Sunday, 30 May 2010

Interview with Rebecca Sutton

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. The US and UK are both graced with long weekends this time, and although Monday's not a holiday in Germany, I have off, so I get a long weekend too. :)

To add to your holiday enjoyment, I've got a great interview with an outstanding aspiring writer. Let's welcome Rebecca Sutton.

Hi, Rebecca. It's great to have you here. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have a double identity of sorts. My family and close friends have always called me Becky so it’s sort of funny for them to hear me referred to as Rebecca now. Feel free to call me Becky or Rebecca Sutton. I’ll respond to anything as long as it’s not mean!

After moving around the country the last 10 years for various reasons (art school, career) I’m back in my hometown in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Talk about full circle. I couldn’t wait to leave the second I graduated from high-school and leave behind small town life in the country to start college in Pittsburgh, then Los Angeles. Now there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. My family, my trusty green laptop, an internet connection, and a great sushi restaurant are all I need.

With the exception of my very part time job I’m fortunate to be able to stay home with my 2-year-old son. I have Nate’s naptimes, his school days, and nights (I’m a total night owl) to focus on my writing. When I’m not writing I’m reading. I might be 31, but I read more teen books now than I did when I was a teen.

Like my writing, my genre of choice is fantasy, but lately I’ve fallen in love with authors like John Green and Sarah Dessen. The next two projects I have planned are stepping out of my comfort zone. One’s a YA contemporary romance and the other is a MG fantasy with a boy’s POV. I’m thrilled to finally have a story that I can allow my 10-year-old niece and 8-year-old nephew to beta read.

Sounds great! (And by the way, I love sushi too! Yum!)So, how long have you been writing?

I’d love to be able to say I’m one of those people who started writing as a teenager, but I’m not. Not even close. I started writing about a year and a half ago and haven’t stopped since.

What is the name and genre of your current manuscript?

FORTUNE’S TELLER is a YA Urban Fantasy.

Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

When seventeen-year-old Tori Morganfeld’s grandmother dies, Tori won’t just inherit her Key West cottage and some plastic flamingos. She’ll also inherit her ability to see the future.

Ah, I'm intrigued. *makes gimme hands* How did the idea of the story come to you?

Like all my ideas it pretty much just popped into my head one day while I was driving or taking a shower.

Yep, the infamous shower muse gets 'em every time. Is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?

Work in progress but I’m a few days away from finishing the first draft.

Do you have a word count goal, and how far along are you at this point?

My goal is 65k and right now I’m at 67k. Eek! Lots of cutting and adding to come next month.

What will be your next step?

Definitely querying for an agent!

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I work with critique partners and beta readers throughout the writing process. I’d be lost without them!

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Getting the long stretches of time to write. Since I have a 2-year-old it’s very challenging to find blocks of time that aren’t late at night or the days I’m super tired.

I hear you. If only we could stop time so we could write ... See, another story idea! Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Writing is not a solitary art. Sure, you have to sit there alone and write or type, but the support of other writers is by far one of the biggest things that has kept me going and growing. Connect with fellow writers that are at every stage of their journey on places like Twitter, writing forums, blogs. I’d be lost without them!

Me too! So, do you have an idea of your book’s cover art?

I did with my first book, but not this time. I think it’s because I’ve learned so much about the publishing industry since then and how authors don’t get much of a say in their covers so I haven’t put any thought into it this time around. But with my writing personality I’d hope the covers would be very graphic and eye catching, maybe a little dark and creepy. But now you’ve got me thinking…

Who are your inspirations?

There are many authors that have inspired me, but I’m very fortunate to have gotten to know Becca Fitzpatrick. I can’t begin to tell you how inspirational it is to work with and ask questions to someone who is living the dream I’m chasing. She’s amazing!

Stephenie Meyer’s background has been a huge inspiration for me as well. When I first began writing I read an interview with her and was struck with how she was a stay at home mom of 3 young boys and became this huge sensation with her first novel. When I read that I was the same age as she was when she wrote TWILIGHT so it really hit home for me.

And how could I not mention JK Rowling! Just thinking about what she accomplished and gave to this world makes me tear up.

There are so many individual books that inspire me but a few recent favorites are; BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, THE DEMON’S COVENANT by Sarah Rees Brennan, CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins (dying for MOCKINGJAY), BLEEDING VIOLET by Dia Reeves. I could go on and on. SO many incredible books out there.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three non-writerly things about yourself that people may not know?

-My part time job is doing window displays
-I can cook all sorts of fancy gourmet meals but mess up the simple stuff like burning bacon
-I’m deathly and irrationally afraid of birds. Ducks, finches, an ostrich…keep them away!

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Whom would you like to give a shout out to?

My son. He’s the reason I moved back to small town life and closer to family, and the reason I stopped working full time and was able to discover writing, just being around him I can’t help but want to conquer the world. My family. My beta reading ninja of a sister, Jenn. My critique partners, Jamie, Miranda and Sarah. And all the other incredible people online out there who send supportive tweets, or offer to beta read, or share insight into their own journeys. You all

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: pickle, revolution, and rocket.

She had ten seconds to fill the rocket with pickle juice or the revolution wouldn’t have a chance in hell of succeeding.

Heehee, love it! And finally, where can people find you online?

Twitter: @rebeccaYAwriter

Rebecca, thank you so much for letting us get to know you. I sense big things in your future and can't wait to get my hands on your books.

A big thank you to you, Dorothy, for inviting me to do this interview and giving me the opportunity to share a little about my writing. Great questions!


Tahereh said...

aww fabulous interview! hehe i especially love the pickle sentence!! ;D

hope you both have a fabulous long-weekend!!


Dorothy Dreyer said...

*squees because the fabulous thmafi left a comment*

Thank you, Tahereh! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. :) ♥

Shelli said...

Can't wait for the book to come out. You mentioned this is your second book; what happened to the first? Did it get published, or do you still have it in a drawer somewhere?

Katie Ashley said...

Great interview!!! I'm fortunate that I'll get to meet Rebecca live and in person in late June. WHOO HOO!!!

Twilight was the first YA I read in many, many years, and I loved reading about Stephenie's journey. JK Rowling is also extremely inspiring.

I admire you guys with children and how you juggle your mommy duties. I salute you!!

Rebecca L Sutton said...

Aww, thanks for the support guys! Dorothy is so awesome for taking the time to let us chat about our work. It was so much fun!

Shelli, I did query my first book and got some great feedback but no offers so I decided to stash it away for later and start something new which is the WIP I talk about here. I'm sure I'll open it up and give it another shot someday. ; ) Thanks for asking!

Haha glad you like the pickle sentence, Tahereh. Hope you're having a great long weekend too. Mine has been awesome so far...writing, cookouts, family.

YAY can't wait to meet you Krista! So glad you decided to come to DC. We've got so much to talk about. Definitely Harry Potter. ; )

~Jamie said...

Pickle Juice Rocket!!


Great Interview, and a great girl to interview, too!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I just know Rebecca is going to go far. :)

Lacey J Edwards said...

Becky! Great interview! I'm a huge fan of sushi too and as a fellow Pennsylvanian, I hear you on being home. I'd give just about anything to leave NYC and go back to rural PA! And how funny we both just started writing less than two years ago! *fist bump* Can't wait to see your books on shelves.