Could you tell us a little bit about your book, A Human Element? How long did it take you to write? Did you write it with a specific audience in mind?
In A Human Element one by one, Laura Armstrong’s loved ones are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
I spent seven months writing A Human Element part time, usually setting the alarm for a 4:30am wake-up call. I got most of my book written before 7:00 am each day. I didn’t have a specific audience in mind when I wrote this book. The idea came to me in a vision years thirteen years earlier, I set it aside, and my mother’s death finally propelled me to write it in grief.
What are you working on at the moment? Did you take a break after finishing A Human Element or get started with a new project straight away?
I’m plotting a young adult novel now while editing the sequel to A Human Element. In its sequel, A Hidden Element, when a family’s son is taken by the same unearthly evil that brutalized them fifteen years ago they must sacrifice all again to defeat a new terrifying enemy–an enemy that wants to rule the world with their son as his heir.
I’m not sure I know how to take a break. Ha ha. I jumped right into writing a new book after A Human Element, a middle grade fantasy adventure. My son inspired the story, and he even helped with plotting and creating the fantasy creatures. I am so brimming with book ideas I often have to slow down and focus on one or two projects at once. My brain moves faster ahead then my brain can write!
Are you more likely to pick up pen and paper when you feel the urge to write or switch on your computer? Do you have any writing habits or quirks?
Never pen and paper unless editing. I type five times faster than I can handwrite. I’m a hard typist and have broken a couple keyboards J. I love to write early in the morning and at Wegman’s Café with my writer pals. Writing: it really is a spectator sport! Quirks? I actually slow down my writing as I near the end of a novel as I fall so in love with my characters I don’t want them to leave me. It’s a death for me when it’s all over. I have a Writers Corner on my website where I share what I’ve learned with other writers along the way.
Are there any other writers who you really admire? What was the last thing you read and would you recommend it?
I most admire Dean Koontz and Stephen King. My book, A Human Element, has been likened to the style of Dean Koontz, and he and King have been the biggest influences in my writing. My husband wants to know how I can write such dark and twisted things. Steamy sex. Blood spew. Heads in a vice. Heh heh heh. It’s fun to write about stuff I would surely get arrested for in real life!
I’m reading books now for consideration for the Bram Stoker Awards, and it’s like Christmas with all the free books I have on my kindle. It’s great to discover new authors this way, like Billie Sue Mosiman. I just finished two of her fantastic novellas, Prison Planet and Mourning Mansion. I’m eager to read more of her work. Highly recommend! Her writing is stark, horrifying at time, and yet with a dash of hope.
Finally, do you have any hints and tips for other aspiring writers?
We may write alone but we can’t get published alone. Join a vibrant writer organization you can become involved in. Take workshops. Go to writer conferences. Keep improving your craft. And share the love. All authors started out alone at some point, so help ease the transition of a new writer emerging by mentoring them. And get on Facebook, Twitter, and create a blog.
Rebecca, thanks so much for having me on!