.

Is there a special place you like to write?
I either write at my kitchen table or in a local coffee shop. Both places have a view outside which seems to help me concentrate.

How important is it to you to plot your novels?
I don’t plot at all; I just write what comes into my head at the time. The only time I make notes is if I’m not near a computer and an idea comes to me – then I will jot it down to jog my memory later.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
I don’t totally base a character on people I know although my friend Helen did help with the creation of Chloe in New Beginnings quite a lot. I did tell her and she was okay about that. And there was a certain celebrity cameo in that book! But in When Dreams Come True, none of the characters are based on real people.

How much of you is there in the characters you write about?
There is a little bit of me in both of my main characters. Sam was bullied in New Beginnings, and some of those experiences were from my school days. And some of her achievements were things I would have liked to have done but never have. In When Dreams Come True, Charlie has a lot of vivid dreams. That is the only thing that I borrowed from my own experience.

What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome when self publishing?
Well I thought the perceptions of others would be the biggest hurdle, and I suspect in the wider scheme of things this may still be an issue. But I was delighted when I approached a number of book bloggers I have got to know, and quite a few of them, (I just counted and it’s actually seventeen) said they would like a review copy of the book. I am now waiting to hear what they think of it, and I have to admit I’m ever so slightly terrified.

It was my aim to create a product that is of similar standard to a traditionally published book. I can only hope I have achieved this.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I honestly don’t have one favourite author. My recent purchases have been books by writers I’ve got to know online or at literary events. When I was growing up my favourite author was Enid Blyton for many years.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am trying to write more flash fiction at the moment as my collection of short stories for adults A Knowing Look has been received so much better than I had expected. I actually created that book as a project to see if I could self publish. It didn’t occur to me at the time that people might actually want to buy it.

I am keen to keep working on that style of writing. I am also writing another novel for 10-14s, which will be more of an adventure story.

Rebecca Emin lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and three small children. Her debut novel, ‘New Beginnings,’ was published by Grimoire Books on 23 January 2012. Her second novel, ‘When Dreams Come True’ is also for older children aged 10+.
She enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories and has had several flash fiction stories included in fundraising anthologies. ‘A Knowing Look and Other Stories’ is a collection of Rebecca’s short stories which was published in November 2011. 

Rebecca is also an author for Ether Books who publish short stories and essays to mobile devices via the Ether app.

Rebecca Emin was talking to Maureen Vincent-Northam, co-author of The Writer's ABC Checklist (Secrets to Success - Writing)


DW96 said...

And it's another fine interview from Mo. Congratulations, Rebecca on your new title.

I was interested to note that you don't plan. Neither do I, which probably expalins why my first drafts are usually nonsense. Like you I carry a notebook with me at all times, because you never know when the idea will strike.

Richard Hardie said...

Great interview, Mo and Rebecca. If it's okay with you I'll broadcast it as a link.
I must admit I have to have a degree of a plot, or my characters don't know why they'r doing something, let alone doing it in unison! So, the rest of your writing must be very controlled, Rebecca, and very disciplined. Lucky you!
Best wishes and good luck with the launch!¬

Maureen said...

Please do share it, Richard. Thank you. :)

Rebecca Emin said...

Thank you so much for hosting me here, Mo, and for asking a great set of questions which were fun to answer. David - that's interesting that you don't plot either. From what I have seen, writers seem to fall into one camp or the other. Richard, as Mo said, yes please do share!

KjM said...

This is a great interview - and good to know that one can squeeze time out of the day for writing and publishing.

Wishing you the very best with "When Dreams Come True", Rebecca.

Rebecca Emin said...

Thank you so much, KjM!